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Social Media Marketing: Tips & Advice

Technology is rapidly advancing, and if you run a business, you have no choice but to keep up with the changes. When it comes to advertising and marketing your goods or services, you will need to step into the latest social media marketing in order to reach potential customers today. But, it gets even trickier. It involves more than simply setting up a Facebook page or Twitter account. Here are some helpful social media marketing secrets you may want to know.

Before you set up another online account or take another step to attempt to market your brand, it’s important to understand what your goals are in the long run. Make sure the goals that you set are kept simple yet attainable and within the framework of the customers you are trying to target. Some of your social media marketing goals may include increasing awareness of your brand, generate more sales, or establish a loyal customer base.

Next, do a little research into what your potential customers want before you decide which social media platform to focus on. Facebook’s demographics are going to be a bit different than Twitter’s or Instagram’s, for instance, while Snapchat is going to draw in the younger crowd, and LinkedIn may appeal more to older professionals.

Measure your goals. Once you have your accounts set up and in use, look at the analytics provided by the various social media platforms, and use it to your advantage. Look at who your posts are reaching. The Reach on the reports is going to indicate the number of unique users who see your posts to show you how far your content is reaching. The Clicks show you how many clicks your posts are getting. This indicates which posts your users are interested in enough to click on to find out more. Engagement is going to show you how your audience is interacting with comments and shares. Analytics will also show you how well your chosen hashtags performed and how well users reacted to your content.

Once you have chosen the platform for you, begin to build and engage your audience. Check out your competitors to see what keywords are sparking interest with them, and post at times when your fan base is most likely to be online to view it and interact. Above all, respond to questions and comments quickly. Social media can be a fast-paced game where you either keep up with the pace or get left behind. Make sure your response times are within just a few hours of any requests you receive, and always follow up to show personal interest in the individual potential customer.

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ARE YOU A LOVER OR A HATER?

68% OF MOBO STAFF LIKE MARMITE, TAKE THAT AS YOU WILL

As part of our image overhaul, we’ve been taking a long look at what advertising has really won us over during the last few months. In the run up to Christmas, we’re always overwhelmed by how many visually and creatively stunning campaigns are out there vying for our attention. From the iconic Coca Cola truck to the guaranteed John Lewis tearjerker, there’s always plenty of inspiration for us to get our teeth stuck into.

However, here at MOBO Media HQ we’re still discussing something that blew us away back in September – even though it’s now two months later and the festive giants are starting to rear their multi-coloured tinsel heads. We’re talking of course about the Marmite Gene Project, a groundbreaking ad campaign that left people wondering if their love – or their hatred – of the infamously polarizing spread might really be down to their genes.

The brainchild of Adam & Eve/DDB, the campaign capitalised on the brand’s “Love It Or Hate It” identity to publicise something really special – a real scientific study that claimed individuals are genetically predisposed towards either loving or hating the spread’s distinctive taste.

OK, the science has been called into question by quite a few sources, but we loved the way that Marmite’s ‘big reveal’ TV ad was accompanied by what must be one of the strangest pieces of direct marketing yet – a genuine DNA testing kit, which customers could order directly from Marmite’s official website.

So, here’s the big question – which side of the debate are you on? Do you salivate at the thought of Marmite on toast, or cringe every time that brown and yellow jar makes its way onto the kitchen table?

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THIS ISN’T THE BLOG POST YOU’RE LOOKING FOR

Here at MOBO Media HQ, we’re starting to get really excited about the main event. And no, we don’t mean Christmas Day.

From December 14, cinemagoers around the country will be glued to the screens as The Last Jedi takes us back to a galaxy far, far away.From the iconic lines that are still quoted generations later to the instantly-recognisable notes of the Death March, there are few cultural phenomena that have as tight a grip on the public imagination as Star Wars. But even though we love everything about the franchise – well, perhaps not Jar Jar Binks – there’s one thing about it that never fails to amaze us. And that’s how a 40-year old science fiction brand can still inspire such love and devotion in tech-savvy 2017. 

When the first posters for Star Wars appeared in movie theatres back in 1977, the dramatic, space opera-style artwork was a world away from the high definition portraits that are currently promoting The Last Jedi up and down the country. Interestingly, however, there are some elements that have stayed the same.Chief among them is the iconic Star Wars logo, first created by designer Suzy Rice for A New Hope. Falsely believing the font to have been created by Nazis, she chose Helvetica Black to fulfil George Lucas’ brief of something with a fascist feel. 

Four decades later, the logo’s extended ligatures are still capable of inspiring unrivalled delight in fans who really should be old enough to know better.Of course, this isn’t the only example of consistent branding throughout Star Wars’ impressively long career. In fact, from the introduction of increasingly cute – and marketable – sidekicks to the never-ending supply of tie-in merchandise, even the most casual observer can see that there are many elements that contribute towards the franchise’s continued success. But does this canny marketing mean that fans are able to enjoy themselves any less? Interestingly, the opposite seems to be true. Despite being taken over by Disney in 2012, the franchise has gone from strength to strength, with hundreds of thousands of people expected to forgo their bedtimes in order to attend late night screenings of The Last Jedi. And on a Wednesday night, no less. So whatever the team behind Star Wars is up to, it’s working – and it’s certainly got our attention.

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5 REASONS WHY YOU MIGHT NEED TO REBRAND

“Out with the old, in with the new.”

It’s never too late to rebrand your business, but it’s always better to start sooner than later! Rebranding your business can help strengthen your brand’s presence and allow it to evolve. It’s not an easy step to take but if done correctly it can breathe new life into your business.

As a design agency, we often face clients with the misconception that a logo is the entire branding and vice versa. But, a logo is just a small, simple mark to represent your brand. Without a proper branding strategy in place, a brand will never withstand market demands.

A brand is defined by how you promote yourself and how you can make others feel about your product, service or business as a whole. It’s so much more than the visual components, it’s the voice, heart and soul of the brand.

Jeff Bezos (Amazon’s CEO) explains it best; “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”

While there may be many reasons for a company to rebrand, we’ve outlined five reasons below to give you a good indication of whether or not you need to rebrand your business.

5 REASONS WHY COMPANIES REBRAND

1. Differentiate yourself from competitors

At the end of the day, you want your brand to look different to competitors. If you feel like your brand is looking a little lost it may be time to reassess whether or not your brand needs an overhaul in order to reinforce individuality.

2. Keeping up with the times

Nothing lasts forever, and as time goes on you’ll have more and more businesses moving into the same market, trying to achieve the same thing as you. Sometimes a rebrand is necessary just to keep up with the times in the ever-changing, fast-paced consumer markets.

3. New service and/or product launches

Launching a new product or service is always very exciting, but it can easily confuse customers. Consider rebranding your business with unique sub-brands for different products or services, rather than try to integrate it into your current brand.

4. Your brand values have changed

It’s common for your customers needs to change over time, but what about your own? Often business owners will find that their brand may not be what they originally intended. It’s important that your brand represents what you as a business offer, if not you can easily create confusion among your target market.

5. You lack customer engagement

If you start to notice a lack of customer engagement then all that time and money best on marketing has gone to waste. This may be the right time to consider hiring a design agency such as Mobo Media for a full rebrand to assess where you are currently going wrong and to rescue your brand from possible extinction!

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HOW AUTO TRADER USED WEB DESIGN TO REVOLUTIONISE THE ONLINE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY

Auto Trader is one of the UK’s best-known car brands, with a legacy that goes back over 35 years. It’s involved with around 65% of UK used car sales, making the site the largest online marketplace for automobiles.

Although Auto Trader started off as a traditional car magazine, it has fully transformed itself as a fully e-commerce automobile website through the use of iterative prototyping and agile development.

In June 2017, Chief Trevor Mather laid out in the organisation’s yearly report of how digital activities would be a key part in developing the business.

“As part of the group’s digital culture, incorporating an agile and lean working ethos, we have continued to find ways of operating more efficiently while ensuring that teams are truly data-oriented,” said Mather in the report. “We therefore took the decision to assign every team their own dedicated data analyst, embedding data practices fully across the organisation.”

The main goal for the organisation is to be the UK’s leading website for the online automotive market, all while assisting the buyer in the car shopping process and promoting various vehicles for shoppers, retailers and producers.

“Offering useful services that help consumers to buy and sell easily, like the valuation tool, is essential to keep our marketplace relevant,” says Mather.

Currently the site offers two main services which are: classified adverts for customers who want to sell their vehicles, alongside that it offers a service for car retailers who are constantly on the lookout for vehicles.

AGILE AND SPEEDY PROTOTYPING

To make the processes and procedures for Auto Trader more intuitive and streamlined the company has moved from traditional web development to agile and speedy prototyping.

InVision, which provides a digital design platform that competes with Adobe, is being used to streamline prototyping, speed up the development of mobile sites and support collaboration across the firm’s London and Manchester sites.

Before Invision was introduced, the company used to go through long technical executions to achieve the results desired.

Talking to PC Weekly about how the corporate’s internet design course of has modified, Anthony Collins, head of UX&D, Auto Dealer UK, says: “Eight years in the past, digital was changing into extra necessary, print was changing into much less important. We would have liked to remodel to digital.”

The shift seen in print to digital meant that Auto Trader had to invest in an in-house design team who focuses on designing mobile apps and developing the website.

Colin oversees a team of fifteen designers who focus on either B2B or the customer-facing side.

“Retailers can manage stock,” he says. “We have the tech to help you build great ads, and metrics on how much audience interaction your adverts get. We are getting to a place where we have half a million cars on the site. We understand speed of sale, valuation and pricing cars correctly and can provide quite sophisticated metrics.”

THE DESIGN PROCESS

Making use of tools such at the Craft Prototype plug-in library within InVision gives designers the ability to make use of the Sketch design software to develop key parts of the user interface quickly and efficiently. This means Auto Trader can increase productivity in other areas of the business.

Collins explains: “There is talk in the design community that wireframes are dead. I think they still have their place. But we are moving into prototyping using Sketch and Craft. If we see a problem with the user, or the wording on the site is wrong, we can change the prototype within the same day, explore new things and find what fits with users faster than before.”

The Auto Trader website is tested in Manchester, where the company runs formal lab checks. “We don’t have to jot down laborious interplay spec docs for folks to know what’s improper,” says Collins. “As an alternative, we are able to rapidly construct a prototype and other people can then touch upon it.”

Auto trader additionally run “gorilla testing” with random people they meet in order to ensure certain parts or the website/app are working properly and that there are no bugs that need to be filtered out. “We ask 5 folks in a Starbucks what they think and feed this into our design,” says Collins.

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HOW TO INTEGRATE YOUR BRAND INTO ALL ASPECTS OF YOUR COMPANY

Integrating your brand is not as difficult as you may think. You just need to break down or look at every element of your brand.

We know that multi-million corporations like Nike, Apple or Google are lucky enough to have in-house teams who take care of all their branding but for smaller companies having an in house team is considered a luxury.

That shouldn’t stop you though, below we’ve highlighted our top tips to integrate your brand into all aspects of your company, no matter how big or small.

YOUR BRAND IS NOT A LOGO

Contrary to popular belief a beautifully designed logo just isn’t enough. You need a strong set of brand guidelines in place so when a client looks at something produced by your company they can instantly tell it belongs to you. For example, if your logo is made up of white and pink (like the Mobo logo) then the rest of your colour palette should also follow a white and pink colour scheme with some variations. These colours should be consistent with everything produced by your business.

The same rule follows when it comes to typography! Why use a script font when your brand logo is made up of a sans serif font, such as Helvetica or Montserrat?

This is why having a set of brand guidelines is good to have in place. So if anyone needs to produce anything for your business they can easily know what colours, format and typography to use, rather than placing a logo and leaving it as is.

CONSISTENCY IS KEY

At Mobo we always believe consistency is key, not only when it comes to design but the way you communicate with your audience. So if your brand is fun and chatty or formal on social media, the same rule goes for how you handle and present yourself and your company in person or at networking events etc.

COMMUNICATION IS CRUCIAL

Both written and spoken should reflect your brand’s message, online and offline. Of course, we are only human and mistakes do happen, but you don’t want to put anything out into the open which could be potentially damaging to your brand. Communicate a clear message and be consistent with what is said at all times.

INVEST IN YOUR PEOPLE

Integrating your brand into all aspects of your business means getting everyone on board. What’s the point of having a few people work in marketing and/or design if the brand isn’t carried throughout the entire business? Working in the industry for so many years we’ve learnt that one of the biggest mistakes business owners make is simply giving a brand style guide or a logo to their staff and expecting them to know what it means and what they have to do with it.

People have to be taught how brand guidelines relates to their role and understand why it’s important for a business as a whole. Investing in training and education for your staff is crucial if you want your brand identity to be consistent throughout your business.

To conclude, you don’t need to break the bank or hire a huge team dedicated to integrating your brand for you. Just a few simple steps and you’ll be on your way!

Remember, a solid brand identity can elevate your business from a small player to a successful competitor.

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LOGO DESIGN TRENDS TO AVOID THIS YEAR

Let’s be honest, anyone can design a logo. However, designing a good logo requires a lot of research, patience and most importantly, skill.

Working in the design industry we often come across some cringe-worthy logo designs so we thought we would compile a list of design trends to avoid this year!

THE GENDER NEUTRAL SWOOSH PERSON

The swoosh man, the V-man or woman, whatever you want to call it. We’ve come across this thing time and time again, across a wide variety of different industries, from high schools to charities. Used alone, or with a group of V-friends, sometimes in a ring. We’ve seen it all.

THE HIPSTER X

The big X with several objects, initials or a mixture of both around it. Often used to give a modern, yet rustic tone to a brand. It’s nice, it’s trendy but it’s also been overused to death. One of our top tips, which you should be doing anyway is to thoroughly research the brand competitors and other businesses within the same industry. You want your logo to stand out, not blend in.

OVERUSE OF HELVETICA

Almost every designer is guilty of this and if you’re not, well then kudos to you! How many times have you typed out a company name in Helvetica and just left it at that? While it may look nice, Helvetica is now so ubiquitous that it doesn’t really say anything anymore. If you want your brand’s logo to stand out from the crown, using a commonly used font will result in the opposite effect.

THE ARC

Just because it works for Amazon it doesn’t mean it would work for you. The infamous Arc is the symbol behind progress, movement, innovation and success. While the meaning behind the arc isn’t necessarily a bad one, it’s been strongly overused by companies across many industries which is why we would try to avoid it. That being said, if you feel like the arc is the only way to convey what your company is about at least look at other options to visually represent your brand. After all, a designers job is to take complex ideas and offer simple solutions.

SPEECH BUBBLES.

For many online businesses, the use of speech bubbles is extremely common. Either above, below or to the side of the brand name. These kinds of logos are usually found in businesses that deal with social networking, marketing, web design, etc. Now while the idea behind the speech bubble is often relevant to the industry it’s become massively cliche. If you look at big social networks like Facebook or Twitter and place a speech bubble next to it, it just doesn’t work anymore, does it?

After looking through our trends to avoid, what would you say is the common denominator among them all? You got it, they’re all pretty easy to replicate which explains why they’ve been so overused in the design industry. Your logo is usually the first thing potential customers see so it’s important to hire the experts and get it done right the first time.

For any design enquiries please contact us here or call +44 2920 44 22 13.

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DESIGNING FOR A TARGET AUDIENCE

The world of design, while it may seem like fun and games, doodling and playing about on a computer there is a lot more than what meets the eye. For some of us, designing is as natural as breathing, however for others it can take a bit of work. This is usually the case when it comes to designing for a particular target audience. Especially when it’s not one you’re familiar with.

Contrary to popular belief, design isn’t just making things look pretty but it’s a well planned and thought out process that requires a lot of trial and effort to get right.

DEFINE

The first step is always to define who the target market are, because you can’t give people what they want if you don’t know who they are. It’s essential to research the demographics of the audience you are targeting. Everything from age, gender and income can effect how well your design conveys the message you want to put across.

TRIAL AND ERROR

Often, there is a lot of trial and error when it comes to designing and while it can really test your patience, we all have to start somewhere. Once you determine what colour schemes you want to use and you have your typography more or less sorted a chain reaction occurs and your vision becomes a lot clearer.

NON-BIASED

As a designer you always need to keep your target audience in mind. While it may not be a design you’re drawn too, your target audience may love it. Always use the research you’ve found when it comes to creating your designs to get the best impact. While some people may say the best way to design for your target audience would be to remove your bias as a designer from the equation, we say the opposite! You are a designer for a reason and while you are creating with a target market in mind, it’s your creativity that will master the execution.

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MAKING THE UK PARLIAMENT’S VISUAL IDENTITY FIT FOR A DIGITAL FUTURE

One of the most iconic institutions in the UK, and perhaps even the world, the UK parliament (previously known as Houses of Parliament), has launched a new visual identity. The project, led by London-based design agency SomeOne, intends to further unify the previously disparate identities of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The identity, the studio says, “is digitally-led and is supported by multiple application grids and flexible colour systems”.

“Parliament should be there for the people. If the people can’t see that, there’s a crucial issue there. So we want to rebrand parliament to show it’s there for you, and not for the government.”

The project was assigned to SomeOne in late 2016. SomeOne held meetings and consultations with the administrative staff of the House of Commons and House of Lords throughout the design process. It was quickly identified the main issue was the digital application of the brand. Multiple design concepts were shown to the parliamentary managers, who selected the final brand identity.

The new logo includes a refined version of the previous crowned portcullis – a heavy, medieval-style, grated gate – symbol, alongside the new name set in sans-serif typeface National to the right of the symbol. The typeface was designed by type foundry Klim.

“The new visual identity has been designed to provide the consistency and coherence that was previously lacking, and enable faster, clearer visual communication, primarily across digital platforms,” says Simon Manchipp, co-founder at SomeOne.