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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.
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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.

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5 Steps to increase your blog traffic through Pinterest

If you’re a business owner with a blog or website, chances are you’re familiar with the struggle of increasing blog traffic to your site. SEO optimization, keywords, and targeted ads can only go so far when you’re competing with tons of bigger sites in the Google search results. However, Pinterest might be the perfect place to market your content to users who share your blog’s niche interests. Worldwide, over 2 billion searches occur on Pinterest each month and Pinterest boasts nearly 90 million active monthly users in the United States alone. That’s a huge potential audience and when utilized correctly, Pinterest can be a massively effective marketing tool. 

Below are 5 easy steps on how to use Pinterest to increase blog traffic to your site and gain thousands of new readers. 

5 Steps to increase blog traffic through Pinterest  

  1. Create a new Pinterest business account for your blog 

First thing’s first, you need to create a new business account for your blog. You may already have a personal account on Pinterest, but creating a separate account specifically for your blog will help you target your account to reach the niche areas your blog covers. 

Setting up your new account is super easy! Simply navigate to Pinterest Business, click “Get Started” and fill out your information. Once you complete your sign up info, Pinterest will walk you through a few questions for your settings and preferences and help you get started.  

Once your account is set, you can edit your profile and bio to attract users whose interests are relevant to your blog. In your bio, add a keyword-rich description of your blog to help users find you in Pinterest’s search engine. 

  1. Set up your own Pinterest boards and join group boards

Now that your account is set up, it’s time to create your “boards” and start pinning! If you’re not familiar with Pinterest’s terminology, a “board” is essentially a collection of pins, or posts. Boards are usually grouped by categories. So for instance you may have a board for “Healthy Recipes” and another for “Journal Prompts” or “Marketing Strategies.” Creating boards centered around topics you cover on your blog or site will help you draw in users who are searching for those topics. 

You can also join relevant group boards to increase blog traffic to your site. Group boards are community boards where people with shared interests contribute their own pins to the group. Joining boards that focus on your blog’s topics is a great way to get your content out to a larger audience. Not only will your pins reach more people who are actually interested in your content in a group board, but those in the group are more likely to save or share the pin on their own boards. This chain of shares is what you’re aiming for, the more shares you get on an original pin, the more potential traffic you drive toward your blog. 

  1.  Create and post shareworthy Pinterest Pins 

Now, the pins are really the most important thing. Your original pins, or posts, are what ultimately will be shared around and draw users toward your blog. Creating eye-catching, shareworthy pins is key to standing out in the search. Your goal with each pin is to hopefully draw people toward your site by having them click the pin and follow the URL to your blog. Though getting them to save and re-share your pin is also great as it creates more exposure for your content. So you may be wondering, how do you create a shareworthy pin? 

Shareworthy pins usually have an eye-catching picture and an intriguing title. Vertical images also do better than smaller square images. Another plus is if your pin has a “call to action” such as “Click on the blog link below for more.” Tell users where to go next and direct them toward your blog. Also pay close attention to keywords and tag all your pins with relevant keywords. Just like with any search, keywords are, well, key! Before you make a pin, do a little bit of keyword research. Search up some of the keywords associated with your content. Pinterest will show you related keywords under the search bar when you search a term, so take a look at those suggestions too to get a better idea of which keywords are popular. 

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Canva is a free site that provides easy-to-use templates to make eye-catching pin images

For creating an eye-catching image you can use tools like Canva or PicMonkey which let you create infographics, headers, and visual aids to go along with your content. I personally use Canva, which is completely free to use, with the option to go premium to access bonus content. However the free version gives you plenty of free content to make eye-catching graphics and headers for your social media posts and pins. Canva also provides users with templates specifically designed for a certain social media platform, so you can easily make images for your pins with little hassle

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No hassle. Canvas templates are specifically designed to fit Pinterest image dimensions

  1. Develop an active Pinterest following 

An active following in not completely necessary on a search-based platform like Pinterest, since your content will still reach people who are not following you and simply find you in keywords searches. However, an active following can definitely help increase blog traffic since loyal followers will be more likely to re-pin your posts and spread them around. 

One way to increase your following is to follow others who post similar content. Many users are likely to follow back other users in their niche. 

Another strategy is to plug your Pinterest on your other social media sites and blog. Add a button or widget that will link to your Pinterest or display your recent pins and boards. Your current readers are already loyal followers of your content, so by promoting your Pinterest to them, they will in turn be able to help spread your pins and reach new readers. 

You might be interested: How to improve brand perception

  1. Pin frequently!

Lastly, pin frequently and consistently! Pinterest values consistency and is more likely to promote content from frequent pinners. Try to get into a routine of pinning at least once a day, and slowly increase from there. You don’t want to overwhelm your followers by dumping a ton of pins on them at once. It’s better to spread out your pins to a few each day and frequently post instead of just posting a ton at once and being inactive afterward. 

Also be sure to have a good mix of your own pins and pins from others. Sharing pins from other users is a good way of including content from experts in areas that are relevant to your blog or site but in which you are not an expert. Re-pinning from others is also a way to promote your account to others in your niche. When people see someone has shared their pin, they are more likely to check out that person’s account. So by sharing other people’s pins, you’re driving traffic to your account too. 

The main thing though is to stay active and consistent, so take some time to develop a schedule so followers will know what to expect from you. Once you’ve established a routine, you can queue up pins to post on schedule or post manually each week. Whatever works best for you! 

And remember to have fun with it too. Pinterest is a great online resource with many communities centered around just about every niche and topic you can think of. Find your people, have fun sharing information on the topics you love, all while you increase blog traffic to your site and promote your content! 

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Havi Goffan the genie behind Target Latino

Claudia "Havi" Goffan, principal at Target Latino

Claudia “Havi” Goffan, principal at Target Latino

The Latino market is an ever evolving moving target that companies aim at with varying results. Finding a tool that would uncover the spending habits of your desired Hispanic audience is almost grabbing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Target Latino has long developed a methodology to identify Hispanics online independently of their language or level of acculturation.

Because of its bilingual, bicultural and multi-layered nature, Hispanics have been the focus of numerous market research strategies. Following trend after trend, and many times (miss) guided by Hispanic advertising agencies, American companies have tried and erred on their quest to grab and hold this slippery fish.

“However, numbers don’t lie,” said Havi Goffan, multicultural marketing technologist and principal at Target Latino. “Our proprietary technology can identify Hispanics’ online habits –independently of the language they use– to be applied to ad monitoring and ad tracking. We also provide analytics of Hispanic targeted online advertising. Our exclusive intellectual property also allows for segmentation by country of origin, gender and age group,” she explained.

 Who is Claudia “Havi” Goffan? what-is-inbound-marketing-435x1030

An 18-year old curious woman about computers in Argentina few decades ago was not a common occurrence –I know because I am from the “pampas” – but rarer if she was interested in applying computer technology to marketing. Whaaaaat?

“Although I graduated with an MBA from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), Argentina, and from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), I took my very first information technology class at the University of Buenos Aires back in 1978. I was interested in it not really as a career but as a field that allowed me to master certain tools. I took International Marketing classes concurrently with Artificial Intelligence (AI),” said Havi to LIBizus.

This fascination with business technology and marketing carried her over to the place she is today. An international keynote speaker and expert marketing technologist on culture, inbound marketing, content, SEO and Pinterest strategies, visionary Havi positioned her company around inbound marketing after the upheaval created by the 2000 Census. “It was crazy, every American company wanted to target Latinos,” she said.

She recognized the power of cultural knowledge as one of the pillars, together with technology and business savvy, in capturing the Hispanic market. “Instead of broadcasting a message to a market that might or might not be interested in what you have to offer, you get ready to be found when they are looking for you,” she explained.

Inbound marketing seems simple but we know not everybody can make it to the first page of Google results, much less for the same keyword,” Havi said. And inbound marketing is much more than Search Engine Optimization (SEO), email marketing, and blogging, she shared.

According to Target Latino research, over 42M Hispanics – or more than 65 percent of the U.S. Latino population – are online and 87 percent of user-generated search engine queries click on organic search results.

“Whatever it is that they are looking for, the Internet has changed the way Latinos decide what to buy and who to buy from. There are only 10 places on Google’s first page. It’s not just about language anymore; it is about culture and relevance,” Havi explained.

Here are some stats Havi shared with LIBizus:

  • B2B companies that create content have 67% more leads per month than those who do not. (Social Media B2B)
  • 80% of the people ignore Google paid ads (Search Engine Land)
  • 75% of the online population never go further than the first page of search engines results (Hubspot)
  • People want to be in control of the content they receive: 86% skip commercials, 44% of direct mail goes unopened. (Content Marketing Institute)
  • Articles with images have 94% more views (Content+)
  • Around 60% of the population has a visual style of learning
  • 58% of consumers trust editorial content.

“Companies need to develop everything and anything that will drive the prospect to them when THEY are searching for their products or services. Unfortunately, most companies still don’t get it and continue to practice outbound marketing. And here is one more reason to grasp: According to Search Engine Journal, inbound leads are 60 percent less expensive than outbound leads,” Havi concluded.

She has been recognized as an expert in Latino Marketing by CNN en Español, and featured in CNN, Adweek, AmEx Open Forum, Univision, Telemundo, HuffPo, AARP Viva, Abasto Media, and others.