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Gender washing: seven kinds of marketing hypocrisy about empowering women

At a time of so much focus on how women are held back and treated unfairly, corporations spend multiple millions telling us what they are doing to empower women and girls. When this makes them seem more women-friendly than they really are, it’s known as gender washing.

empowering women, women empowerment

Gender washing: seven kinds of marketing hypocrisy about empowering women (Photo by Natalie Hua on Unsplash)

Gender washing comes in different varieties, and some can be easier to spot than others. To help identify them, it can be useful to look at the decades of research on corporate greenwashing – that better known variant related to climate change.

Inspired by a 2015 paper that identified seven varieties of greenwashing, I have published a new paper that classifies seven kinds of questionable corporate claims about empowering women and girls.

1. Selective disclosure

When corporations publicise improvements in, say, female boardroom representation, or the gender pay gap, while omitting contradictory or inconvenient information, it’s known as selective disclosure.

For example, pharma group Novartis frequently features on Working Mother magazine’s annual list of the 100 best companies to work for, via an application highlighting the progress it has made in employment practices towards women. Novartis also proudly cites its support for Working Mother, per the tweet below. Yet as recently as 2010, the corporation lost the then largest gender pay, promotion and pregnancy discrimination case ever to go to trial.

2. Empty gender policies

Some companies take initiatives to raise women’s voices internally which, in reality, have little impact. For example, “women’s networks” aim to increase female employees’ confidence and help them build leadership skills through networking events and mentoring schemes. But critics argue that such networks are frequently ignored, and don’t address the underlying causes of discrimination or engage men in efforts to tackle institutional sexism.

One study from 2007 found that the members of one company’s women’s network feared it might actually damage their career prospects because at the time, it was ridiculed by male colleagues as a forum for “male-bashing” and exchanging recipes.

3. Dubious labelling

The promotional placement of the pink breast cancer awareness ribbon by brands with products containing known carcinogens or other arguably risky ingredients is an example of this third kind of gender washing. There are examples involving makeup, alcoholic drinks and even pesticides.

The pink ribbon can also gender wash the objectification of women. For example, US bar chain Hooters has built its entire brand around waitresses with voluptuous breasts and skimpy clothing. In the company logo, the two Os are replaced by the eyes of an owl, symbolising breasts to be stared at, wide-eyed. Yet, once a year for breast cancer awareness month, the eyes are replaced by pink ribbons as Hooters invites customers to “give a hoot” for breast cancer awareness. Staring is thus rebranded as caring.

4. Useful partnerships

One way in which a corporation’s image could be gender-washed is to associate with a feminist, women’s or girls’ organisation through funding or some other assistance. The corporation gets to place its logo on the organisation’s marketing materials, potentially distracting from practices elsewhere.

For example, Dove has partnered with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts on a teaching resource aimed at helping girls to question dominant beauty standards that damage their self-esteem. This is despite the beauty industry – of which Dove is part – perpetuating those standards to sell products.

5. Voluntary codes

When rights abuses emerge in global supply chains – often most affecting female workers in the global south – there are often demands for tighter regulation of corporate behaviour. One way for corporations to respond and potentially deflect such demands is by creating voluntary codes of practice. Their very voluntariness is presented by corporations as evidence of a commitment to empowering workers – particularly women.

Voluntary codes rarely lead to meaningful improvements. For example, when the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh collapsed in 2013, over 1,000 garment factory workers died, some 80% of them women. In the aftermath, the voluntary Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety was established and promoted by western retailers such as Walmart as improving safety and empowering female factory workers. Yet crucially, there were no legally binding commitments to prevent another disaster, and the alliance was later criticised by activists and researchers for not improving conditions quickly enough.

6. Changing the narrative

Corporations can position themselves as global leaders on issues where they have previously been found wanting. For example in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Nike was dogged by claims of child labour, sexual and physical abuse among workers at supplier factories, 90% of whom were female.

Nike’s response included establishing a division of corporate responsibility and setting up the Nike Foundation. One of the foundation’s flagship campaigns was the Girl Effect, launched in 2008 to persuade global elites to invest in girls’ education in the global south.

The campaign quickly went viral, and was soon partnering with the UK’s Department for International Development on programmes to empower girls in the global south. Nike had gone from a brand tarnished by accusations of child labour and exploitation to a trusted partner in international efforts to promote girls’ rights.

7. Reassuring branding

Chiquita Banana, the famous logo of Chiquita Brands Corporation, might give shoppers in the global north the impression of buying their bananas from a happy, Latina market woman cheerfully selling her wares.

gender washing, branding,

Photo by Rich Smith on Unsplash

Yet feminist scholars have documented the long history of Chiquita – formerly the United Fruit Company – exploiting women on banana plantations in Latin America and the Caribbean. This includes past cases of sexual harassment, discrimination, exposure to harmful chemicals, and violations of childcare and maternity rights.

Does all of this matter? If corporations want to take up the cause of gender equality, is that so bad? It is true that some women and girls do find ways within gender washing campaigns to make gains, but we can’t lose sight of the bigger picture.

If a corporation’s employment practices, supply chains or products are harmful to women and girls, and it sells more products thanks to gender washing, then this has increased the harm done. That is why it is so important to identify and call out forms of gender washing whenever we see them.The Conversation

You might be interested: Fireside chat with Jose Forteza: Diversity and LGBTQ+ inclusion in media


Rosie Walters, Lecturer in International Relations, Cardiff University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

YouTube, visual branding

Lights, camera, action! Key strategies every Youtube newbie needs to know

In 2021, more than 2.3 billion unique users go to YouTube‘s site each month, consuming more than 1 billion hours of video each day. Additionally, 90 percent of people say they discover new brands or products via YouTube. For businesses, this means YouTube is a prime advertising arena and a crucial platform to utilize for branding. 

In our visually driven digital age, video and images are what sells. Potential customers are drawn in by enticing and eye-catching visuals. With the widespread use of smartphones, online videos are easily available at the swipe of a finger.

Society is “moving towards images and video; this is how we want to digest information,” said Toronto coach Matthew Hunt of Small Business Online Coach.

Online videos can also be a more economical form of advertising, giving businesses a great alternative to expensive television commercials. “Web videos reduce the amount of capital that a business needs so that they can create their own commercials, infomercials and other such videos,” Garret Silva wrote in Web Video Mastery.

As a global platform, YouTube draws in audiences from over 100 countries and is available in 80 languages. Currently, 62% of businesses are already using YouTube to post video content. Video content is a great way to increase engagement and develop a relationship with your company’s target audience. Web videos grant companies the opportunity to form an emotional connection with their audience and further encourage brand loyalty as well. 

Entrepreneurs who wish to do more than just keep up with the competition should begin to incorporate online video as part of their marketing strategy. YouTube content can take a variety of forms, from short, information based videos, to advertisements, or longer lectures, web seminars, and series. 

3 Key strategies to get started on YouTube

  1. Have a niche.

“To achieve success on YouTube you must have a niche,” media entrepreneur Jamal Edwards wrote in the Telegraph. The young entrepreneur, who grew up in London and now heads SBTV, is multimillionaire.

Regardless of the product or service being sold, the content should target a specific segment of the online universe.

Latina in Business’s YouTube channel is an extension of our editorial platform. Our niche is minority women entrepreneurs and business owners. We post content such as webcast interviews with Latinx leaders, virtual workshops, and conversations with industry professionals on various topics surrounding business, diversity and inclusion, and entrepreneurship. 

 Instead of trying to reach all audiences, focus your content on one audience. By focusing on a niche, you can target its marketing, maximize brand awareness and achieve more success.

  1. Be memorable.

Entrepreneurs should create video content that is memorable and distinctive as compared with the millions of other clips uploaded daily. Consider that 400 hours of video content is uploaded to YouTube every minute, according to YouTube. With that volume being shared on the Internet, an entrepreneur must figure out how to best resonate with the online community.

Attractive thumbnails are another component that will draw viewers in and keep coming back. Be consistent with your visual brand so that viewers will be able to recognize your content from the rest.

You might be interested: 3 Latest video trends successful businesses use to engage their audiences

  1. Don’t bet the farm on one platform.

It is no secret that YouTube is the most popular name in the world of video platforms. But along with YouTube, other platforms carry video, including Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and Vimeo as well as Facebook.

Entrepreneurs should avoid shaping a video strategy focused solely on one platform. Failing to develop a plan involving other platforms puts the entrepreneur at risk if the primary platform fails or changes its business model to the entrepreneurs’ detriment. Consider utilizing other platforms to post varied video content.

Sites like Instagram and Twitter are great for posting shorter clips. Instagram also offers the option of livestreaming, which is great for longer content and engaging in the moment with your audience. Facebook is a good place to reach older audiences and share longer videos, such as reposting past livestreams or information based videos. Vimeo’s user-base is known for its more creative-driven content. Many students and filmmakers utilize this platform to share their short films and creative projects. If your brand is focused on producing creative and experimental visual content or you aim to reach these audiences, this might be a good platform to use. 

Finally, TikTok is the newest and most popular among young, Gen Z audiences. Teens use the platform to create short-form, entertaining content, similar to what Vine used to be before the app shut down. It may be harder to reach audiences on TikTok, but if your brand is young, fresh and targets this demographic, TikTok could be the perfect platform for your brand.

A picture is worth 1000 words when branding your business

We’ve all heard the phrase before: A picture is worth a thousand words. This couldn’t be more true in our current digital age where visual media has become a key component to how businesses advertise and communicate with clients. As any business owner knows, promoting your company is an integral part of ensuring an organization’s success in a commercial environment. Positive branding allows companies to not only expand, but also attract new clients. While there are a variety of ways to market and advertise a company, one key avenue is visual branding.

4 Interesting ways to promote your business through visual branding

Create a catchy and visually appealing logo or brand image

Many business owners forget that having an attractive logo is one of the first ways to catch a potential client’s eye. There are a variety of free resources online that can help you create a logo for your company, such as Canva. Canva offers a variety of tools and templates that will allow you to create your own personal logo. This is a great option for new, small businesses that may not have the funds to spend on a custom logo. However, if you’re not too artistic and do have the money to spend, enlisting a graphic designer will ensure that you have a one-of-a-kind logo designed that truly conveys your brand messaging.

Use visually-based social networks

Now more than ever, visual branding is a crucial component to a business’ social media presence. Perhaps in the past, social networks were driven more by written content, but in recent years visual media has become the center focus of most social media platforms. From Instagram to Facebook and Pinterest, images are now doing a lot of the talking for business promotion. As customers, we are drawn to eye-catching photos and while we’re told not to judge a book by it’s cover, it’s hard not to make judgement based on visuals.  The truth of the matter is, the better visuals you have as a company, the better you will look to potential customers.
Pinterest

You can easily use Canva to create no-hassle, eye-catching social media posts. Canvas templates are specifically designed to fit each platform’s proportions.

Utilizing visual branding for your business’ social networks is a great way to draw in new customers. On networks such as Pinterest and Instagram, you have the ability to not only share pictures that are informational sources for your company, but also promote and share other resources you may have, such as pictures of your staff, infographics, company events and the like.  And always keep in mind that your prospects and clients enjoy seeing what goes on behind that scenes at your business—it adds an extra layer of personality and uniqueness to your company and what you deliver!

Turn your client testimonials into images

Yes, clients will usually convey their feedback of your company verbally—not visually.  However, this doesn’t mean you can’t get creative!  Take a quote from a client and using basic tools in Photoshop, Canva, or another image-creating program and devise a simple background and use the quote.  Then brand the image with your logo.  You can then share this simple graphic on your social networks, place it on your website for added “testimonial flair”, or even include it in a brochure.
Enlist the help of stock photos

Stock photos are a great resource that every business can utilize. As a business you do not need to break the bank on professional, high quality photos for your business. May stock photo sites, such as iStockPhoto, allow you to purchase a subscription to access thousands of quality images to compliment blog posts or social media posts. Additionally, there are many free stock photo sites that also provide high-res images for use with attribution, such as Unsplash, Pexels, and Freepik.

By using a stock image you ensure that the file’s resolution will be perfect and you also avoid facing any issues for using a copyrighted image that you find via a Google search. Remember, there are image companies out there that have a staff that simply polices the Internet, looking for any abuse of their owned images.  If you happen to pull one of their images off the Internet and use it without permission and without purchasing the file, you can face stiff fines and even legal action for copyright infringement.
Aside from the benefits of avoiding legal issues, stock photos also allow you to create interesting visual landscapes. Many stock photos are taken by professional photographers who create interesting and creative layouts, such as in the image above. These creative images are eye-catching and exactly the sort of photo that would captivate a potential client scrolling through social media. Many stock photo licenses also allow you to remix and edit their content, meaning you can personalize a stock photo to better fit your company’s brand image.
In closing, always remember that consumers, in general, are visual creatures and they respond better to advertisements, online content, and other materials that have stunning, eye-catching images.  Get creative in how you communicate visually with your clients and prospects and you will be remembered!
This article was originally written by the Hispanic Chamber of E-Commerce’s Editorial Team and published in 2014. It has been updated for relevancy. 

hiscec_aboutsmallThe Hispanic Chamber of E-Commerce is a business to business membership-based business association focused on providing tools and solutions to members to increase their presence online. The Hispanic Chamber of E-Commerce offers Internet marketing services that help you to promote your products/services; to build business relationships and to collaborate with potential clients via an exclusive social network and it helps you to increase your sales using the e-commerce and marketing tools that are available for premium members.

Developing your unique brand identity in 2021

As an entrepreneur or business owner, you have probably heard how important it is to establish a unique personal brand for your business. Creating a brand may seem simple, but to truly be successful a brand needs its own identity that sets it apart from others. Developing a successful brand identity is the first step to building a successful business. Read on for the top 5 key elements you need to develop your unique brand identity. 

What’s in a brand? 

Let’s take a moment to define what even is a “brand.” One way to think of a brand is to think of it as your business’s personality. The business is the person, the brand is the personality that attracts people to the business.  

When thinking of your brand as the personality, or attributes of a person, these areas come to mind: 

  • Name
  • Image / Appearance 
  • How they communicate 
  • What they stand for / message / values 
  • Who they associate with 

A successful brand identity will have a unique image that stands out from the rest. It will communicate and engage with its core audience effectively and will have values that align with their audience’s values. When you start viewing your business’s brand as its personality, it becomes easier to identify the elements needed to attract customers. Just think, what qualities do successful people have? How can you translate those qualities to a business? 

5 Key elements you need to develop your unique brand identity

  1. Have a clear brand purpose and positioning 

The very first step in establishing your brand identity is to determine your business’s purpose and positioning aka why it’s important. What makes your business different from all the others? Why does the world need your business? Who is your target audience? What issue will your business solve? Answering these questions will help you establish your brand’s purpose and positioning. 

  1. Conduct thorough market research

Conducting market and customer research is one way to help you discover your brand’s purpose and positioning. For beginners to market research, there are many online resources to help you get started. 

From simply talking to people in your target audience, conducting phone interviews, or utilizing online survey tools, these methods can help you get a better idea of how your brand is perceived by others and what your target audience is looking for in a brand. 

  1. Design a memorable logo and color palette

Essential to your brand’s “personality” is their style. Logos, color palettes, and brand images are that style. They are your brand’s outer image, the face the world sees. 

Think of any iconic brand and you probably first think of their logo and colors. Red and white Coca-Cola. Apple’s sleek, bitten apple. McDonald’s golden yellow arches. Google’s simple text in red, yellow, blue, and green letters. Disney’s unique font and magical castle. 

Brand recognition is largely visual. In our fast paced, digital world images are becoming more important than ever, so a quality logo design is key to developing a successful brand identity. 

When designing a logo, keep it simple and uncluttered. Think back to those well-known logos. Most are not complicated, just unique. A simple logo will also make it easier to scale between mediums and products from digital banners to flyers, merchandise, or billboards. 

Keep the color palette simple too. Most brands stick to one to three primary colors in their palette. You can look into color psychology to choose colors that will appeal to your target audience or better convey your brand’s message, emotion, and tone. 

You don’t have to break the bank either with your logo design. There are many resources online that can help you create a professional looking logo for a low cost or even for free. 

You might be interested: 10 Free online resources for Latinas and other women small business

  1. Use language to connect and advertise on social media

Communication is key. How you communicate is also just as important. Use language that matches your brand’s personality. If you’re a hip and trendy brand, you can be more conversational and laid back. If you’re a professional or academic brand, use more polished language. Using the right language will help you connect better with your target audience and establish a more organic connection. 

Another way to build a deeper connection with your audience is through story-telling. People love stories, especially emotional or inspiring stories. Tell your brand’s story! Speak to your customers’ emotions. Engage with them on social media and utilize your digital platforms to create interactive opportunities. Advertising and social media presence are crucial avenues for getting your brand’s message and purpose across to larger audiences, connecting with current customers, and drawing in new potential customers. 

  1. Stay consistent 

One of the major markers of a successful brand identity is brand recognition. Staying consistent with your image, message, language, and purpose all contribute to your brand recognition. If you are inconsistent with your branding, customers may have trouble remembering your brand, especially when they are constantly bombarded by advertising everyday. You always want to stand out in your customer’s mind, and to achieve that consistency is key. 

Back to the analogy of a business as a person, if a brand is constantly changing their hair color or style every time you see them, you might have trouble recognizing them or you may start to think of them as inconsistent or unreliable. 

People want brands that they can trust. They want familiar. Stay consistent with your look, message, and when you post or engage online. This doesn’t mean you can’t have fun or change things up from time to time. Successful brands evolve over time to stay fresh. But core aspects of the brand should stay fairly consistent.

3 Marketing challenges Latina-owned businesses face

The Latino business community has made great strides over the years in terms of growth, recognition, and overall success. In fact, a study from the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative found that the number of Latino business owners has grown by 34%, compared with the 1% growth rate for all other business owners in the US.

However, we could still do better. Currently, the number of Latino CEOs at Fortune 500 companies is still much less than it should be.  

But why is this the case? The answer may lie in how we market our businesses. Today, we’ll be discussing some marketing challenges Latina-owned businesses face, unknowingly or not, and how we can overcome them.

Balancing heritage with modern influences

When we talk about Latino roots, the main focus is always on our heritage. We’re proud of who we are and would like to spread the Latino brand across other communities. This means that most Latina-businesses are focused on Latino textiles, family-owned creations, and other Hispanic-inspired creations. But things move on. If you want to attract customers from this era, then you have to modernize your branding. A good example of a business that has successfully navigated this marketing challenge is Luna Magic Beauty, a Latina-owned beauty business, which sells make-up for Latina skin. They make clever use of hashtags and Instagram to get their name out to the wider world.

 

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Other modern influences you can take advantage of to beat this marketing challenge include but are not limited to: creating a minimalist logo, investing in professional photography to use for social media, and using apps when applicable. It’s a different approach for everyone, so find out how you can take your culture-inspired business into the future.

Naming the business

A business’ name is one of the foundations of their image. As such, you want yours to be influenced by your Latino roots, but not too much that it seems that you’re only catering to Latinos. Plus, some traditional Latino naming conventions could prove dangerous to your business, as it affects how it’s structured.

For instance, since family and tradition is a big part of our culture, plenty of Latino-owned businesses have their real names as their business name. The only way you can do this is if you’re a sole proprietor. However, this can be dangerous as The Balance states that sole proprietors cannot separate their personal and business assets. This means they will be liable to use their own money to pay for business damages. On the other hand, ZenBusiness notes that LLC owners have more restrictions. Some words like “savings” and “engineering” need proper licenses before they can be used. LLCs also separate personal and business taxes, so using your own name as the company name will only complicate your paperwork.

To keep the family imagery of a Latina-owned business alive, you can put your first or last name next to a Latino word to let the customer know what your business is about. “Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural” and “Ella’s Eve Cosmetics” are good examples. You could name part of your business in a local language as well to highlight its Latino origins like “Herbal Hermanas Co.”

Marketing to a general audience

Just because you’re Latino, doesn’t mean that your business has to cater to just Latinos. If you want to grow it, then you have to expand your market. Have you ever wondered how brands like Apple and Nike grew to the size that they are today? Quality products may be a huge factor, but most of the success is attributed to branding. These companies have worked hard to create unique identities that appeal to a select but huge customer demographic.

Instead of marketing to the Latino community, broaden your scope and target a particular group with similar interests. Lenita by Grita is a Latina-owned business that sells Hispanic flowers and floral arrangements. Anybody looking to give flowers to a loved one can buy their products.



Another good example is Majestic Bliss Soaps. This Latina-owned business advocates for vegan and cruelty-free products. You don’t have to be part of the Latino community to be on board with that kind of branding.

Again, the type of approach that you can go with depends on the nature of your business. Find an idea that brings your market together and you’re well on your way to reaching out to a global audience.

Latino-owned businesses are thriving, but we could do so much more if we just expanded our business’ reach. Keep these marketing challenges in mind. Watch out for modern trends, name your business appropriately, and cater to a broader demographic so that the Latino influence can reach others around the globe. 

How to Make Your Marketing Work for You

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, around 1.8 million of the 12.2 million small business owners in the United States are Latinos. Despite the well-documented opportunity gaps, Latinos have become the fastest-growing small business owners in the country. That’s more than enough inspiration to start, but how do you keep a Latino-owned business going? The answer is in your marketing approach. 

Finding the Right Marketing Approach for You

Starting a small business can take a lot of energy, time, and effort, but getting it off the ground is only the first step. Making sure that you’re profitable and sustainable is bound to take up most of your time, and can be especially difficult if you’re an entrepreneur on a budget. For Latina entrepreneurs especially, it’s important to find a marketing approach that’s highly effective, relevant, but still affordable. 

We’ve previously talked about unconventional approaches to this, such as in our article ‘Build an Employee Branding Strategy in 5 Steps’. Marketing through your employees is one option, but there are tons of other techniques that have surprisingly beneficial returns.

Reach Your Clients via Direct Mail

Direct mail marketing, surprisingly, is one of them. Triadex Services outlines that direct mail is still one of the most reliably efficient marketing methods around, offering a high ROI with a low cost per lead. While direct mail may often seem like a relic from times past, it’s actually a pretty great way to get in touch with your market.

This is especially true if you’re trying to reach out to your local community. Whether you have a brick-and-mortar store or are just trying to expand your business beyond your own home, connecting with your market is essential. Even the simplest direct mail material can make a huge impact on your engagement and sales when used correctly. You don’t even need to go all out— a simple yet engaging photocopied flyer or postcard mailed out to people in your area might net you huge returns, for example.

Tracking Your Results

Interested but not sure how you’ll be able to reliably track the results of a traditional marketing method, especially when compared with the straightforward hit counter on your blog? Don’t worry about it. Direct mail is actually one of the few traditional marketing methods that are easily trackable. All you need to do is keep a tally of who responds and compare it with your mailing list and you’re all set. You can even use this data to further refine and improve further marketing efforts, all without needing to invest in expensive data analysis tools. 

Want to focus on getting online engagement on your website or blog instead? Direct mail can help with that too. Providing links to your online portals in your direct mail pieces is one way to link your online and offline marketing strategies, especially if your attempts at digital marketing aren’t working. You can even make it easier for your customers by providing a QR code that they can scan, making the connection to your online materials quicker and more convenient than ever.

You might be interested: Best use of PPP and other financing strategies for Latina business owners

These are only a few of the ways you can make direct mail marketing work for you, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. With direct mail, you can be as creative, memorable, and engaging as you want, and you can always rely on it to pull in results.

brand

How to improve brand perception

Did you ever wonder why a brand like Apple or Nike is so massive and easily recognized in different corners of the world? Well, your immediate answer could be that they offer high-quality products to their customers. However, many other companies offer equally or even better-quality products.

Then why is it that only these companies are so popular?

brand

The real reason is that these aren’t just companies but rather companies that understand branding really well. They have worked hard to create unique identities in the industry and appeal to select demographics with the help of different entities like brand voice, logo, mission statement, etc. This instils a feeling of pride and admiration in the consumers.

You may have built a business, and it might be doing well too. However, if you really want to take your game to the next level, then you should review your current brand. This will help you understand what you need to do to make it better, i.e. by changing brand perception. The following are some of the things that you can do in that regard:

Make your website look more premium and professional

Believe it or not, but a large number of people judge brands based on their websites. There are many great businesses in this world but they lose consumer trust and market reach just because they don’t have highly functional and appealing websites. This is largely because business websites are often seen as virtual stores.

So, just like you set up an attractive brick-and-mortar store with features like good air conditioning, comfortable seating, and elegant showcases for your merchandise, you need an attractive website that aptly captures your mission statement and vision. If you fail to understand how website design affects business, then you may fail in the business itself; there is always a possibility.

brand

Improve engagement on social media

In this day and age, it’s become nearly impossible for a brand to achieve its revenue targets and a high customer acquisition rate unless it becomes active on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. In fact, for small businesses, social media is a must-do or die.

Online social media communities can help companies in various ways to create a certain image in the public, attract a target demographic with content that the people love, and open doors to two-way communication through direct messages, comments, and fun contests/giveaways.

Social media is also a great channel to get a sense of sentiment in your target customers. So, you can use social listening tools to get an idea of what people are saying about your brand. This can offer you more insights than you can imagine.

For instance, you may learn that your customer service quality isn’t as good as you think, or that your latest product isn’t performing well due to one small flaw that can be removed rather easily. There are tools like Buffer and BuzzSumo that can help you in acquiring these details easily.

Set SMART Goals

It’s foolish to run a business without goals. In fact, you can’t possibly run it to begin with. However, if you want to stay ahead of your competition and be prepared for a myriad of challenges that you may have to face, then it’s better to create not just goals, but rather SMART goals. SMART goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-based

If your goals are SMART, then you can get in the driver’s seat as far as branding is concerned. This is because then you control how your business performs and how its image looks to the public. When you start achieving these goals, and you will most like do, then you can improve your reputation and gain trust of your fans/followers. This can lead to a snowball effect, and before you know it, you have completely redefined your brand!

Conclusion

In a world where consumers are spoilt for choice, brands can’t take any chances with their market perception. Their target demographic has to know exactly what makes them special and better than others. They must convey their mission statement and mission clearly, and with impact. The information above can help you in more ways than you can imagine in that area. The question is- when will you take the initiative?

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8 Ways to Promote Your Blog Through Social Media

Promoting your blog is one of those subtle arts that it can be hard to get to grips with. You have plenty of amazing content ideas, the words flow effortlessly onto the page, but you haven’t got a clue how to get more people to read them. Sound familiar?

Well, not to worry, because we have 8 proven ways by which you can use the power of social media to direct more and more people to your posts. Not only are they great ways to turn all eyes in your direction, but they’re also 100% free! What could be better than that?

Don’t forget about the power of cross-posting 

Cross-posting is the first thing that we need to talk about, and with good reason. It’s no use being on half a dozen different channels if you only update them sporadically. The beauty of cross-posting is that it allows you to post the same content to multiple channels at the same time. 

Of course, you’re going to want to tweak the format to suit the individual platforms, but that’ll only take a few minutes a week on your part. This strategy is ideal if you want to be able to create a constant stream of hype that gets people excited about what you’re going to post next. 

Post your blog with an attractive image so that it catches the eye 

You can have as many powerful social media marketing tools as you like, but if you’re not posting eye-catching visual content then you’re doing your blog a disservice. The important thing to note here is that whilst it needs to catch the eye, your content also needs to relate directly to what’s written in your blog. 

You might get more traffic from amazing natural photos, but if you’re writing about recruitment or something else unrelated, people are just going to be confused and go elsewhere. 

Share your blog to relevant Facebook groups 

Facebook is still the king of social media, but the mistake so many people make is creating a page for their blog, and then only posting to it. The problem with this is, if no one is reading your blog, no one will be looking for you on Facebook. 

What you need to do instead, is to link to your blog in posts you leave in relevant groups. Plenty of people will be doing 

similar things, so you’re going to have to be creative, imaginative, and persistent if you want to stand out from the crowd. Over time you’ll start getting people to hop over to your blog, and before you know it there’ll be an avalanche of new traffic. 

Share your blog to relevant Facebook groups.

If your blog is business orientated, it needs to be posted to LinkedIn 

Ask the best online paper writing service, the best accountancy firm, or the best management consultancy where they post their blogs, and they’ll tell you they focus on LinkedIn. This is because it’s the perfect forum for blogs that are aimed at professionals and executives. The other channels may well be enticing, and you’ll still get a few hits through them, but LinkedIn is where you need to be for this kind of content. 

Tweet a question on Twitter, and link to your blog as the answer

One of the easiest ways to attract an audience is to tweet a thought-provoking question, and then immediately link to your blog as the source of the answers. This is great because it creates a real impetus to click the link, and it’s also a proven way to stand out from the thousands of other tweets people will see on any given day. 

Find 3 trending hashtags that you can jump on 

If there was one piece of advice that every blog promoter should be given before they start posting, it’s to go easy on the

 hashtags. You might think that adding a dozen of them to the bottom of every post maximizes your chances of being seen. Unfortunately, all it’s really

 doing is making your posts look like spam. Something you certainly need to avoid if you want to position yourself as a distributor of high-quality readable content. 

The secret is to find 3 trending hashtags that you can jump on that are relevant to what you have to say. This will allow you to strike the perfect balance between search, and relevance. 

You might be interested: 5 Steps to build an employee branding strategy

Tweet excerpts of upcoming blogs to build interest and anticipation 

Use Twitter to engage audiences and link back to your blog.

Building anticipation is a major part of holding a captive audience. The great thing about tweeting a teaser from an upcoming blog is that it allows you to get some hype behind your next post. That way you’re not just trying to get people to read what’s already out there. You’re also getting them excited about what you have in the pipeline. 

Keep the teasers short, thought-provoking, and intriguing. If you can create something that people will retweet so they can see what their friends have to say, then you’ll truly be onto something. 

Be creative, don’t just say ‘read my blog’

No list of clever ways to promote blogs would be complete without a few words on the importance of creativity. There are so many people on social media these days that you need to be able to do things differently if you want your voice to be heard. 

It’s not about being provocative or posting clickbait, but rather about framing your message in new and original ways. Once you can do that, your posts will stand out a mile when browsers are scrolling down their feeds. Over time you’ll home in on a unique style that represents you and what you have to say, and you’ll find that your readership grows exponentially as a result. 

5 Steps to build an employee branding strategy

If you want to build a remarkable employee branding strategy but don’t know where to start, here is a short guide for you.