Posts Categorized: Industry News

4 Advertising Trends for Your Landscape Business

advertising trends

The landscape industry is actively growing, presenting an abundance of opportunities for businesses in this space. Advertising is essential for landscaping companies to connect with new audiences and expand their existing customer bases. 

In today’s increasingly digital world, it’s crucial for much of this advertising to take place online. Strategies like SEO, PPC, website design, and social media marketing can make a dramatic difference for growing your landscape business. Use these methods to effectively spread the word about your landscaping business and gain valuable new leads.

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of organically improving a site’s ranking through prudent keyword use. For your landscaping company, the best SEO is a combination of relevant service-related keywords and local keywords targeting the service area. 

A whopping 97% of people use the internet to learn more about a company. After performing a mobile search for a local business, 88% of consumers call or visit that business within 24 hours. It’s important for any local service provider to create content that will capture this audience of shoppers who are actively looking to make a purchase.

Pay-Per-Click Advertising

PPC ads help get landscaping companies to the top of SERPs (search engine results pages). If this prime placement garners attention, your company will pay for each click. It’s important to use the right keywords in PPC advertising so these clicks effectively convert into sales. You can gradually hone your PPC presence to yield lucrative results by paying close attention to campaign performance. It’s also important to optimize the landing page for effective sales, keeping essential information and the latest promotions front and center.

Social Media

Social media offers the opportunity for your landscaping business to actively engage with your customers. Each platform has its own strengths and weaknesses. Using them all for their optimal features can help your company deliver a powerful, multifaceted campaign. Highlight brilliant imagery on Instagram, target Facebook for interaction and post brief announcements to Twitter. Manage these social media accounts active and respond to all comments, messages, and shares promptly. For your landscaping company, visual posts are especially impactful. Social media offers the optimum space to showcase your successful jobs and seasonal outdoor features.

Website Design

A landscape company’s website is a prime point of contact for customers. This is the ideal place for a visual portfolio of the business’ work. Use photos or even videos to bring beautiful landscapes to life and inspire new potential customers to start their own projects. Keep contact information readily visible at all times so the visitor never has to search for the next step when they’re ready to convert. Include a detailed page for each service so customers can easily find all the information they need to research their needs and understand how your company will meet them.

A mindful combination of sleek website design, smart SEO, engaging social media content, and prudent PPC advertising can yield powerful results for your landscaping business. Working with a professional advertising team can help ease the burden on internal employees while garnering outstanding results.

9 Lead Gen Ideas for Electricians and Contractors

Electricians and contractors can both benefit from using digital marketing techniques to promote their goods and services. Using tools like SEO and paid Google advertisements can increase your company’s scope of influence, making it possible for you to generate more success from these worthwhile leads. Here’s a list of nine ideas you can use as an electrician or contractor to generate more leads for your business.

1. SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a digital marketing technique that involves using specific keywords and phrases to generate higher rankings on the search engine results page (SERP). The higher content ranks, the more people are likely to engage with it. As a result, you can increase your websites’ click-through rates, improving your chances of finding worthy leads.

2. Paid Google Ads

You can use paid Google advertisements to generate more leads by purchasing ads for keywords your clientele is likely to search. For example, an electrician working out of Tuscon, Arizona, can purchase a Google Ad with the title tag “affordable electrician near Tuscon” that leads to a webpage detailing their business’ services and contact information. 

3. Social Media

You can market your business directly to consumers by posting on a social media account. You can also collaborate with influencers, create sweepstakes, or engage with followers through comment replies, stories, and live streams. By posting frequently on social media accounts, you can reach a much larger audience. 

4. Optimize Website

Optimizing a website involves making adjustments to its style, navigation capabilities, and content to better suit the needs of the consumer. You can use optimization techniques like adding drop-down menus, links, and customer feedback sections to make your website more accessible.

5. Blogging

Many businesses have turned to blogging as a way of engaging with clients and leads online, and electricians and contractors can do the same. By adding a blog section to your website, you can expand on topics relevant to your business and customer demographics to drive more user traffic.

6. Door-to-Door Marketing

Door-to-door marketing can help you make in-person connections with prospective clientele. This allows customers to ask questions directly about your services, which can produce a more long-lasting impact than other marketing techniques.

7. Printed Ads

You can use traditional marketing techniques to generate leads, like printed flyers, pamphlets, and business cards. Clients may feel more encouraged to seek your services if they receive a physical reminder of your business and the services you offer. 

8. Collaboration

Collaborating with other contractors is a great way to generate leads for your business. For example, an electrician can join forces with a plumber to offer packaged services at discounted prices. This makes home improvement easier for the customer, as they don’t have to hire individual companies to perform services.

9. Google Business Page

Every business can claim their Google Business Page, which details a business’s website, hours, contact info, and reviews on the first results page. Registering for the page takes less than an hour and is completely free. You can use this feature to make your services more accessible online. With these nine ideas, you can maximize your influence and generate legitimate leads that benefit the livelihood of your business. Contact us today at Lokal Media for more lead generation ideas or check out our blog for more helpful tips.

How to Create Incredible Niche Paid Campaigns

niche paid campaigns

A niche marketing campaign is not simply a scaled-down version of a broader campaign. Niche marketing relies on targeted paid ads to reach a specific customer base. Advertising in a niche can benefit your business by attracting customers who need what you offer. Find out how to get started creating a niche campaign for your business.

Identify Your Target Audience

When identifying your target customer, get granular. Learn about your customers past the usual demographic information. What interests them? Which social media sites do they populate most? Use this information to create a customer persona that represents your ideal customer. 

Now that you know your customers, how does your business solve their pain points? Your product or service fills a missing corner of the market, and your niche advertising should point out how. Think about the specificity in legal services, whether for real estate law or wills and trusts and how they advertise.

Set Media Goals

Before investing in a paid advertising campaign, set the media goals you want to reach. Be as granular as you were when researching your customer. How many conversions do you want to see? How much time will you spend crafting each ad? Is there a time of day you should focus your advertising because your audience is most active? Set short- and long-term goals, and use the analytics attached to your ad platform to measure your success.

Create an Advertising Budget

Many niche campaigns rely on pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. With the right keywords and on the right platforms, your ad ends up in front of your target audience, and you only pay if someone clicks on the ad. Your budget will revolve around the number of clicks you’re looking for and will change as you analyze your conversion rate and streamline your approach. Set a starting budget and revisit it frequently to help you maximize your investment.

Go Granular With Targeting

A successful niche campaign relies on your material ending up in front of the right people. Advertising platforms give you many demographic, location, interest, and activity options, which you can map onto your customer persona. Targeted market research is so important. Platforms also offer the ability to exclude specific criteria. For example, if you’re marketing home services, you’ll want to exclude tourists and visitors to an area.

Remember to Include Keywords

Your keywords matter, too. Choose high-intent keywords such as “buy” that indicate a customer wants to take action. Long-tail keywords help niche campaigns because they are specific. A shorter keyword might capture more people, but not all of these people are looking for your niche. Consider “buy aftermarket automotive parts in Dallas” instead of using a word such as “automotive.”Crafting a niche campaign is ideal for your business and is better with professional help. LMH wants to push your brand into new territory. Our extensive experience with niche campaigns, paid advertising, SEO, and social media means we’re ready to create a campaign for your business. We’re excited to get started, so contact us today for more information.

14 Questions You Might Be Afraid to Ask About Social Media

Social media is a useful tool for businesses of all sizes and across all industries. The ability to interact with a business via social media can boost customer engagement and loyalty, making it a worthwhile addition to a business marketing strategy. However, some business owners may have questions about social media or concerns they’re not sure how to resolve. Below are 14 questions that a business owner might ask about social media and the answers to each.

1. What Are the Company’s Social Media Goals?

Before setting up a business profile on social media, it’s helpful to establish goals that will guide the company’s actions on each platform. Figuring out the business goals as they relate to social media and interactions with customers also helps those responsible for managing the profile to know how to proceed.

2. What is a Hashtag?

social media questions - hashtag

A hashtag allows users to search for related posts with a shared keyword or phrase. To create a hashtag, include the # sign before a word or phrase. When using a phrase, don’t include any spaces between the words to make it clickable and searchable.

3. Should a Business be on Every Platform? 

Although there are three social media platforms that are most often used by businesses (Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn), additional platforms continue to pop up and become more popular every day. A business owner may wonder whether they should use the top three sites, set up profiles on new sites, or stick to one platform. The answer to this question depends on the target audience and niche. Businesses with a younger target audience may want to focus on the newest and most popular platforms, while those targeting established professionals may choose to focus their efforts on connecting through LinkedIn.

4. What are Facebook Ads?

Facebook ads are advertisements that can be targeted to specific audiences or individuals. The advertising options offered by the social media giant can extend the reach of a company’s marketing efforts. Ads show up in people’s timelines and news feeds, as well as on the right-hand column of the page. Customization options are available, including advertising to mobile versus desktop users and getting the ads in front of people in a particular area or demographic.

5. Should a Business Share Content from Other Sites?

Sharing content from other sites is an effective element of a social media strategy. It’s particularly effective if the business tags the individual or company who posted it first, as it may show up in the feed of the person tagged, extending the reach of the post. Reposting content can also help a business share more frequently and connect with a wider audience. When choosing content to share, it’s important to choose options from credible sources that appeal to the company’s target audience.

6. How Often Should a Business Post?

The frequency of posts depends on the niche and target audience in which the business operates. However, a company should post often enough to demonstrate its responsiveness and engagement through the platform. If a prospective customer visits a social media page of a business that has only a handful of posts, that individual may not engage with the company. Experimenting with different frequencies can help a social media manager determine the right frequency for the business and the needs of its followers.

7. How Is Social Media Success Measured? 

Measuring success on social media efforts involves tracking metrics and monitoring progress on the goals set when creating profiles. The most common metrics to track include click rates, follower growth, engagement rates, and referral traffic from social media profiles and ads.

8. How Much Time Will a Business Spend Maintaining Its Social Media Presence?

The time spent on social media management depends on the goals of the business. The main factors that go into a social media presence include content; campaign research and creation; engaging with the audience and followers; and posting updates. The frequency of posts will factor into the overall time spent on social media management. Companies that post multiple times per day on various platforms may have full-time social media account managers. Small business owners may allot 10 hours per week for social media.

9. What Mistakes Do Businesses Make on Social Media? 

One of the most common mistakes that businesses make is rushing to get content up, rather than taking the time to assess the quality of the content. High-quality content is more engaging and appealing to the audience, so it’s always best to create informative and useful content rather than just throwing posts on the page.

10. How Can a Business Attract Followers?

attract social media followers

Consistency is key in attracting followers that fit into a company’s target audience. Posting high-quality content often that aligns with the brand voice helps a business maintain consistency on social media.

11. What Social Media Management Tools Should a Business Use? 

Social media management tools can save time, particularly for companies that post multiple times per day. Using the tools available can reduce the time spent posting, which boosts productivity and frees up time to focus on other tasks.

12. Is a Facebook Page Required to Create Facebook Ads?

No, a company can advertise on Facebook without setting up a Facebook page. 

13. What is a Social Media Story?

Social media stories are video and photo collections that disappear after 24 hours. Using stories on a business social media page can improve engagement and provide insights into who is viewing the content and interacting with a company’s profile.

14. Does Post Timing Matter?

People are more likely to use social media at certain times of the day, and frequently used times vary by platform. LinkedIn users tend to engage more frequently at the start of the workday, while Instagram and TikTok users tend to log in during break times, such as their lunch hour or in the evening. Timing posts based on the volume of active users can increase engagement and boost the effectiveness of the effort.

Establishing a presence on social media and maintaining consistency are challenges that plague many business owners. LHM Agency can provide visual content that aligns with a company’s social media marketing goals and business growth. To learn more about our services, contact us today.

7 Things to Consider When Writing Content

Content marketing is a powerful and strategic way for a business to build an engaged following. High-quality content can boost page traffic, improve audience engagement, and increase a business’s credibility and authority. However, great digital content depends on a variety of factors. Here are some important things to consider when writing content for websites or social media posts.

1. Create a Terrific Headline

The headline is the most important part of an article since it must get a reader’s attention before they choose to read the rest of the content. Spending extra time refining a headline can improve the overall performance of the content. Using numbers or questions are two ways of creating headlines that make viewers want to read more.

2. Know the Intended Audience

A good headline is just a start to getting a reader’s attention. To get someone to read a page or post, the material must not only get their attention but keep it. Writing for a very specific audience helps hold their attention. Address the specific challenges or questions of the intended audience.

3. Analyze the Competition’s Content

Research content of similar businesses and observe which topics get the most comments or engagement. Use their content to generate ideas of compelling subjects for the audience and write on similar themes. Differentiate the content by adding specific brand elements that distinguish the content from competitors.

4. Conduct Research Before Writing

When writing content, take time to fully research the topic. Explore what content is currently published and generates engagement with the intended audience. Use Google’s Keyword Planner to search topic popularity by search volume. Once the content’s topic is determined, research the content. Then add credibility by including stats, precise data, and links to credible sources.

5. Share Actionable Tips 

Actionable tips, unique processes, and step-by-step instructions are all popular types of content across a wide variety of audiences. Share valuable information readers can implement or apply right away. The more valuable or relevant, the more likely they are to share it. Focus on problems the target audience struggles with and the business solves.

6. Develop a Unique Brand Voice

branding - content writing

The brand voice is the personality attached to a brand and includes elements like tone, character, and language. Consistency is extremely important for creating a memorable brand voice. Many businesses create a reference sheet identifying specific brand voice elements and terms, especially when the company has multiple content creators. Developing a brand voice starts with analyzing key elements of the business, including its core values, website, and digital assets.

7. Optimize All Content With Best SEO Practices

Digital content is formatted much differently than print or newspaper. Explore best practices for optimizing online content, like short sentences, short paragraphs, bulleted lists, and how to use keywords properly.

Writing effective content can increase a business’s organic traffic. Using these tools, such as compelling headlines and optimized content, can go a long way toward improving a website’s performance. Contact the expert design team at LMH Agency to create a solid and unique brand identity, from brand voice to logo to all other visual assets, and improve results from content marketing.

3 Big Mistakes Plumbers Make With Google Ads

Google Ads are an affordable and effective way to drive qualified prospects to your website. As a business owner, you must have a clear strategy and a solid understanding of this tool to get the best ROI. If you need help, we obsess over paid advertising to get the best results. Unfortunately, many service-based businesses make three big mistakes with Google Ads. Avoiding these errors can help you jumpstart your lead generation and get the best return on your advertising investment.

Mistake 1: Choosing the Wrong Keywords

The first mistake plumbers often make with Google Ads is choosing the wrong keywords. The goal is to use keywords that your target audience uses when they search for help online. For instance, “plumbing repair” may be too vague and attract people searching for DIY solutions. However, the keywords “reliable plumbing services” are more specific and clearly indicate the user is searching for a service. You can even go a step further to include your local region, city, or neighborhood.

Choose Effective Keywords

Thoroughly research your target market to understand exactly what words they’re most likely to use in a search. Proper keyword selection is one of the most important (and most challenging) aspects of digital marketing. Discover which keywords your ideal customers are using and also what keyword trends are common for the region. Other helpful tools include Wikipedia, blogs, and the phrases that appear at the bottom of Google’s search results. There are so many creative ways to find the best keywords, you just have to do a little research.

Mistake 2: Not Optimizing Keywords in Ad Copy

The second mistake many plumbers make with Google Ads is not properly optimizing keywords. Quality Score is a Google Ad metric that impacts whether ads appear on a search result. Optimizing the keywords in your paid ads is important to receiving a good Quality Score and getting the ad displayed on relevant search results.

Optimize Keywords

Proper keyword optimization can be challenging. Keyword optimization involves research and analysis to choose the best keywords and keyword sets for a company’s products or services. Tools like Google Keyword Planner can identify keyword variations and show the search volume for individual keywords and keyword sets. When optimizing keywords, it’s important to avoid overusing keywords, a tactic known as keyword stuffing and not put every possible keyword into the ad content. Including the keyword in the title and URL of the landing page is another optimization method.

Mistake 3: Sending Ad Clicks to a Business’s Home Page

This one happens all the time. The most effective ads send users to a designated landing page with a strategic purpose (such as filling out a form to receive an email) instead of a business’s home page. Directing visitors to a properly optimized landing page that effectively answers the user’s search query improves the Quality Score and advertising results.

Create a Powerful Landing Page

The most awesome landing pages have a single call to action (CTA) that guides users to perform a certain behavior, such as submitting their email address to receive a checklist relevant to the page’s content. This way, you can add your prospect to your company’s mailing list whether or not they contact the business. This is really helpful because you can use your mailing list to send targeted emails to encourage them to schedule a service with you or even use this list in further targeting your paid advertising.

Since Google Ads are so complex, a skilled marketing and digital service agency that loves getting results through paid advertising (like our team at LMH Agency) can manage your Google Ad campaigns from start to finish and provide the best return on your investment.

Email Marketing is not Email Spamming

Ok ok ok… we already know what you’re thinking. You think that Email Marketing is another wasteful initiative that just spams your clients/prospects. You might have even already tried this effort yourself and had seen quite the loss. 

But we are here to tell you that email marketing is pretty much the opposite of wasteful, and actually has one of the highest returns out of any digital strategy out there. 

“WHATTT?” – You.

Let us give you the facts.

In a world full of technology, about 56% of the global population has internet access, and almost 100% of that 56 has an active email address. This tells us that more than half of the world is using the internet and able to receive emails. 

Just look at your inbox, for example!  All of your subscriptions and email updates you like to receive from your favorite companies are strategies put in place to get you to buy into something-whether it’s their product, or even just to keep you interested or informed. 

Regardless, Email Marketing is a great way to stay connected with your clients and to engage with your prospects. It has a 4400% ROI and produces phenomenal results.

In fact, by 2022, Radicati estimated that 4.25 billion email users will maintain 1.86 email accounts on average. As of 2019, 4.33 billion people have access to emails, and 3.93 billion use emails. 

With mind-blowing numbers like that, we know you’ve got to be sold by now. But for skeptics out there, we’ll break it down even more based on where and how you should implement email marketing. 

Social media

Most email service providers have premade footers with social media icons for you to include links to your Facebook, Twitter, or other social pages. 

You can also set up your campaigns for easy social sharing. In other words, your subscribers can click a button, or copy and paste a URL, to share a campaign the same way they’d share a landing page.

Finally, you can embed user reviews, posts, and your own social feeds so your subscribers can connect with you wherever they hang out online.

Urban Outfitters put this visually pleasing email together to highlight their hottest posts (and products) according to their Instagram audience. Take note of the share buttons at the bottom of the email, too.

Content marketing

Email is the perfect tool for promoting your best blog posts. 

77% of people prefer email for permission-based advertising. It’s easy to forget that social media is technically permission-based because it often doesn’t feel that way.

With email, people have voluntarily given you their email address, so you know they want to hear from you and read your blog content. 

Marketing Sherpa found that 19% of people unsubscribe from mailing lists when brands are constantly trying to sell them something. It’s actually in your benefit to prioritizing blog posts, podcasts, tips, tutorials, videos, infographics, and other valuable content through email over promotional material.

You can make good use of your content with stunning newsletters and custom RSS feeds. U.S. Outdoor Store always includes a perfect ratio of interesting content and promotions in their email campaigns.

Webinars

People who follow your social pages won’t always see your posts unless you promote them (which could cost you)—so these are not the best places to advertise something like a webinar.

With email, however, your subscribers genuinely want to hear from you, so they’ll be more likely to respond favorably to your webinars.

Real-world events

Social media can be dicey when promoting events. You often need to share a lot of valuable information to get people to act, and the posts are shown out of context or out of order. 

With email, you can create an onboarding sequence for your events. It offers you the option to spend time explaining the attendees and the event’s goals. You can also easily embed links so readers can RSVP and add the event to their calendar. 

Taking control of your audience access and analytics

Email service providers don’t hold your audience hostage and make you pay to access analytics. You can easily learn about your subscribers and use that information to improve the performance of your future campaigns.

You’re also able to keep track of your most active and engaged subscribers, which will help you send retargeting campaigns—both through email and social media—so you’ll always know where to devote your marketing resources. Plus, you can identify patterns, trends, and possible new markets.

Email marketing is one of the most heavily scrutinized marketing methods in our post-GDPR world. At first, that thought might make marketers cringe. 

But it’s actually a good thing because it means brands must prioritize the privacy of subscribers over their own data collection. 78% of customers say they’re more likely to trust companies with their personal data if it’s used to personalize their experience through channels like email.

Since email gives you unrestricted access to your subscribers’ behavior, you can learn more about their interests and habits to create targeted campaigns. Personalization is important—even mandatory—going into 2020. 

To further personalize your emails, guide other digital marketing campaigns, and even plan future business decisions, send out surveys to your most loyal and active subscribers to collect quality data.

You’re not in control of the relationship—and that’s okay.

More than 75% of people prefer email marketing because they’re in control of the relationship. For consumers, email is a refreshing break from intrusive social media ads. Why? Because if they see something they don’t like, they can simply unsubscribe. 

Plus, email is highly regulated through GDPR and anti-spam laws. This hopefully doesn’t scare you, because these are good things. 

People will always know exactly how and where you got their email address. Since you’re only collecting email addresses from people who choose to hear from you, you’ll never waste money on your campaigns.

Encourage your subscribers to take more control over the relationship

Marketers gain the trust of their subscribers when they encourage them to take control of their inbox.

How do you do this? Insert a link to a preference center at the bottom of all your email campaigns and prompt all new subscribers to fill out that page. 

According to Marketing Sherpa’s survey, 45% of people unsubscribe from mailing lists because they receive too many emails (either from a single brand or in general). Another 91% of people unsubscribe because they aren’t happy with the content—either the campaign is too promotional, generic, or uninteresting. 

A preference center lets your subscribers tell you exactly how often they want to be emailed and what type of content they want to be sent. Here’s an example of a preference center by Brooks Running.

Stay at the forefront of automation and technology

Think the hottest marketing technology is only accessible to big brands with massive budgets? Not so. 

Email service providers give you access to cutting-edge automation features to create a human experience that 84% of customers say is the key to winning their business.

  • Segmentation
  • Customer journeys
  • Post-purchase communication
  • Re-engagement
  • A/B testing

The importance of email marketing has only grown over the past few years. We’ve discussed a lot in this article, so here are a few things we hope you take away:

  • Almost everyone who has internet access has at least one active email address
  • Email makes it easy to integrate all of your digital marketing campaigns
  • Email marketing gives you the chance to build personal relationships with your audience
  • Your subscribers are in control of the relationship—and that’s a good thing.

The final details…

It’s a big step to invest in Email Marketing and there is a lot of research that needs to be done before you start buying programs and building campaigns. 

First, you need to know your goal. Would your email campaign serve as a simple monthly newsletter? Or even maybe a complex drip campaign that would need to send SMS texts or even take payments? With our current technology, you pretty much have the Burger King option when building out a strategy- Have your way! 

It’s best to analyze the demand of your customers/prospects and what’s best for them when strategizing what type of emails should go out. In most scenarios, you should have multiple campaigns serving different purposes. 

If you are unsure, hit up your LMH Agency, we will help you determine your first steps. 

Insight from the LMH Team

Welcome business owners and decision-makers alike! Today, I’m giving you exclusive access to our team here at LMH. Okay maybe not exclusive, you can walk into our office and any of us would be happy to talk to you. That being said, I’ll be walking around our office speaking with different team members to give you insight from experienced members of the industry. Stick around and you just might learn something. 

Account Management

Reagan Rugh

After spending some time working at a law firm, Reagan transitioned into the world of marketing. With now four years of experience, Reagan loves helping businesses grow and enjoys the balance of creativity and logic that marketing requires. 

Insight

Reagan believes her work as an account manager is a crucial part of the projects she works on. After speaking with her about the importance of communication she said “communication, at times, can be the single key factor of why a relationship lasts in this industry.” As an office neighbor, I’ve had the privilege of working with Reagan on a daily basis since I was an intern low on the totem pole. (I’m still low on the totem pole, they just pay me more now.) The first thing I noticed about Regan’s style of account management was her accountability and communication, so when I spoke to her about this blog it was no surprise to me that she mentioned the importance of communication. 

Key Takeaway

Communication is a crucial part of a successful relationship between marketers and business executives. Successfully getting your point across directly affects your ability to achieve your goals. When communication is a priority between both parties, projects are completed more efficiently, saving you time and increasing your ROI. 

Mike Fitzpatrick 

Next, I made my way over to Mike. With 8 years of account management experience here at LMH, Mike knows the ins and outs of working with business owners to help communicate their goals to our team. 

Insight

When I asked Mike what he felt the most important thing about working with clients was he replied “one of the most important things for me is my relationship with clients. I’m always like “what’s up, let’s go grab a burger.” He values personal relationships and the benefits that come with them, such as trust. Mike knows that transparency is a key factor in relationships. He creates monthly reports for CPC (cost per click), website traffic, top pages of clients’ websites visited, and more for each of his clients. The result? Long-lasting relationships. Mike encourages clients to take advantage of new technology like heat maps. Heat maps show you where you’re losing visitors on your website. A heat map report provides key insight into the optimization of your website. In marketing, it’s important to take advantage of every opportunity for improvement. 

Key Takeaway

When you’re hiring marketing agencies to grow your business, an excellent relationship has a higher ROI than any investment you could make. When a solid relationship exists between a business executive and an account manager, it makes it easier for both parties to trust each other and help each other achieve their goals.   

Photography & Videography 

Next, I made my way upstairs where I found Geoff.

Geoff Braugh

6 years ago, Geoff picked up a camera professionally and never put it down. As a partner of LMH, Geoff knows how to work a camera at a professional level to give clients what they need. 

Insight 

When I asked Geoff what was important about custom photography he told me “custom photography makes your website and social media stand out from the crowd.” After further discussion, he added “brand cohesiveness is important. Hiring one agency that develops your brand guidelines, website, and photography will ensure cohesiveness.”

Custom photography will help you stand out on your website through headshots, custom office photos of your team, and more. The right website photos help your customers feel like they know you. 

Key Takeaway 

Custom photography is an essential part of your marketing efforts. If you’re looking for an extended list of marketing services, be on the lookout for an agency that can cover all of it to ensure consistent branding. 

Sean Whitmore

Sean first got his start in the production world after dropping out of college. He had a love for music and music production and knew that he could provide valuable content to artists. After realizing how difficult it was to navigate in that industry of production, Sean decided to switch over to commercial work, which is what he’s been doing for the past 10 years. 

Insight

Sean was another office neighbor of mine for some time. When I asked him why clients value his work he told me the work he does is “like having a stranger come to your home, their first impression walking in is everything, if it’s cluttered, unorganized, and doesn’t look very good people make judgments. However, if it’s clean, tidy, and looks presentable with great design and is intriguing people align with it and are more likely to stay and become friends with you.” Sean added “clients can expect a very structured, realistic approach with our work that will be well thought out, cinematic, and story-driven. Story is the biggest key to everything that I do.”

Key Takeaway 

When I asked Sean what executives should be cautious of, he told me “when brands are looking for a video producer they will run into a few different options, 1. Freelancer- these are great and cost-effective but lack strategy and bandwidth. 2. Production house- Production houses specialize in video production, which is awesome, however, lack an overall marketing strategy. 3. Agency- An agency will have resources to accommodate the overall marketing strategy that produces full campaigns to bring the brand vision to life which includes but isn’t limited to video production. Luckily with our agency, we have an in-house video production department as we started off solely doing video production.”

Website Design and SEO

After speaking with Sean, I whipped out my phone and gave Chris a ring.

Chris Wielinski

After working at an advertising agency in 2010, Chris began his own agency in 2011. As a LMH Partner, Chris specializes in search engine marketing, which is designed to drive traffic to client’s websites, thus driving revenue and business growth. Chris noted that experience is a key factor in both of these departments. 

Insight 

Chris takes pride in our agency’s web design and SEO services. With over 10 years of experience, Chris noted that it was important for business owners to watch out for inexperienced SEO agencies adding, “Most agencies push their labor offshore, but you get what you pay for. Offshore labor does not understand the US market as well and there is a huge difference versus using in-house labor. Making sure an agency is experienced in SEO and web design is a must to make sure your project is completed correctly.”

Key Takeaway

Make sure that you are hiring an experienced SEO company that knows how to work in the market you are located in. 

Graphic Design

Next. I made my way back upstairs to speak with one of our graphic designers, also named Chris. 

Chris Harrison 

Chris entered the world of graphic design by creating t-shirts, fliers, logos, and more for his band over 10 years ago. He has experience creating graphic assets for clients of all sizes.

Insight

After over 10 years working in graphic design, Chris knows that it’s key for people to have something to attach themselves to. Chris provides just that. “If you have a symbolic culture that people can attach themselves to you will be more successful,” he said. Chris’s work in graphic design is an essential step in bringing our client’s branding to life. His ability to create consistency in client’s visual branding is impressive. 

Key Takeaway

 A marketing agency without a quality graphic designer isn’t really a marketing agency. Make sure you’re doing the proper research into who you’re working with and the members of their team. When it’s time to bring your visual branding to life, you’ll want an experienced designer at your disposal. 

Danny Braught

Last but not least I spoke with Danny Braught, one of the founders of LMH. 

After working at another agency for a few years, Danny began his own national magazine publication. After clients began requesting projects that were outside the publication’s scope, Danny decided to start LMH.

Insight

When I asked Danny about what clients should expect from our work he said, “Our work helps clients grow by assisting them in telling the story of the business for branding purposes as well as following it up with proven marketing and advertising strategies that deliver new leads to their businesses.” He added, “Customers can expect our team to treat their business like it is their own and do what is in the best interest of the client and help guide them through the process of growing their business.”

Danny added that businesses should ask agencies they are interviewing questions about their culture, specialties, transparency, and communication to determine whether or not they are a good fit.  Another important question to ask is who retains ownership of accounts. Some agencies will lock you in by holding ownership of various accounts, making it difficult and sometimes impossible to move forward without them, especially in the case of a strained relationship. 

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for an advertising and marketing agency, make sure to have a full understanding of who you could be working with. Always do proper research and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Upon selecting an agency, make sure that they are putting the effort in to build a transparent and genuine relationship with your business. If you have any questions about any of the services we offer or projects we have worked on in the past, don’t hesitate to get in touch with any of us here at LMH! If you found this blog to be helpful, check out other blogs from our team here.

How To Find Your Brand Voice

 Ah, it’s good to be back. Today, we’re going to be talking about something I’m pretty passionate about in the world of marketing: branding. Specifically, brand voices. My introduction to the world of branding was everything it should be thanks to my branding professor in college. He was exciting, inspiring, and funny. He was passionate about branding and had an extremely successful career in it. To make it short, let’s just say I never missed one of his classes. Wherever you are, Professor Diego, I hope you are doing well. Let’s get back on topic and take a look at what makes your brand voice so important.

Why Is Your Brand Voice Important?

Well, I’m glad you asked. Your brand voice is the lifeblood of your overarching brand. You may want your brand to be confident, simple, and straightforward, but without the proper brand voice, nobody will know! Take a look at Apple and the iPhone. Every year we get a new iPhone and they sell millions of them, even with minimal changes year after year. There are phones out there way more capable than even the best iPhone. So why does Apple continue to have so much success? Their brand voice. Apple’s brand voice is confident, intimate, and it communicates quality. We don’t buy the iPhone because we know all the technical specs. If we really cared about that, most of us would probably look elsewhere. We buy iPhones because of the way their brand voice makes us feel. 

Now, let’s take a look at how to determine your brand voice.

First steps

Your brand voice should be different from your competition. (I mean…duh)  At the very least, it’s an identifying characteristic. At the very best, people are choosing your products or services over your competition simply because of the way you communicate. Wow, who knew marketing was that simple? So how do we act on this? First, take a birds-eye view of your content and compare it directly to your competitors. What’s different about your web page? Your social media? Your core values? Literally anything that you could differentiate from your competitors.

Take note of everything different about your content. Once you’ve done that, you’re one step closer to having a unique brand voice. Here are some examples of content you should be analyzing:

  • Core values 
  • Website 
  • Promotional videos 
  • Promotional graphics
  • Print ads
  • Business cards 
  • Newsletters

Once you’ve completed a thorough analysis of your branded content, we can move on.

Narrow it down

Now let’s take a look at these unique characteristics you’ve taken note of. Without disclosing too much about our ultra top secret branding processes, I’m going to guide you through the process of choosing the best words to describe your brand. First, make a list of words that describe you. I’m talking like 20-30 words. Select your 15 favorite words from that list and continue narrowing it down until you have 3-5 words. To quote the late great Billy Mays, “but wait there’s more.” When you have your 3-5 favorite adjectives, I want you to hop onto google and find strong synonyms. Don’t be excited, be passionate. Don’t be original, be authentic. See what I’m saying?  The key to the branding process is to do it differently and make sure people know about it. When you set a foundation of strong adjectives it trickles up and makes everything you do with those words stronger. Call it “trickle up marketing.” I really need to trademark that…

Still stuck? Let’s phone a friend.

In the world of marketing, surveys are always your friend. Nothing compares to a good ol’ fashion focus group. Surveys and focus groups are a fantastic way to obtain valuable information about what customers think about your brand, your voice, and more. Other benefits include:

  • Honest answers
  • Learning consumer mindsets on competitors 
  • Large reach

After you have narrowed down the list, you have an idea of what your brand voice is. Feel free to expand on each of these words with synonymous adjectives to give your team a better idea of what you’re going for. 

For the visual learners… 

Now we have to come up with some guidelines for the copywriters that will be responsible for communicating your message to consumers. To do that, we’ll need to create a brand voice chart. A brand voice chart outlines the dos and don’ts of communicating with your brand voice. You can easily create a brand voice chart in google drive or word, whichever you prefer. Here’s an example of a brand voice chart. It really just compares what you are to what you aren’t. Simple as that. It’s important to have a brand voice chart available to every member of your team. It’s equally important to have consistency with your brand voice. Consider printing out copies of the chart and handing them out to your team members.

Now that you’ve got your brand voice chart ready to go, make sure you go over some examples of work that really hit the mark of your brand voice. If your content creators have a vague idea of how and what to communicate, you lose individuality and, therefore, money. So there you have it. You’ve gone through the process of identifying your brand voice. But maybe you’re not a fan of what you’ve come up with. Not a problem, we’ve got a fix for that!

Starting from scratch

Now, let’s run through a hypothetical situation. Say you went through the process we just went over and then decided you want to change your brand voice entirely. How would you start from scratch? First, you need to take a look at a handful of external factors that are critical to developing your brand voice from scratch. Start off by taking a close look at your target market. Who are the major players and how does their brand voice help them attract clients? What kind of voice is there an opportunity for? Make sure you have a good idea of how to communicate to your target audience what problem you solve in the industry.

Take a deep dive into researching demographics and psychographics to fully understand the people you’re targeting.  After that, it’s time to come up with a voice that works well for your industry. If you’re an energy drink company, you need to be exciting. Red Bull, Monster, and Rockstar are all heavily involved in extreme sports and have powerful and exciting brand voices. This shows that marketing with extreme sports can be successful. At the same time, while the major players within the industry focus on extreme sports, you could be supporting an entirely different industry. This takes us to my next point.

Avoid copying your competitors. 

Like I stated at the beginning, individuality is key to stealing customers from your competitors, If you copy what they do, what reason do they have to switch? Make sure your brand voice is easily identifiable, attractive, and consistent. 

Look for outside inspiration.

Take a look around and gather examples of branding that resonates with you. It’s okay to take inspiration from other companies, in fact, we encourage it with our branding process. We encourage our clients to make lists of logos, songs, packaging, movie characters and more that they feel represent their brand and what they stand for. If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything. Word to Alexander Hamilton.

And there you have it. Follow these simple steps and you’ll have a strong idea of your current brand voice and how to change it! Looking for more help? Get in touch with our team at LMH Agency. Cheers!