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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.

ecommerce in 2020

Ecommerce in 2020: Best platforms to get started

Ecommerce in 2020 is becoming the number 1 go-to business practice as our world has become transformed by the COVID-19 pandemic. With traditional forms of business disrupted, ecommerce has risen exponentially. Latin America especially is experiencing a boom in ecommerce this year as easier online payment options have become available in many countries.  

ecommerce in 2020

Photo by Mark König on Unsplash

Ecommerce on the rise in 2020

In the early months of the pandemic, businesses scrambled to move online. The internet has kept us all connected during these long months of social distancing as we flooded into the virtual sphere for school, work, and social life. Without the power of technology, life would have come to a screeching halt. Luckily, most businesses have been able to continue virtually. Businesses that may not have ever considered having an online platform were forced to embrace this alternative, and now there’s no turning back. While traditional retail sales have experienced a significant decline this year, “ecommerce has seen a 129% year-over-year growth” in the U.S. and Canada since April and global ecommerce sales are expected to reach $4.2 trillion by the end of this year.

If you’re a business owner who’s not yet on the interwebs or you’re looking to start an online business venture during this time, here’s what you need to know about ecommerce in 2020, the top ecommerce platforms, and how to get started.  

Diving into the world of ecommerce 

Ecommerce in 2020 is definitely growing more than ever before, but it’s not as easy as just creating a website and expecting the cash to start magically flowing in. It takes work and with more and more businesses turning to ecommerce, the competition is also growing. 

The first step to launching a successful ecommerce venture is to choose your platform. There are tons of different online shops to choose from to host your business and each offers different features. 

Finding the platform that works best for your business is a crucial first step, so read on below for the top 5 leading platforms for ecommerce in 2020. 

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

Top 5 Ecommerce Platforms in 2020 

1. Shopify

Shopify is considered one of the best overall ecommerce platforms for small businesses. Shopify provides small businesses with all the tools they need to compete with top retailers while also providing POS software to manage both in-store and online sales. Shopify’s pricing starts at $29/per month with their basic plan. Upgrades however will be more costly, with their standard plan starting at $79/per month, and Advanced Shopify priced at $299/per month. 

One major perk Shopify offers however is its ability to integrate with other marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay. Users can also sell their products via Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest through Shopify, allowing businesses to reach even more customers.

2. Square 

If you’re tight on funds, Square might be the place for you as you can join completely free with its standard plan. Square offers built-in credit card processing and paid subscriptions for more advanced features, but you need not subscribe to a monthly plan to get started. Simply use their website builder to create your site. Square also allows you to sell an unlimited number of products under its free plan. 

If you’re interested in advanced features, Square is still significantly cheaper than competitors, with their Professional plan starting at just $12/month, Performance plan at $26/month, and Premium plan at $72/month. 

3. WooCommerce

For WordPress websites, WooCommerce is the place to go. It’s also completely free! WooCommerce is an open-source plugin that runs on WordPress, which is also free.

However, WooCommerce has a steeper learning curve. Its a bit more complicated to set up and maintain than the more user-friendly Square or Shopify. WooCommerce also offers limited customer support options. But if you’re tech-savvy or willing to learn, WooCommerce is a powerful tool that offers many of the same features as Shopify at no cost and with more customization options. 

4. Squarespace

Squarespace is best for artists, creatives, and boutiques. It’s ideal for the solo entrepreneur who doesn’t have a lot of time to learn more advanced systems like Shopify and WooCommerce. Squarespace offers simplicity paired with top-notch quality. Its sites are designed to look modern and trendy and it’s pricing is a bit cheaper than other competitors starting at $18/month. 

Squarespaces’ key features include a user-friendly trendy website builder, inventory management, multi-channel selling through Instagram and Facebook, marketing tools, analytics, and customer support. 

5. Wix 

If you’re all about aesthetics and design, Wix might be the place for you as it offers total freedom when it comes to design. Wix, like Squarespace, is a much simpler and affordable option starting at $23/month for their Business Basic plan. Wix’s standout feature is their ‘drag-and-drop’ website builder. Every aspect of your site can be edited by clicking and dragging, from text to photos, shapes, and buttons. Most competitors like Square, Shopify, and Squarespace offer templates that can be customized but are limited. With Wix, there is complete control in web-design. You also get many of the same tools as competitors with multi-channel selling on social media and Etsy, basic analytic and sales report tools, email marketing tools, and 24/7 customer support. 

3 Ways to market your small business with your e-mail list

As a business owner, you have done your due diligence in building an e-mail list comprised of your customer’s and prospect’s contact information. You have made sure that you always ask your patrons to update their information with you, and you are studious about always making sure new contacts are included.

money habits family email list

 

By the Hispanic Chamber of E-Commerce Editorial Team

Your email list is a valuable commodity—but only if you take the time to put it to work for your business.  Follow these tips to make your email list work for your marketing efforts.

Get a monthly subscription to an email marketing platform like Aweber or MailChimp.  These platforms are incredibly easy-to-use and great for any business owner, no matter if you are skilled in email marketing or if you are a beginner.  Ultimately, by subscribing to an email marketing service you will have the ability to choose from a variety of pre-made email templates, or even create one from scratch.  Moreover, you can easily import your email list and the program will also allow for easy scheduling.  Finally, one of the major benefits of paying for a subscription service (don’t worry, these platforms are very affordable!) is the fact that you will also be given analytics information about who opens up your email, what they click on, how many times they have viewed the email, and a host of other information.  Having this data at your fingertips will allow you the chance to modify and tweak your marketing strategy, ensuring you are always getting your message through to your customers and prospects!

Send out a monthly newsletter to your prospects and customers—or identify certain segments from your list, i.e. someone who has purchased from you in the past month—and send out a targeted email that speaks specifically to something that group would be interested in as a new customer.  Remember, just because you have a complete list does not mean you have to use the entire list every time you send out a mailing—the more targeted you are with a group, and the more focused you are in appealing to specific interests or needs, the more likely you are to make a sale via email marketing.

• Don’t forget about social media!  This is something a lot of business owners overlook as it relates to their email list—the fact that the email list can be imported into your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn profiles, and all of those contacts can be invited to like, follow, and connect with you on those respective platforms is incredibly important to follow up on.  Tying all of your marketing efforts together and ensuring one cohesive and consistent strategy is used throughout will make a customer or prospect more likely to engage with you—increasing loyalty to your brand.

You might be interested: Social media meets corporate: Become a Brand Ambassador

At the end of the day, an email list that has been carefully built and maintained is worth its weight in gold—however, that statement only rings true if you actually use the list in a productive manner to communicate pertinent business information and updates with your prospects and customers.

 

hiscec_aboutsmall

The 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.

Another burden on Main Street: Internet sales tax bill

E-commerceIn 1979, when Michael Aldrich figured out a process to connect a modified television set to a transaction server by means of a telephone line, the online shopping revolution was born. But it was not until the 90s that it took off as a commercial blessing for virtual businesses who jumped into the wagon of “tax free sales.” Among those were Amazon and EBay –both born in 1995. Read more