Content

This is a list of artificial intelligence (AI) design tools, statistics and trends of their usage, current standing and growth updated through 2023.

In the rapidly evolving world of design, artificial intelligence is making a profound impact.

From Midjourney to Mar, AI design tools are empowering creative professionals to streamline workflows, boost productivity, and create cutting-edge designs with unprecedented ease.

We’ll explore these data-driven insights and how these tools are revolutionizing the way we conceptualize, iterate, and execute design projects. While this list is by no means exhaustive, it is rather comprehensive to give you a good idea of some leading Design tools that are utilizing AI to their advantage and the advantage of their users.

Contents

The Rising Demand for AI Design Tools
Interest in AI design by State in the United States
The Impact on Design Efficiency
Enhanced Personalization and User Experience
The Power of AI in Creativity
AI Design Companies, Trends, and Statistics

  1. Figma
  2. Adobe Firefly, XD & Illustrator
  3. Sketch
  4. Axure RP
  5. Marq
  6. Framer
  7. InVision
  8. Proto.io
  9. Midjourney
  10. Canva
  11. Dream Studio
  12. CorelDRAW
  13. TopazLabs
  14. Uizard
  15. Autodraw
    Growth in AI-Integrated Design Platforms
    Data Security and Privacy Concerns
    Bridging the Gap Between Designers and Developers
    Conclusion

The image below comes from explodingtopics.com showcasing some of the high level statistics of the AI industry as a whole including all types of generative AI including but not limited to design.

ai-stats

The Rising Demand for AI Design Tools

The demand for AI design tools has witnessed an unprecedented surge in 2023. According to Google trends, the search volume for AI design related tools and software has increased 1700% from 2022 to 2023 alone.

AI-Design-1024x317

Interest in AI design by State in the United States

The interest in AI design when broken down into sub topics and related queries spans from ai image generation to Ai design tools that allow teams to take components of AI and marry them to their own brand and designs speeding up and making more efficient their own design teams and processes.

The interest in AI design across the United States is ubiquitous. The regions/states in the top 5 positions of high interest are; 1. District of Columbia 2. California 3. Washington 4. Hawaii and 5. Utah

ai-state-1024x314

The Impact on Design Efficiency

AI design tools have proven instrumental in streamlining design workflows. By automating repetitive tasks and offering real-time suggestions, these tools save designers valuable time and effort. Surveys indicate that a significant percentage of design professionals believe that AI has significantly improved their design efficiency, allowing them to focus on more creative and strategic aspects of their work.

IDC suggests that generative design, even more broadly generative AI, finds value in creating something for humans to react to. With AI’s initial start and its recommendations overseen by humans creates increased velocity and efficiency in creating on-brand design.

Enhanced Personalization and User Experience

In the age of personalized experiences, AI design tools are helping designers cater to individual user preferences more effectively. By analyzing user data and behavioral patterns, AI-powered tools provide valuable insights into user preferences and expectations. This data-driven approach enables designers to craft highly tailored and user-centric designs, resulting in enhanced user experiences.

Per Gartner, “A good experience designer brings user insights from research as well as knowledge of human psychology – and blends them with the organization’s product vision”. They continue, “Advances in AI will mean that designers spend less time building . . and more time focusing on solving real problems for users”.

The Power of AI in Creativity

Contrary to the misconception that AI stifles creativity, statistics reveal that AI design tools foster innovation and creativity. With AI-generated design suggestions and intelligent pattern recognition, designers are inspired to explore novel ideas and experiment with new concepts that they may not have considered otherwise. This synthesis of human creativity and AI assistance leads to groundbreaking and aesthetically captivating designs.

AI Design Companies, Trends, and Statistics

As mentioned above, the interest in AI design is wide because the use case of artificial intelligence in design is also quite wide. While AI image generation alone has made massive strides in 2023, for many companies looking to streamline their own design teams and processes, the AI images alone don’t fit the bill. Which is why there are design tools now that offer AI as a part of the complete design tool. *Data provided by Crunchbase, SEMrush, and Google Trends.

1. Figma:

Figma is a collaborative design tool that allows teams to work together on UI/UX design, prototyping, and user testing. It has plugins and integrations that support AI design-related functionalities.

Figma has witnessed a significant rise in popularity among designers, with over 4 million users as of September 2021. Its collaborative features and cloud-based nature have contributed to its widespread adoption.

See Figma’s cumulative fundraising over time and note the 150% increase year over year Q2 of 2020 to Q2 of 2021.

figma-768x295

Also note the considerable increase in organic presence up 115% year over year (June 2022 to June 2023, website traffic coming from organic search results in search engines due to content and features put out meeting their audience needs.

figma-traffic-1024x237

Below you can see the increase in brand awareness by the search volume trend in Google for the keyword “Figma”. While relative to its own position, from June 2021 to June of 2023, Figma has seen a 355% increase in awareness and demand.

figma-trend-1024x261

2. Adobe Firefly, XD & Illustrator:

We would be remiss to not include the vast world of adobe when talking about design tools. And Adobe has certainly not missed the AI train. With several products fulfilling different needs and niches, Adobe has cast a wide net helping many different audiences. The catch, you’ll pay quite the penny to get all the features from all the products. Adobe Firefly is an AI design tool that can generate images from text. It is still in beta, which means you may have to get on a wait list and be a subscriber to other Adobe tools to get a chance to test it out.

Adobe XD is a vector-based design tool that supports designing and prototyping experiences for websites, mobile apps, and more. It integrates with Adobe’s Sensei AI technology to assist designers with content-aware layout suggestions and other AI-powered features.

Adobe XD has gained prominence as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud suite, and by September 2021, it had over 3 million users. Adobe’s reputation and continuous updates have attracted designers to use XD as their go-to design and prototyping tool.

Adobe Illustrator is a vector graphics editor that is widely used in various design fields. Although it’s not an AI-specific tool, Adobe has been incorporating AI features into its Creative Cloud suite, which includes Illustrator.

Check out the increased organic performance for Adobe over the last 7 years with the amount of organic search keywords they’ve captured. They’ve seen a 32% YoY increase with an 80% increase in 2 years and a whopping 886% increase 7 years.

adobe-traffic-1024x240

Interestingly enough, despite the increased performance with their site, the volume of people searching adobe in general has tapered in recent years as seen by the trendline below representing users searching for “adobe” in Google. This could be due to the generic parent brand vs each individual product that they offer which was not taken into consideration.

adobe-xd-trend-1024x285

3. Sketch:

Sketch is a macOS-based design tool popular among UI/UX designers. While it doesn’t have native AI capabilities, it can be enhanced with various plugins that incorporate AI functionalities.

As of September 2021, Sketch had a strong presence in the macOS-based design tool market, with over 1.5 million active users. It remains one of the top choices for UI/UX designers who value its performance and ease of use.

See the organic performance trend of the last 5 years below. Sketch has seen a 7% growth in organic presence year over year and a 49% increase in 2 years.

sketch-traffic-1024x242

Despite its popularity, Sketch has seen a rather consistent decline in trend for overall volume of searches for its primary branded keyword “sketch” (segmented by the company name vs the word itself).

sketch-trend-1024x300

4. Axure RP

Axure RP is a prototyping and wireframing tool that allows designers to create interactive prototypes for websites and applications. It may not have native AI features, but it can be integrated with external AI tools.

Below you can see Axure RP has seen some volatility over the last 5 years performing quite a bit lower in the organic search results of Google than it has. While it is currently trending positively, it has some ground to make up for. Axure saw a 3% drop year over year and a 29% drop from 2 years prior.

axure-traffic-1024x261

The trend of search volume tells a similar story with the primary branded keyword “axure rp” seeing a negative trend through the last couple years.

axure-rp-trend-1024x285

5. Marq:

Marq is an innovative design tool that has been gaining significant traction in the design industry. Leveraging cutting-edge artificial intelligence capabilities, Marq aims to revolutionize the way designers conceptualize, create, and iterate on their projects. In this section, we explore some key statistics and emerging trends that highlight the impact of Marq in the design landscape.

Marq has seen a remarkable surge in user adoption. Within just six months, Marq’s user base has grown to over one million active users, making it one of the fastest-growing AI design tools on the market. Designers from diverse backgrounds, including UI/UX designers, graphic artists, and marketers, have embraced Marq for its intuitive AI-driven features.

While Marq has undergone a relatively recent rebrand to an entirely new domain, they’ve retained much of their previous organic performance, and have since increased their brand presence in the market as seen by the short period of time available in the trendline below.

While it’s not an apples to apples comparison as there’s a bit of a ramp up period to anticipate with a new brand going live, Marq boasts a 6062% increase YoY. Let’s factor in the ramp up taking a full month’s worth of data and comparing it to the next closest month this year, Marq still shows a 73% increase year over year.

marq-traffic-1024x258

It’s clear from the volume of their branded keyword “marq” in Google trends, that Marq still has opportunity to grow, but is certainly trending positively in the last several years despite the rapidly changing industry, AI, and the market pitfalls with the worldwide pandemic and other recent anomalies.

marq-trend-1024x387

6. Framer:

Framer is a design tool that enables designers to create interactive and animated prototypes. It also offers integrations with AI-powered tools to enhance the design process.

Framer, known for its powerful prototyping capabilities, had gained traction among designers and had over a million users by September 2021.

Note the cumulative funding raised over the last 5 years, with 267% increase from 2017 to 2018 and an additional growth of 81% from Q1 to Q3 of 2023.

framer-financials-768x301

Below you can see that despite a considerable setback of website performance, Framer has regained and continues to thrive in the acquisition of new awareness through the keywords obtained for organic search. From their low point to their current high (1 year of time) they’re up 621%. Looking at the year prior before the set back, Framer is seeing a 98% increase from 2 years ago.

framer-trend-1024x274

7. InVision:

InVision is a digital product design platform that allows teams to collaborate on design, prototyping, and user testing. It integrates with various AI plugins and external AI tools to facilitate the design process.

InVision has been a dominant player in the digital product design platform market, boasting over 7 million users as of September 2021. See the growth and anticipated growth manifest in the cumulative funding that they’ve raised over the last 10 years. Certainly a consistently healthy and robust measured effort trending positively. According to crunchbase their fundraising was up 48% year over year from 2017 to 2018 and has sustained through the years.

invision-financials-768x294

InVision’s website, however, can’t say the same. While organic presence in Google is not a primary indication of a business’ health, it can be an indicator of spending money in the right place, being aware of important aspects like digital presence, and potentially other factors like overall industry interest. Year over year, InVision has seen a 26% drop in organic presence, and 52% down from 2 years prior.

invision-traffic-1024x256

The volume trend in Google trends corroborates the trend of site performance. While the site’s ability to rank and put out the right content to meet its audience appropriately is one side of the coin, the other is the awareness and demand for a brand which can be seen through the volume of searches. InVision (company segment) has seen a consistent decrease over the last 5 years.

invision-trend-1024x282

8. Proto.io:

Proto.io is a prototyping tool used for creating interactive prototypes for web and mobile applications. While it doesn’t have built-in AI capabilities, it can be combined with external AI tools.

Proto.io joins the group of companies and AI design tools that did not fare well through the storms of the pandemic. They are down 15% year over year for 2023, 49% from 2 years prior and even more from the year before.

proto-traffic-1024x252

The google trend graph below is one typically seen by companies or keywords with considerably low volume. The volatility and difficult to see trend line is due to the low volume of total searches for the brand. Unfortunately for Proto.io, with the little volume that is there, the trend is clearly negative.

proto-trend-1024x295

9. Midjourney:

Midjourney has certainly found popularity among many online groups utilizing the platform discord to interact with it. It has acquired quite the reputation for being the leader in the image generation space with considerable enhancements in its abilities in a short amount of time. However, the tool can be difficult to reign in identifying the right prompt and ultimately getting an image out of it that is more than just fun to see.

Midjourney is a nonprofit organization that has clearly come out of nowhere and not only entered the scene but is leading it when it comes to AI image generation. There isn’t yet a full year of data to compare to, and any month compared to the prior is a considerable increase.

midjourney-semrush-1024x235

It’s clear from Google trends that while Midjourney saw some quick wins in the AI design space, it’s experiencing some trouble with the frustrations to use their product for anything meaningful. This illustrates a primary separation between design tools using AI to enhance an already valuable product to individuals and businesses and those that are banking on a potentially quick and fleeting model that will require far more iteration before becoming valuable on their own.

midjourney-trend-1024x266

10. Canva:

Canva is a user-friendly graphic design tool that offers AI-powered features like automatic design resizing and layout suggestions.

Canva had over 60 million active users globally by September 2021, indicating its widespread appeal among non-professional designers and small businesses.

Canva has clearly seen success in the past few years despite the hard times that other tools and companies have seen. Check out the fundraising trend below. It illustrates not only consistent growth and progress, but a considerable jump to double the funding from Q1 to Q2 of 2021. This not only illustrates Canva’s growth but their anticipation to continue to grow.

canva-financials-768x286

Canva’s site performance is another voice in the positive story of the path that they’re on. As seen in the image below, the site’s organic performance reiterates not only consistent growth, but an increase in pace over the last 2 years. Good signs of product meeting users where they are, understanding their needs and fulfilling them. Also a positive indication of spending money in the right places to fuel their momentum. Canva is up 65% in organic presence year over year, and up 106% from 2 years prior.

canva-traffic-1024x247

Google trends show some ups and downs consistent with releasing new features and possibly other PR efforts. Despite some fluctuations in volume the trend is overwhelmingly positive and adds its voice to the strength of their growth and progress.

canva-trends-1024x283

11. DreamStudio:

DreamStudio is another prompt based, text-to-image AI image generation tool focussed on minimizing the energy required to generate their images. While the output may not initially seem as robust as some of it’s competitors, DreamStudio boasts an iterable version of images making it easy to edit and upscale.

DreamStudio is rather new to the seen as made apparent to their trended organic presence below. It would appear that while they saw considerable initial success, they’ve hit massive headwinds that could be indicative of getting some items out of priority.

dream-studio-keywords-1024x252

The volume of searches around their brand was a little difficult as it appears that Google hasn’t yet identified a segment for their brand name that is separate from the generic search term. However, looking at the shape of the volume over the last year, it appears to correlate with the initial release and the drop in interest.

dream-studio-trend-1024x289

12. CoreIDRAW:

CorelDRAW is another vector graphics editor that focusses on illustration, layout, photo editing, and typography tools. They offers various design that including some AI-assisted functionalities.

While CoreIDRAW has been around for a while, they’ve managed to continue to grow their online presence and continue to provide content and features that meet the needs for a select user base which is apparent from their ranking and keyword acquisition of their website. CoreIDRAW shows a 6% increase year over year in organic presence, and 3% drop from 2 years prior.

coreldraw-traffic-1024x244

While not explicitly negative, it’s clear that the volume trend indicating awareness and demand has seen a negative trend through 2021 and then some increased volume that has slowly trended negatively since. Despite this, it would seem that CoreIDRAW continues to thrive in the AI design tool space.

coreldraw-trend-1024x306

13. TopazLabs:

TopazLabs is a design tool that uses AI for image editing. Primarily to enhance the quality of images and videos with some pretty impressive results.

TopazLabs has seen some ups and down over the years, but is currently thriving and positively trending with their audiences providing the right kinds of content to be promoted in the search engine results pages and driving valuable traffic to their site. They grew 87% in organic presence year over year.

topaz-keywords-1024x254

Google trends shows a very positive trend corroborating the story of their site’s positive performance. It’s clear that the volume of those aware and searching for the brand has bee on a steady increase.

topaz-trends-1024x272

14. Uizard:

Uizard is an AI design tool that can be used to create some pretty robust products like web applications, mobile apps, as well as desktop software with a pretty easy-to-use editor.

It’s clear from Uizard’s funding raised over the last 5 years, that they’re continuing to grow and anticipate further growth. They’re showing a massive 417% increase from quarter to quarter in 2021.

uizard-financials

It appears that Uizard has been around for a few years, and while progressing, it hasn’t really taken off until 2023 where it’s seen considerable growth. Uizard is up 327% year over year in organic presence!

uizard-traffic-1024x245

Google trends corroborates the story with minimal search volume seen since 2018, and then in 2023 it appears consistently and trending positively. Whether this is due to some good marketing and well spent PR funds, increased functionality and features or some combination of both, it’s clear that Uizard is making its way into the space and generating some pretty big waves.

uizard-trend-1024x287

15. Autodraw:

Autodraw is the last product we’ll include in today’s list of AI Design Tools trends and statistics. While small, Autodraw has been around for a handful of years and is one of the few to start before the AI boom. Providing value early on, AutoDrawl allows users to illustrate to their heart’s content, and the tool will use machine learning to take a guess at the illustration and then provide a closely related professional version to be used.

From the graph below, it’s clear that Autodraw has been through some ups and downs since its inception. While Autodraw shows a 28% decrease in organic presence year over year, it’s able to boast a 140% increase from 2 years prior which is still a positive trend for the lifespan of the company.

autodraw-keywords

The volume illustrated in Google trends reflects roughly the same story, with a recent drop in interest through the last couple of months.

autodraw-trend-1024x261

Growth in AI-Integrated Design Platforms

Major design software companies have recognized the potential of AI in design and are rapidly integrating AI capabilities into their platforms. The inclusion of AI-powered plugins, features, and modules has transformed traditional design software into intelligent ecosystems that support designers in their quest for excellence. Notable players in the industry report a considerable increase in user adoption of AI-integrated tools.

Data Security and Privacy Concerns

As AI design tools rely on vast amounts of data for analysis and decision-making, data security and privacy concerns arise. Designers and organizations need to address these issues diligently, ensuring compliance with data protection regulations and safeguarding sensitive design assets. An informed approach to data handling is crucial to ensure trust and confidence in AI design tools.

Bridging the Gap Between Designers and Developers

AI design tools are bridging the gap between designers and developers, fostering better collaboration and communication between the two disciplines. AI-powered design platforms facilitate smoother handoffs by generating design specifications and assets that developers can readily work with. This alignment leads to more efficient development cycles and reduces friction in the design-to-development process.

Conclusion

The advent of AI design tools has ushered in a new era of creativity and efficiency in the design industry. As AI technology continues to advance, designers can expect even more sophisticated tools that amplify their capabilities and enhance the overall design process. By embracing data-driven insights and combining them with their creative vision, designers can harness the full potential of AI design tools to shape the future of visual communication and user experiences. As we move forward, the harmonious collaboration between human ingenuity and artificial intelligence will continue to redefine the boundaries of design innovation.

AI Design Tool Statistics FAQs

What are AI design tools, and how do they differ from traditional design software?

AI design tools refer to a new generation of design software that incorporates artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities. Unlike traditional design software, AI design tools can automate repetitive tasks, offer intelligent design suggestions, and analyze user data to enhance the user experience. These tools empower designers with data-driven insights, enabling them to create more personalized and efficient designs.

How can AI design tools improve design efficiency and productivity?

AI design tools improve design efficiency and productivity by automating time-consuming tasks, such as generating design variants, creating layout suggestions, and automating design handoffs to developers. By leveraging AI-powered features, designers can focus on the creative aspects of their work, leading to faster design iterations and better overall productivity.

What statistics support the growing adoption of AI design tools in the industry?

According to market research, the global AI in design tools market has witnessed significant growth in recent years. Several leading AI design tools have amassed millions of users, indicating their popularity and widespread adoption in the design community. Surveys also reveal that a substantial percentage of design professionals report increased design efficiency and improved user experiences through AI-powered design solutions.

How does AI enable designers to create more personalized user experiences?

AI enables designers to create more personalized user experiences by analyzing user data and behavioral patterns. Designers can use AI-driven insights to understand user preferences, optimize content layouts, and offer personalized recommendations. By tailoring designs to individual users, designers can deliver more engaging and relevant experiences, ultimately leading to higher user satisfaction and loyalty.

In most organizations, the disconnect between brand and the rest of the organization is real. 

On the one hand, brand and creative teams are constantly bombarded with requests, trying to fulfill as many as possible with limited time and resources. Most requests come with unrealistic turnaround times, leaving creative teams in a tough place to deliver. 

And on the other hand, creative teams sometimes evolve into the “brand police,” which can make a brand feel “off limits” to other orgs. Doing so limits cross-functional creativity, introduces creative bottlenecks, and creates a negative dynamic between brand and other teams.

The result? Creative teams feel like short-order cooks feeding the never-ending content beast, and customer-facing teams start creating rogue content when marketing can’t fulfill their one-off requests.

That’s why modern organizations need a brand enablement solution that puts the power of your brand in the hands of your employees without sacrificing the most critical elements of your brand.

What Is Brand Enablement?

Brand enablement is the strategic process of equipping teams across your organization with the content, guidelines, and tools they need to promote your brand effectively.

It’s much more than a brand guide; it’s the process of empowering your people to promote your brand across the channels they’re in every day. 

Modern brand enablement solutions help your people promote your brand by:

Organizations with Brand Enablement vs. Without

To compete in today’s fast-moving market, teams need a way to produce highly-personalized content for their customers at any given moment. For most businesses, content is the key to convincing potential buyers that you’re the right business for the job.

But without a brand enablement solution, it can be easy to overload creative teams with an endless queue of content requests.

Let’s look at how brand enablement can unleash your brand’s potential while saving your organization time and money.

home page icons_brand consistency 1 Brand Enablement Drives Business Growth

By equipping your teams with proven brand enablement tools, you’re making it easy for every existing and potential customer to have a meaningful interaction with your brand.

With easy access to lockable brand templates, your teams can deliver personalized content to potential customers faster than ever. This unique approach takes the burden of small content requests off of design teams and gives customer-facing teams the tools they need to win business.

home page icons_brand consistency 1Brand Enablement Speeds Up Content Creation

When potential customers come to you, they want to know instantly how your product or services can solve their problems. 

They don’t want generic content; they want content that’s tailored to their needs.

With a brand enablement solution, team members can choose an approved template, customize it, and send it to a customer. This process shortens turnaround times, guarantees brand consistency, and removes tedious requests from the creative backlog. 

home page icons_brand consistency 1Brand Enablement Improves Brand Reputation

Opening up content creation to everyone doesn’t mean content chaos. It means you’re empowering your people to promote your brand the right way.

With lockable templates, team members can personalize and deliver fresh content that’s always compliant with your brand standards.

Creative teams have complete visibility into the content being created, and customer-facing teams feel empowered with a way to create on-brand content.

WithorWithout-1024x576
Organizations with brand enablement vs. without


How to Implement Brand Enablement

Whether implementing brand enablement from the ground up or refining a system already in place, you’ll want to take inventory of your current brand assets and creative processes. Doing so will help you identify gaps to build a more holistic brand enablement plan.

Here are six steps we recommend you take when getting started with brand enablement:

Step 1: Create a culture of alignment 

How well do your brand and creative teams collaborate with other departments?

Without a solid brand enablement process in place, your answer might be: “Not that well.” And that’s okay.

Your first goal is to build cross-functional relationships across the company to ensure everyone is aligned with your brand enablement vision. 

Step 2: Determine the content goals of other departments

For brand enablement to work, you need to equip your teams with the content types they need to be successful. Take the time to identify cross-functional partners’ content needs and goals and build them into your content production plans.

Step 3: Establish clear brand guidelines

When it comes to branding, consistency is everything. Whether you have a brand style guide or a brand enablement platform like Marq, make sure you have a source of truth that outlines everything that matters to your brand, from typography and color to logos and imagery.

Step 4: Choose the right technology to facilitate content creation

Multiple file types across hundreds of programs create a mess of content only usable by the original content creator. You need shared technology that won’t break the bank, ensures brand consistency, enables users to self-serve their content needs, and empowers everyone to personalize and share content easily.  

Step 5: Implement a process for approvals and check-ins

Brand control doesn’t stop with brand enablement. Instead, it should be easier to get content out the door, and content approvals should work for you, not against you. Align on a process that works for your cross-functional teams and brand protectors.

Step 6: Establish performance metrics and implement feedback loops

Your content is only effective if it drives results. Decide what metrics you will use universally to measure performance and create feedback loops so your team is always looking at the data to drive better content decisions.

6-steps@4x-1024x387

How Marq Makes Brand Enablement Easy

Not all brand enablement tools are built the same, but the best, most comprehensive brand enablement platforms will empower your teams to create stellar on-brand content that drives growth for your business.

With Marq’s ability to convert all of your designs into reusable branded templates, everyone in your org can create and share on-brand content. 

Here’s how Marq works:

how_it_works-01-1024x576

01 Design Anywhere

Creative teams can import existing design files from any platform or create designs locally in the Marq editor. 

Why organizations love this

02 Templatize Anything

With Marq, you can turn any design into a template by locking critical brand elements like fonts, logos, and colors.

Why organizations love this

03 Personalize Everything

Share brand templates across your organization so teams can customize content for their unique audiences.

Why organizations love this

04 Share Everywhere

Teams can immediately publish content without having to leave the Marq platform. Quickly post any project to social media, send it to print, or embed it in an email.

Why organizations love this

Imagine the content output and level of personalization when you put brand enablement to work for your organization.

brand-templates@4x-1024x520


Upgrade your brand management strategy to a brand enablement strategy today. You can schedule a demo here.

Brand Enablement FAQs

What is Brand Enablement, and how does it differ from Branding?

Brand Enablement is a strategic approach that goes beyond traditional branding. While branding focuses on creating a brand identity and recognition, Brand Enablement takes it a step further by empowering brands to thrive in the modern marketplace. It involves providing brands with the necessary tools, technologies, and resources to enhance their presence, engage their target audience, and adapt to evolving market trends. Essentially, Brand Enablement enables businesses to translate their brand vision into tangible, sustainable success.

How can Brand Enablement benefit my business?

Brand Enablement offers numerous benefits for businesses seeking to establish a strong market position. By investing in Brand Enablement, your business can:
Drive Customer Engagement: It helps you create compelling brand experiences that resonate with your target audience, increasing customer loyalty and advocacy.
Competitive Advantage: Brand Enablement allows you to differentiate your brand, making it more memorable and recognizable in a crowded marketplace.
Adaptability and Innovation: With the right tools and technologies, Brand Enablement empowers your brand to adapt quickly to changing market conditions and embrace innovative strategies.
Brand Consistency: It ensures consistency across all brand touchpoints, including online and offline channels, fostering trust and credibility among customers.
Employee Alignment: Brand Enablement aligns your employees with the brand vision, fostering a sense of purpose and enhancing overall productivity.

Content creators are expected to produce large volumes of high-quality, effective, and informative content. A typical content strategy might call for blog articles, white papers, case studies, ad copy, web copy, social media posts, videos, podcasts, and more—all of which have to align with the business’s marketing goals, brand identity, and values.

To achieve the quality, consistency, and creativity essential for marketing success, it’s not enough to have a team of talented creative individuals. Your team needs to work together as a coherent group. Each member must play their role and fulfill their responsibilities. But how can they if those roles and responsibilities are not clearly defined?

In this article, we explore creative team roles and responsibilities. You’ll learn:

We’ll talk about how to find the best roles for your team members based on their skills and strengths, give them the right responsibilities, track their progress over time, and make any changes that are needed along the way.

What Are Roles and Responsibilities?

A job responsibility is a duty or activity a particular employee is expected to carry out. For example, a copywriter’s responsibilities might include writing ad copy, which can be further broken down into the tasks that make that possible: understanding the client’s needs, crafting effective copy, proofreading, etc. 

Some of the roles on a typical content team might include:

On smaller content teams, these roles might be combined in the job description of a single individual. The content strategist might also take on the content editor role. The SEO specialist might also be responsible for analytics. 

On larger teams, one role might be shared between multiple employees. There may be a team of content writers who report to one or more content editors. 

Why Define Content Team Roles and Responsibilities?

Roles and responsibilities help content teams work more efficiently and produce better results. Without defined roles, team members are unclear about who is responsible for what. If your team is confused, they will waste time and lack accountability. 

Many creative people find a lack of structure frustrating, so you may experience higher employee turnover. That’s true even if individual team members are committed, productive employees. Even the most self-motivated creatives need a structure in order to work effectively. 

Role definition also keeps creative professionals focused on their objectives, helping them to make faster progress towards collective goals. They gain a sense of purpose from knowing each role has specific responsibilities that need to be completed to achieve the team’s objectives. 

Finally, setting up roles eliminates overlap or duplication of effort because it is clear who is responsible for different tasks. Outlining these expectations from the start facilitates collaboration and reduces miscommunication or misunderstanding that can hurt team productivity.

Defining Roles for Your Content Team

We’ve established why you should consider defining roles and responsibilities for your creative team. But what’s the best way to go about it? Every team and company is unique, so it’s not simply a matter of handing out roles from the list we suggested above. 

If you have a team already established, it’s more effective to figure out how it works and then make tweaks where necessary to improve efficiency, clarity, and productivity. When developing roles and responsibilities, keep in mind that you will ultimately assign them to team members, so consider each person’s preferences and strengths. 

Observe and Analyze Content Team Processes

It is essential to understand the dynamics of your content team before assigning roles and responsibilities. A thorough analysis of how each member contributes can provide insight into areas where there are gaps in productivity or efficiency. 

When observing your team’s creative processes, pay close attention to how ideas are generated, discussed amongst members, and implemented into projects. Review existing documents that serve as guidelines for both individual workflow and team collaboration, such as weekly calendars or longstanding management goals. 

Additionally, take note of what works well across all aspects of your teams’ workflows; it may be beneficial for certain roles to focus exclusively on providing support in those specific areas rather than having one person juggle many duties at once.

Understanding every member’s role allows them to have more control over their own workload while creating a sense of autonomy within the group dynamic, which ultimately leads to better results with less overall effort.

Create Roles Based on Your Team’s Needs

Examine the tasks that make up each step of the content creation process, from coming up with an idea to publishing and distributing it. List the activities associated with each task and consider how they can be combined into useful roles that reflect the real-world demands on your team. 

You don’t have to split roles along conventional lines if there is an overriding reason not to. For example, if you don’t want one person to handle everything related to a certain area, such as keyword research or copywriting, break it down into smaller responsibilities and create roles that allow for more granular delegation. 

When defining roles for your team, take into account both individual strengths as well as any existing gaps in skills or knowledge within the group. You may find that you need to create additional positions to fill all the roles—an indicator that someone on your team has too much on their plate.

Assign Responsibilities to Roles

It’s easy to get caught up in the process of role design and miss key responsibilities. Take another look at the activities, tasks, and outcomes for which your team is responsible. Doing so will help you find process gaps that hurt productivity and undermine the whole process. Delineate responsibilities and carefully consider which roles they belong to. 

Discuss Roles with Your Team

When developing these roles and responsibilities, discuss them with your entire team before assigning anything. In fact, your team should be involved from the start. They know what their day-to-day looks like, and you are unlikely to have a complete understanding of everything they do. 

Ask team members about their responsibilities, and when you have created a set of roles, ask them to pick holes in your plan. It’s better to find out you’ve missed something during the planning phase than several months down the line. 

On the other hand, don’t let team members dictate roles and responsibilities. Just as you do not have complete insight into their activities, they lack your view of the activities of the team as a whole. 

However, try to be open-minded; allow others to have their say since they might have creative ideas about how to best distribute resources or consolidate duties, which could ultimately lead to greater efficiency and productivity.

Assign Roles to Team Members

Assign roles to team members or hire new employees to fill roles the existing team can’t accommodate. For long-established teams, this can be a disruptive process—team members may not like new responsibilities, and they may resent having responsibilities removed. 

In the long run, though, rationalizing roles and responsibilities should result in a happier and more productive team. Everyone will be aware of their responsibilities, and every responsibility will be assigned to a role. 

Monitor Team Performance and Iterate

You’re unlikely to get everything right at first. There’s no substitute for real-world testing, and you may find that you have missed responsibilities or that workflows don’t function as you had envisioned. Perhaps the allocation of roles to team members doesn’t prove as successful as you might have hoped.

In the months following the reorganization, monitor team productivity and the quality of their output. Talk to team members to get their feedback. Be prepared to adjust roles and responsibilities as new information comes in. 

Marq Helps Creative Teams Manage Roles and Responsibilities

Marq’s brand templating platform empowers creative teams to automate content production workflows and produce consistent branded content. We recognize the importance of roles and responsibilities for creative teams, so the Marq platform offers powerful creative team management features. Administrators can create user and group structures that reflect their organization and share assets, projects, templates, and folders with granular permissions. To find out more, request a free demo with a brand templating expert.

The internet is teeming with sites vying for attention, and a poor first impression could very well be your last. It’s a fine line one walks when it comes to nailing that website design. Some get it right; many don’t. From the layout and navigation to the colors and fonts, everything has something to say about the brand behind the scenes.

Some studies suggest that it only takes 50 milliseconds for a user to decide whether your website is appealing enough. With such a short amount of time, your website needs to wow them fast and leave a strong impression.

Let’s delve deeper into three areas—design, user experience and content—that can make an impact on your viewer, to give you insight into what your website says about your brand.

Driven by design

With dwindling attention spans and fast-changing loyalties, the design of your website plays a huge role in holding the attention of fast-moving visitors and encouraging interaction.

The truth about web design

Source: Kinesis

Organizations spend top dollar to help their websites stand out amongst the noise. With special emphasis on digital marketing strategy, a great website design will help you grab your consumer’s attention.

Traits of a well-designed website

Visual appeal, but for the right audience

Looks matter.

In fact, 38% of users will stop browsing your website if they don’t find it attractive enough. So, a visually appealing website is half the job done. But remember—you are not trying to appeal to everybody.

Good design addresses the target audience with a brand personality users want to engage with. Check out this website, Crypton. It’s designed ideally for a tech-savvy audience.

Crypton homepage

Source: Crypton

Parallax scrolling heightens the user engagement here, but you don’t have to include parallax functionality on every website. Research your buyer personas and use design elements, functions and colors that make your target audience feel right at home.

Your above-the-fold section should do the job

A Nielsen study says the majority of your website visitors will spend 80% of their time above the fold. That’s the section you see without scrolling—call it the opening screen.

The best websites explain what they do in this opening screen. A general practice is to use a headline (think your company’s tagline or mission statement), followed with a brief subtitle text describing your services or products. Top it off with a CTA button to direct visitors toward the next stage in your conversion funnel.

Airbnb does this brilliantly; the headline is the CTA. While there’s no subtitle text, their call-to-action is strengthened by a slideshow of awesome travel photos. Just beneath the headline, a search bar is intuitively placed. The example text in the search bar encourages interaction.

Airbnb homepage

Source: Airbnb

Your design might be ineffective if:

The design approach you take depends on many factors. Location, age brackets, and target groups will certainly affect how your website should look. Having said that, these factors should be the starting points for your design. A well-designed website that considers all these factors will set you apart from the crowd.

User experience counts

Today, it’s all about experiences. You could have a brilliant product or service, but if your website fails to deliver an enjoyable user experience, all that will be for nothing. It all comes down to how you make your customers feel.

The kind of experience users have, good or bad, will stay with them for a long time, even after the browser window is closed. A well-thought-out homepage or landing page with content that resonates will go a long way towards creating a great user experience.

Let’s see what your website’s UX has to say about you.

Good user experience:

Crunchbase homepage

Source: Crunchbase

Airbnb 404 page

Source: Airbnb

Poor user experience:

User experience can make or break your website. To stay ahead of the game, it’s important to take feedback from your visitors. Incorporating that feedback will give your users a sense of gratification and improve future visitors’ experience.

Content will make it all work

Content might be the most important aspect of any website. Well-written content will bring you new traffic and repeat visits.

These days, content isn’t limited to the stuff you read. There’s now an increased demand for visual content. Animations, infographics and GIFs tell stories and illustrate data like never before. Compelling content with clear calls-to-action will eventually drive your users toward conversion.

Take a look at how the quality of your content reflects your brand’s personality.

Characteristics of good content:

HubSpot sales landing page

Source: HubSpot

Characteristics of poor content:

Key takeaway

With so many sites competing for dollars and attention, it’s more important than ever to offer the user an exceptional experience. By breaking down your website into these three areas of design, user experience and content, you can evaluate how well each one contributes to your brand’s success. Conversely, you can also isolate areas that aren’t working and try new ways to engage your audience. When all of these areas represent your brand authentically and consistently, you will enjoy higher traffic, conversions and customer satisfaction.

Want to learn more about building & managing a brand? Check out our free eBook: Managing your brand in the cloud.

Our perception, to a large extent, is governed by vision. We’re attracted to visuals that make us feel good. It’s why retail stores promote special offers with balloons and other decorations, because they know shoppers will get curious enough to come over. The same principle applies to web design and digital marketing.

To illustrate just how effective visuals are in attracting visitors, consider these statistics:

Point is, visual design leaves an impression on visitors. You must learn how to use them wisely. In this post, let’s discuss how visual content like infographics and video can encourage your visitors to convert.

1. Create impact with the right typography

Unlike someone reading a book, visitors on a website don’t consume content from left to right then go down to the next line. In fact, virtually nothing happens in progression. Visitors will either go straight to what they need, or they’ll stop in their tracks if something more interesting catches their eye—like a 30% discount on another brand of detergent, for example.

Today’s designers are using typography to catch and keep visitors’ attention. The size, shape and placement of different fonts will enhance your message, and you can direct the focus where you want it most.

Consider the bold typography on this webpage. The cursive font complements the typewriter font, giving the site a vintage, personal feel. The use of color to emphasize certain words attracts the eye and sets a positive tone.

Increase conversions with visual content

Source: Intechnic

2. Present data visually with infographics

Would you rather read through a bulky PDF filled with stats and long-winded sentences, or a colorful infographic which uses simple icons and text to display information? The choice is pretty obvious. Including a well-designed infographic in your blog post or webpage will persuade people to pause and see what you have to say.

But does it increase conversion? Here’s some compelling evidence:

3. Demonstrate your products with video

Studies show that 73% of consumers are likely to buy a product after they see a video explaining it. The medium has become many shoppers’ favorite way to find information.

Unfortunately, internet users have short attention spans and will only stick around to watch your video if the first few seconds get them hooked. With this in mind, here’s how you can make videos work for you.

4. Convey emotion with creative visual design

There’s a reason why people in life insurance ads are smiling. It’s to reassure us that, despite the somber nature of insurance, these folks are happy and secure with their purchase decision—and you will be, too.

Point is, humans are empathic creatures. We base our emotions on what we perceive around us. We find ourselves smiling involuntarily when we hear someone else laughing, or feeling sad when we see someone else looking miserable.

Brands can use this tendency to their advantage. All it takes is a little creativity. Consider the image on this landing page. Combined with the clever use of typography, it sends a powerful message to anyone who sees it.

Increase conversions with visual content

Source: Scott Michael Davis

Key takeaway

To recap, even visual elements that seem simple—like the font you use—can impact conversion. Visuals that present information in appealing way, like infographics, help to retain visitors and persuade them to convert. If you’re making videos, aim for high quality polish and keep the focus on your products. Finally, visuals stir emotion. Use this to your advantage by getting creative with your visual design.

Create striking visual content in minutes with our easy-to-use desktop publishing software. Get started for free today!

When I was first hired at Lucidpress, I was asked to handle nearly all of our content writing, including the monthly email newsletter. It was a terrifying prospect. Most marketers know that email is a specialized skillset, and it’s easy to screw something up. But not only have we avoided major newsletter snafus, I’ve been able to cut down my time creating a newsletter from one workday… to one hour. That’s a time savings of about 800%, and the newsletters look (and read) better than ever.

So, how did I streamline my process? Here’s how to write a newsletter in three easy steps.

1. Do your homework

I hate starting newsletters from scratch, so I always do research beforehand. If you’re at a larger company, attend important meetings and take notes a few weeks before you start writing. If you’re running a one-man shop, make notes throughout the month. You’ll want to record things like:

Always write down a point-of-contact’s name next to your notes so you know who to seek out for more details. As for the third point, you may not use all the random ideas that pop up, but before long, you’ll have a working list of future email campaigns to test.

2. Clarify your goals

Develop a clear goal, and make sure it’s displayed front-and-center in your newsletter. You might be trying to:

In all likelihood, you’re trying to do several of these at once. Pick the most important one, and make sure it’s represented at the very start of your newsletter. It should also be presented (in a compelling way) in your subject line. The other major points will fall into place and can often be accomplished without text (think strategically placed links, images and calls-to-action).

3. Make it pretty (and repeatable)

Now that you have notes and a clear goal, you can easily write the text of your newsletter. The most important step here is to format your text for maximum readability. You’ll also want a nice-looking layout that communicates your company’s professionalism. Here are my tips for making it happen in under an hour:

Distribution

Ask yourself where your audience is, then decide on your method of distribution. You can go old-school with a printed newsletter or distribute your content digitally; the latter is more common nowadays. Lucidpress’s company newsletter templates allow you to quickly build a professional-looking newsletter, then print or share with a URL. All of our templates can be customized to make school newsletter templatesChristmas newsletter templates and more.

You can push out the link via social media or a website, but remember that you’ll still want to use a dedicated email service to email it. That way, you don’t have to handle subscribes/unsubscribes, CAN-SPAM compliance, and other time-sucking aspects of email management. I’ve had good experiences with MailChimp and Hubspot, but there are many others to choose from.

Here’s how a Lucidpress newsletter looks when you embed it in MailChimp. Pretty snazzy, right? We generate the code for you—just copy and paste it in.

How to write a newsletter

If you’d rather build a newsletter with HTML than embed a Lucidpress newsletter, pick an email service that offers prebuilt layouts. If you can’t do that, enlist the help of a professional web developer to create a few plug-and-play templates.

Text formatting

Lead with items that have the broadest appeal to your audience.

Keep it short, unless you have a good reason to do otherwise. My newsletters rarely exceed 400 words and are usually closer to 200.

This email from MURAL is a great example of how to use text sparingly to get your point across. The copy is brief and easy to read, while the images are carefully positioned to support the text. It all adds up to a highly consumable newsletter.

How to write a newsletter fast

Design

Break up the text with relevant images, buttons and links. Use enough negative space to let all of your design elements breathe. This example from Litographs shows how striking a clean, roomy design can be.

How to write a newsletter quickly

And that’s all, folks: how to write a newsletter in less time than ever before. We’d love to hear your own tips for maximizing effectiveness in marketing—just leave them in the comments.

Ready to make your own newsletter? These free newsletter templates are a great starting point.

Perhaps the term “long-form content” has made its way into the Promotions tab of your inbox a few times recently. Typical best practices for creating digital content suggest short-form content frequently seen in social content and webpages are easier to digest. However, there is a growing demand for long-form content in digital marketing.

What is long-form content?

Basically, long-form content is content with a word count of 1,200 words or more (according to Forbes). It can be a traditional blog post as well as a magazine, an eBook or a white paper, and a lot of voices are saying it’s the next big thing.

Do you have a negative knee-jerk reaction when you see someone touting long-form content’s wonders? Maybe what comes to mind is 7,000 words of text forming an intimidating mass that could cause minor head trauma if picked up and swung. Or possibly horrible flashbacks to school textbooks.

Let me start by saying that I am a millennial through and through, so thinking about a lot of boring text doesn’t really get me going. However, I am a believer in using long-form content in your content strategy.

Why?

Because if content (of any kind) is good enough, then people will stay on board for the long haul. [Tweet this]

This means they’ll spend more time with your brand and come to rely on you for dependable information and thought leadership.

Sure, our attention spans are getting shorter, but I like to think that, in many cases, what that really means is that we’re getting better at quickly determining what we want to spend time on and what we don’t care about. To survive a digital world filled to the brim with content, we have to pass on a lot of things, and do it quickly.

But think, for example, of the enormous success of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Though each of the films had a runtime of about 3 hours, the trilogy became a sensation and earned a whopping $2.9 billion worldwide. Why were people willing to follow 9 hours of film? Because there was a good story to tell. It was engaging and entertaining, and it was important to people.

What is long-form content?

To really drive this point home, think about all the people that weren’t satisfied with just 9 hours of LOTR and bought the extended editions so they could get even more of what they loved. If you’re on an exciting roller coaster, you’re not waiting for it to end—you want more!

So how can your content marketing capture people’s attention like The Lord of the Rings? It boils down to two things: looking good and being interesting. The trilogy was visually stunning, and it had a captivating story. With hard work, your content can achieve the same results.

If you find an engaging story to tell and give some thought to the design of your content, you can create something that will add value to your readers and keep them coming back for more. The film example demonstrates that length and storytelling easily coexist when the story’s right—but what about good design?

How can long-form content look good?

To speak to aesthetically motivated fears, I actually think that good long-form content can sometimes be more visually appealing and less intimidating than its alternative. Take for example, these two versions of the CRM tool Highrise’s website.

What is long-form content marketing?

My first impression is that the original design is overwhelming and all over the place. It stresses me out trying to decide where to begin. The long-form design, on the other hand, is inviting and easy to follow. It’s designed in a way that is engaging, even while being longer. And here’s the kicker: Highrise’s long-form redesign increased conversions by 37.5%.

One reason that people may be more comfortable with a long-form design like Highrise’s is that it jives with what we’ve become accustomed to over hundreds of years. We’ve been reading books for a long time, so the layout of a long-form piece of content recalls familiar memories of your favorite novel. This effect is the result of careful design, and that’s where I feel Lucidpress can make a big difference. But more on that later.

What are some other benefits of long-form content?

In 2012, serpIQ conducted a study of more than 20,000 keywords and found that the top 10 search engine results had an average content length of more than 2,000 words, with the average number of words in the #1 spot at 2,416. Since long-form pages rank better in search engines on average, it’s likely more people will find your page and become customers. A few words from Google hint at the SEO possibilities of long-form content marketing:

“Users often turn to Google to answer a quick question, but research suggests that up to 10% of users’ daily information needs involve learning about a broad topic. That’s why today we’re introducing new search results to help users find in-depth articles.”

Pandu Nayak, creator of the Panda algorithm update

Another long-form content success story is Crazy Egg. They increased conversion rates by more than 30% with the use of long-form content. Also, this long-form content was approximately 20x longer than the previous version. That’s pretty dramatic, but so is a 30% increase in conversions. Here’s what Conversion Rate Experts had to say on the matter:

“The media would have us believe that people no longer have any capacity to concentrate. In reality, you cannot have a page that’s too long—only one that’s too boring. In the case of Crazy Egg’s homepage, visitors wanted their many questions answered and that’s what we delivered.”

I completely agree.

How to get started creating long-form content:

1. Determine your area of expertise. This will help you know what topic to write about. For me, I work in content marketing, so I feel like I have something to offer there. For you, it may be design, SEO, entrepreneurship, or, I don’t know, beekeeping. You’ll be able to tell the best story if you’re talking about something you’re closely involved with.

2. Research. For this post, I started out by googling “innovative long-form content.” Build on your expertise by looking deeply into current trends, statistics, and conversations.

3. Identify your target audience. All content needs to be relevant to your audience, but it’s especially important for keeping your reader’s attention with long-form content

4. Decide on your medium. It may be a blog post, but it also might be a magazine, an eBook or a white paper. Determine the type of content that will give your story the best presentation and resonate most with your audience. For example, this post could have worked with a white paper or eBook template, but it wouldn’t have been right for a magazine. A magazine might be better for a monthly newsletter with highlights across several different areas rather than a singular focus.

5. Start writing, then tell everyone you know about it once you’re done!

Standout examples of long-form content

Now that we’ve talked about the benefits of long-form content, let’s take a look at the innovators. There are some companies and organizations out there who are really nailing long-form content, and I’d like to go over 5 examples. Let’s dive in.

1. NewsCred

NewsCred has mastered the art of the seemingly impossible by making the white paper sexy. They understand visual storytelling, and they’ve invested a lot in the future of content marketing. Here’s a page from one of their white papers:

What is long-form design?

It’s manageable, it’s compelling, and it goes on for 35 pages. And you know what? I read through all of it. It captured my attention, and I walked away with valuable insights. NewsCred shows not just how long-form content can be compelling, but content in general. The long-form aspect of their content isn’t a gimmick—it’s just the best way to present the story they’re telling.

What NewsCred got right:

2. Insider Journeys

Long-form content example

Take a look at the beginning of this piece of content on Insider Journeys’ blog. Does it look like the start to an intimidating, boring content piece?

No. It’s immediately engaging and intriguing. Right when I opened it up, it had my attention, which it kept as I scrolled through page after page of what I think is best categorized as a mini-site.

I think this piece is the most elegant and beautiful long-form content I’ve come across in my research. It also defies expectations of what long-form content is. As you progress through the mini-site, there are intriguing facts, fun stories, and even a recipe for “the perfect Vietnamese coffee.”

Long-form storytelling example

On Insider Journeys’ mini-site, we see a marriage of design, copywriting and storytelling presented in a refreshingly compelling way. They’ve set the bar for what businesses can strive for with their content, and I have a hunch that content like this will stand out as the web gets increasingly crowded.

What Insider Journeys got right:

3. Towergate Insurance

Wait! Don’t click away because you saw “insurance” and nearly died from boredom. Yes, insurance isn’t the most entertaining subject you may come across, but Towergate has made a noteworthy accomplishment with long-form content by making insurance accessible.

The piece of content I’d like to specifically point out is a guide to commercial property insurance, which isn’t really my cup of tea. But I was impressed with how, after a quick scan, I was able to comprehend the main idea of a fairly dense topic.

Towergate’s clarity kept me from getting lost in volumes of unbroken text. This effect was enhanced by the clean layout of the content. Take a look:

Long-form content about insurance

What Towergate got right:

I’d like to give credit to this great Moz article for helping me find this and the previous example.

4. Hip-Hop University

DIY digital magazine

This example, along with the following one, are examples of long-form content that was made in Lucidpress. Before I go further, I want to be transparent about my motives here. First of all, I think these are great examples of well-designed, interesting long-form content made by smaller organizations. Beyond that, at Lucidpress, we really feel that businesses and organizations can benefit from using our product to revitalize their content marketing, especially in the long-form content space where design is crucial.

“Lucidpress template design makes everything very user friendly. I signed up to Lucidpress with no experience, but was able to achieve all of my needs and more.”

Albert Carter, co-founder of Hip-Hop University

Now back to Hip-Hop University’s digital magazine. There are two big reasons why I really like what they’re doing with this magazine. First of all, it’s a great example of long-form content presented in a unique way. Second, I appreciate Hip-Hop University’s commitment to furthering digital publishing and embracing its potential for content marketing.

Long-form content goes beyond the blog. You can have phenomenal long-form content in the form of digital magazines, eBooks, and as we saw earlier, white papers.

What Hip-Hop University got right:

5. International Academy of Wedding and Event Planning

This academy did a beautiful job with its 2016 Wedding Trend Report, and it’s all made in Lucidpress. This report is similar in form to an eBook, and it shows how diverse long-form content can be. The 2016 Wedding Trend Report combines illustration, photos and text to keep the content interesting, and it even utilizes Lucidpress’s interactive features with an embedded Youtube video.

Long-form interactive content example

What the International Academy got right:

Go forth and be awesome

I hope that something in this post has resonated with you and sparked some ideas about long-form content. It might be worth noting that this post is itself a piece of long-form content, and that’s because I really do think that long-form content will play an important role in content marketing’s future.

Go out and start experimenting with your content to find what fits best with your brand. You’ll need to determine what story you want to tell, and then tell it in a genuine, transparent way that lets your passion shine through. If it’s a good story, people will listen.

Learn how Lucidpress can streamline your brand’s content marketing and keep your whole team on the same page.

As the great Hannah Montana once said, “Everybody makes mistakes!”. Still, when it comes to your brand, some mistakes can’t be laughed off. Bad design choices can not only cause confusion among your customers, but can ultimately damage your brand’s legitimacy and cause you to lose business. 

In this post, we’ll explore several of the most common design mistakes we see from brands, and explain how to avoid making them.

7 common design mistakes

Lack of white/negative space

Let’s say you’re designing a flyer for your business. You might think you need to cram in as much information as you can – you want people to know exactly what you’re all about, right? But good design is all about balance, and this line of thinking often creates designs that are way too busy. 

Too much text, graphic design, or competing elements can be overwhelming and intimidating for your audience. Take old website designs like this for example:

image4-1

I don’t know about you, but thinking about having to navigate through all of that clutter is already making me tired. 


How to avoid: Be intentional about incorporating enough negative or white space into your designs. Choose 1-2 key elements to highlight and give them plenty of space to breathe.

Inconsistency

Inconsistency in design can happen in a variety of ways, from using too many different fonts and colors, to simply not having a unified look and feel to your designs. And while it certainly doesn’t look good, the problem here goes deeper. Inconsistent design is at best annoying, and at worst confusing – and the last thing you want your customers to be is confused.

image1-1-1024x544

How to avoid: We’re big believers in brand consistency, and we recommend brands take the time to build out a comprehensive brand style guide before getting started on any marketing materials. Your style guide will outline exactly what fonts, color palettes, and types of imagery to use so you never have to worry about publishing something inconsistent with your brand.

Walls of text

Unless you’re reading a gripping novel, no one likes having to muscle through walls of text. According to research, only 1 in 5 people actually read web content word for word. Most people skim or quickly scan to see if they want to continue looking at something in greater detail. You’ve only got a couple of seconds to hook someone – so don’t immediately turn them off with imposing blocks of text. 
How to avoid: When designing with text in mind, follow the rules of visual hierarchy. This is the idea of placing your graphic or textual elements in order of importance. Let people know what to read first, second, third, and so on. Here’s a great example of visual hierarchy in action.

image5-1-1024x591

Low contrast

Have you ever had to squint to read something, even if you were holding it up close? That could possibly be because of low contrast. Check out the examples below:

Which is easiest to see? Definitely #1, right? That’s why whether you’re working with visual or textual elements, you want to be designing with high contrast in mind. High contrast means everyone will be able to read and understand your design.

image3-1

How to avoid: Double check your color palettes for contrast using this handy tool here. Anything above a 4:5:1 ratio for normal text is considered readable.

Lack of accessability

Speaking of low-contrast, let’s talk about some other common ways designs can inadvertently become inaccessible. 

A few of the most common accessibility mistakes we see are:

How to avoid: Accessibility makes your content open and available for everyone. Familiarizing yourself with design accessibility standards can help give you a new perspective, and offer valuable tips on how to design for everyone.

Poor quality, irrelevant imagery

The pictures, images, and graphic art elements you choose to use says a lot about what you’re brand is all about, and nothing looks more unprofessional than blurry, pixelated, or irrelevant imagery. 

When thinking about visual elements, make sure they make sense in the context of your overall brand or product goals. For (an extreme) example, you wouldn’t use imagery of tropical fruits and palm trees to advertise an Italian restaurant.

How to avoid: Always ensure your imagery is consistent with your brand. Then, don’t forget to use the right image format to ensure proper scalability and applicability. For example, since raster images are made up of pixels, they look pixelated when blown up. Vector images, on the other hand, can be sized however you need without becoming blurry or pixelated.

Not investing in quality software

If you want to create and publish professional-quality designs, then you need professional software. While there are many free design softwares available online today, many don’t offer the flexibility and usability that professional tools do. What’s more, many of them rely on stock images and raster graphics, which as we mentioned before, have limited utility. 
How to avoid: Investing in a quality design software can drastically improve your design workflow, from allowing you to save and reuse templates, to opening up collaboration with anyone in your business. Take a look at our platform overview for more info on the kinds of features a great design platform should offer.

Key takeaway

Your designs can uplift your business – or take it downhill. Understanding the basics of good design will help you avoid the most common mistakes, and take your creativity to new heights. Want more resources on how to build a stunning brand? Check out our blog here.

In today’s digitized, inter-connected world, it’s all too easy to send a text or an email to someone and forget about it. Whether it’s an e-card for Mom’s birthday or a PDF brochure for a prospective client, digital content is incredibly efficient and convenient. But as any library lover will tell you, there’s just no replacement for the printed word.

Here at Lucidpress, we offer our own Print & Ship service, so users can create unique designs and bring them to life through print. We’re talking cardsbusiness cards, flyers, documents, brochures, you name it. Ordering gorgeous, high-quality prints is a feature that more of our users requested than any other—and we’re here to deliver (pun very much intended).

https://youtu.be/SVIfLnJjrmA

Not sure about the value of print in a digital world? Here’s a few reasons why we believe print will never die.

Scarcity

Print is collectible

Now that so many things are shared digitally, print stands out. Well-placed printed materials can grab attention for your business, so they’re a boon to your marketing. And because printing is more expensive, printed materials carry more authority and credibility than they did before, because someone took the effort to produce them.

Ever hear of “supply and demand”? Digitized content eliminates the supply and demand curve, because supply is infinite. But with printed content, the curve still stands. Printed items are tangible and maintain their scarcity. Certain printed items, like concert and movie posters, can even become collectibles because they evoke strong memories of a certain time and place. Can’t do that with a PDF.

Beauty

Print is beautiful

No matter how popular eBooks get, there is always a stalwart bunch who refuse to get rid of their old books. Why? One possibility is this: books and printed materials have physical beauty that can be appreciated again and again over time. Book-binding itself can be described as an art, one which has evolved and developed a rich history. We know how important aesthetics are—just take a look at our previous blog post about book covers.

The point is, printed materials like books have varied appearances and styles. Digital materials are often homogenized down to black text on a white screen. And while that is useful and efficient for conveying information, the appreciation of unique physical beauty is lost.

Sentimentality

Print is sentimental

How many photos are saved on your phone or hard drive? When I last checked, mine had over 3,000 (and counting). But when was the last time I sat down and flipped through all those photos? Hardly ever.

Photos in particular are a record of permanence, a memory you can hang in your home or office. I may not glance at the pictures on my phone very often, but I pass by the picture of my nephew hanging on my wall every day. And each time I see it, my heart fills with joy. Certain photos deserve to be printed and cherished in scrapbooks, frames, lockets and wallets.

Printed materials are a powerful reminder of something concrete. Following the same principle as photos, you can create strong impressions by providing printed materials for your business. If you’re at a trade show, for example, it’s far more impactful to hand someone a brochure than to give them a link to a landing page.

Practicality

Print is practical

Wait, but didn’t I say digital materials are the more convenient choice? Sure. But that doesn’t mean print is lacking in practical benefits. Here are a few reasons you might choose print over digital:

Digital might have its advantages, but one thing is clear: print is not now, or ever, really going away. Its purpose and value might shift over time, but today, it makes more sense than ever to print what matters most. Whether you’re sharing a photo postcard for the holidays or business cards at a trade show, Lucidpress can help you bring your ideas into the real world.

Ready to design your own print ideas? Lucidpress makes it easy to create beautifully branded content in a matter of minutes.

A picture truly tells a thousand words. From pie charts to cartograms, infographics have been around since the first humans learned to scratch symbols into the dirt. After all, an infographic is composed of only three vital elements: visual, content and knowledge—qualities shared by the earliest of cave drawings and the most technical of modern computer-aided data visualization.

Today online tools (such as Lucidpress) empower anyone to create infographics, but this visual format is not new. In fact, they are among the oldest forms of communication, and it only makes sense that they’ve retained their function throughout human history. People are visually wired.

An astonishing 50% of the human brain is involved in visual processing, and 70% of its sensory receptors are in the eyes. It takes less than one-tenth of a second to take in new visual scene: 150 milliseconds to process a viewed symbol, and another 100 milliseconds to attach meaning to it.

Every day, people are exposed to increasing amounts of information. In fact, the average person is exposed to five times as much information today than in 1986. As our brains adapt to process more information, the infographic’s efficiency at quickly and clearly conveying a message makes it a more vital form of communication. It’s no wonder the use of infographics in literature has increased by more than 400% since 1990. Likewise, the use of infographics on the internet—where users are barraged with a constant stream of changing information—has grown nearly 10x since 2007.

People of earlier times may have had less data to deal with, but that didn’t make the infographic any less useful for them to share their understanding of the world. Early forms of visual communication helped people of long ago tell stories, document the lay of the land and visualize scientific discoveries. Here are 6 ways infographics changed the course of human history.

Cave paintings

In its most basic form, an infographic is a visual communication method that tells and records a story—and isn’t that precisely what prehistoric cave drawings did? Forty millennia ago, the first storytellers painted the tales of early human culture, recounting births, deaths, massacres and celebrations, as well as plants and animals living among them in the Ice Age. Those early recordings provide invaluable information to modern audiences. For example, the paintings within Brazil’s Serra da Capivara, thought to date back as far as 36,000 years ago, challenged the theory that humans first migrated into South America in about 9,000 B.C.

Cave paintings in Serra da Capivara

But cave paintings are more than mere artwork; they were also informative to ancient men. Western European cave drawings depicted complex designs that archaeologists believe are primitive maps of the stars. One particular French cave contained thousands of drawings of people, animals and abstract representations believed to be part of the Summer Triangle constellation. Other cave paintings studied by archaeologists are now thought to be the earliest-known depictions of volcanic eruptions and help modern scientists understand volcanic activity in the early days of human history.

Hieroglyphics

It’s been 5,000 years since the ancient Egyptian civilization thrived, but the society left vast recordings of its culture. Hieroglyphics are a form of infographic used to describe ancient Egyptians’ lives, work and religion, while fabulously preserving their way of life. Not only did hieroglyphics feature drawings that represented objects and ideas, the written language also evolved to represent sounds with symbols.

Like many infographics, Egyptian hieroglyphics were meaningless to early archaeologists without a key. Therefore, the Rosetta Stone, the 1799 discovery that deciphered Egyptians’ pictorial language, is without a doubt one of history’s most valuable infographics.

Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs

The stone engraving, a decree from King Ptolemy V, features three scripts: Egyptian hieroglyphs, Egyptian Demotic script and Ancient Greek. By comparing the pictorial decree to other known written languages, archaeologists were finally able to decipher the ancient hieroglyphs uncovered across time.

Just as the Rosetta Stone unlocked the secrets of Ancient Egypt, translation and common understanding are key in today’s global society. According to K International, translation can make or break a brand now more than ever before—all because of the e-commerce market. Since 2007, global online sales have increased 17%, and China is now the largest global consumer of luxury goods—25% of all sales.

While words and phrases may vary, images are universally understood around the world.

Maps

Maps were one of the first infographics early people designed and distributed, and cartography has remained an integral science for thousands of years. From primitive maps drawn inside caves and the ancient maps of Babylon to the Age of Exploration’s changing maps and 21st-century maps of the universe, people draw diagrams to help them navigate the world.

The earliest-known maps don’t depict cities, roads or waterways at all, but the heavens above. Dots drawn within caves map out parts of the night sky and its constellations. Dots drawn inside a French cave more than 16,000 years ago map stars as seen by ancient Europeans. The oldest atlas ever discovered, the Dunhuang star atlas, was created on an ancient Chinese scroll almost 1,400 years ago.

The earliest-known map representing the natural landscape was a crude representation discovered in the Czech Republic and has been dated to 25,000 B.C., and ancient Babylonians were already using accurate surveying techniques by 600 B.C.—although their view of the world was limited to the known environment of the time: a circular area surrounded by water.

Regional maps retained the primitive qualities of the Babylonian Map of the World for centuries, but by the end of the medieval period, Europeans were mapping their nautical trade routes using accurate navigational directions.

Ortelius World Map 1570

With the discovery of the Americas, Europeans’ interest in mapping piqued as nations struggled to control new lands and resources. The first-known cartographic representations of the Americas—as well as Europe, Asia and Africa—were designed by Spanish cartographer Jean de la Cosa, who sailed across the Atlantic with Christopher Columbus. Were it not for him and a handful of other Spanish and Portuguese explorers, the New World would have remained in darkness, discouraging the settlement that followed.

Even today, maps are one of the most common forms of infographics. Easily-recognizable locations form the basis of many efficient infographics that instantly convey a message. For example, when Fractl needed to create an infographic that was not only timely but could appeal to a large audience, it chose to map the hometowns and locations of 75 Marvel characters. The infographic was highly effective, and the map was featured in 365 publications.

“Maps are great for compiling a lot of information into a single graphic,” explained the map’s designer. “When you look at a map of the United States, you are effectively viewing 50 different data sets at once, but because we see maps all the time, the mind can easily absorb the information being presented.”

Early charts & graphs

Throughout most of human history, data visualization was limited because data was limited. Then, thanks to various sciences, scads of information—about demographics, economics, geography and weather patterns—emerged. And people needed a way to more easily analyze all this information.

By the end of the 18th century, most charts used today—histograms, pie charts, bar and line graphs—were already in use, introduced to the world in William Playfair‘s 1786 publication, Commercial and Political Atlas.

A Scotsman schooled in drafting, Playfair decided to use his skills to illustrate economic data. At the time, such information was commonly represented in tables, but Playfair transformed the data into infographics. In one famous line graph, he charted the price of wheat against the cost of labor, countering the popular opinion that wages were driving up grain costs and demonstrating that wages were, in fact, rising much more slowly than the product’s cost.

Playfair's Time Series

Playfair held a keen understanding of data visualization for his time, and he speculated that the brain can process images more efficiently than words. He argued that good data visualization is about “giving form and shape to a number of separate ideas, which are otherwise abstract and unconnected.” According to Playfair’s writings, data should “speak to the eyes,” because they are “the best judge of proportion, being able to estimate it with more quickness and accuracy than any other of our organs.”

Political diagrams

One of the greatest social issues of the 19th century, slavery was the subject of one of America’s most historical infographics. After the southern states seceded in 1860 and 1861, Union military leaders needed a strategy to invade Virginia.

Meanwhile, the federal Coast Survey department produced a map of Virginia that would prove pivotal in the Civil War. Based on data from the 1860 census, the map depicted slave populations in each of Virginia’s counties, one of the first to represent population with shading—the darker the county was shaded on the map, the more slaves were held there.

Coast Survey Slave Map

By examining the map, it immediately became evident that eastern Virginia was a slavery hotspot, while the western portion of the state was relatively slave-free. Therefore, Union forces deduced that Virginians in the western counties would likely fight for slavery less ferociously, and they might even change teams.

“It was a breakthrough map,” noted Susan Schulten, University of Denver historian and author of “Mapping the Nation.” “It was an attempt to influence how the government saw the nation, and how the military understood it. It drove Lincoln’s attention to where slavery was weakest.”

Later, when the U.S. Coast Survey produced another map that charted slave density across the Confederacy, President Lincoln consulted the infographic throughout the remainder of the war, relying on it to understand in which areas Southerners would be more and less dedicated to a fight.

Political maps and diagrams continue to influence public policy today. Although the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees consists of an 8,000 person staff that collects enormous amounts of data on global refugee displacements, the organization has struggled to communicate its information in a meaningful way.

In a new approach, the agency commissioned an infographic to narrate 40 years of refugee data. The interactive graphic highlights where and when refugees emigrate and tells the complex stories of political, social and economic turmoil that lead to each displacement.

Since launching in 2014, the project has accrued more than 5 million page views, has been shared on Twitter to millions via humanitarian organizations such as Amnesty International, and it was even awarded a Gold Medal for Interactive at the prestigious Molofiej 22 Infographic Awards.

A message from Earth

The 20th century saw the advent of mass media, and publications quickly adopted infographics to efficiently convey complex information and data. As programming languages were born, computer-generated graphics pictorially depicted massive amounts of data, advancing all aspects of science and technology. But throughout all the advancements in visual storytelling, one thing remained clear: infographics are a universal language.

Thus, when NASA decided to send a message from mankind to extraterrestrial lifeforms, it determined an infographic would most likely do the job. In 1972 and 1973, aluminum plaques were placed aboard the Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft, each depicting a pictorial message. Each plaque featured simple drawings of a nude male and female human, as well as symbols designed to indicate the Sun’s position in the galaxy.

The Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft were the first human-built objects capable of enough velocity to escape the solar system. NASA turned to world-famous cosmologist Carl Sagan to design the ultimate message in a bottle. One diagram depicted the chemical makeup of hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe.

The drawings of the humans included a diagram that pictorially calculates their height compared to the spacecraft, and the man’s right hand is raised as a sign of good will. (Of course no person on Earth can know if extraterrestrial intelligence will identify that raised hand as a peaceful symbol, but scientists hope the gesture is universal.)

Carl Sagan holding the Pioneer Plaque

A radial pattern on the plaque consists of 15 lines emanating from a center origin, indicating the distances of pulsars to the Sun, allowing recipients to pinpoint the location of launch in space and time. Finally, a diagram of the Solar System was inscribed on the plaques, depicting the launch location and trajectory of the two spacecraft. With any luck, the universal languages of mathematics and visual storytelling will tell unknown intelligent life that we are here, and we come in peace.

We most certainly live in an era of data visualization. Graphics charting everything from election polls to physical activity are found everywhere from the newspaper and television to the computer and smartphone. But in order to understand the elements of a successful infographic, we must remember that visual storytelling isn’t a new phenomenon, and the elements that worked for the ancients are still at play today.

Ready to make history with your data? Try Lucidpress to create gorgeous infographics for your brand—no expert design knowledge required.

If you’re thinking about pursuing a design career, you probably already know that you should learn from those who came before you and left a permanent mark in the world of graphic design. Being familiar with the big names and their influential works will provide inspiration as you learn from the best.

There are hundreds of designers who have bent the rules and challenged boundaries, completely changing the way we see design. But today, we’re looking at just 5 pioneers of modern graphic design that we think you should know.

1. Milton Glaser

Milton Glaser is one of the most successful graphic designers in the world. He’s an American, most famous for his “I love New York” logo. He designed it in 1977 to promote tourism in the city, and it’s become the most widely distributed logo ever.

His other masterpieces include the Brooklyn Brewery logo, the DC Comics logo and a psychedelic Bob Dylan poster, among a number of stunning designs that made him one of the most celebrated graphic designers ever. He’s received many awards for his work, and many pieces have found permanent homes in the collections of art museums. He was also the first graphic designer to receive the National Medal of the Arts award from President Obama in 2009.

2. Stefan Sagmeister

Stefan Sagmeister is an Austrian graphic designer and typographer who started his design career at the young age of 15. He’s based in New York, where he’s co-founded a design agency with Jessica Walsh called Sagmeister & Walsh Inc. He introduced his first agency (Sagmeister Inc.) to the design world in 1993 with a nude photo and has continued to produce provocative designs that rarely fail to capture an audience’s attention.

He’s known for unorthodox, thought-provoking designs and has worked with a number of artists. Some of his famous clients include HBO, the Rolling Stones, and the Guggenheim Museum. He’s also collaborated with musicians Lou Reed and David Byrne. The artwork he created for Reed’s album Set the Twilight Reeling is particularly striking.

3. Neville Brody

Neville Brody is an English graphic designer, typographer and art director. He founded Research Studios (now Brody Associates) and works at the Royal College of Art in London as the department head of Communication Art & Design. He’s widely known for his work in the magazines Arena and The Face. He also redesigned The Times newspaper (introducing the Times Modern font) in 2006. Many of his works are included in the permanent collection of New York’s MOMA.

He’s famous for designing album covers for artists like Depeche Mode, the Bongos, and Cabaret Voltaire. He once said: “Design is more than just a few tricks to the eye. It’s a few tricks to the brain.” That is exactly what his designs accomplish—they carve their way into the mind, where they inspire us to see the world through different glasses.

4. David Carson

David Carson is an American graphic designer and art director who is best known for his “grunge” typography that defined a new era in graphic design. He was the art director of Ray Gun magazine and once used Zapf Dingbats as the font for an entire article in the magazine—a font that contains only symbols.

That is exactly why his designs are so compelling—because he is bold and not afraid to experiment with our assumptions. He thinks beyond common practices in design and typography, which makes his work unique and, often, mesmerizing. Interestingly, he was also a professional surfer and ranked as the 9th best surfer in the world in 1989.

5. Paula Scher

Paula Scher is an American graphic designer and educator whose impact and influence run deep. In 1991, she became the first female principal at the design studio Pentagram, and she’s widely known for designs that offer bold identity and outstanding visual personality.

Some examples of her design work include the logos for Microsoft Windows 8 and Office 2010, as well as branding for The Public Theater, the New York Shakespeare Festival in Central Park, the Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Opera, and the New York City Ballet. She also designed the interior for the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and created a middle-school program for environmental graphics in Brooklyn. She’s a renowned painter whose works go beyond the realm of graphic design.

Key takeaway

Learning from the greats will certainly inspire you and get your creative juices flowing. Have these five inspired you in your work? Who else would you add? Tell us which designers inspire you below, and we just might include them in a future post.

Inspired to bring your own graphic design projects to life? Here’s why Lucidpress is the best choice for gorgeous online design.

Bonus: ASMR for graphic designers

Need a laugh? Put on those headphones and settle into this vector-tracing, Comic-Sans-destroying, design-thinking ASMR experience.


From Facebook posts by old friends asking you to try products that “really work,” to those email subscriptions you’re sure you never signed up for, people are constantly bombarding you with information from all platforms. Everyone wants your attention, and it’s up to you to determine what makes the cut. Our eyes can only process so much—and our brains can interpret even less.

This fact is well-known to marketers, who constantly work to create new and exciting content to be consumed by target audiences. The job of marketers is growing increasingly more difficult as the days of simply creating interesting, insightful, witty, easily understood yet informative content are over. On top of everything their positions entailed before the age of social media and email campaigns, marketers now have the additional task of differentiating themselves from everyone else who is trying to do the exact same thing.

So, how is it done? How can one business’s content stand apart from the overabundance of black-and-white text being hurled at consumers across the globe?

The answer lies in visual content—like infographics. We’ve compiled a list of 32 stats and facts that demonstrate the importance of visuals in your marketing messages. These stats can help you disseminate content that is read instead of skipped.

How do we process information?

Why should you use infographics?

The importance of visual content in social media

How does this affect marketing?

The statistics speak for themselves: visual content is essential to capturing and holding the attention of potential readers. As the data shows, however, over 17% of marketers spend more than five hours per week creating visuals in order to brand their business and disseminate information. Five hours per week spent creating infographics is five hours per week not spent improving your business.

So how do you keep up with the stunning visual content of competitors but also spend significantly less time in the creation process? The solution is Lucidpress: a web-based design platform that empowers even the most novice of designers to create impressive visual content. Using our simple drag-and-drop formatting will help you spend less time branding your business and more time building it.

Create striking visual content in minutes with our easy-to-use infographic templates. Get started for free today!

A well-constructed digital marketing campaign can offer limitless possibilities for businesses who are open to implementing new, proactive strategies to go along with their most-revered traditional ones. After all, mixing up some old and new campaigns can bring interesting and promising results to data-driven businesses.

Among the most cost-effective ways to build and maintain a connection with your audience is through an email newsletter program. Yes, those recurring emails you’re used to receiving from your favorite brands and personalities can also be a catalyst for your own brand’s long-term success.

It’s easy to set up, too. For example, newsletter software like ActiveTrail’s email marketing automation platform (which offers newsletter templates and a responsive email editor) can be a great complement to the visuals you design in Lucidpress. But in any case, if you’re not yet implementing this strategy, here are 4 reasons to set up your own newsletter program soon.

Stabilize the flow of information

Your website and blog might offer the best content on the internet, but the thing is, most online visitors will still rarely spend more than a few seconds on any webpage. That’s why a proactive support system should be in place to keep people coming back. Remember, a blog often requires people to initiate contact, and as a business, this behavior can translate to inconsistent returns. But if you have an ongoing newsletter campaign, you can conveniently reach out to your customers and drive further engagement. By giving your audience instant access to promotions, new products and other updates, people will have a much easier time understanding what your brand can do for them.

Increase brand awareness

A newsletter can carry a substantial amount of information, making it easier to create awareness around your products and services. By proactively sending out new messages, customers and prospects will come to feel your brand is familiar and will think of it more often. It’s an efficient and consistent way to remind people of your presence, and if your content is timely and compelling, it’ll drive your audience to act.

Connect with new prospects

It’s no secret that people love to window-shop online. Much of the time, people are passively looking for products and services that they want, but they simply don’t have the time, money or right reason to buy now. A newsletter that provides prospective clients with valuable information helps them make favorable decisions when the right time comes. Use your newsletter to prove your expertise and stay in touch with potential customers until they’re ready to strike a deal.

Keep existing customers in the funnel

You lose some and you gain some. But how about gaining more? Companies can never completely eliminate churn, but a thoughtful newsletter campaign can certainly reduce the risk of annoying your recipients. By keeping them in the loop, getting their feedback, and introducing them to your latest offerings, customers will feel like you have something more to offer and that you’re consistently improving your services. The more you stay in touch with customers, the more likely they’ll feel valued and appreciated. [Tweet this]

Are you feeling inspired and optimistic about starting your own newsletter campaign? Don’t wait—roll out a program now and keep the deals coming in, not only from your existing customers, but from the thousands of prospective customers out there.

Here’s more than a dozen free newsletter templates to help you get started.

A good content marketing strategy should explain why a company is making the marketing decisions that it is. Anyone reading should see why content marketing is being used, why certain decisions are being made, and why the company wants the image it’s pursuing.

Unfortunately, since content marketing varies as widely as the brands using it, myths and legends about how to make it work still abound. With 70% of B2B brands planning to use content marketing next year, these myths will continue to spread into a new generation of marketing campaigns. That is, unless we marketers agree to let these myths go the way of Bigfoot and Nessie.

New to content marketing? Start off on the right foot with Lucidpress.

Let’s go viral! There’s this idea that the best way to market a brand is by latching onto an outrageous topic which will immediately grab the attention of anyone around. (Oh look, a shiny thing!) While interesting topics are undoubtedly fun, they’re not always a surefire win. Marketing topics should always coincide with the company’s message and values. Remember that trending topics rarely remain so, and one can quickly change from being adored to being annoying. Sigh—crowds can be so fickle. But setting smart goals for your content, whether it’s brand awareness or targeted selling, will help you keep the company’s mission as your North Star.

An example of doing this the right way? Our sister brand Lucidchart created this hilarious video about dogs (erm, that is, “doggos”) that is not only timely Internet humor—it also shows off what you can do with the product. In this case, the topic and the brand fit neatly into the middle of the viral Venn diagram, and the video has been a huge success.

Myth #2: Keywords are the most important factor

One particularly pervasive myth is that marketers should trust keyword data above all—even over the intentions of potential customers as shown by their search queries. In order for keywords to work at their best, they must be focused on the customer’s journey. SEO tools will only get you halfway there. [Tweet this]

Use keyword data to inform your content marketing strategy, not determine it outright. Think about why someone would search for a particular keyword—and what questions they have that aren’t being answered by existing search results. Match individual keywords to the different personas your brand targets so you can speak to the audience who most wants to hear what you have to say. All of this should lead to more interesting, relevant content that’s more valuable than simply writing about a keyword.

Note: Another myth surrounding keywords is that using them removes any creativity from writing altogether. Not only is this pretty lazy thinking—it actively undermines content writing as a means of marketing the business. SEO and content marketing should work together to support one another, and neither should become too dominant in your strategy. This leads us to our next myth…

Myth #3: All storytelling, no selling

Content marketing is a form of marketing (shocking, I know) which uses storytelling to draw in prospects and excite them about your brand, product or service. Around half of marketers admit to focusing more on the creative work than on measuring the results—which means they’re missing an opportunity to bring themselves into closer alignment with the needs currently driving their customers. You can tell great stories all day long, but if your audience isn’t being moved down the funnel, it does very little for your brand’s bottom line.

To an extent, content marketing can be considered a form of brand building. People often remember the content of a marketing campaign more easily and affectionately than they do the products and services on offer. This has contributed to the belief that storytelling is more important than selling, when in reality they should be equal. The content marketing should enhance your brand’s offerings—not the other way around. And speaking of brand building…

Myth #4: Content marketing is separate from brand building

We touched on this briefly in the previous section, but there is a pervading myth that brand building and content marketing are separate disciplines. In today’s world, they intersect. Brand building is accomplished through marketing; the specific nature of content marketing makes it even more useful to growing brands.

Brand building and content marketing are best mixed together because they build trust and good rapport between a brand and its followers, while simultaneously helping the brand become more visible and easily recognized. Combining the two results in consistently well-branded content that contributes to a brand’s image, reputation and conversion funnel.

Myth #5: Your content should only be hosted on your website

Content marketing can cover a variety of mediums and senses. However, many brands miss out on exciting possibilities and partnerships by keeping all of their work on their own sites. Podcasting, vlogging and guest blogging open doors to entirely new audiences who might not have interacted with your brand otherwise. You can even look for new channels to help distribute your content. For example, we’ve had success with a Lucidpress publication on Medium because it plugs us into active reading communities who are interested in our niche.

Key takeaway

Content marketing has become a popular branding strategy, but it’s still shrouded in a variety of myths which make it less successful than it should be. Toss these myths by the wayside and use these tips to connect with loyal brand followers and new audiences.

Ready to get started? See how Lucidpress can streamline your content marketing efforts today.

What makes the design world exciting is that there’s never a dull moment. Design is continually evolving with new trends, and these trends often dominate the scene for a time. We’re in the middle of 2017, and already, there have been several logo design trends enjoying their share of popularity.

As we know, a logo is critical to your branding regardless of business type, products or services. It is the first thing that catches the attention of your target audience and establishes a strong business persona.

Keeping track of these trends is enough to make anyone’s head spin. Well, we took a dive into the subject so you don’t have to. Today we present you with what we believe are the 5 most popular logo design trends in 2017.

1. Minimalism

“Through simplicity comes great beauty.” It is often the simplest of logo designs that catches attention. Perhaps this is why flat design is currently dominating the business world. Its popularity has been spurred by the likes of PayPal, Airbnb, Foursquare and Netflix. Minimalist logo designs are purpose-driven, easy to remember, and can be identified at a glance. No matter what trends come and go, a minimalist logo design has timeless appeal.

Example: Nike

Can it get more minimal than the classic Nike swoosh? The logo design for this popular sports brand is simple, iconic, and anyone can understand the message behind it.

Nike logo

2. Negative space

Negative space refers to the space in or around an object that is creatively used to form another shape within the logo design. Logos with negative space are popular because they encourage the audience to pay attention and discover the hidden clue. A logo with negative space can be cleverly designed, witty, and come with a deeper message.

Example: FedEx

The FedEx logo was created in 1994. Since then, it has won around 40 design awards and been ranked as one of the best logos in the last 35 years.

If you take a closer look at the space between the E and the X, you will see a tiny arrow hidden within it. This arrow symbolizes FedEx’s fast speed coupled with accuracy.

There is significance in the color choices, too. To creatively separate the whole of FedEx from its individual services, they use different colors for “Ex.” For example, the orange Ex stands for “Express,” while the red Ex is for freight. FedEx has managed to pack a whole lot of information in its simple, clean logo.

FedEx logo

GIF logo design features animated images that are continuously moving. This kind of logo design is like a hybrid between static images and video. It’s caught on recently because they offer a whole new way to capture a viewer’s attention.

Thanks to social media sites like Twitter and Tumblr, GIFs are enjoying a new heyday of popularity. Including tiny animations in the logo design is fun and can be done fairly quickly.

Example: Giant Owl

The logo of Giant Owl (a London-based production company) features two giant, owl-like eyes that illustrate the company’s name and resemble digital tape spools. The logo is further brought to life by animating the eyes, which grabs a viewer’s attention because the movement is so unexpected.

Giant Owl logo

4. Letter-stacking

Letter-stacking is a technique designers use to place long phrases and text without spreading across a large area. Logos can include vertical or horizontal inscriptions along with complimentary graphic elements—a great visual combination. Letter-stacking logos are compelling: spending a few extra seconds to unravel what it says results in increased memorability.

Example: Oakland Museum

The Oakland Museum of California created a logo which playfully arranges the letters of its lengthy name into three sections and emphasizes its initials. Letter-stacking logos are a great option for incorporating long, verbose business names.

Oakland Museum of CA logo

5. Hand-drawn style

Despite the name, hand-drawn logos are not technically drawn by hand—rather, they give the impression of a free-form sketch. These logos offer a retro sense of charm and connect with audiences on a personal level. The warm, down-to-earth appeal that hand-drawn logos offer is sometimes hard to achieve with a purely digital design.

Example: The Fitness Lab

In this case, a hand-drawn logo design perfectly expresses the fun, quirky and casual vibe the brand is aiming for. Your business logo doesn’t always have to feature pristine digital design—a cheery doodle or sketch can be a great starting point (like this version!).

The Fitness Lab logo

Wrapping up

Your logo is possibly the most significant branding tool in your arsenal, so make sure you have a strong one. These logo design trends will help you stay on top of the game even as they keep evolving.

Learn more: Do you know the 10 essential brand assets for digital success?

When used correctly, Facebook advertising can be an incredibly effective tool to boost sales. But before you can expect people to whip out their credit cards and buy out your inventory, you need to establish brand affinity. In this post, we’ll go over just a few of the best ways you can maintain your current following and attract new customers.

1. Create captivating, on-brand creative

One of the most important tasks of a successful Facebook advertising campaign is to create ads that will catch the eye of target consumers—which can be difficult to achieve since there’s so much competition on the platform. Using alluring images and bright colors in your ads is a good start, but be careful. If you have 20 advertisements that all use different styles and colors, it’s unlikely that new customers will gain any familiarity with your brand. Instead, stick with brand colors whenever possible and always include your logo in the ad. You should also use the same principal font that’s on your site, and never use more than two fonts in one ad.

How to build a brand on Facebook

2. Use targeting filters and “Lookalike audiences” to find new fans

While remarketing campaigns are like shooting a fish in a barrel, finding new consumers who will have a genuine interest in your brand is a far more challenging task. Luckily, Facebook has a variety of unique targeting features that can help you refine your audience. Consider the demographics, behaviors and interests of your ideal customer and use that information to narrow your selection. For example, if you own a bridal shop and want to increase your wedding dress sales, you could target people who recently became engaged.

Facebook also has a unique feature called Lookalike audiences. With this tool, you can import a list of existing customers, and the platform’s algorithm will automatically identify new consumers who are likely to have an interest in your products or services. This can be an incredibly valuable tool for new brands looking to grow their fan base.

How to build a brand on Facebook

3. Establish a brand voice—and stick with it

To build strong brand affinity on Facebook, use ad copy that aligns with your unique brand voice. For example, if you own a mortgage firm and your brand voice is authoritative and professorial, then you don’t want to run ads that are filled with over-the-top puns and jokes. It’s also important to be consistent with your terminology. If your e-commerce company refers to buy-one-get-one-free sales as “BOGO,” this should be a consistent term in all your ads. If you have more than one person writing copy for your Facebook ads, create a style guide with tips and rules to follow.

When crafting your brand-consistent copy, be sure to write in a way that appeals to your target audience. Alongside the ad’s image or video, copy and headlines are important deciding factors in whether the consumer clicks your ad.

How to build a brand on Facebook

4. Advertise free content, too

Instead of focusing exclusively on advertisements that sell your products and services, promote free content that will spark an interest in your brand and help consumers see you as an industry authority. This is particularly wise when you’re marketing to new leads who’ve never heard of your company before. You want to offer some informative content that will warm up your leads—such as a free guide, video, blog post or infographic. Once the consumer has clicked through to your site, you can move them further down your marketing funnel by entering them into retargeting ads for other content offers or products.

How to build a brand on Facebook

Ready to make a social splash? Create an updated Facebook cover.

A friend of mine says she could not help but be swayed by what people were saying about the importance of social media for increasing sales. Some people kept rhapsodizing about how they were able to achieve rocket sales by establishing brand recognition and strengthening their brand’s presence in social networking sites.

So this friend opened an account on Facebook, created a blog, squeezed in a post here and there, and sent out newsletters to introduce her product—and generated no significant increase in sales at all. Why?

The truth about the use of social networking sites

My own research shows that I should not rely on luck to sell my brand—not even when I use social networking sites. I cannot expect mere presence in social networking sites to work magic and automatically land me great sales.

How can I successfully market my brand in social media? How can I increase customer conversion rate?

I looked into case studies and marketing research. I read up on what the technical marketing experts had to say. Here’s what I found.

Put your brand where your target market is

Alex Chris is an author and Digital Marketing Consultant. He is an expert in Internet Marketing and SEO. He says that based on updated surveys, Facebook dominates the social media scene today. A massive 1.79 billion people actively use the site monthly.

Alex says that you have put your brand where your target market is. With 60% of people on the Internet using Facebook, there is no greater tool to promote your brand, find new customers and gain a loyal following.

He suggests that you create an optimized Facebook page, add friends to your personal Facebook page, and get as many “likes” as you can. He suggests putting a “like” box in your website. You have to put this “like” box in a conspicuous, readily accessible spot.

Create relevant content

Alex and a great number of other marketing specialists, say that it is not enough to create social presence. You have to create high-quality content for your followers. If you are able to do this effectively, you have a greater chance of turning your followers into constant website visitors, and eventually to customers.

Connect with your audience before selling your product

Kristen Matthews is a creative digital strategist. As an influencer marketing consultant, she has worked on a variety of case studies with innovative brands.

Huggies case study highlights the need to create not just any content, but one that emotionally connects to your target market—even before you push your brand.

Speak, listen & respond to your audience

Brittany Berger heads the Content & PR Division of Mention.com. She says that when you send out newsletters as part of your marketing campaign, you speak directly to your target market.

Make your audience feel that you are listening to them. You create positive vibes when you respond as soon as you can to any queries or points that they want to clarify.

Do not be too promotional

When I create posts, I am representing a vision, specific objectives, and explicit principles. I am also creating awareness and recognition of my business brand.

I am not simply selling. I am informing and educating my audience.

If I become too promotional and focus exclusively on trying to sell my brand, people may see my posts as self-serving. I may lose my audience.

Online entrepreneur, writer, and founder of UpFuel.com Chris Guthrie agrees that you have to find the right blend of marketing and educational values. The right mix provides true value for your customers. It will also give you the opportunity to sell your brand.

Cater to your audience

I have a website on social media. I have a responsibility to my followers. I have to come up with content that has to do with my particular niche. I have to create posts that are engaging and useful to my audience.

If I want to maintain a loyal following, I have to go out of my way to share relevant posts in a variety of interesting ways that include written articles, videos, info graphics, images, and charts.

I want my followers to feel that they are important to me. If I send out e-mail, I have to respond to queries as soon as possible.

If I do not think my content through and create posts that do not offer anything substantial, I may end up hurting my business reputation instead of helping spark brand awareness.

In a nutshell: what to do

When you are able to do these, you will be able to generate more traffic to your website. You will be able to create a bigger following. And you will be able to enjoy a higher conversion rate.

Ready to drive more leads with social media? Grab a copy of our free eBook: How to adapt your brand to social media

As designers, we know how important it is to deliver creative and compelling designs. Designs that catch the eye and gets the viewer thinking “That must be one hell of a product!” And over time, ads have gotten so creative and innovative that our expectations only get higher every time we see a head-turning advertisement.

Even in the age of digital marketing, print media advertising still plays a decisive role in the effectiveness of a marketing strategy. And as today’s world gets increasingly digitized, it might be easy to dismiss the idea of traditional print advertising, from cheap business cards to print flyers and product brochures.

If you want to increase your brand’s favorability and improve purchase intent, you must learn to adapt to the latest design trends and adopt new ways of doing print ads. Here are a few ways you can play with print layouts to achieve print perfection.

Experiment with your layouts

When designing print ads, you attempt to piece together the elements of the ad into a visually pleasing arrangement. The number of patterns you can use are endless, and it’s your duty to fit them into print advertisement mediums. You can do so by structuring them according to different layouts.

The frame-up

Easily frame a layout with the help of borders. This keeps the elements within bounds and sets them apart from other aspects of the page. The composition emphasizes a central component which surrounds the entirety of the ad, be it partially or wholly, focusing the attention on its center.

The big type

Types, especially in their larger forms, hold a particular appeal for viewers and even for artists themselves. Big types command greater attention due to their curves and stroke orders. They work seamlessly without the need for additional artwork or images, and designers can play with the typeface’s readability to convey different moods, from professional to playful.

The multi-panel layout

You can use panels for an variety of functions. They can be used to tell a story, or to display a set of information, or in our case, show off the products we want to advertise. This layout uses several frames to compare different perspectives or different features.

Designers often keep a proportional variation between every panel block to set the headline apart from the body and the signature. One of the most common examples is when you order business cards or promotional flyers online. You may notice that many designers opt for the clean, paneled look to help readers glide through the content.

Look at the bigger picture

“Big Picture” layouts, also known as the picture-window layout, highlight the main visual—usually a single, large illustration that dominates the canvas. This type of layout shows the importance of the main visual without any further accents, other than the brand logo and a line of text. The image should speak for itself.

The Mondrian-esque

Inspired by Dutch painter Piet Mondrian, the Mondrian layout consists of black bars and solid areas of primary color, divided across the canvas into squares and rectangles. A Mondrian layout focuses on the proportion as the main design principle that proves to be an easily workable and logical way to showcase art and typefaces.

Incorporate different strategies

You have your product and design concepts with you, but the industry remains competitive, and consumers have higher expectations for your ads. To meet these expectations, here are four techniques to try out.

Show, don’t tell

“Show, don’t tell” is a well-known technique across many creative fields. It states that you should always take the chance to show something rather than explain it. Use your print designs to help consumers conceptualize the product with their five senses.

This Curtis tea poster is a great example. Instead of telling you how the tea would taste, they visually appeal to our senses of smell and taste to convey what the teas are like.

Play with the medium

Make your design interactive using the physical parts of your print. You can make your centerfolds show motion every time you flip through the pages. Use your pages as transitional devices if you want to tell a story. For instance, you can print business cards with thin sliding panels that contain more information about your company.

Food for thought

Print media is all about imagery and visualization. Use a series of images to draw the viewer into your message and show them what’s hidden underneath your clever design. Keep this famous mantra in mind: “If you have to explain it, then it probably isn’t that good.”

Invoke an emotional response

Be it via humor or deep subject matter, engage your audience through emotion. Designers can use emotional appeal to evoke sentiment and nostalgia from viewers. Consider your topic and tweak your design to enhance the emotional effect of your ads.

Key takeaway

As Pablo Picasso said: “Learn the rules like a pro so that you can break them like an artist.” To be a good designer, you need to know how to look at your product from the viewer’s perspective. You need to know how to apply different rules and techniques to create a compelling print ad. It’s up to you to decide: play by the rules, or dare to be different.

Ready to design your own print ideas? Lucidpress makes it easy to create beautifully branded content in a matter of minutes.

It’s been more than 10 years since eBooks became a bread-and-butter strategy for generating leads. So why isn’t every business making eBooks today? I’d wager that it’s because they don’t know how easy they are to make.

If you haven’t made a branded eBook before or in a long time, I wanted to share 9 reasons why you should seriously consider creating more eBooks for your business.

But first, let’s get some context.

In the marketing sense, eBooks (or electronic books) are informative, text-based documents presented in a digital format. They most often take the form of a PDF with 10 to 20 pages and resemble highly detailed blog posts.

EBooks burst onto the marketing scene in the early 2000s. Unlike major publishers who converted traditional books into digital formats to increase book sales, marketers had the idea to offer free eBooks in exchange for contact information. A new lead-gen tactic was born.

The secret sauce behind eBooks has everything to do with the marketer offering something of true value to the customer before the sales pitch or call-to-action. It’s like Costco’s buffet of free samples, or a 30-day free trial of Netflix.

In short, consumers crave value. If you want their business and their loyalty, you have to prove your value before they buy. So the question is, out of the panoply of digital marketing tactics, why should you invest your time and resources into eBooks?

Without further ado, here are 9 reasons why you should create more eBooks for your business.

1. Expand your upper-funnel with high-quality leads

EBooks are perfect for increasing the volume and quality of leads. Why? People are more willing to give up their contact info when they get something valuable in return. And if you’ve written it wisely, your eBook will also teach them how your product or service solves their pain point.

2. Increase your credibility

Consumers are constantly comparing you to the competition. Just like a best-selling author, multiple eBooks make you look like the thought leader in your field. And, as you write more eBooks, you’ll be forced to research and think critically, making you even more of an expert.

3. Return on your investment

In relation to the value you get out of them, eBooks are very easy to make—especially if you start with an eBook template. And once they are on your website, they can generate leads forever. Unlike other forms of content marketing like social media and most blog posts, eBooks retain their value long after they’re published.

4. If you have a blog, the hardest part is already over

Figuring out a subject for an eBook can be frustrating, but there’s an easy trick to it. Start with your most popular blog post, then dive deeper and add more detail to it. Or, consolidate a handful of similar blog posts into a comprehensive guide. There are lots of ways to repurpose and update your content for an eBook-reading audience.

5. Give your branding a boost

Most people won’t hesitate to read a 10-page eBook if it’s on a topic they already care about. This interest represents a perfect opportunity for you to give them a 5-minute sermon on your brand doctrine. This might not lead to a purchase straight away, but it plants an acorn of awareness that you can nurture with future marketing efforts.

6. Stand out from the crowd

If you’re a small or medium-sized business, your competitors are probably not writing eBooks, which means you can tap into that audience with first-mover advantages. It’s an open door leading to more market share. Beat them to it.

7. Engage your target audience

You already have their email. An eBook offers the perfect opportunity to start a conversation and get feedback. For example, you could create a survey and write an eBook about your discoveries and insights from the results. You could also interview current customers and quote them in the eBook.

8. Easily measure success

When each eBook is optimized with call-to-action links and has its own landing page, it’s easy to measure the impact on your business. Since content marketing ROI can often be hard to pin down, this can provide a valuable metric of success.

9. Making an eBook is easier than it sounds

If you have a blog and a good design tool, you are well on your way to making an eBook. Since people have short attention spans, err on the side of less text per page and use lots of great imagery to convey your message. Unsplash is a great place to find free images to fill out your pages.

Now that you know why it’s important to create more eBooks, it’s time to get started. Dive into the template selection in Lucidpress to get a head-start on your next lead-generating masterpiece.

Try Lucidpress today to create professional, compelling eBooks for your brand—no expert knowledge required.

When done well, flyers can be an incredibly effective (and inexpensive) way to promote your business, no matter your size. In fact, 89% of folks remember receiving a flyer, more than any other form of advertising. What’s more, 45% hold onto the flyers they receive for future reference. 

Still, while flyer distribution is one of the most widely used marketing strategies, simply copy and pasting something together isn’t enough to stand out in today’s busy marketplace. If you want to grab people’s attention long enough for them to actually read your flyer and then act on it, you’ll need to be intentional in your messaging, design, and distribution. 

Below you’ll find our comprehensive guide to flyering. From how to design a flyer for maximum impact to tips on distribution, we’ll help you create the perfect piece of print marketing for your business. 

How to design an incredible flier

1. Create an attention-grabbing focal point

What’s the first thing that you want people to notice? Intentionally designing your flyer around a singular focal point will catch people’s eye and make sure your message comes across loud and clear. 

Using unique, professional imagery, bold colors, and easy-to-ready fonts will help you stick the landing. 

For example, we love how this Cinco de Mayo flyer immediately draws your attention in with a beautifully drawn taco that conveniently tells you exactly what the flyer is about. Fun colors + a casual, handwritten lettering style make this super easy on the eyes and a joy to read.

image3-2-1024x768

2. Speak to your target audience

Who’s your target audience, and how do you want them to respond to your flyer? For example, you might want them to stop by your shop, visit your website, or call for more information. 

Knowing your target audience will help you craft messaging that appeals directly to them. 

The goals of this flyer’s messaging and design are clear:

  1. To highlight the event is one night only, so people should act now to buy tickets/mark their calendars
  2. To catch the attention of film and poster enthusiasts
  3. To establish legitmacy by including the names of well-known print artists who will be featured

3. Focus on the benefits

It’s not enough to grab your customer’s attention. You need them to stick around so you can convey your whole message. Keep them interested by rewarding their attention. Answer their main question, “What’s in it for me?” 

4. Keep the content simple

When it comes to creating flyers that stand out, less is more. Remember that you only have a couple seconds to capture the attention of your potential customers, and only one or two more seconds to hook them in with your product. That’s why you need to be straight-to-the-point content when describing what your product/service/event is, its benefits and other important details. 

This funky design let’s people know exactly what kind of guitar lessons are being offered, what level they’re for, and how to get in contact.

image1-2-1024x768

5. Include a call-to-action

After conveying your message, tell readers exactly what to do next, whether that’s to order now, call now, visit your website, etc. Get them excited about what they’ve learned on your flyer. 

Be clear how you want them to interact with you by including important details about your business, like your website, contact info, location and more.

6. Print in high quality

Another vital element to creating attention-grabbing flyers is the final print. A quality print finish can be just as important as everything else you put on your flyer. Using a glossy finish and quality paper for your flyer creates a great first impression and can reflect the same quality of your products or services. Need a printer? Marq delivers high-quality prints of any design you create in our software.

7. Consider the impact of folds

Different folded finishes can create a unique impact and lasting impression. F Adding folds to your flyer will not only make it stand out but can also guide your audience through your intended information flow. Just remember to plan how you’re printing your flyer before you start with the design.

image4-1-1024x576

How to nail flyer distribution

Now that you’ve learned how to design a flyer, we want to make sure that flyer gets as much attention as possible. Design is only ‘half the battle’ so to speak – nailing your distribution strategy is key. 

Here’s how to make sure your flyers get the attention they deserve:

1. Consider your timing.

We might be stating the obvious here, but flyers aren’t known for being particularly durable. If you’re hanging flyers outside, their lifespan could be substantially shortened by the elements. Before you get out the staple gun, check your local weather forecast for rain, snow, and heavy winds. If harsh weather is on the horizon, you might have to adjust your plans.

While we’re on the subject, take holidays into account as well. Around certain ones, like Halloween and Christmas, your flyer will be competing with a lot of decorations. Space might not be as readily available as it was before. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t advertise around a holiday—especially if your message is seasonal or topical—but you should still take note.

2. Consider your distribution method.

How are your flyers getting to your intended audience? You have a few choices. The most popular methods are:

The method you choose will have critical ramifications on your distribution plan. For example, how many flyers will you need to accomplish your goal? How long will it take to get rid of them all?

No matter where you’re flyering, make sure you get the right permissions. Not all places that are open to the public are open to flyering as well. Parks have maintenance staff. Neighborhoods have soliciting policies. Storefronts and cafés have managers. Schools have approval forms.

Don’t give up hope, though. Many times, you can chat with property owners to determine whether they’re open to flyering. If you see shops with flyers already out front, that’s a good sign. Many places, like college campuses and laundromats, have corkboards especially for flyers and local ads. Take a look around, and don’t be afraid to ask!

3. Build your distribution team.

If you’re hanging or handing out flyers all by your lonesome, it’s going to be a long ride. Flyering moves much faster in a team. Fortunately, you can call on your support network for help. If you’re announcing a new store, employees can help. If it’s a party or a concert, you can recruit family and friends. If it’s a club or organization, it shouldn’t be hard to find volunteers.

The lower the quantity, the easier it will be to get all those flyers out into the world. However, if your back’s against the wall, you still have options. If you don’t have the time—and no one else seems to, either—give a flyering agency a call.

There are specialized businesses out there who take care of the entire distribution process, from start to finish. They can help you create a smart plan that targets your audience in a timely fashion. Some even offer GPS tracking so you can watch in real-time. Just keep in mind that you can’t control how the staff does its job, so choose your agency partner carefully.

4. Target your distribution.

Finally, take a good hard look at your distribution plan and make sure you’ve accounted for all the steps up to this point. Now that you have all the basics in line, you can make some advanced adjustments. Targeting your distribution is the final consideration that will have a major effect on your success, and there are two ways to do it.

Key takeaways

No matter your level of experience, flyers can be a powerful tool to grow awareness around your brand or business. Just make sure to follow these tips and you’ll be set.  
Check out our extensive library of flyer templates and get started designing yours today!

New to content marketing? Start off on the right foot with Lucidpress.

Want to super-charge your brand visibility? The best way is through great content.

Now, hear me out. I know you’ve probably heard the old phrase, “Content is king.” It’s a hackneyed aphorism, but it does give us a reason to chat about how brands use content to get ahead—and how you can follow those same practices to earn more visibility for your brand.

How brands use content to get ahead

The owned, earned & paid tripod

Another way of looking at content is through the trifecta of owned, earned and paid media. In a nutshell, owned media is what you put up on your own digital property or website. This is the first destination for the articles & feature content you generate.

Earned media is what happens when people like what you share, then re-share and re-blog it. Think of it as online word of mouth. Remember all those kitten videos that went viral? That’s earned media.

Paid media is fairly straightforward. It’s when you buy ads or pay to promote content. Google Banner Ads are an example. Most social platforms—like Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn—have tools where you can pay to promote your content and run ads.

Any cohesive content strategy usually has a mix of all three.

3 super-charging content tips

Now that we’ve described the playing field, let’s delve into a couple of playbook ideas on how to use content to boost brand equity.

1. Decide on a strategy

A single piece of content can’t be all things to all people. Decide whether you’re doing content marketing, authoring a thought leadership piece, or writing a press release for distribution. All these pieces of content have their own styles and best practices—and their own goals and metrics for success.

You also have to decide which types of content you’ll be creating for your campaign. There are many possibilities, and you can repurpose ideas across different content types.

2. Have a distribution plan

Content that just sits there in your owned media isn’t much use. It doesn’t boost your search engine rankings, it doesn’t attract more eyeballs, and it doesn’t increase sales. The trick is to turn that static block of words into a flowing river of shares and likes.

Most marketers have a handy funnel that they push their content through. You can start by posting on your own website. Then, the next step is to share on your social pages. Here, you might decide to give it a boost by paying for extra promotion. A day or so later, start submitting to content aggregators like StumbleUpon. Eventually, re-blog on social blogging sites such as Medium.

By following a planned distribution strategy, you’ll have a far better chance of turning your words into traction-grabbing content.

3. Figure out your audience

So you’ve got your strategy in place, and you know whether content marketing or thought leadership, or both, is the way forward. The next step is to figure out the audience you want to tap, and what they might be interested in. If your audience is composed of silver-haired retirees dreaming of Caribbean cruises, chances are they won’t read a blog about buying their first home. So, pick topics that are relevant, timely and valuable for your audience.

Use these techniques as you build your next content marketing plan, and you’ll have a far better chance of resonating with your audience and reaching your content goals. Make sure that everyone who creates content for your brand understands these concepts. Finally, ensure brand consistency with a tool like Lucidpress, which uses smart lockable templates to keep everyone on-brand.

Ready to get started? See how Lucidpress can streamline your content marketing efforts today.

Many marketers want to step into millennials’ shoes, find out their preferences & dislikes, and speak to them in the best way possible. Despite being skeptical of advertising, millennials are fiercely loyal to brands, which gives you a unique opportunity to reach them. Content marketing, one of the newer tools in a brand’s arsenal, is leading the way.

The connection between content and brand loyalty was established by MBC Research. The results of its study revealed that 62% of millennials feel that content drives their loyalty to a brand.

Millennials are among the biggest consumers of content online. Take Nielsen’s Q1 2016 Total Audience Report which shows that, in the U.S., content consumption by millennials can shoot up to 18 hours per day. Yet, that doesn’t make it any easier for marketers who want to target this demographic that can be split into as many as six distinct types.

So, how do you encourage this demographic to engage with your brand? Here are 5 top content tactics to help you get started.

1. Rev up the nostalgia

Nostalgia works wonders for the millennial generation, as we’ve seen in the case of Pokémon Go and its phenomenal success. Another example: Disney resonates intimately with millennials because it runs high on emotion. They feel connected with the brand because it was a crucial part of their years spent growing up. It was nostalgia, too, that generated 14 million views for Netflix’s reboot of the 90s sitcom Full House.

You can infuse nostalgia to amplify your own content by:

2. Forget text, embrace multimedia

A study from August 2016 shows that the leading social media platforms for millennials were Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. All three of these thrive on images, videos and multimedia content. Yet another survey showed that millennials communicate better via GIFs, emoji & stickers than via text. [Tweet this]

Brands like Starbucks and Nike are forerunners in creating multimedia content that engages millennials. They use trending formats like Instagram Stories to build brand affinity using micro-content that disappears after 24 hours.

3. Personalize, personalize, personalize

Personalization works for everyone, and millennials are no different. Start with curating your content.

“Personalized and timely content recommendations are one of the most powerful ways to make your leads stay longer on your website and recall your brand at crucial times. Bloggers and large content publishers vouch by predictive recommendations for awareness, reach and engagement (as opposed to ads).”

Jeff Bullas

Personalization requires in-depth research and careful coordination between content creators, technical marketers, automation specialists, customer service and more. While personalization is subjective, the core of your brand messaging and values should remain uniform across the board. A project collaboration tool like Workzone or Trello can keep everyone on the same page. If team-oriented tasks are disorganized, personalization can quickly turn into a mess.

4. Let influencers do the talking

According to Nielsen’s Millennials on Millennials report, this group is distracted. They’ll easily find ways to avoid advertising when given the chance. In fact, they’re more likely to depend on word-of-mouth and social media. Enter influencers.

Social media influencers can help you spread the word about your brand. This tactic can give you an edge over traditional advertising, because millennials trust influencers more than they trust ads. Also, influencers can come up with interesting content that you might not have thought of—as demonstrated by the Clorox brand Brita. Teaming NBA superstar Steph Curry with King Bach, a social media influencer, Brita generated an ad for YouTube that earned 2 million views and led to a 2,000% mobile search lift.

5. Encourage user-generated content

In contrast to baby boomers, millennials are more likely to trust user-generated content. Be it a status update, review or blog post, they take everything into consideration to form an opinion. For example, if someone’s considering a particular shade of lipstick, they’ll likely look at swatches and reviews posted by their peers and other users, rather than trusting the experts.

One way to generate user content is experimenting with branded hashtags. From KFC’s #NationalFriedChickenDay to Oreo’s #OreoHorrorStories, good hashtags can work wonders for brand awareness. It might take some innovation, but finding a winner is well worth your time.

Key takeaway

Millennials are going to remain a favorite demographic of marketers for the near future. Keep up on the latest tools, techniques and channels emerging on the market, and use them to propel your content and brand engagement.

Learn how Lucidpress can streamline your brand’s content marketing and keep your whole team on the same page.

Poster design has come a long way since the 1880s, changing in style for different eras and often strongly influenced by political or social events of the day. Posters have become a powerful and popular medium for advertising (sometimes referred to as street or guerilla marketing).

Let’s take a look at some of the creative poster templates from our Lucidpress poster collection and how you can use them effectively to convey your unique message and reach your targeted customer base.

Choosing a design

We admit it’s not always easy to choose a design, so to help you make up your mind, we’ve assigned two keywords to each poster. These keywords capture the mood of the poster and what it’s ideally suited for. We’ve also identified “niche” posters, such as real estate or restaurants. Still, remember: Lucidpress templates are fully customizable. If you wish to use our restaurant poster to promote your software business, go right ahead. You can easily change the tone by using different color schemes or fonts.

The ins and outs of poster design

Poster design — like colors, shapes, lines and patterns — plays a central role in creating memorable content. All poster templates here were inspired by different combinations of these key elements.

99Designs succinctly illustrates the six core elements of great design. Some tips:

Getting started only requires an internet connection — which you clearly already have. Imagine a blank wall. To decorate it, head over to our free online poster maker. Bring your ideas to life!

Blue and pink empowering poster template

Make someone’s day sparkle — try adding more shapes and sparkles

template poster

Click on the image to see the template

From motivational quotes to inside jokes, the blue and pink empowering poster template is bound to uplift a special someone’s day. The simple execution of this poster’s creative design lends equal parts positivity and inspiration.

Delivery and curbside pickup poster template

Allowing only three customers in the store at a time? Customize based on your needs

curbside pickup

Click on the image to see the template

An ideal poster design for storefronts and buildings whose occupancy limit has been impacted by the pandemic, changes in fire regulations or construction, this poster empowers you to communicate clearly and easily.

Campaign poster template

Keep copy simple to avoid distracting the reader

campaign patriotic

Click on the image to see this template

Make your campaign’s purpose loud and clear with this patriotic campaign poster template. Change up the layout design by swapping out the flag for an illustration, or insert different colors instead of using blue.

University poster template

Pick a background image that reflects the event

university poster

Click on the image to see this template

An excellent choice for schools and alternative education platforms, this poster design assures your org’s message will stand out. Bold colors make your advertisement feel loud and clear — swap out your organization’s logo for the provided one.

Nature quote poster template

Too moody for your vibes? Brighten things up by overlaying shapes and color

nature quote

Click on the image to see this template

Whether you’re looking to meditate, motivate or inspire, the nature quote poster is here to do it all. Customize the graphic design with your own photo or use a stock image to change things up.

Coming home movie poster template

Make the text pop with a border or shape

coming home poster

Click on the image to see this template

Quick, somebody grab the popcorn! And don’t forget the sour gummies! Shhhh!!! It’s time to cozy up and get ready for the character arc, story development and more with the Coming home movie poster template.

Duo campaign poster template

Keep your tagline simple

duo campaign poster

Click on the image to see this template

Give them a reason to try and name a more dynamic duo with the Duo campaign poster template. Showcase your running mate, as well as upcoming town hall events or speaking sessions. Don’t forget to include your campaign’s motto!

Orange & blue passion quote poster template

Don’t stop at one version — make a few till you get it just right

passion quote poster

Click on the image to see this template

Equal parts jazzy and simple, the orange and blue passion quote poster template keeps the eye centered on your quote of choice. Be sure to include or note who originally said the quote. Everyone appreciates credit where credit is due.

Blue soccer game day poster template

Be sure to include important details — like event times and such

blue soccer

Click on the image to see the template

Get your fans ready to rumble with the Blue soccer game day poster template. Use the colored overlay to highlight your school or team’s colors — plus you can swap out the image to feature one of your very own athletes!

Student council campaign poster template

Limit CTA usage to one — get folks out and votin’

student council poster

Click on the image to see this template

Make an impact on your school experience with the Student council campaign poster template. Swap out the stock image for a candid, congenial photo — and be sure to include a little bit about yourself and your campaign initiatives.

One day movie poster

Use the image and icons to tell a story

one day movie poster

Click on the image to see this template

Lean into your zany, mad scientist side and use an abstract image to tell a story about your movie. The font is completely customizable, as well as the copy and text box placement. Wherever this template inspiration takes you, may it be nothing short of magical.

Blue and green track schedule poster template

Create a visual timeline aid to help keep folks informed

track poster

Click on the image to see this template

Keep your school and sports teams on track to win (ayyy, see what we did there?) with the blue and green track schedule poster template. Customize the colors however you see fit, and swap out dates for any upcoming events, like the homecoming match or what have you.

Forests research poster template

Let your content do the talking

Forests research poster template

Click on the image to see this template

Created with research and educational projects in mind, this poster provides ample space and graphic design opportunities for images and content in a structured, brochure-like design. The slideshow is both modern and practical, and you can easily add or duplicate pages. The beauty of a one-page template is that your design remains consistent.

Western wanted poster template

Get what you want while paying homage to the original poster

wanted-robbery

Click on the image to see this template.

Our designers created this poster design tongue-in-cheek. It’s eye-catching and memorable with an instantly recognizable theme. Have excessive quantities of stationery gone missing at work? This is a fun and subtle way to draw attention to outlaw behavior in the office or at home.

Standard advertising poster template

Swap out the red placeholder with your brand’s color palette

Standard advertising poster template

Click on the image to see this template.

This 3-page poster design is perfect for marketing your business at trade shows and exhibitions, or it can be used for an online catalog to advertise special offers. The format is deliberately simple so as not to distract from the content and to make it easy to update if you have regular campaigns.

Motivational quote poster template

Use an action verb for maximum inspiration

Motivational quote poster template

Click on the image to see this template.

Motivational quotes and typography are powerful tools to inspire innovative thinking and promote a sense of well-being. Psychologist and motivation expert Jonathan Fader, PhD, says well-structured messages that use strong imagery and appeal to our aspirational nature can be powerful in changing our thought patterns and behavior.

Heartland business poster template

Don’t have quite the right photo for the event? That’s okay — try Unsplash!

Heartland business poster template

Click on the image to see this template.

This business poster design template provides a surprising and unusual variety of content placeholders so you can sneak in a wealth of information. The placeholder and graphic design space demand your customers’ attention, and the longer they’re looking at your poster, the more likely they’ll absorb your message.

Homegrown event poster template

Keep your colors simple — avoid using discordant color combinations like purple and green

Homegrown event poster template

Click on the image to see this template.

We call it Homegrown because this poster design has multiple layers, just like a home-baked pie. If you really want to stand out from the crowd, putting a bit of effort into creating a layered poster will help you to demonstrate the depth and originality of your company’s vision.

Ecosystem scientific poster template

Avoid large walls of text — use illustrations or graphic design to break up walls of copy

Ecosystem scientific poster template

Click on the image to see this template.

Blue is the new green — and this eco-theme disrupts the traditional color mold quite innovatively. This huge 36″ x 48″ poster gives you the physical space to cover even the most complex research projects without having to resort to smaller fonts or cropped images.

Weekend away photo poster template

Start simple with an easy-to-read font and play around from there

Weekend Away photo poster template

Click on the image to see this template.

This trendy poster design showcases your professional photographs, however, your message still takes center stage. It’s ideal for travel and tourism businesses, for exhibitions, and for luxury brands to announce corporate events and exhibit their products. The Weekend Away is a great example of design layering.

Swiss Alps travel poster template

Want to make a bold statement? Use a vivid, contrasting color for your font

Swiss alps travel poster template

Click on the image to see this template.

Contemporary and bold, this poster paints a strong message. It’s a single-focus design, and you should customize it with your own bold background photograph and daringly creative fonts. The unusual text layout makes it a unique and original choice for technology startups and entrepreneurs.

Nature retreat poster template

Don’t love the included typography? That’s ok, customize with your brand’s font

Nature Retreat poster template

Click on the image to see this template.

Inspired by the layout of quality print magazine covers, Nature Retreat is eminently versatile. Our customers have used it in projects as diverse as publishing upcoming event information and showcasing their portfolios, and for school projects. The style is informal and slightly whimsical.

Origami banner event poster template

Concise and clear, make the most of this simple layout design

Origami Banner event poster template

Click on the image to see this template.

Origami is the Japanese art of folding paper into decorative shapes and figures, dating back to the 1880s. This template combines traditional origami with a fresh, modern look to create a perfectly structured design ideal for formal and professional corporate posters.

Block party poster template

Use colors, be it bright or soft, to communicate the vibe of the party

Block Party poster template

Click on the image to see this template.

Everyone likes a party. Its vibrant graphic design and no-nonsense block layout works well for invitations and holiday events. It’s a one-pager, easy to modify and with placeholders for the “who-what-when-where-why” information. The blocks and frame design are reminiscent of the calling cards of yesteryear.

Night life poster template

Juice up the tone with an abstract illustration for your background

Night Life poster template

Click on the image to see this template.

Evocative of torn classic denim and multi-layered dresses, this poster design and typography ushers in a new trend of visually captivating posters that challenge design rules — you could even say that we wouldn’t be surprised to see it in the MOMA one day. Light and dark are juxtaposed to evoke excitement and anticipation.

Real estate poster template

Highlight the diversity and variety of your selling history through various images

Real Estate poster template

Click on the image to see this template.

Arguably the most versatile and stylish template in the Lucidpress collection, this block design is ultra-bold and is anything but lacking in the design inspiration department Rather than simply invite, the poster compels customers to attend a home viewing. We’ve incorporated vintage and trendy elements both formal and informal… and the result rocks.

Cobalt café poster template

Avoid using stock photos if you’re looking to highlight a unique restaurant

Cobalt Cafe poster template

Click on the image to see this template.

When it comes to real estate, location is everything. And when it comes to food, presentation is everything. The design for this creative poster mimics those used for magazine food pages, arousing your taste, visual and smell senses. The Cobalt is warm, welcoming and very practical.

Cut glass marketing poster template

Use this template to communicate official corporate events

Cut Glass marketing poster template

Click on the image to see this template.

Cut Glass presents a sharp graphic design look and feel, perfect for technology startups and real estate innovators. Diagonal lines are more striking than horizontal or vertical ones. As explained by Vanseo Design: “Their kinetic energy and apparent movement create tension and excitement.” Use this template boldly and aggressively.

Cosmopolitan business poster template

Swap out the included stock photo for a snap of your city or HQ

Cosmopolitan business poster template

Click on the image to see this template.

Cosmopolitan means cultured, suave, polished and refined… an image you may want to cultivate, particularly if you have an international, sophisticated client base. The hallmarks of cosmopolitan design include the avoidance of “fluff,” subtlety, attention to detail, intricacy and cohesiveness. Would these graphic design and marketing tactics serve your brand, too?

Reflections company poster template

Have official health comms that need relaying to employees? Look no further

Reflections company poster template

Click on the image to see this template.

The creative inspiration for this design was the subtle reflection of images in water, clouds and shadows, conveying the impression of depth and intelligence. This poster would work particularly well for a beauty technologist, health spa or clinic, or even a luxury brand.

Poster design with Lucidpress is simple thanks to our user-friendly, intuitive interface. It gives you all the functionality of traditional desktop publishing software—but without the learning curve needed when using professional packages. Now it’s time for you to grab one of our free poster templates and get creative.

Feeling inspired? You can design and order your brand new poster right here in Lucidpress.

Creating an ebook—especially for the purpose of generating leads—can be a critical marketing technique for your business. If you’re not a designer, this can be a truly daunting task. After all, not only do you have to create the content, you have to design the layout, choose fonts & color schemes, and tweak orientation.

Fortunately, it’s possible to create a professional and effective ebook, even without expert design skills. This can be done with the help of free ebook templates. Not sure where to begin your search? We’ve compiled five of our finest ebook templates which you can explore below.

Would you rather go straight to the source? Head over to our gallery of free ebook templates to see all your options.

1. Marketeer Business ebook

If you’d like to take a traditional approach, this business ebook template geared toward marketing is your best bet. With a traditional vertical design, and a 10-page pre-made layout, this template can be used to promote your products & services or engage your customers.

There’s no reason your business ebook needs to be boring. In fact, the inclusion of images on each page makes it easy to spice up the content. You can easily use stock images or upload your own. What more, you can test out different fonts & layouts in the easy-to-use Lucidpress editor.

Free marketing ebook templates

Click on the image to see this template.

2. Boutique Lookbook

For creative businesses—including boutiques and salons—it’s important to bring a unique touch to each piece of content you create. This extends to ebooks, and it can be easily achieved with the Boutique Lookbook.

With a muted color scheme and full-feature image pages, you can use this template to create a lookbook, product catalog or seasonal spread. The vertical design makes it well-suited to any device: smartphones, tablets and e-readers. In addition, the bold black text against the light-colored background makes it easy to read.

Free marketing ebook templates

Click on the image to see this template.

3. Colorblock Creative ebook

A grid-based layout is perfect for a variety of industries including architecture, photography and consulting. Even better, this modular layout means you can create a truly unique design. You don’t like how the blocks are laid out? No problem—with the Lucidpress editor, you can easily ‘snap’ each block into a new position.

Additionally, the use of elegant font styles, as well as a minimal color scheme, makes this ebook template easy on the eyes. The pops of blue color on each page also add a unique element without cluttering the layout.

Free marketing ebook templates

Click on the image to see this template.

4. Lead Magnet ebook

Even Lucidpress (a company with its very own talented designers) uses templates to create quick & easy ebooks, one-pagers and more. In fact, this is the very template we use on much of our in-house content.

The gray & green color scheme can be changed to fit any brand. However, be sure to pick contrasting colors to ensure your content is legible to readers. You can even personalize each page; all contain a header & footer with a placeholder for company name, website and phone number.

Free marketing ebook templates

Click on the image to see this template.

5. Global Photography ebook

A horizontally designed template can be love-it or hate-it for many readers. However, this particular template is great for immersive photography or other media-heavy topics.

You can create beautiful collages and even split your ebook into different sections. With 20 pre-made pages, you have plenty of space to feature your content. And, with the use of white space, you won’t have to worry about cluttering the pages or overstimulating your readers.

Free marketing ebook templates

Click on the image to see this template.

Using ebooks to promote your business and attract new leads can be incredibly effective. However, the quality of that ebook will play a large role. Fortunately, even non-professionals can create truly stunning designs & layouts.

With the help of Lucidpress’s design software, you can create beautiful templates that rival even InDesign and Photoshop creations. You can then publish or save your ebook as a webpage, PDF, JPG and more. If you’re in need of some more inspiration, be sure to check out more ebook templates & layouts here.

Ready to wow your marketing leads with beautifully designed ebooks? Lucidpress will help your brand send the right message.

2017 was the year of digital marketing. Brands of every size depended on digital to raise awareness and win over their customers. As the year ended, digital marketers turned toward the future to strategize new plans and techniques.

Digital marketing is big, volatile and constantly evolving. While some experts believe this will be the year of AR and IoT, others see the market’s future as more complex. Let’s look at the top 10 trends currently dominating digital marketing in 2018.

1. AI might be the performer of the year

Yes, it’s true that AI is being adopted in nearly every consumer-facing industry today. But have you considered how AI could help your business on the backend? You know about chatbots and Siri, but what about using AI for trend analysis and customer profiling? This year, AI will help brands dig into the data, then reach their target audiences with more precision and effectiveness.

2. 2018 is seeing more video ads

According to recent reports, video marketing is set to capture about 82% of the internet’s traffic by the end of 2019. You can expect to see more video ads on all web platforms, especially social media. What may change is the duration and content of the videos as brands compete to hold viewers’ attention.

3. IoT is being used like never before

2017 saw the emergence of numerous products and applications for IoT, and its scale continues to grow. Together, IoT and data are expected to revolutionize industries like healthcare, education and manufacturing. They’re not only improving the efficiency of these sectors-they’re changing the very way these businesses perform their work.

4. Mobile marketing won’t flinch

After several delays, Google is soon expected to release its mobile-first algorithm. What remains to be seen is how this mobile index will impact the search results. It’ll no longer be enough to have an SEO-optimized site—or even just a “mobile-friendly” site. Google will examine the mobile performance of your website (and all of your competitors’) and rank you accordingly. Regardless of the devices your customers use, mobile compatibility is going to take precedence if you want to retain your search rankings.

5. AR could take the lead over VR

Despite the grand predictions, VR and AR haven’t impressed the general public much in the last two years. However, analysts predict that 2018 will bring major changes to the field of augmented reality. Since Apple has released its ARKit for app development, developers have been testing the limits and publishing some incredible new apps. It’s anyone’s guess as to which ones will catapult AR to the top.

6. Content marketing is going visual

The basis of any form of digital marketing is, essentially, content. However, the nature of content marketing is shifting based on the expectation that content is going mobile. There’s also a trend towards visual content as people have started engaging more with videos, images, data visualization, and infographics.

7. SEO is going mobile

As we already pointed out, simply having an SEO-optimized website might not work wonders for you this year. With Google shifting to the mobile-first algorithm, your SEO’s website auditing checklist is going through a revamp. On top of all the other signals Google likes to see, brands should re-examine their websites and get them optimized for mobile viewing now—rather than waiting to take a hit later.

8. Dark social offers new opportunities

It’s estimated that about 70% of social sharing is classified as “dark social.” This includes links shared on native mobile apps, via email messages, and in chat conversations (like WhatsApp or Slack). Though marketers don’t have perfect visibility into this data, it’s becoming easier to track. Brands are taking advantage of this by targeting audiences with ads, 1:1 messages, and chatbot experiences.

9. Advertising is exploring the blockchain

It’s not just for Bitcoin anymore. Today, the blockchain is offering new ways to track and verify online advertising. Imagine being able to verify each time an ad is consumed and for what duration—and then compensate the consumer for their time and attention. The blockchain can prevent ads from being over-served, ensure that influencers have real followers instead of bots, and verify voting for sponsored contests. Expect blockchain to take on more roles as the technology is adopted.

10. Dedicated apps are on the rise

Dedicated apps offer the benefits of a mobile-optimized website in a more convenient, accessible format. With Google’s app-indexing, brands are investing more in app development and discoverability. Often, these apps provide a better brand experience. Though apps have a long way to go before replacing websites, the love for apps is driving their growth and adoption.

These are some of the top trends driving digital marketing in 2018. As the year unfolds, we’ll see which ones rise to the top… and which ones fall to the wayside.

How many advertisements do you remember fondly? Probably not that many, considering we’re bombarded with content on a daily basis.

But the ones you do remember seem to creep into your subconscious. It’s like a catchy song that you can’t help but remember.

Good visual content has a lot to do with psychology. Appealing to human emotions will influence people to react to your ad a certain way.

Corporate Executive Board did a survey on this in partnership with Google. They contacted marketing leaders, vendors, consultants, and over 3,000 B2B buyers to understand the rise of emotion-driven content marketing.

In their report From Promotion to Emotion, it’s revealed that 86% of buyers believe that brands are all selling the same stuff. Unique value propositions are not turning out to be… not so unique. But, brands that connect with customers on an emotional level will see 2x more impact than those trying to sell based on functional value alone.

If you’d like to tap into that influence, here are 7 emotions that drive people to connect with brands—and real-world examples of each.

1. Urgency

Even when your customers want your product, they can still be hesitant. Maybe they feel like they can buy from you any time, so why spend money now? Later, they say, later.

This is when you need to infuse a bit of urgency. Add a timer or an expiration date in your email newsletter or video ad, and buyers will take the cue. No one wants to miss out on a good deal.

Using urgency in an ad

Source: McDonald’s

Big retail & e-commerce brands use urgency (tick-tock) to promote instant consumer action or purchase decisions. However, make sure you have a good reason for incorporating urgency in your offer. For example, countdown timers are often used for festive occasions or limited product runs.

Urgency even works better when you pair it with scarcity. Use phrases like “limited stocks available,” “limited tickets,” or “first come first serve.”

Using urgency in an ad

Source: 4YFN

A similar psychological catalyst is FOMO. Fear of missing out is a social worry that if you don’t participate in time, you won’t be able to enjoy the same rewards other people are reaping. One study reveals that around 69% of millennials experience FOMO when they can’t attend a popular event. You can use that fear to your advantage.

2. Desire

Desire is a powerful emotion. Almost every action we take and purchase we make is driven by desire. Many brands channel desires into their visual ads to capture an audience’s interest.

One way to do this is through before-and-after images. Olay took this concept even further with their “Identical Twins” campaign, where one of the twins uses the product and the other does not.

Using desire in an ad

Source: Olay

But, before-and-after images don’t have to be about skin care or weight loss products. Check out this GIF, for example. SiteFlood creatively uses the before-and-after concept to show prospects what kind of results their service delivers.

Using desire in an ad

Source: SiteFlood

Similarly, most explainer videos use a “problem-and-solution” format to identify prospects’ needs, then provide a solution to help them fulfill that desire. This video explores the desire to live in the Caribbean, the problems one faces to achieve this, and the solution.

At Lucidpress, we used the same animated format to introduce our brand management platform—complete with white knights, bodyguards and Mama bears.

3. Compassion

We’re social creatures, and that’s frequently reflected in our behaviors and reactions. We care about our family, our friends, and even random strangers. Doing something for others makes us feel good.

Thai Life Insurance produced a series of heart-warming videos that showcase the sentiments of altruism and care, even in adversity. In the end, it’s wrapped up nicely as part of the brand message.

Attaching your brand to feelings of love, care, attachment, altruism and charity can give your visual content a strong emotional pull.

4. Delight

Humor provides more delight than almost any other emotion, but it can be difficult to pin down and execute well. You must know your audience and their sensibilities, so you don’t end up missing the mark, falling flat, or even offending them instead of making them laugh.

Old Spice has perfected the art of appealing to its demographic in a variety of fast-paced, cinematic ad campaigns. It’s delightful, humorous and exciting to watch.

5. Personal care

Advertising is everywhere, and it rarely feels like an ad is speaking directly to you. In this constant deluge of content, personalization is valued more and more. If you want my business, make me feel special. Show me that you care.

Starbucks is no more “special” than any other coffee brand, but they show their patrons that they care. It’s a brand synonymous with warmth, comfort and convenience, and it’s easy to make it your own.

Starbucks personalized cups

Source: Tumblr

Starbucks proves that it cares about the individual experience by providing a casual meeting space, a work environment, a place to relax, free Wi-Fi and other comforts. Perhaps more importantly, they ask each customer for their name and write it on every cup of brew they order.

In some ways, Starbucks has come to resemble a hospitality brand without actually being one, simply by extending a comforting personal touch.

Introducing customization or personal touches to your brand can make you far more appealing to your audience, because they will feel special and cared for.

6. Trust

Your customers have their own personal tastes, values and opinions. Likes and dislikes. Movies or music that they love or hate.

It turns out that personality will largely determine a customer’s shopping behavior. They buy products and experiences that either reinforce their personality or help them get closer to who they want to be.

So it stands to reason that if you associate your brand with a celebrity they like (or want to be like), that would give them a reason to trust in your brand and buy from you.

Using trust in an ad

Source: Nike

This is why brands hire celebrities and influencers to drive brand awareness and adoption.

The idea here is to create an image your target customers will like or aspire to. Do some research on who your customers are (or who you want them to be). Once you’ve sketched out a buyer persona, including their likes and interests, you can solidify brand messaging that speaks to their personality and values—and earns their trust.

7. Motivation

Participating in social causes you believe in can be very gratifying. But, that gratification often comes from harrowing personal experiences, or at the very least, a visualization of others’ worst experiences.

CoorDown, an advocacy group for people with Down syndrome in Italy, made a beautifully profound video featuring people with Down syndrome delivering their own messages of reassurance to a future mother who’s worried about what kind of life her child will have.

The video is a rollercoaster of emotions that culminates in the promise of a happy, fulfilling life.

Find a cause that speaks to your brand values or to your employees. You can draw on personal experience or the hardships of others to create stories that inspire hope and motivation for your audience.

Key takeaway

Emotions are fundamental. You don’t need a PhD in psychology to figure out what makes people tick. You just have to do some research on your buyers. Draw up a buyer persona, then create visual content that will resonate with that audience.

Perception determines reality with branding. The impression you make with customers and potential customers ultimately influences the overall strength of your brand. That’s why even simple mistakes with brand consistency can create costly headaches.

Branding mistakes aren’t simply a concern affecting novice entrepreneurs taking their first steps into the marketplace. Businesses of all shapes and sizes can take missteps with their branding and lack a consistent voice or direction in their products and services.

Large companies can be especially vulnerable to the impact of brand inconsistency. It can lead to lost revenue and diminished customer loyalty. Those companies will end up yielding ground to more savvy competitors and often struggle to create a positive image and voice for their brand.

Here are 7 common brand consistency mistakes that large companies typically make. The good news is many of these mistakes are fixable or can be avoided.

1. Slow content creation

It’s no coincidence that new content seems to pop up on websites and social media channels at the speed of light. The digital age has revolutionized how we acquire information and put it right at our fingertips. Taking a slow and steady approach may win the race for the tortoise, but it doesn’t work with content creation.

If your brand is locked down to the point that it stifles new content creation, corporate marketing will turn into a bottleneck. Your brand will acquire a perception of being outdated and irrelevant within your industry. Timely and relevant content creation, on the other hand, will help put your company forward as a subject-matter expert and establishes it as a voice that customers can trust.

2. Wasted designer time

Do your designers work overtime making mundane updates to existing content, like a brochure or flyer? If that’s the case, they’re not properly utilizing their talents — and it could be limiting your company’s reach and costing you on the bottom line.

Burdening designers with too many small tasks causes the focus to slip from the bigger picture. Free them up to work on projects that incorporate their creative talents. Those creative juices flow when a designer isn’t handcuffed to simply doing brand housekeeping. Their minds are less cluttered and have room for dynamic ideas to emerge.

3. Off-brand content

Going rogue works when it comes to stealing Death Star plans. It doesn’t work with creating content. [Tweet this] Brand guidelines need to be in place for a reason. If a department is creating rogue content that doesn’t follow established brand guidelines, it can spell disaster for your company in a hurry.

Establish your brand identity and create a branding guide that adheres to that vision. Educate individual employees and managers across all departments on these guidelines, so they understand how to communicate with your target audience without going off the rails. Permitting individuals or entire departments to tweak your brand to fit their whims will undermine the brand’s integrity. Offer them plenty of resources to help them keep content on target with your brand’s voice.

4. Outdated brand assets

Few things are more embarrassing than taking the time to update your company’s logo, slogan or other key brand assets… only to see the old assets show up in your company’s messaging. That’s the risk of not keeping everyone on the same page. It can make your brand appear indecisive, outdated or out of touch.

Each department and employee should have a working knowledge of which brand assets and templates are in current use. Store these things in a central, online place and make them easily accessible for all of your brand marketing efforts. Each brand asset should be reviewed periodically to ensure it remains uniform with the core brand messaging.

5. No brand champion

Creating a consistent brand voice starts at the top. Your CMO is like the pace car leading the rest of the pack to the starting line. It falls on their shoulders to be a brand champion. Without their voice leading the way, employees will not understand the importance of strong branding and your brand will end up veering off course.

An effective brand champion at the top can steer your marketing efforts in the right direction. They set the tone for what works and what doesn’t by establishing a core vision and identity. This makes it easier to identify a natural target audience then build branding efforts around appealing to that group.

6. Branding is over-complicated

Flashier isn’t always better. Some of the most iconic brand logos, like McDonald’s or Fed-Ex, are memorable because they use a simple and clean look that’s easily identifiable. Throwing more bells and whistles into the mix isn’t going to make you stand out from the crowd. If it does draw extra attention, it could be for the wrong reasons.

Avoid tossing in complicated graphics and color schemes that distract from your core message. Don’t clutter your brand. Keep it simple by using simple colors and symbols. This will give your brand a chance to communicate quality and authenticity and increase the possibility that it can stick with a person long after they are introduced to it. Using branded templates can make this an easier task to check off your company’s to-do list.

7. Not understanding your audience

Your brand will only stand out when it offers something fresh and unique. If your target audience can’t tell you apart from competitors in a meaningful way, what incentive do they have to embrace your brand, products or services? Failing to understand what makes them tick or what they want can lead to your brand’s death knell.

Make your brand timeless by building to your brand strengths. Avoid being too trendy. Embrace market research and communicate regularly with customers and potential customers alike. Resist the temptation to put your brand everywhere, and instead, focus on being sincere with what your brand does and how it can positively impact the lives of your target audience.

Want to know more about the power of brand consistency? Download our free 32-page report, chock full of stats & great insights.

Regardless of your industry, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to gain and keep an audience’s attention online. You have mere seconds to capture their interest, so it’s critical that you create engaging content.

While we all understand the value of content marketing, how you develop your content is just as important as what you actually put out there. Providing consistent, interesting content will boost traffic, which will increase brand recognition, engagement and (eventually) sales.

But, how do you provide engaging content in a world where everyone is fighting for the attention of the consumer? Answer: Include visual assets in your content strategy. The human brain processes visual information quickly, and people remember more of what they see than what they read.

What is visual content?

Visual content is any piece of content that incorporates visuals or is primarily image-based. Visual content examples include video, infographics, photos, charts and GIFs.

Why create visual content?

We often say not to judge a book by its cover, but our brains are hardwired to do just that. It’s the reason why we ‘eat with our eyes’—we like when things look nice. The visuals that accompany your content are what viewers will see first, whether that content is an advertisement, the packaging of your products, your business card, a social media post or anything in between. Thus, these visuals are the first impression potential customers will get of your brand, and they’ll use them to decide whether your brand appeals to them or not.

To illustrate just how effective visuals are in attracting visitors, consider these statistics:

Point is, visual design leaves an impression on visitors. You must learn how to use them wisely.

Beyond first impressions, the importance of visual stimulation doesn’t diminish. Once the eyes aren’t engaged anymore, the brain knows it’s time to move on. Digital marketers pay close attention to engagement metrics because they show how many consumers were driven to react or interact with the content. Of all the possible customers that were reached, those that engaged with the content were the ones that stayed from beginning to end. Visually stimulating content helps engagement because it compels users to continue watching, reading or experiencing the content.

Additionally, visually exciting content is much more memorable. When someone is stimulated with pleasing, compelling visuals, the brain has a much easier time paying attention and remembering the information it processes. You may encounter an online lead who doesn’t need your product or service yet, but in the future, they will. By visually stimulating them during their interactions with your brand, they’ll be more likely to recall you when the information is relevant. This also makes visually pleasing content more shareable, because the longer someone can recall it, the higher the likelihood of finding it relevant to a friend or family member.

How to make visually stimulating content

Visual stimulation has long been a primary concern for marketers. If the eyes are bored and unstimulated, then the brain will tug the viewer’s attention to something else. In the digital age, where consumers are exposed to several different brands and messages all at once, that “something else” is likely going to be a competing brand’s content. In other words, if your visuals don’t provide high levels of stimulation, then your online leads will be more likely to defect to a competitor.

All these reasons make a compelling argument for the relationship between visual stimulation and client retention, which might’ve started the wheels turning about how you can produce more visually stimulating content. Before those wheels drive you in the wrong direction, it’s important to look at how you should improve your visual content.

Image by Contemporary Communications - High resolution vs low resolution

Source: Contemporary Communications

Types of visual content

In this post, let’s discuss how visual content like infographics and video can encourage your visitors to convert.

1. Create impact with the right typography

Unlike someone reading a book, visitors on a website don’t consume content from left to right then go down to the next line. In fact, virtually nothing happens in progression. Visitors will either go straight to what they need, or they’ll stop in their tracks if something more interesting catches their eye—like a 30% discount on another brand of detergent, for example.

Today’s designers are using typography to catch and keep visitors’ attention. The size, shape and placement of different fonts will enhance your message, and you can direct the focus where you want it most.

Consider the bold typography on this webpage. The cursive font complements the typewriter font, giving the site a vintage, personal feel. The use of color to emphasize certain words attracts the eye and sets a positive tone.

Increase conversions with visual content

Source: Intechnic

2. Present data visually with infographics

Would you rather read through a bulky PDF filled with stats and long-winded sentences, or a colorful infographic which uses simple icons and text to display information? The choice is pretty obvious. Including a well-designed infographic in your blog post or webpage will persuade people to pause and see what you have to say.

But does it increase conversion? Here’s some compelling evidence:

3. Incorporate video

It’s estimated that adding video to a marketing email can improve click-through rates by a whopping 200-300%. Need more proof? Additional research indicates that 73% of adults in the U.S. are more likely to purchase a product or service after watching a video that explains what it is.

Videos can be used to evoke emotion, explain how your product or service works, or introduce your company. It helps potential customers put a face to your name, which makes your company more relatable. The keys are to keep it under 2 minutes (even 30 seconds might be ideal for certain social channels), optimize it for mobile, and ask a question or tease the content in the caption.

4. Create a gifographic

Speaking of using video, you can also upgrade a static infographic by incorporating animation. Gifographics are still relatively new, which means your content will stand out. While some marketers worry that gifographics might be difficult to make, it’s worth the effort to present your information in a way that’s more engaging and dynamic.

5. Use quality photos with text overlays

Using compelling photography is a strategy that should always be in your back pocket as a marketer. Images make content more interesting, and it’s easy to overlay a quote if you have a quality image to start with. Photos with quotes or callouts are super shareable and can gain traction on social media very quickly.

Using high-quality images is obviously important if you’re creating campaigns for Instagram, but it’s also effective on Twitter. Tweets with photos are 150% more likely to be retweeted than those without pictures. If you’re concerned about your ability to create shareable pictures on your own, don’t worry. Plenty of companies like Lucidpress have templates you can use to create clear, engaging visuals for your next post or status update.

6. Incorporate comics or memes

If you’re looking to bring a little humor into your marketing strategy, creating a comic or meme is one of the best ways to do it. Memes—like those tweeted by restaurant chain Denny’s—offer excellent social engagement if you do it right. Watch out, because you’ll have to take care to not overstep your brand. Comics are also easily recognizable. If humor isn’t part of your brand voice, comic-style fonts and formats lend themselves to a more lighthearted vibe and make it easier to explain complex products or topics.

7. Present information in a tool

Making content interactive is another way to engage with potential customers while demonstrating the value of your product or service. This runs the gamut from tools that help readers figure out which streaming services they want to bandwidth speed-test calculators.

The benefits here are two-fold: you can garner a lot of traffic on the main tool page itself, and you can also include smaller widget versions of the tool on other pages to inspire readers to act. Clickable graphics that link to your tool can also grab the attention of readers who are scanning another article or blog.

8. Develop a quiz or checklist

As a marketer, your job is to convert leads into sales. Use a visual quiz or checklist to help prospective customers figure out what they already have, which services they need, and how your product can get them to the next step.

You can also use interactive graphics to gather email addresses and create custom ad targeting. For example, if someone takes a home security quiz, they’ll likely be interested in follow-up information about how they can fill in the gaps to keep their family safe. Then you can provide that info and, eventually, lead them to a sale for a product to meet that need.

9. Go back to basics with charts and graphs

Charts and graphs are a quick and simple way to visualize information. They make complex information very easy to understand and are regularly shared because it saves other people the effort of creating a graphic to explain the original concept or statistic. Just make sure you don’t sacrifice clarity for style. If your reader is short on time, clear and direct charts are often the best way to go.

10. Leverage screenshots

If using screenshots in your content sounds easy, that’s because it is. Include screenshots to show client testimonials, create step-by-step tutorials, or introduce a new feature in your product. Screenshots provide clear context if you’re talking about something that people can customize (like a toolbar), making your point easier to understand.

11. Try flowcharts

A lot of online content deals with complex and sometimes confusing processes. In those cases, try simplifying concepts with a flowchart. Breaking down an idea will give your readers insight into the bigger picture—and where they fit into it. Don’t be intimidated by building a flowchart on your own. There are plenty of tools out there that can help you create clear, customized charts to take your ideas from start to finish.

Key takeaway

To keep up with other brands, it’s imperative to incorporate visual design into your marketing strategy. The key is to do it purposefully so that your content stands out from the rest. If done well, we’re confident you’ll see a great return on your efforts.

Three years ago, Gartner predicted that 30% of our interactions with technology today would happen via conversations with smart machines—and mainstream adoption would be just around the corner.

We can see the evidence of this change all around us, from Siri and Cortana to Alexa and Google Home. And while we haven’t reached mainstream adoption quite yet, marketers shouldn’t wait for the masses to catch up before grappling with the implications of voice search.

In particular, voice search represents a move from the abstract to the physical. Certain aspects of your brand—voice, tone, personality—will soon become real in ways they never have before. Just like mass marketing has shifted into digital marketing, we’re now seeing the dawn of conversational marketing with voice search. Here are five factors that show how voice search will impact your brand.

1. Copy that can be read aloud

As more people turn to smart machines to ask questions, brands should be prepared to respond in kind. Creatives will have to write copy that sounds good when read out loud—often in the form of answering a question. Offer the most important information first (remember the inverted pyramid?), and for goodness sakes, keep it brief and unambiguous.

For example, in an older blog post of ours, we discuss the definition of branding. If someone were to ask “What is branding?” today, our blog post would respond like this:

To begin to understand what a brand is, you must first understand that your brand does not exist in your marketing department, your public relations team, or your CEO’s office…

And as pretty as it looks on the page, no one is going to stick around to listen to that. Instead, our response should get straight to the point. Again, from the post:

A brand is the sum total of all the impressions a customer has, based on every interaction they have had with you, your company and your products.

If we wanted to optimize this content for voice search, we could restructure it intelligently by putting the important data first. Then, we have plenty of space for the kind of writing that’s meant to be read rather than spoken aloud.

Finally, keep in mind that voice search is more conversational than traditional search. The queries are longer, and they’re often localized (e.g. “What’s the weather like today?” or “When does The Copper Onion close tonight?”). Your responses should follow suit, mimicking how real people talk (including conversational phrases).

2. New advertising rules

With new advertising mediums come new advertising guidelines. This doesn’t just mean best practices, like we see with paid and organic digital search. We’ll also see big players in voice search (like Google) establishing new rules for brands who want in.

Remember this voice ad from Burger King last year? The commercial was designed to hijack your Google Home device by asking “What is the Whopper burger?” This request prompts devices to begin reading the Wikipedia entry for the Whopper—which, of course, Burger King had edited to their benefit.

The Whopper is a burger, consisting of a flame-grilled patty made with 100 percent beef with no preservatives or fillers, topped with sliced tomatoes, onions, lettuce, pickles, ketchup, and mayonnaise, served on a sesame-seed bun.

Oh, be quiet, already!

Burger King Whopper voice ad

My feelings exactly.

Not only did this violate Wikipedia’s terms because it so clearly sounds like ad copy, it also left open the door to vandalism. People were quick to edit the Wikipedia entry to include phrases like “cancer-causing” and ingredients like “toenail clippings.” Not exactly what the fine folks at Burger King had in mind.

Even when the ad worked as intended, people were annoyed by the tactic—but online trolls had made it so, so much worse. It should come as no surprise that Google shut down the ad 3 hours later, and Burger King pulled it entirely.

Consumers aren’t used to advertising in voice search yet. Take care not to annoy them with lengthy descriptions or aggressive sales pitches—and follow the terms and guidelines of the services you use.

3. What does my brand sound like?

Today, Alexa always sounds like Alexa, but it’s not hard to imagine a future where voice search becomes highly customized. Brands will be able to choose their own vocal characteristics, which opens up a world of questions and considerations.

If your brand was a real person, what would they sound like? How would you determine:

What does my brand sound like?

Source: Pexels

Some of these characteristics even raise ethical considerations—like gender, for example. According to OnBrand’s State of Branding report, 54% of marketers prefer a female voice assistant (while only 17% prefer a male). Nearly all the voice assistants we’re familiar with today default to female voices, which raises the question why.

“The simplest explanation is that people are conditioned to expect women, not men, to be in administrative roles—and that the makers of digital assistants are influenced by these social expectations,” says Adrienne Lafrance in an article for The Atlantic. Power structures influence our technology all the time, and it’s important for brands to consider these traits (and their impact) carefully.

In the mean time, it’s likely that female voices will continue to answer most consumers’ vocal commands. How can masculine brands compensate for this—punch up their language, perhaps?

4. Consistency matters

Voice search does not alter the impact of brand consistency, but it does present new channels to manage. Once you’ve decided what your brand sounds like, it’s important to convey that across all channels and communication. Voice and tone need to remain consistent for the brand to be distinct and recognizable.

After you’ve set the tone and refined your brand voice, go back and make sure it’s reflected everywhere:

Interesting note about chatbots: If your brand already has one, you might be ahead of the game. Because chatbots are designed to be conversational, they can help to inform your strategy for voice search. Look to them for guidance as you explore this brave new world!

5. First-mover advantages

And now, the good news. Because voice search has yet to reach mass adoption, there’s still plenty of time to move into the space before other brands catch up. It’s a rare opportunity to reap first-mover advantages without being one of the big, established brands.

“Given that many people are currently rather disappointed with their voice search interactions, the first brand to create a genuinely standout experience is going to garner a lot of excitement,” says Rob Curran in this article for Campaign. And like we’ve seen with other new mediums like augmented reality, it’s only a matter of time before someone does. Could it be you?

Key takeaway

Equal parts scary and exciting, the adoption of voice search represents enormous opportunity for savvy marketers. With it, you can deliver a digital brand experience that’s more personal and human-like than ever before—and hopefully, one that’s consistent with your brand messaging. Drive the conversation and address these factors now to enjoy the benefits while we head into the next decade.

Want to know more about the power of brand consistency? Download our free 32-page report, chock full of stats & great insights.

Bonus: Voice search infographic

Want to share these insights with your followers? We’ve adapted the main points of this article into a sharable infographic perfect for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

Voice search infographic

Okay, so you’ve recently made the conscious decision to focus more of your energy on creating content with the hope of collecting more leads.

As an avid devourer of content yourself, you’ve seen a ton of other brands leverage content to generate massive amounts of buzz for their companies.

You’ve heard the success stories and statistics. You know content marketing can drive in 3x as many leads as traditional marketing—and it costs businesses 62% less than traditional methods, too.

So, you decide to give it a shot. You spend hours creating a number of insightful and informative blog posts that you know your target audience will find valuable. You post them on your site, sit back, and wait for the new customers to start rolling in.

But… nothing happens. Those blog posts? Nobody’s reading them. Or—and this might sting even worse—people are reading them, but it hasn’t made a lick of difference to the size of your customer base.

In either case, it can be incredibly disheartening to realize your efforts haven’t paid off as well as you thought they would. On top of that, figuring out where you went wrong can be rather difficult, which may lead you to throw in the towel on your content marketing initiatives before they even get off the ground.

Before you throw your hands up in resignation, though, let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons many content marketing campaigns fall short of their intended goals.

4 content marketing mistakes that may be costing you leads

Before we dive in, let’s admit that the true list of reasons a given content marketing campaign could fail is inexhaustible. Because so much goes into content marketing, Murphy’s Law can rear its ugly head at almost any given time, for many different reasons.

For our purposes, though, we’re going to discuss some of the overarching mistakes and problems that could sabotage your content marketing campaign before you even get started.

Not focusing on your true purpose

Presumably, your goal is to generate more leads (and eventually more sales) by publishing intriguing and informative content for your audience to devour.

But have you really thought about how creating such content will actually lead more people to purchase your product?

Traditional PR vs. content marketing

Source: 87 seconds

The only thing worse than seeing no increase in your visitor count is seeing an increase in your visitor count but no increase in your sales numbers.

As you begin creating content, it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that your purpose is to create awesome content that leads your readers toward conversion. It can be easy to slip into a routine of churning out pieces of content that, while interesting and informative, simply don’t do anything to move your readers further along the buyer’s journey.

Solution:

Ask yourself the following question before you begin creating any piece of content:

How will this content benefit my reader and bring them closer to conversion?

It’s essential to keep in mind that content is not your product; it’s part of your marketing plan. [Tweet this] While the content you create absolutely should provide value to readers, it should also provoke them to take action and engage further with your brand.

For individual pieces of content, you might aim to get your audience to sign up for a mailing list, follow your brand on social media, or share the article they’ve just read. Depending on the context, you might ask them to sign up for a demo of your product. While such calls-to-action are typically found at the end of a piece of content, they can also be placed within the content as appropriate.

Over a longer series of content, your goal is to build your readers’ understanding and curiosity about your brand and the services you provide. As this article from Copyblogger points out, you can use content to create “open loops” in your readers’ minds that essentially keep them wanting more—meaning they’ll look for ways to engage with your brand that ultimately may involve making a purchase.

Always remember that your main goal is to have them come away from your content closer to converting than they were before they read it.

Writing for a mass audience

As the old saying goes:

“If you try to please everyone, you’ll end up pleasing no one.”

Unfortunately, when getting started with your content initiatives, it’s tempting to create content that you believe will appeal to your entire consumer base at once. In doing so, you end up creating content that is either:

In either case, the result will almost certainly be the same: your potential customers will bounce from your content without taking the action you hoped they would.

Content-centric vs. audience centric

Source: Content Marketing Institute, lovingly recreated in Lucidpress

Solution:

First things first, make sure you’ve developed a variety of personas to target. Find out as much as you can about the people who belong to these segments: their demographic and geographic data, their personality types, and their actions and behaviors as consumers.

Once you’ve defined and developed a number of customer personas, you can begin planning content intended for each of them (rather than using a “one-size-fits-all” approach).

While this means you’ll be creating more pieces of content, you’ll ensure each piece of content will resonate with its intended audience.

You can make sure the right content gets in front of the right person in a few ways:

Focusing on one content format

Typically, when most people hear the phrase “content marketing,” they automatically think about blogs.

But there are many, many more types of content out there for you to choose from.

Diversify content types

Source: iPullRank, lovingly recreated in Lucidpress

Content marketing is the act of using content to market your brand. With that in mind, the following are just a handful of content types that you can leverage for marketing purposes:

Simply put, sticking to one type of content is a good way to bore your audience. No matter how valuable your blog posts may be, your readers will likely get tired of them at some point if you don’t change things up a bit.

Solution:

Your first order of business is to determine which formats will best engage your audience.

Some individuals devour podcasts on a daily basis during their morning commute, while others would rather read an eBook while relaxing on their couch at night. Still others might not have the time to devote to these ventures and would prefer to get quick-hitting information via infographic.

As you do when figuring out what your audience wants to know, it’s also important to determine how they want to receive this information.

Even though you’re going to create content in a variety of formats, that doesn’t mean you need to create completely new content for each. In other words, you can repurpose content you’ve previously created and present it through a different format.

You’ll definitely want to tweak the content so it fits its new platform, but generally speaking, the meat of the content will remain the same. For example, when repurposing a blog post into an infographic, you’d typically include only the hard-hitting facts and statistics mentioned in the article (leaving out the “discussion” parts).

By repurposing your most successful content in a variety of formats, you can give the piece maximum exposure across the customer segment it was intended for.

Not following up (or through)

In the intro, we set up a hypothetical scenario in which a content marketer creates a handful of blog posts, publishes them, then sits back and waits for business to start booming… and it never happens.

A big mistake many marketers make when starting out with content is living by the old adage, “If you build it, they will come.”

It just doesn’t work that way. With over 2 million blog posts being published every day, the chances of new readers just happening upon your content are practically zero.

But, even assuming you do generate some traffic to your new content, you still haven’t succeeded yet, and you can still miss out on major opportunities. Another mistake beginner content marketers make is failing to engage with their audience members after they’ve reeled them in. They also miss out on the opportunity to not only nurture these individuals through the buyer’s journey, but to learn more about their needs.

Solution:

The solution here is two-pronged.

First, focus on promoting your content. There are a number of ways you can do this, including:

Once you’ve gained some visibility and have begun seeing audience members engage with your content, don’t let them go. If they’ve left a comment on your blog, keep the conversation going; if they’ve shared your content on social media, shoot them a quick “thank you”; if they seem to be looking for more information, give it to them!

Technically speaking, once your content has attracted a potential customer, it’s done its duty. But the work you put into this content will be for naught if you don’t follow up with the lead as soon as you possibly can.

Key takeaway

It’s no secret that content marketing can be an effective way to attract highly qualified leads that have a good chance of converting. This is, in large part, why 92% of companies view their content marketing efforts as a business asset.

But if done haphazardly, your content marketing efforts can lead to nothing but wasted time, energy and money.

Before you dive into your next content marketing campaign, keep in mind that the purpose is not just to create amazing content, but to create amazing content that ultimately leads your audience toward conversion.

Learn how Lucidpress can streamline your brand’s content marketing and keep your whole team on the same page.

Are you emotionally connected to a particular brand? Maybe it’s the design of its packaging. Maybe it’s the colors they use or the shapes that remind you of something good. Maybe it’s the smell of the store. When you go into a small fragrance boutique, you’re mesmerized by a unique scent that sticks in your memory. Whenever you decide to buy perfume in future, you’ll prefer going to that specific store.

Why does this happen? When you understand the psychological theory behind the human senses, you’ll realize why sensory marketing is so important. Our senses are our connection to the outside world. Our brain interprets the messages they send and forms its perception of the world in accordance with those interpretations.

Marketers can implement sensory experiences to make their campaigns more effective. With sensory marketing techniques, you lay the foundation for a positive brand impression. Let’s see how our senses influence our perception of a brand, so we’ll understand this approach a bit better.

1. Taste

Unless you own a restaurant or coffee shop, this is the sense you can influence the least. However, taste can still become an important aspect of your marketing strategy. For example, if you’re promoting an Italian brand of jewelry, you could organize a cocktail for your most faithful customers where you serve Italian gelato and wine. These tastes will remind people of the Italian lifestyle, and they’ll see how your jewelry fits in.

The sense of taste can deeply influence our memories, emotions and moods. A savvy marketer will find ways to use that fact to the campaign’s advantage.

2. Sound

You already have experience with sound affecting your perception of a brand. When you dine in a fancy restaurant, you want slow, calm music in the background, right? When you’re at a nightclub, the music that’s being played affects your experience. When you enter a store, the music can make you feel energized or relaxed, depending on the selection.

But it’s not limited to in-store experiences. Daniel Monroe of BestEssays explains how sounds are important even for online services: “The element of sound was crucial when we were designing the live chat. We didn’t want our website visitors to be disturbed, which is why the live chat is never activated without their request. When they drop us a message, however, they surely want to be notified when the agent sends a response, so the sound has to be noticeable yet subtle. It has to create a sense of urgency without making the website user nervous.”

Think: what behavior are you trying to encourage in your target audience? What kind of music would promote such behavior? Once you answer this question, it becomes easier to implement music and sound effectively in your brand experiences.

3. Touch

The sense of touch also influences our behavior. Research has shown that touching rough or smooth objects has an effect on our decisions. Hard surfaces, for example, evoke the impression of firmness, stability and security. However, they also impose a sense of strictness. They might be great for offices or banks, but you’d want to include a bit of softness in a store that sells products for kids, right?

Many brands neglect the sense of touch in their campaigns, mainly because they’re selling products that already have a particular structure. The way you design the packaging and space around the products, however, will have a huge effect on the brand experience.

4. Sight

This is probably the sense that affects our brand perception the most, since we first see a product before involving any other senses in the experience. That’s why brands invest so much effort and resource in visual content.

When you’re presenting your brand to the world, advertising and packaging have a huge impact on audience perception. This effect is heightened when all your branding is consistent and cohesive. Posters, social media posts, flyers, newsletters and other promotional materials should all share a similar design and color scheme. After all, those colors are rarely chosen by accident.

For example, when we’re trying to evoke optimism, warmth and clarity, we often reach for the color yellow. Orange is cheerful and fun (like Fanta), and red is bold and exciting (like Virgin). Blue evokes trust, strength and dependability—think Dell and HP. Green is peaceful and symbolizes growth and health, which is why you’ll find it in the logos and marketing of many environmentally friendly or healthy lifestyle brands.

5. Smell

Have you ever wondered why brands like L’Occitane and Lush sell their products in specialized boutiques? It’s because their marketing campaigns are based on the sense of smell, and they don’t want their scents being diluted by other products in the store. When you get to the Lush store, you’re so mesmerized by the smells that you simply cannot leave without a new bar of soap. That’s how powerful scents can be.

Even if your brand is not related to scents, you can still benefit from sensory marketing. Researchers found that the smell of chocolate can boost sales in bookstores. They observed the behavior of the customers and concluded that when the bookstore smelled like chocolate, people were more engaged with the staff and the books. They looked more closely at books, read the summaries, and lingered in the store. That’s not a coincidence.

The smell of chocolate is comforting and inviting. It’s no wonder why many real estate agents like to bake something in the kitchen before showing the property to a potential customer. They also make sure the property is clean and smells nice in every room.

Just as a pleasant scent promotes better behavior, an unpleasant odor will have a negative effect. If the store is dusty or smells funky, it won’t matter how awesome your brand and products are. The smell will distract visitors from taking the action you want to encourage.

Key takeaway

Our senses have a major impact on our purchasing decisions. Sensory branding is a well-established practice in some industries, such as cosmetics and food. However, brands from all other industries can benefit from this approach, too. Which sensory marketing techniques could you take advantage of in your next branding campaign?

When shopping for a new home, real estate buyers want to know what it’s really like to stroll through the kitchen, stand on the balcony or lounge in the backyard. Since they’ll be investing years in a house or apartment, they want to imagine themselves in the space before they contact a real estate agent. Next to physically being there, listing videos provide the best experience for persuading buyers that their dream home is just a click away.

Although listing videos are big in real estate marketing, few real estate agents actually take advantage of the power of video to immerse and move buyers to purchase. The National Association of Realtors found that 85% of buyers & sellers prefer to work with a real estate agent who offers video marketing… but only 15% of agents actually use video to market their listings.

High demand and low supply gives those real estate agents willing to invest in video an edge in finding potential buyers. With a little practice, it’s easy to create real estate listing videos that’ll get your properties moving.

Planning shots in a listing video

You should already be familiar with the property, so make a shot list of all the rooms, outbuildings, porches, pergolas, and other pertinent features you want to capture beforehand. Focus on the interior first. Plan your shots like you would plan an actual walkthrough with a prospective buyer. Start with the entryway, then move into the living room or the next logical place. This will make the final edit feel natural as you take the buyer from shot to shot.

As a general rule, you’ll want your video to contain around 75% interior shots and 25% exterior. You don’t need to show every nook and cranny of the property. Concentrate on the most visually appealing and emotionally moving parts—the selling points.

One must-have is the “hero shot” that will be the climax of the story you’re telling. It may be a beautiful vaulted ceiling, an indoor pool or a breathtaking mountain view from the backyard. Whatever it is, your hero shot should be the star of your listing video, and you’ll want to place it where it has the biggest emotional effect.

Pro tip: Take still photos from all the vantage points you use to shoot video. Use the images to create a storyboard of your video. The images will work as reminders and guides for the best angles and spots to put your camera. You can import all of your images into a storyboard template and organize them how you want.

Estimating video length

Your video’s length depends on the size of the property. A video for a small, 2-bedroom apartment should be shorter than a sprawling 6-bedroom estate with 10 acres. To estimate length, take the number of planned shots and multiply them by 5 seconds per shot. That’ll give you an approximate run-time.

Ultimately, your video’s length should be dictated by the shots that you capture. You don’t want to rush past the selling points of the property, but you also don’t want to induce yawning. Remember, it’s a video, so prospects can play it back or press pause for closer examination, so err on the side of shorter. For quality control, enlist friends and family to critique the video before you publish it.

Using professional video equipment

Editor’s note: This section contains links to products on Amazon.com. These links are provided for reference only, and should not be taken as endorsements for any of the brands or products listed. Also, Lucidpress does not receive any payment or commission from sales of these products.

At minimum, you’re going to need a camera, a tripod and some editing software. Many of today’s smartphone cameras work well enough to produce decent video footage, but a DSLR camera is a better choice for quality and flexibility.

fluid head tripod is a must-have. A good tripod keeps your camera steady and lets you produce smooth, fluid movements. Jerky camera movements distract viewers and make your videos look amateurish.

If you’re using a DSLR, buy a zoom lens with a focal length around 17mm-40mm or 16mm-35mm. Wide-angle lenses like these will capture a good chunk of a space without distorting or barreling the image. If your image is too rounded at the sides, your lens is too wide.

For basic video editing software, many operating systems already come with free versions, like iMovie or Windows Movie Maker. These programs are easy to use, but they’re also limited in their color-correction abilities, number of transition choices, and audio enhancement capabilities. To up your post-production game, invest in professional editing software like Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere Pro. Both come with powerful video tools but are harder to learn.

If you plan on capturing dialogue with your video, snag a lapel mic or shotgun mic and an audio recorder. However, recording dialogue is a difficult task, especially for beginners. It’s better to find stock music that creates a powerful, emotional effect in the background. Besides, you should assume that a large portion of people will watch your videos on mobile phones with the sound muted.

Pro tip: Handheld gimbal systems aren’t cheap, but they offer the ultimate in flexibility, compactness and convenience, letting you capture smooth, professional video without a tripod. Gimbal systems keep your shots steady even when you’re walking around, so you can create sweeping shots in any direction that look like scenes in Hollywood blockbusters.

Lighting the scene

You can go all out and invest in a basic photography lighting kit to make your listing videos look their best, or you can just shoot on a nice, clear day. Most of the rooms you’ll want to feature will be well-lit on sunny days, so take advantage of nature and show your properties in their true light.

For exteriors, shoot during the “golden hour,” that time just before sunrise or sunset when the sun is in the horizon and casting warmer colors. The warmer light makes exteriors more attractive.

Pro tip: Some of your interior lighting will come from tungsten bulbs, which produce a warmer color than daylight or fluorescent bulbs. When possible, replace tungsten bulbs with ones that have a color temperature of 5500K. When you keep a consistent color temperature in your scenes, it’s easier for your camera to maintain its white balance.

Prepping the area

Before you start shooting, take your shot list and walk through the house. Stow away any distracting objects. If the house is unoccupied, this might be stuff like cleaning supplies, drop clothes or painting equipment. If it’s still occupied, put away any clutter on kitchen bars, pick up dirty clothes on the floor, and take down family photos. If possible, also take down any mirrors that would show your reflection while shooting. Turn on interior lights when appropriate and open window coverings for better lighting.

Pro tip: Don’t shoot towards an open window. Your camera will struggle to balance the intense brightness of the window with the relative darkness of the interior rooms, and your images will suffer. Shoot with the camera pointing away from open windows, or cover them.

Shooting the video

You’ll only need two to three shots per room. You’re not shooting a film, so just get the best angles in the best lighting and move down the shot list.

For interior shots, get a few good tilts (up and down movements) and pans (left and right movements) of each room. If you have a tripod slider or steadicam system, also grab a few dolly shots, moving slowly from left or right. Multiple takes of the same space gives you more choices during editing. You don’t want every shot to be the same pan from left to right. That bores viewers. Instead, mix it up and provide them with a variety of views to hold their interest.

Set up your tripod so the camera is at waist height, not at eye level. Interior spaces look more attractive from a slightly lower perspective. Any pans, tilts or dollies should be slow and smooth.

For a pan shot, start the camera pointing at one side of the room, then use the tripod handle to slowly move it to the other side. Start and stop each camera movement with a five-second pause. This will create a “head” and “tail” for the shot, giving you some room to work with when editing them together.

For exteriors, you’ll need two to three shots that show the front and back yards, any separate structures, and any hero shots. But, don’t just piece together the whole property through multiple images. Prospective buyers want to see the entire home within the context of its surroundings, which could include the lawn, nearby structures or a body of water. Get at least two shots that show a more encompassing vantage point.

If you include shots that are static, use them sparingly. The viewer’s attention is captured by movement and color. You’re making a video, not painting a picture. Keep the action going.

Pro tip: If you want Hollywood-style shots that will really wow house hunters, consider renting an aerial lift for the shoot. These professional lifts get up to 60 feet above the property to capture high-angle aerial shots. They’re safe, easy to set up, and give you the platform to grab dramatic footage that will make your listing stand out.

Video storytelling in real estate

To really sell a piece of real estate, you have to connect with viewers on an emotional level. Good cinematography and editing is key, but without storytelling and music, you’re just presenting moving images. Storytelling can involve following a character as they move around the home doing domestic things, as in this listing video from Savvy + Co Real Estate or this one by The Boutique Real Estate Group.

But, storytelling doesn’t have to include actors or characters at all. It can simply suggest feelings and emotions that connect with viewers. For example, if the residence is occupied, use the existing furnishings to tell the story of the absent individuals who inhabit it.

That doesn’t mean going into personal details, but you could suggest how the spaces are being used by including a close-up of a child’s toy sitting on a dresser, or a porch swing as it moves in the wind. These personal touches tell the story of lives being lived in the home. Such images connect with viewers, letting them imagine their own lives there, turning a house into a home.

Pro tip: If you really want impressive exterior shots, consider investing in a drone. Every year, drones get smaller and cheaper, and the image quality for prosumer models works great for these projects. You could even use them to shoot interiors… if you’re brave enough. They’re challenging to learn, and you can’t just fly them anywhere (per the FAA guidelines), but their sweeping movements and intense aerials create emotional connections with viewers.

Publishing listing videos

Even if you produced a video that could make the list of top 10 stunning real estate listing videos, it won’t matter if no one sees it. Video hosting platforms like YouTube or Vimeo are the best places to store your listing videos. While YouTube provides unlimited storage, Vimeo only lets you upload a specific number of videos at a time. Both let you embed videos on your own website.

After uploading your real estate listing videos to YouTube or Vimeo, optimize them for search engines. Here are some things to include:

Pro tip: Hosting platforms are only one avenue for distribution. Digital lookbooks are mixed-media catalogues made from still images and videos that can showcase your properties in fuller detail. You can create and host them directly on the web for free.

Key takeaway

While these tips are helpful for getting started, rising above the competition means upping your game over time. Listing videos are getting less expensive to produce as equipment and software prices come down. Staying above the fray means finding creative ways to engage potential buyers. The best training is to stay current with video trends in the real estate space. They’ll show you where the benchmark is, and you can use your creativity and skills to exceed it.

Visual representation of your brand matters. Learn how to protect and elevate your real estate brand in this branding essentials guidebook.

It’s getting harder to put your marketing messages in front of consumers. Increased digital competition, changing algorithms, and a crowded social media space mean you have to work hard to stand out.

So how are marketers breaking through the clutter? By revitalizing some tried-and-true, pre-digital strategies like direct mail.

Receiving something in the mail is sure to get people’s attention. These 11 direct mail examples will inspire you to launch your own effective direct mail campaign. We’ve chosen each one because it showcases a particular strategy you can use to generated direct mail ideas for your own marketing pieces.

Bold text

Direct mail postcard template

Your central marketing message should be the first thing a recipient sees when they receive your direct mail piece. The Waterfront open house postcard has big, bold text taking up almost half of the design, so the main marketing message gets across right away.

If you design your own piece with bold text, just remember not to go overboard—you can overdo it. Balance the text with complementary images, and leave some space for the design to breathe.

Shaped text

Direct mail postcard template

Another great way to get people’s attention is with interesting shapes. This office party invitation from Every Door Direct Mail organizes text into a Christmas tree shape, a surefire hit around the holidays. You can organize text into all sorts of shapes, from beer bottles to flowers. It’s a fun and creative way to add some eye-catching visual interest to your direct mail piece.

Stunning images

Direct mail postcard template

While your marketing pitch lives in the text, great images capture attention and evoke emotion. This Parisienne travel postcard gets viewers thinking about travel and romance with a pretty, black-and-white photograph of the Eiffel Tower. It’s good practice to choose an image that complements your brand and your offer, but the primary goal is to make a strong emotional connection.

Macro photography

Direct mail postcard template

Direct mail pieces have to stand out from the stack of mail that people receive every day. Macro photography is a great way to provide a new perspective on a familiar object—and this direct mail piece from Canva puts this strategy to good use. Rather than a standard cup of coffee, this alluring photo evokes the scent, taste and tactile feel of coffee beans.

Of course, you don’t have to use coffee beans—or any food, for that matter. If there’s an object that represents your brand, product or service, use macro shots to highlight it. If you can use an image that’s personalized to your customers or local area, even better.

Eye-catching colors

Direct mail flyer template

When you look in your mailbox on an average day, what do you see? Probably a sea of white (and off-white) envelopes, most of which look the same. The bright red stripe on this gym fitness flyer immediately stands out and draws attention to the value proposition. Be prudent with your color pops—an overly bright direct mail piece can look tacky and overwhelming. Stick with tasteful highlights like those showcased in this design.

Different shapes

Direct mail brochure template

Mailboxes are crammed full of standard envelopes and flyers every day. If your advertising needs to stand out, why not try a different shape? This modern tri-fold brochure will grab people’s attention not only with its color-blocked design, but also with an unusual shape. Folded pieces have a three-dimensional aspect to them, making it more likely to get noticed.

A personalized map

Direct mail postcard template

Personalization is a standard digital marketing tactic, but it’s more difficult to achieve in the direct mail space. Maps4Mail solved that by printing customized maps on each piece of mail, showing the recipient exactly where they need to go. The map is intuitive, personalized, and makes it easy for anyone to find your business. This is a great way to show customers you personally value their business as individuals.

If you don’t have the budget for such a granular campaign, you can still try other ways to add a personal touch to your direct mail. For example, you could include something specific to the local area, or you could include your signature.

Unusual materials

Direct mail postcard template

Most letters and flyers are printed on the same white paper. That’s not very exciting. If you can find materials or textures that stand out, you’ll have a big advantage over the competition. Heavy or textured paper work nicely, but if you really want to branch out, check this: These postcards from Cards of Wood are (as you would guess) made entirely of wood. Wood you believe it?

3D objects

Direct mail example

People are curious creatures, and we’re more likely to open packages that contain objects. If you can get your brand message across with an object, it can serve as a fantastic ad. Amnesty International sent out these pencil chopsticks to encourage people to write to the Chinese government. Thinking outside the box (or should we say inside) can get great results in direct mail because people spend more time with it.

Interactive mailers

Direct mail example

Not every brand can afford to design interactive mail pieces—but if you can, there might be no better way to connect with your customer. This piece from BMW had customers cutting a path through a wintery postcard to emphasize the reliability and control of their snow tires. Their combination of an envelope and mailer is great creative thinking.

Gifts

Direct mail example

Many direct mail pieces focus on the value brands can provide to their customers—but you’ll have to go further if you want to stand out. A coupon is a good start, but that’s still fairly common. Consider including a punch-out gift card instead. It lets you take advantage of an unusual material (plastic) and give the recipient a gift. A great combination that’s tough to beat.

Key takeaway

People get a lot of mail they didn’t ask for, and different brands will find success with different types of direct mail. The most important thing is to stand out and provide real value to your audience. These examples should get your creative juices flowing and inspire the best direct mail campaign for your own marketing goals.

Ready to create your own direct mail designs in minutes? Check out our direct mail postcard templates.

Memes are one of the most popular forms of expression online, and for good reason. First of all, they go hand-in-hand with just about any social media platform, which helps them spread like wildfire. Second, people have fairly short attention spans online, so the concise nature of memes makes them a perfect medium for quick consumption.

Memes are like an inside joke everyone wants to be in on. They’re a fun way to reflect on current events, clichés and trends. Memes are popular among brands because they engage audiences and drive traffic. If you’re thinking about using memes in your social media marketing, this guide will help you get up to speed.

What’s a meme?

The term itself was coined several decades ago by the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. In his book The Selfish Gene, it refers to the way an idea spreads from person to person within a culture. Like genes, they replicate and change as they spread. Some of his examples include catchphrases, melodies, fashion, and even the technology of building arches.

Today, we understand the concept a little differently, thanks to the internet. Memes are still representations of ideas, and they still spread from person to person, but they involve an element of human creativity.

Simply put, a typical meme is an image or photograph accompanied by a caption that’s funny, ironic or entertaining. Although memes have many different permutations, effective memes are instantly recognizable.

Early internet memes

Before the days of social media, memes were shared via email, blogs and forums. One of the first memes was the Dancing baby, which was so popular in the 90s, it made a cameo on the TV show Ally McBeal. Another popular early meme was the Hampster dance, a webpage born as the result of a competition between two sisters to generate the most web traffic.

Memes can grow and evolve, and they don’t necessarily have a short shelf life. For instance, the LOLcats meme is still around—ancient by internet standards. Rickrolling was huge a decade ago and has mostly been put to bed, but Westworld’s creators recently decided to post a video containing spoilers for its next season… which turned out to be fake. Another enduring meme is a video clip from the movie Downfall, which chronicles Hitler’s last days and has inspired numerous parodies—usually by pairing the serious scene with a frivolous topic.

Other types of memes

Rage comic example

The iconic Tootsie Pop ad reimagined as a rage comic

Image macro example

The internet is powered by humorous pictures of cats.

Trending meme example

Ahh, yes, the “Yanny vs. Laurel” of its generation. (2015, that is.)

Exploitable meme example

About 802 now, if you’re still counting.

Copypasta example

Since most recent examples are wildly inappropriate for this blog,here’s an oldie but a goodie.

The rules of using memes as a marketer

Like any type of humor, using memes as a brand poses a certain amount of risk. You don’t want a poorly constructed or offensive joke to confuse or drive away your audience. So, before you start spamming your social media feeds, review these simple guidelines.

  1. Decide whether memes are appropriate for your brand. Memes are predominantly created and shared by younger audiences. To get the joke, you have be clued into the broader online discussion. If your marketing campaign is aimed at an older audience, they might not follow memes or get the reference. Thus, your attempts at humor could fall flat.
    Also, consider brand voice. If your brand uses a serious tone, memes probably won’t help you establish credibility or authority. Research your audience and review your brand guidelines before introducing memes into your strategy.
  2. Don’t overdo it. In a way, memes function like a good jump scare in a horror movie. They can be incredibly effective 1) when used sparingly and 2) when the timing is right. Using them all the time will diminish their impact and bore your audience.
  3. Memes can’t replace original content. Memes can be a great addition to your content, but you can’t rely on them all the time. They’re there to amplify your message to a broader audience. All memes and no content is like eating dessert but never actually having lunch—fun at first, but eventually, you’ll want something more substantial to chew on.
  4. Be thoughtful. Memes can easily backfire if you’re not careful about the tone you use to get your point across. Sarcasm and irony don’t always translate well via text, which can cause confusion or backlash among your audience, despite having the best intentions.
    Additionally, make sure you research and understand the origins of a meme before you use it. It might have problematic connotations (like racism, sexism or ableism) that you don’t want associated with your brand. Know Your Meme (potentially NSFW) is a great resource if you want to learn more about a particular meme.

3 examples of brands using memes on social media

There’s a veritable boatload of brands using memes effectively out there, but here are a few of our favorites.

Key takeaway

Although individual ones come and go, memes are here to stay. They’re easy to create and even easier to share. From a marketer’s point of view, they’re inexpensive and have the potential to go viral. Still, they require you to research their content, your audience, and your brand. When all these elements align, memes can spread your brand message to a broader audience than ever before. To the moon! ???

A well-designed website is a valuable investment that will generate revenue for your business—but 38% of people say they won’t explore a site if they find it unattractive. If your website hasn’t been updated in a while, your web design could unintentionally be hurting your business by turning people away at the door.

If it’s time to refresh your website, we’ve put together a list of 10 website design best practices and coupled them with the do’s and don’ts of great web design. Follow these best practices as you update your site.

1. Target audience

Always keep your target audience in mind. Your point-of-view, as a professional, might be very different from that of the user. Pretend you’re visiting your website with fresh eyes. Walk through the user’s journey as they explore different pages. Focusing on this experience will help you create a user-friendly website.

Good design addresses the target audience with a brand personality users want to engage with. Check out this website, Crypton. It’s designed ideally for a tech-savvy audience.

Crypton homepage

Source: Crypton

Parallax scrolling heightens the user engagement here, but you don’t have to include parallax functionality on every website. Research your buyer personas and use design elements, functions and colors that make your target audience feel right at home.

Websites that don’t rank well on Google and other search engines have very little chance of breaking through the noise. As you update your website and add new pages, make sure you’re following the most recent SEO guidelines. Your page titles, meta descriptions, and content are all important players in driving better search signals.

2. Layout

Have you seen websites that look like rows of boxes—all different sizes and arranged haphazardly? Would you spend more than two seconds sorting through it? Probably not. That’s because cluttered websites are visually confusing; the viewer doesn’t know where to direct their attention. A well-organized layout, on the other hand, guides the viewer where you want them to go.

So, where do you want your visitors to go? It depends on the purpose of your website. An e-commerce site will drive visitors to purchase, while a SaaS site might drive visitors towards a demo or a free trial. Whatever purpose your website serves, make it the focal point of your homepage.

The first things that attract a visitor’s attention when she lands on your homepage are the headline and call-to-action. Not the contact info, articles or product specs, but these two elements. For this reason, the more action-oriented your headline and CTA are, the higher your chances of success rise.

CTAs are designed to incite an immediate response from a customer. That’s why clear, concise CTAs are more effective. One software company reported that their site’s conversion rate increased by 106% after it got a makeover that included a clear, direct call-to-action.

3. Color scheme

Using too many colors will make your website design clash. Colors have strong psychological impact, and they will affect a viewer’s opinion of your brand. If you’re unsure how many colors to use, the rule of thumb says your design should not use more than three colors. If you’re working with a brand palette, you might be able to use more, as long as you balance them well.

Your website’s colors should reflect the brand, complement the content, and visually delight viewers. [Tweet this] Avoid selecting random colors just based on what you like. Instead, think about the brand and its users. If you have a primary color but don’t know how to make color schemes, you can use an automatic color scheme generator to help fill out your palette.

4. Text placement

Just like the layout, you don’t want the design to be cluttered with text. If you have long-form content on the website, create a clean, spacious design that divides the content into readable chunks. You can do that by adding ample white space, using images, and creating proper flow.

If your pages are easy to scan, you have a better chance of luring readers to the bottom. Attention spans are short online, but if you can make your content easy to absorb, readers will get more value from it. In addition to high-quality writing, use headings, bullets, quotes and blocks to emphasize the essentials.

Potential customers are less likely to enter their contact information or make a purchase if they suspect that your website is not secure or trustworthy. Communicate your trustworthiness by featuring customer testimonials, case studies, reviews, security badges and your privacy policy. Make sure your contact information is easy to find so visitors know they can reach you. All of these signals will help you establish trust and credibility as a reputable brand.

Use compelling language to convince and show readers how your brand will add value to their lives or resolve their problems. What benefits can customers expect to enjoy by making a purchase or signing up for your service? What features make your products better than what your competitors offer? If you can excite your visitors with your value proposition, you will see your conversion rates improve.

5. Search & navigation

Everything on your website should be easily searchable. Whether it’s the sign-up form, the “About Us” page, or your contact information, readers should not have to spend more than a few seconds finding it. To make things even easier, include a search box so people can find things that don’t align with the page’s primary focus.

If your site requires users to sign up, use colors to make the navigation simple. For instance, if your navigation headers are blue, make your sign-up button green or some other color. Organize your content into categories that users can browse if they like. You can also organize content on various hub pages.

With good UX, your website tells the world that you think clearly about the end user. See Crunchbase’s website; its UI is done beautifully. There’s the search bar on top if you want to explore specific results, or you can click the menu on the left side to browse sections that interest you.
 

Crunchbase homepage

Source: Crunchbase

6. Fonts

A website that uses five different fonts loses users in seconds because it takes too much effort to read. Too many fonts on the screen can make a website look chaotic and unprofessional. The ideal number of fonts is three: one for main headings, another for sub-headings, and the third for the body text.

Font size has a huge impact on legibility. It’s important that they’re neither too big (taking up half the page) nor too small (uncomfortable to read). The sizes of your fonts should reflect the importance of each element. For example, section titles and taglines are more significant than the body text, so they’re bigger. This helps readers scan the content, too.

7. Images

Too many images will crowd out your message, so use them sparingly and impactfully. Remember, search engines can’t read images very well, so don’t rely on them to convey text. If you’re using a background image, keep it under 1 MB. Large images slow down your site’s loading time.

People think visually, which is why images are so effective. Feel free to use images in your web design, but find ones that are visually attractive, high resolution and not pixelated. Make sure the images you use reflect your brand’s personality. Don’t forget that you can also use textures and gradients to add visual appeal.

8. Mobile compatibility

57% of mobile users won’t recommend a website that’s not optimized for mobile. More people are browsing and shopping on mobile devices, and they expect websites to provide great mobile experiences. Invest in responsive or mobile-first design so you don’t miss customers during crucial moments.

It’s not enough for your website to look good on mobile—it needs to be fully functional as well. Give your mobile users the tools to get things done, such as product search, store locators, service details, and more. If you can seize these opportunities, you won’t lose customers who are searching on the go.

People are not patient, and slow-loading webpages will almost certainly lead to a higher bounce rate. If your page takes longer than five seconds to load, it’ll frustrate your visitors and give them a reason to search elsewhere. To increase the loading speed of your webpages, consider removing any nonessentials, such as videos or large images that take extra time to load. Compressing images will also reduce loading time. Finally, utilize browser caching for storing cached versions of static resources to speed up your pages significantly.

9. Conventional vs. unique design

People are used to certain structures and formats on the web. This familiarity makes it easier for the brain to absorb content and make decisions. Your visitors shouldn’t have to be detectives to figure out who you are and what you offer. The power of traditional web design is that users will understand what your website is about with a single glance.

Your above-the-fold section should do the job

A Nielsen study says the majority of your website visitors will spend 80% of their time above the fold. That’s the section you see without scrolling—call it the opening screen.

The best websites explain what they do in this opening screen. A general practice is to use a headline (think your company’s tagline or mission statement), followed with a brief subtitle text describing your services or products. Top it off with a CTA button to direct visitors toward the next stage in your conversion funnel.

Airbnb does this brilliantly; the headline is the CTA. While there’s no subtitle text, their call-to-action is strengthened by a slideshow of awesome travel photos. Just beneath the headline, a search bar is intuitively placed. The example text in the search bar encourages interaction.

Airbnb homepage

Source: Airbnb

It’s very frustrating for users to have to move all the way to the top or bottom of a page to navigate the site. What many websites have now are floating menus: menus that move along the top or side of the screen as you scroll, making navigation a lot easier.

AMD, a giant in the computer hardware business, uses floating “share” buttons that visitors can use to share the content they find interesting across a variety of social sites like Twitter and Facebook. This helped AMD drive a whopping 3600% increase in social sharing, as more and more people found and shared their pages.

Still, you do want your brand to stand out from the crowd. Be creative, and use elements that make your site unique without disrupting the flow of information. Whether you experiment with moving images, video, or other design elements, try different things and monitor the results. You might be surprised what works.

10. Test it out

Once you’re done designing the site, test it to make sure everything is working correctly. Use multiple devices to navigate your website and see if it’s doing what it’s supposed to do. A user’s experience can vary depending on device type, internet browser, and location. Try to recreate different scenarios so you can catch any bugs or performance issues before they do.

A successful web designer needs to think like a CEO as well as an artist. This will help you view the website with business strategy in mind. Critical evaluation will give you a site that looks good, is user-friendly, and helps the business reach its goals.

Ready to design? Try Lucidpress today to create professional, compelling graphics for your brand’s website.

As you’re building your brand with new ideas and projects, you might not always have access to an in-house designer to assist with all your creative needs. Leaving you, someone with less creative experience, to face the perils of graphic design alone.

Okay, okay, it’s not (usually) that dramatic.

But to those of us who aren’t used to creating aesthetically pleasing or practical designs, creating a line of marketing labels or flyers can be a daunting task.

These 5 design tips go out to the non-creatives of the world. You, too, can make beautifully branded designs if you start with this advice.

1. Seek & gather inspiration

Etsy shop banner template

Source: Etsy shop banner template

One critical element of good design is starting with a strong idea of what you want to create. But without much creative experience, you might be at a loss for where to begin.

Start by visiting some of your favorite brands’ websites or artists’ portfolios and look for designs that stand out to you. Save a few examples that catch your attention (in the creative biz, we call this a “swipe file”). Try to gather different styles to begin learning how to differentiate between them.

Once you’ve gathered a good number of examples, open that folder up and review your selections. Pay special attention to the following aspects of design:

You’ll begin to see that all design can be broken down into a number of basic elements. As you start to build your own designs, focus on these elements one at a time to create a cohesive finished product.

2. Use negative space correctly

Large promotional banner template

Source: Large promotional banner template

Have you heard of negative space?

Negative space is the area of a design where things are simply left blank or unfilled. Not every inch of the flyer or booklet you’re making needs to be covered with visuals—and in fact, that makes the design look too busy.

Instead, use negative space to your advantage. By leaving certain areas blank, you ensure the eye will be drawn to the most important information.

There are a few easy-to-identify areas where you can intentionally make unique shapes or words within negative space:

Using negative space can be tricky but effective. Why? Because our minds search for messages in everything, even in blank space. By using negative space deliberately, you’ll stimulate the viewer’s mind and capture their interest.

3. Limit your fonts

Block party flyer template

Source: Block party flyer template

When beginners get into design, they’re likely to be amazed and overwhelmed by the sheer number of fonts available. From pre-programmed fonts to free-use fonts that can be found online, there are literally thousands of options… and that can lead to some design disasters.

Beginners and non-creatives have been known to use five, six, or even more fonts within a single project. While it can be fun to choose these fonts, the end result will usually be messy.

Follow these guidelines to keep the fonts clean and classy:

4. Consider your color palette

Contempo modern brochure template

Source: Contempo modern brochure template

Choosing the right color scheme is an essential part of design. Colors have strong psychological effects on the viewer, so you want to be sure that your colors send the right message and match your brand palette.

Think about common color associations that people’s minds make:

Now that you see the reactions different colors can evoke, let’s see how you can inspire those feelings with your color palette.

  1. Create a mood board of photos that represent your brand’s personality. Once you have a large collection, find six colors that appear regularly in those photos.
  2. Try out different tones, shades and variations of these colors until you find a balance between them.
  3. Check out pre-existing color palettes to see if any of them line up with your colors.

There are more concepts that can help you finalize your color palette—such as monochromatic, analogous and complementary—but most non-creatives probably won’t need to get into the weeds quite this much.

Instead, it’s time to move forward with what you’ve already created.

If you’re using a design template, you have access to a range of color options. These pre-selected color palettes are well-balanced and specially created for those designs, so copying them can make your project simpler. You can also choose a color scheme that matches previous in-house designs.

5. Creatively challenged? Don’t worry

Cosmopolitan business poster template

Source: Cosmopolitan business poster template

Even with these design tips, those of us who are creatively challenged may still struggle to create a design we feel confident in.

And that’s okay! There are ways to keep it simple and still create a great design.

Lucidpress offers hundreds of templates for various types of marketing materials, and they already include font selections, color palettes, and all of the design aspects covered above without you having to think about it. Better yet, each of these elements is customizable, so you can quickly and easily adjust templates to match your ideas.

You’ve built a great website and have an impressive email database, and you’ve even built a decent following for your brand by following tips you’ve read in real estate marketing guides.

Now you want to know what content you need to keep you at the front of the pack.

First, while it’s true Google likes fresh content, mediocre fresh content will not help you. Prospective clients look for informative, valuable or entertaining content that prioritizes high-quality visual design.

If you’re searching for ways to do that, here are our tips on how to post great real estate content for your audience.

Why content marketing in real estate?

Content marketing is a valuable tool for building up brand awareness and driving leads. Blog posts optimized to show up in search engines can drive organic traffic to your website saving you from paying for ads and media buys month after month. Building up a presence on social media as a skilled real estate agent can help drive referrals and help potential clients to think of you the next time they are considering buying or selling a home.

Generating real estate content marketing ideas

In content marketing quality is better than quantity. Agents will see a much higher return on investment by focusing on generating content that potential business leads will be interested in. Before sitting down and coming up with a list of ideas, think about what your overall content strategy will be. How will potential business leads find your content? Is there a particular content marketing platform you will use?

Some common channels include:

By selecting one or two channels to focus on you will be better able to come up with content ideas that will perform well. If you are focusing on SEO, use keyword research tools such as SpyFu, Ahrefs or the Google Ads planner to identify topics people search for that are relevant to your industry. If you’re focusing on social media, communities or co-creation, get to know what members frequently discuss and brainstorm content you can create that will be relevant and useful to that audience.

Hire a good writer

We’ve all been drawn to some click-baity content at some point, often because we’re drawn in by an enticing headline.

By now, however, most of us realize that anything that claims to be jaw-dropping (like “You won’t believe what happened to this third grader when he opened his lunch”) isn’t actually worth clicking. Your real estate clients want content with more substance—information that relates directly to the industry—and to get that, you need to find a good copywriter.

You might already have a talented writer on staff who knows how to write good articles about rent rates, homeownership and mortgage financing. Otherwise, you can reach out to a PR firm or real estate marketing agency that specializes in content.

What should you publish?

Whether you’re marketing an apartment unit in Chicago, Illinois, or a New York City micro-apartment, the place to start is with website copy, blogs and newsletters.

If your website has been around for a few years, make sure it’s up-to-date and that the copy is fresh.

Publish a blog post at least once a week, and make it better than all the regurgitated content out there. Newsletters can help you spread the word, and there are still many real estate pros who send newsletters by snail mail.

For a look at a few shining examples in the real estate industry, check out this list of the top real estate blogs.

Once you’ve mastered the basics, remember content marketing is more than just blogging. Visual content such as infographics, photos and videos perform well on social media and can better communicate ideas that are difficult to describe.

Repurposing a blog post into an infographic or video is also a great way to spruce up your email marketing and send engaging content to readers who don’t have time to read an entire blog post.

Long-form content such as ebooks or webinars are also effective lead generation tools. Provide a guide to buying your first home or investing in a rental property and ask for a name and email to access it. Then place your new contacts in an email campaign and nurture those leads into your next client.

What should you say?

Your website should clearly and cleverly explain who you are and what you do. Blogs can cover a variety of subjects that your clients are interested in, like:

Your newsletters should be more specific, covering:

Each month, you can highlight a relevant, timely subject like:

Remember: You’re the expert

A client who’s trusting a real estate agent to sell their home or purchase a new one will feel far more comfortable if you can show you know the neighborhood inside and out.

That’s why your content should cover local interests like reviews of new restaurants, lists of local daycare centers, and articles about any subject that make it clear you thoroughly understand the community.

Expert guides are a great way to establish credibility. Try researching and writing about things like:

Key takeaway: Content rules

It’s a digital world, and content is king.

While there’s still plenty of room for traditional marketing, most of your content will be published online. Make sure it’s timely, well-written, and of course, original.

Most of all, your content should be engaging and informative. If you can provide value to your readers, they’ll remember you any time they need your services, because you’ve already established yourself as a professional who they can trust.

Learn more about building a strong brand with this free guide to real estate branding.

Like every other industry, real estate has experienced rapid change due to new technologies. Perhaps the area that’s felt the most impact is marketing. It’s imperative to keep up with how it’s evolving to stay ahead.

Although direct advertising methods are still popular in real estate marketing, they’re not the only way to help consumers change their minds. That’s where influencer marketing comes in.

Word-of-mouth is no longer limited to meeting people in person; it’s expanded to include social media, too. Influencer marketing in real estate aims to draw in potential clients with content they’ll find engaging and valuable. Here are five influencer marketing strategies your brand can try.

Don’t underestimate the power of Facebook

Facebook offers ample opportunities for influencer marketers to connect with audiences organically. For example, you have personal pages, business pages & groups, all of which can provide multiple touchpoints.

There are various content options, such as photos, blog articles and videos, through which you can engage potential clients. Facebook posts that get the most likes are creative, genuine and have your brand’s personality written all over them.

In addition, Facebook is proven to be a brilliant tool to expand your database and sphere of influence. Personal interactions, even a simple birthday wish, are a great way to reconnect with clients and remind them you’re available.

Work with a combination of influencers

Many brands make the mistake of pairing up with the wrong influencers. Not every influencer will work for you, so it’s best to realize this early on. Influencers can usually be divided into three categories: mega-influencers (celebrities), macro-influencers (well-known), and micro-influencers (niche).

To determine which influencer would be right for you, you need to define your target audience. Are you looking to attract families and professionals? Perhaps millennials? People tend to follow influencers that represent the lifestyle they hope to achieve.

Many real estate brands choose a variety of influencers to maximize their reach on different platforms. The best influencer would be the one who’s most relevant to your campaign and can reach the most significant potential audience.

Be creative with video marketing

Video marketing, today, is a force to reckon with. Video marketing stats show 84% of consumers choose to buy something after watching a video and, by 2020, 82% of all consumer web traffic will be video. Compared to content that’s text-based, video has proven to be very effective and is perhaps the biggest trend for content marketing this year.

What does it mean for real estate brands? Well, it means more creativity. Audiences aren’t interested in the same old content anymore and are looking for something that’s authentic and hits home. Videos seem genuine, are fun, and add a degree of reality to the business.

A brilliant example of video marketing is Bedrock Real Estate’s “Anthem of Us” to encourage purchases in the Detroit area. The award-winning video starts off with a voiceover by rapper Big Sean (a native of Detroit) and highlights its culture and, most importantly, its people.

The video employs the use of a mega-influencer and multiple micro-influencers, a combination that hits the bullseye. Big Sean’s voiceover would be not worth sharing if it weren’t for the local people & businesses whose promotion led to the video going viral. The micro-influencers played a massive role in the campaign gaining ground locally, so if you’re aiming for a regional campaign, then local influencers might be more effective than international ones.

Build long-term relationships

With the growth of influencer marketing, the demand for influencers is at an all-time high. The number of brands getting in on the game has led to a rise in cost. In the past, brands could get away with free products as a form of compensation—not anymore.

Today, brands have to invest more time and effort in working with influencers. Once you’ve built a healthy relationship, you can ask them to promote your content. Perhaps the best way to get a referral is to make your influencer a client and have them share their own positive experience with their followers. There’s nothing more impactful than a genuine review.

Invest in Instagram

Last year, Instagram ranked as the best platform for influencer marketing campaigns. There are over 800 million users using the app every month, and that number is still rising.

Influencer marketing is likely to cross $2 billion by 2019, and Instagram is the best platform to use for brands and influencers alike. Its visual nature inspires you to get creative with your content and grab the attention of your target audience.

The best content on Instagram doesn’t just flaunt your product; it flaunts your personality. Don’t just post pictures of luxurious houses—post pictures of what makes it a home, too. How about a dog in the backyard? Or people enjoying food at the open house?

Influencer event marketing, in particular, is gaining momentum and is something you should start thinking about. Host an event and invite people with large followings to attend. The influencers are then responsible for creating engaging content that will drive awareness for your brand.

Instagram influencer marketing

Source: Instagram

For instance, look at the photo above. Isn’t it gorgeous and fun? Would you believe me if I told you it’s from an open house in Los Angeles and the woman in the photo is an influencer?

The open house was set up in the most Instagram-worthy fashion and encouraged social media sharing. These real estate professionals understood the importance of making open houses seem less like what they are and more like a fun, eye-catching event that’s worth telling your friends about.

Key takeaway

Influencer marketing can boost your brand awareness efforts and be a valuable addition to your content marketing arsenal. The right influencer and the right platform are bound to set you on the road to success.

Marketers are getting inventive with their opt-in freebies, offering software, interactive quizzes, and entire video trainings in a bid to grow their email lists and generate interest for their products or services.

But in spite of all these creative possibilities, there’s still one type of lead magnet that hasn’t lost its rustic charm: the PDF download.

It’s easy to see why. PDF content, such as ebooks & white papers, is cost-effective, easy to produce, and—believe it or not—still converts.

Did you think PDF downloads were dead?

Overthink Group did a study of HubSpot’s most popular lead magnet types in 2017, and eight of the top ten included PDF-type content—whether ebooks, how-to guides, slide presentations or templates.

HubSpot lead magnet types

Aside from ebooks, here are a few other PDF content types that are as popular as ever:

All of these formats are easy to digest, offering new subscribers the instant gratification they seek. As a bonus, they’re less expensive and time-consuming to produce than a full-blown video course.

Today, on-brand lead magnets are easier to create than ever. With a desktop publishing tool like Lucidpress, you can start with an existing template or create your own using the drag-and-drop editor.

After you’ve created your lead magnet and a landing page to host it, it’s time to get some eyeballs on it. Here are nine ways to do just that.

Tell your audience about your latest free offer

Lead magnets make handy tools for building an email list, but they can also be shared with your existing audience to generate more buzz or segment email subscribers based on their interests. Incorporate your ebook into your full content strategy.

Your existing audience includes your clients or customers, social media followers, and current subscriber base. Ask them to check out your latest resource and to consider sharing it if they find it useful.

Don’t forget to link to your lead magnet in the following places:

Feature it throughout your website

Your website can be your best promotional tool. By strategically placing opt-in forms and links to your free offer throughout your site, you can control which type of visitor sees your offer and when.

If you want to get a bit more creative, here are a few more ways you can showcase your lead magnet on your site:

Certain types of opt-in forms, such as those that obscure the content, can be frustrating for mobile users, so consider displaying a different type of form depending on the device a visitor is using.

How many emails do you send in a day—or a week?

Your email signature is prime real estate for promoting your latest offer.

Create a professional and eye-catching signature with a link to your landing page and a bit of text enticing your email recipients to click. Using a free email signature generator like WiseStamp, you can easily add a CTA to your sig:

WiseStamp email signature

Promote it via your blog

Indirect promotion of your lead magnet via your blog can be a more effective long-term strategy than repetitively plugging your free offer.

The bottom of every post is a logical place to include a call-to-action. For example, you might add a post-footer opt-in form or invite readers to visit your landing page.

You can also link to your freebie within the body of your posts when it makes sense contextually. Use an attention-grabbing callout box or try the subtle (but highly effective) two-step opt-in form, which doesn’t display a form until the user clicks on the link.

Whenever you publish a new post, notify your audience via social media and your email newsletter. You can expand your post’s reach with some additional promotion techniques:

Guest posting is still one of the best ways to reach new audiences and generate powerful backlinks to your content. In exchange for a well-written article, many websites will let you include a call-to-action and a link to a landing page of your choice.

To help you narrow down which blogs are worth writing for, use free tools like SimilarWeb and Alexa to get estimations of a domain’s traffic, and the MozBar Chrome extension to compare the domain authority of guest post prospects.

MozBar Chrome extension

If you plan to do a lot of guest posting, it’s worth investing in a keyword research tool to help you choose article topics that 1) are relevant, 2) people are searching for, and 3) the host website has a good shot at ranking for. This will boost the visibility of your guest articles and the quality of referral traffic to your landing page.

Share it in relevant online communities

There’s a group for every professional subject.

Online communities—Facebook and LinkedIn groups, Google+ communities, subreddits, public Slack channels, etc.—offer a place to get support from experts, develop business relationships, and share your latest work.

Instead of trying to be everywhere at once, you can get more mileage by choosing a small handful of high-quality groups and being active in them. Get to know the group culture and participate in the discussion before attempting to drop any links.

In many groups, self-promotion or links are not allowed, although some group admins have a weekly “show-and-tell” day as an exception to this rule.

If group admins seem strict about self-promotion, don’t automatically write it off as a bad group. Often, heavily moderated groups are higher quality—and they tend to relax the rules for members who regularly contribute to the community.

Drive traffic to it with Facebook ads

With Facebook ads, you can generate sign-ups right on Facebook or drive traffic to a page on your website, like Marketo is doing with this ad:

Marketo Facebook ad

If you’re curious to know the average CPC, CTR and conversion rates for your industry so you can see how your Facebook campaigns stack up, check out this study by WordStream.

Repurpose it

Repackaging your lead magnet into other formats and distributing it across multiple platforms is an economical way to generate more interest and exposure.

For instance, you could share pointers from your ebook in the form of YouTube videos, SlideShares, Medium articles or social media graphics, with a link to the download page.

PDF content can also be repurposed into offline marketing collateral—such as brochures, booklets, newsletters and flyers—and distributed to prospects at networking events and trade shows. (Not to brag here, but Lucidpress can help you transform your digital creations into on-brand print collateral and even send them via direct mail.)

Once you’ve created your first lead magnet and begun to collect subscribers, try creating a few new offers and see what resonates best with your audience. By targeting your lead magnets to specific blog posts or types of website visitors, you can continue to grow conversions while offering individual prospects and customers the best possible experience.

Ready to wow your marketing leads with beautifully designed eBooks? Lucidpress will help your brand send the right message.

Before the rise of social media platforms, marketers relied on evergreen content. Evergreen content is content that’s always interesting, valuable or relevant to readers.

In contrast, ephemeral content is content that’s designed to last for only 24 hours. Snapchat, Instagram Stories and Facebook Live are all examples of places to post ephemeral content.

The psychological concept of FOMO (the fear of missing out) makes ephemeral content great at increasing customer engagement.

Here, we’ll discuss how you can take advantage of FOMO to build your brand with ephemeral content.

Why should brands create ephemeral content?

When Snapchat came to smartphones, many people didn’t get it. What was the point in making a video or a photo that would disappear?

At that time, content creators focused on creating evergreen content to capture the interest of readers and stand the test of time.

Although evergreen content lasts, ephemeral content offers a sense of exclusivity. If you miss it, you miss it for good.

By making content ephemeral, you can keep your audience on its toes. They don’t want to miss out, so they pay attention. And on the internet, attention is king.

Large brands are already taking advantage of FOMO with their content. In 2016, an estimated 21% of BuzzFeed’s total traffic came from Snapchat views. As of 2018, Instagram Stories has an estimated 400 million users.

If you don’t get in on this trend soon, you’ll be the one who ends up with a bad case of FOMO.

How to use ephemeral content effectively

Ephemeral content offers unique ways to engage an audience. There are several different strategies you can use, depending on your preferred platform. Here are a few of them.

Reach out to your users and make them feel special

First, you have to reach out to your users. There are two good ways to do this: remarketing and influencer marketing.

If you’ve already established contact with your users, you can try remarketing. Use remarketing to announce new products, sales or discounts on products or services they’ve bought before to keep your audience engaged.

If you haven’t reached your audience yet, you can tap influencers to attend expos or invite-only events. Provide opportunities for them to take great pictures and try out your product. These influencers can then share their experiences with your brand via their social media accounts.

Keep in mind that not all fans have the clout or money to go to these events. Instead, you can give your regular users a “sneak peek” that not only makes them feel special, but also makes your brand feel real and authentic.

Be authentic and humanize your brand

Speaking of authenticity, one of the things that makes ephemeral content attractive is that it feels more real. However, to do this, you first have to know who you are and what you want to do as a brand.

According to Shopify, putting to paper the intangible facets of your brand (e.g. principles, philosophies, etc.) “should provide an ample introduction of why you’re in business, why you’re different, what you have going for you, and why you’re a good bet if you’re asking for an investment.” These will give you a guide for how to appear more authentic in your social media posts.

But, it’s not enough to know who you are and why. You also have to run your brand in line with your identity. When you have an identity and stick to it, it’s reflected in your content. Users like seeing employees at work behind the scenes—or real people using products in their own way. Take advantage of this and show users the unpolished side of your brand.

Keep your audience on its toes with live video

Live video is one way to show your audience that you’re authentic. But aside from that, it hooks them immediately.

When you use live video, your users are the seeing it at the same time as everyone else. According to Facebook, users spend up to three times more of their time watching live videos than non-live videos.

Here are a few ways to use live video:

Facebook Live is a popular platform for live video streaming. If you plan on using Facebook for your live videos, make sure you know when the best times are to go live so you can get the most engagement.

Get your users involved with a call-to-action

In the end, you want your users to do something. That’s why you include a call-to-action.

With ephemeral content, the call-to-action is usually a link to a landing page. Because ephemeral content doesn’t last forever, you need to make your CTA clear and concise.

Make sure you tell your audience exactly what you want them to do. “Click this link!” and “Swipe up!” are good examples of clear calls-to-action.

Best platforms for ephemeral content

Now that you have an idea of how to maximize ephemeral content, it’s time to decide which platform to use. Each platform has its own features and user base. Here’s a short breakdown of three popular platforms.

Snapchat

Snapchat is popular with younger users, so you should consider Snapchat if they’re your target market. Snapchat uses Snapcodes, which are QR codes users can scan to follow brand profiles. Snapchat also has geo-filters, which can be used for time- and location-sensitive events or promotions.

Facebook

Facebook has a huge user base that’s varied in demographics. If you plan on integrating ephemeral content with a brand page, Facebook is the way to go. Facebook Stories gives users a way to enjoy ephemeral content without clogging up their newsfeed. It also allows you to supplement your ephemeral content with posts on your main page.

Instagram

Instagram has a huge user base. In 2017, Instagram Stories had more than 200 million daily active users, a number that’s doubled since then. If your brand is visual in its marketing style, Instagram is worth a look. You’ll be able to supplement your photo feed with Stories. Instagram also allows in-story links, making calls-to-action easier for users to follow.

Key takeaway

Ephemeral content is a trend that isn’t going away soon, even though these posts only last for 24 hours.

If you’re looking for a new way to engage your users and keep them interested, ephemeral content is something you should think about. Are you already using ephemeral content? How is it working for your brand? Show us your favorite examples on Twitter by mentioning @lucidpress.

Why talk about sustainability?

You’re probably fed up with the terms “millennial” and “Generation Y,” but they’re still helpful when describing that particular group of consumers.

For example, one trend that keeps popping up is their desire to buy from brands brave enough to set standards of behavior and live by a set of principles.

I’m a millennial, and for the first time this year, I was able to go to my local zero-waste store and buy travel toiletries for my summer vacation. I even paid a lot more for the privilege and left the store with a fuzzy feeling and a huge smile. Does this sound unusual? Trust me—I’m not the only one in my peer group who looks for opportunities like this.

If you’re looking for more reasons to build your brand around sustainability—and examples of brands that are doing just that—read on.

Boosting that bottom line

If you want to show the market that your company is in it for the long haul, having a sustainability strategy is a case of when, not if.

We know that 75% of millennials millennials say sustainability is a shopping priority, more than any other group. [Tweet this] Yes, we came of age during the Great Recession and aren’t the richest generation (hello Boomers), but we are getting wealthier. And, importantly, we are willing to pay more for things that matter.

The problem with sustainable business practices is the misconception that being good equals less revenue.

Even Forbes agrees that you can earn better returns from investing in good companies. If you’re not positioning your company to look after the planet and its people, you’re already behind. The time is now.

Leading from the front

Do you want your brand to be on the cutting edge, forming relationships with international audiences? Or do you want to be trying to figure out why your quirky social media campaigns aren’t getting the engagement they used to?

The United Nations are fully focused on achieving their Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, and your brand can be part of that through the work of the Global Compact division.

Of course, this is step one in the process. Your brand won’t survive on goodwill alone. It has to produce a steady profit to grow and spread your positive message further.

Step two is telling your story, integrating sustainability into your brand and making sure the entire company is on board and proud of the work you’re all doing.

Telling your “triple bottom line” story

If you’re not familiar with the triple bottom line, it’s the idea that your business should be measuring and reporting not just a financial bottom line, but social and environmental bottom lines, too.

This is how you truly integrate your business with sustainability. There are several ways to get started on this, but some useful resources are:

You can use these frameworks that are already created and layer them throughout your business. It’s a time-consuming process to get all of the data in place, but once you have it set up, it’s well-worth the effort.

What’s important to you?

The next part is understanding which issues are important to you and your audience. For smaller brands, your audience will include customers, employees and management teams. For bigger brands, that list might also include governments, local residents and other organizations.

A great place to start with your sustainability efforts is to pick an issue that you all feel strongly about. This will get everyone excited to transition, and while we all know that change can be difficult, successfully launching one project makes it easier to do more.

If you’re thinking of starting a business or just launched one recently, this can still apply to you. Think about your processes as you build them, and ask the question: “Can I repeat this action for the next five years and feel good about it?” If the answer is no, then you have an opportunity to future-proof.

Now that you have an amazing project going on—whether you’re off-setting your carbon output, adding mental health support to your team’s healthcare packages, or engaging your local community in a social development project—it’s time to tell the world.

Using social media

We’re past the point of debating whether social media is relevant. It is. It’s also a fantastic place to tell your brand story in an authentic and engaging way.

The number-one rule here is not to just throw out a few posts about sustainability and expect them to get the engagement they should. Create a new marketing plan with your project at the heart of it, and find ways to tie more of your posts back to sustainability.

The power of Instagram and live-streaming

For Instagram, consider using longer captions. If you have a good reason for a long post, then don’t be afraid. Yes, social media is often about standing out, but that in itself is not a sustainable business practice. If you’re just using pictures of puppies because research shows that puppies get the most likes, then you’ve missed the point of marketing.

Make your social media pages (especially Instagram) reflect your authentic self. Check out @ErinOutdoors or @SophieHellyer, who’ve both attracted loyal communities with their authenticity. Let it showcase the values of your brand so you can attract an audience who cares about those same things.

lifestraw

A post shared by Erin Sullivan (@erinoutdoors) on Oct 12, 2018 at 8:00pm PDT

If you have someone who’s particularly good on camera, give them a platform to talk about your project in a live stream. Most social platforms now have a solid live-streaming option. Take advantage and give your audience access to backstage conversations about your brand. Be brave and be there for your community.

Building a community

Having worked in marketing for a long time now, the most common thing I see is a fear to stand up for something important because it might upset some of your customers. You could sell anything to anyone, but that’s not building a brand legacy—that’s trying to make a quick buck.

If you consider community-building to be part of your marketing strategy, then you need to have a positive message. Brands that build positive messaging in their content and communication are the ones that stand out against the negative cycle of mainstream news.

Examples of great sustainable storytelling

There’s nothing like seeing examples that work, so we’ve curated a few samples of brands we absolutely love.

TRIBE — Sports nutrition with a conscience

At Conscious Creatives, we try to encourage physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle, getting our team healthy through running, cycling, surfing and more. One of our biggest forms of inspiration in this respect is Tribe—a brand dedicated to making sports nutrition products with natural ingredients.

What we love about Tribe is that their marketing plans are based on creating a community. They’re a collection of people who love being outdoors, brought together by sporting events all over the world and a combined effort to rid the world of human trafficking.

like a girl

A post shared by TRIBE (@the_tribe_way) on Oct 15, 2018 at 12:46pm PDT

Tribe is a community of nutrition experts who care about the world. It just so happens that they also sell nutrition products.

Lewis Pugh — Swimming to save the seas

An example of someone who definitely fits the definition of inspirational is Lewis Pugh: swimmer, speaker and general mind-boggling human being.

He’s just completed The Long Swim, a 560-kilometer effort spanning the length of the English Channel.

Why would a person attempt such a thing? To raise awareness of the sorry state of our oceans. Lewis’s feat is the start of a worldwide campaign that aims to fully protect 30% of our oceans by 2030.

A real-life hero and conservationist, Lewis defies all logic and pushes himself to the limits to earn media coverage of the cause. See this photo of his encounter with a plastic bag during his long swim. He used a powerful image, a long caption and specific instructions to make our oceans cleaner.

lewis pugh

A post shared by Lewis Pugh (@lewis.pugh) on Aug 22, 2018 at 7:19am PDT

That is how sustainable marketing will change the world.

rCUP — Recycling reusable cups

I am proud to share a hometown with these folks. They discovered that only 0.4% of recyclable coffee cups were actually being recycled. So, they set about designing a product made from precisely those cups.

The rCUP is a reusable coffee cup that is affordable, looks great and has some wonderful little design elements that make it really easy to use.

A post shared by rCUP (@rcuponeplanet) on Jul 21, 2018 at 11:32am PDT

Sustainable marketing is so much easier when you’ve got products that make a real difference.

How to get started

If you’re reading this and are equal parts excited and confused, you are not alone. I suggest finding a community of like-minded business folks who are also looking to make more money by doing the right thing.

LinkedIn is a great resource for finding sustainability professionals, and our community is strong in voice. We’re all so proud of the work our peers are doing and the causes that we stand for.

Look into your industry to see which organizations support sustainability. You’ll be surprised to discover wonderful groups ready and willing to help, no matter what stage you’re at. For example, if you work in fashion, the Ethical Fashion Initiative is a wonderful example.

The key, though, is to start.

Don’t be afraid to try. Know you aren’t going to do it perfectly, but also know that simply trying is a great thing. Watch as your community grows and rallies around your brand for years to come.

Since 2008, real estate has gone up by an incredible 11.4% and created a fantastic opportunity for real estate agents to sell more clients.

Millennials will quickly become over a quarter of the real estate market, and only 1% of those millennials didn’t search online while looking for a house. Just one percent.

The internet has forever changed the way real estate agents get leads for their business, and you’re definitely behind the curve if you haven’t optimized your website for lead generation.

How do you generate real estate leads online? In this guide, you’ll learn various methods for obtaining quality leads online and the secret to converting your website into a real estate marketing machine.

Let’s get started.

1. Social media

If you’re not a frequent user of social media, it’s time you got started. Most people have a Facebook account, and many are active users on Instagram as well.

Instagram in particular is a fantastic avenue for sharing high-quality images and videos of properties and advertising your latest content (e.g. blogs & newsletters) effectively. By engaging with different channels each day and adding value to others, you’ll begin building a devoted following online.

Lots of real estate agents don’t do social media because they lack time for it. But with tools like Buffer and Hootsuite at your disposal, you only need an hour to set up a whole week’s worth of posts. All that’s left is checking the comment threads and responding whenever you have a few seconds throughout the week.

Read more about social media for real estate: How to build a social media campaign for real estate

2. Website

How to generate real estate leads

Source: Colorlib

If optimized properly, your website could be the foundation for attracting real estate leads online. It gives you the ability to provide value to your target market and help them engage with your brand.

Many real estate agents make mistakes in this area, and your website is not the place to describe your greatness in detail. Make your copy about how you’ll add value and better the lives of your customers.

An easy way to check whether your website is focused on your target market is to count how many times your site uses the word “we.” Customer-focused websites will use the word “you” more often.

3. Newsletter

How to generate real estate leads

See more newsletter templates from Lucidpress

It’s always a good idea to keep your name top-of-mind, and a newsletter is a great way to do so. Newsletters can share real estate news, recent listings, and tips to deal with typical homeowner struggles—like preparing your house for the winter.

A newsletter is especially useful if your leads live in urban areas. Cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago are massive and busy, so it’s easy to miss out on events if you’re not paying attention. It’s also an excellent opportunity to inform subscribers about the latest news and events in their area.

Read more about newsletters: 13 best newsletter design ideas to inspire you

4. Blog

Blogging is one of the most popular and effective ways to generate leads online. But like any lead-generating tool, it has to provide great value to your target market. A blog post about the staff holiday party is not going to get the leads you want.

The best information to share with your target market is actionable. This could include topics like making a down payment, picking a lender, listing their home, and working with a real estate agent.

Free advice will grow your influence and make you a valuable resource—so when someone needs to sell or buy a house, they’ll think of you first.

Read more about blogging for real estate: How to use content marketing in real estate

5. SEO

The first page of search results has only ten slots. 33% of the people searching will click on the first result. 18% will go a step further and click on the second result. The further down the page you go, the fewer clicks there are—only 4.4% click on the sixth result.

That’s why every business wants to be on top. The lower you are, the harder it gets to attract your target market’s clicks.

The ideal SEO strategy is about finding the best keywords (and phrases) to target, then using them deliberately in your content to attract the customers you want. SEO powerhouse Moz has lots of free resources and tools to help you get started.

6. Video

If seeing is believing, then showing off the fantastic features of your properties is a surefire way to win converts—and there’s no better way to do that than with video.

Videos empower your potential clients to take a guided tour of your properties. They’ll be engaged by your content, but more importantly, they’ll be motivated to reach out for more information.

A video is far more than just a slick way to show off a property. On average, an online video converts 33% of leads. If you want a more captivating way to connect with your target market, video marketing is a great way to increase interest in your properties.

Read more about video marketing for real estate: How to create stellar videos for real estate listings

7. Influencer marketing

Connecting with others in your industry is always wise, and doing it online makes it easier than ever. You can share and amplify each other’s work through social media and comment on posts each of you publish.

Influencer marketing takes this one step further. It starts by figuring out who your target market is—specifically. Then, you can find influencers who are popular among the folks you want to target. By partnering with these influencers on advertising campaigns, you can reach wider audiences and attract more people to your brand.

Read more about influencer marketing in real estate: 5 influencer marketing strategies for real estate

8. Mobile optimization

Industry professionals often spend tons of time and money making sure their website is professional and easy to use… then forget to check how it looks on a smartphone or tablet.

Mobile search has surpassed desktop search, so it’s more important than ever that your website works with mobile devices. (Google is going as far as penalizing sites that haven’t created mobile-friendly layouts.)

Make the switch. Not just to protect your website from Google, but to impress customers who encounter your brand exclusively via mobile device. Aim for the same goals as your regular website: clear copy, attractive design and intuitive function.

Want to go even further with mobile? Read more about using mobile text messaging for real estate: 5 steps to build out your real estate mobile text messaging strategy

9. Referrals

When you start off as a real estate agent (or in any field, really), you won’t have a network. So, it’s up to you to build one.

As you begin to deal with customers, don’t forget to ask for referrals. Encourage them to share your name with others—make it easy and worthwhile for them to do so. Whether it’s to their friends, family or coworkers, advertising by word-of-mouth is powerful. People are more likely to follow recommendations from people they know than an anonymous review online.

10. Retargeting

Although we covered social media all the way at the beginning of this guide, we left out one element that deserves its own section: retargeting via Facebook ads.

Facebook ads are not a popular method of advertising in real estate circles, despite how high the ROI can be. Here, retargeting simply means that people who have shown interest in your brand will see your ad again. This “interest” is measured by actions such as reading your blog posts, clicking on one of your ads, or even signing up for your newsletter.

Your conversion rate will improve if you target people who want what you’re selling. People who are actively interacting with your brand are more likely to buy than those just scrolling through their feeds. Retargeting keeps your brand top-of-mind for the folks who matter most.

Key takeaway

Leads don’t just magically appear in your inbox. You need a strong lead-generating strategy that helps you cultivate interest in your brand and set you apart from the competition. These tips should get you on the right track to generating real estate leads online.

Hungry to hear about the best marketing practices for real estate? Hop over to our real estate marketing guide for more ideas & inspiration.

Attracting a steady stream of new customers is one thing, but building customer loyalty is integral to a brand’s long-term success. And it begins with making a good first impression.

Think about it: when looking up a brand online, what do you remember about the ones that stand out? More than likely, it’s their logo or their overall style—like meeting a person wearing a great suit. When you run across that brand again, that image can stick with you—more so if you keep on seeing it in different places. This is a brand’s visual identity, and it’s what you want potential customers to remember.

How to create a visual brand identity on Instagram

Related: 6 Instagram post ideas to boost sales

Having a memorable visual identity is important for social media, now a standard tool in the digital marketer’s arsenal. Instagram in particular is a powerhouse for using visual content to promote products and services, with Instagram stats showing 71% of U.S. businesses have an Instagram profile (25 million business profiles total). Standing out and earning engagement and followers depends on how well-defined your visual identity is. Here’s how to do it.

1. Know your brand inside and out

Before you create a visual identity, you need an actual identity first. Know the key aspects of your brand you want to communicate to your audience, then translate them into a visual medium. [Tweet this]

Essentials for this step are copies (in writing!) of your brand’s mission, vision and values. These should be easily accessible on both your official website and any internal marketing documents. When you have them, answer the following questions to figure out what you’ll need to base your visuals on.

Using your answers to the questions above, you can isolate a set of keywords closely associated with your brand.

2. Create a set of branding guidelines for social media

How to create a visual brand identity on Instagram

Source: Spotify

Do not underestimate the logistical power of good documentation. Brand guidelines enforce consistency in your branding, graphic design and marketing—keeping everything together so that everyone is on the same page when it comes to how to visually present your brand.

While it does take time and effort to create, having all these details in one place saves more time in the long run. It’s also a mark of professionalism: no having to go back and forth, emailing each other files and instructions every time you design something new.

Looking at some great branding examples, here’s what to include in your brand guidelines:

3. Make social media post templates

How to create a visual brand identity on Instagram

Source: Sephora

If you want to be remembered for a certain color or type of imagery, or if you want your logo to be visible on the feed and not just in your profile photo, turn to Instagram post templates. Some examples are backgrounds for text posts or borders to place around photos. They might include your logo, brand name or slogan and should be used when appropriate—not all the time, but just enough to be noticed.

You can use these templates when you share some of your favorite quotes to Instagram, which can make an otherwise plain text post look interesting. You can also place template borders on user-generated content that you’d like to share on your profile—especially useful if you’re running an Instagram giveaway or photo contest using a particular hashtag that can be incorporated into the template.

Remember to mix it up once in a while as well. While you want it to be memorable through retention, you don’t want it becoming stale. Try mixing it up every month or two and changing it according to season or campaign.

4. Have a consistent photo-editing style

How to create a visual brand identity on Instagram

Source: Alfred

Once you’ve identified the feel of your brand and the colors you associate it with, fold that into the way you edit photos. Color has long been known to be a powerful force in marketing, and by post-processing images before you post them online, you can influence what they convey.

Use a similar editing style with your pictures so they all communicate your message—and slowly, users will connect that feeling to your brand. Away from your computer and need something quick? For extensive editing on the go, download a reliable photo application like Instasize to your mobile phone.

5. Do social media right

Last but definitely not least, make the effort to use Instagram right.

What does this mean? No matter the amount of content you share, and no matter how elaborate your photo editing is for each image, your efforts won’t matter if you don’t make use of the rest of the platform. Instagram has boomed—and so has its features.

One of the biggest don’ts of Instagram right now is to post strictly to the feed only. Instagram also has Stories and IGTV, the former of which can be an informal way to connect with your customers, while the latter gives space for long-form videos that followers would otherwise miss.

Of course, don’t let all your efforts towards keeping your visual identity end with social media. After all, using Instagram is just one step in the marketing funnel. Creative consistency builds trust, showcases reliability and improves customer perception—especially in visual branding. Keep your branding consistent across touchpoints before, during and after purchase, and you’ll be crafting a brand story customers won’t forget any time soon.

Want to know more about the power of brand consistency? Download our free 32-page report, chock full of stats & great insights.

“We need a logo” is a loaded request that designers and creative agencies hear from their clients. High expectations are always involved—that’s a fact. Every client wants a remarkable logo for their brand, and they’re counting on you to create it.

How do you deliver an innovative, impactful design on demand? If you’re running low on creativity, we’re here to fill in for your muse as she turns a blind eye to your deadline. Load up on logo design inspiration from the guidelines and examples below to get those juices flowing again.

Logo design examples for your inspiration

Consulting Logos

Consulting logo idea #1: Accenture

Accenture is one of the biggest management consulting firms. The company offers strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations services. Their revenue was around $40 billion in 2018, so we could definitely learn some design lessons from them.

Accenture - consulting logo design ideas

Consulting logo idea #2: Capgemini

Capgemini is another consulting giant that can teach us a valuable design lesson.

Capgemini - consulting logo design ideas

The key lesson here is that you can build a financial empire… even if your logo isn’t closely related to the services you’re selling.

The Ace of Spades has been present in their logo since its inception, but it has little to do with their business. In fact, it refers to bridge—a card game that the founder of the company, Serge Kampf, enjoys. In bridge, the Ace of Spades is the highest-value card.

Consulting logo idea #3: DLA Piper

If you’re offering legal consulting services, here’s what you can learn from one of the biggest global law firms. (How big? DLA Piper has lawyers in more than 40 countries and over $2 billion in revenue—that’s how big.)

DLA Piper - consulting logo design ideas

The open-ended shapes represent out-of-the-box thinking. Something you might actually want from a lawyer, right?

If you look at it from a different angle, the logo seems like a talking bubble, which shows they value the art of communication… or that they’re friendly. You decide.

Lucidpress: Click the image to use the template

Use one of our consulting logo templates as inspiration for your own logo. Switch out colors, fonts and texts to create your logo in seconds.

Browse all logo templates

consulting logo
in depth consulting
Del Mar Consulting

Real estate logos

1. Smith Mountain Homes

First up is this beautiful logo from Smith Mountain Homes.

Best real estate logos

2. Cabo Cribs

If you’re looking to buy property in Cabo, I’ll bet Cabo Cribs’ logo catches your attention.

Best real estate logo designs

3. Williams & Williams

If you’re in the market for a luxury property, you’ll love Williams & Williams’ logo.

Best real estate logo ideas

Lucidpress: Click the image to use the template

Use one of our real estate logo templates as inspiration for your own logo. Switch out colors, fonts and texts to create your logo in seconds.

Browse all logo templates

sunset realty logo
happy home logo
For Sale Logo

Health and fitness logos

1. Heavy Mettle Fitness

When you have too many ideas, just stick to the basics, even if it’s cliché.

Fitness logo samples

Source: GLDesigns

2. Peachy

What’s that number-one thing your audience wants? Point it out, and people will remember you as that gym or that fitness instructor or that nutritionist who can help them get it.

Fitness logo design ideas

Source: 99designs

3. Necessary Payne

If your ideal audience is into hardcore training, a logo like the one below could be a great strategic move.

Fitness logo design inspiration

Source: Design your way

Lucidpress: Click the image to use the template

Use one of our health and fitness logo templates as inspiration for your own logo. Switch out colors, fonts and texts to create your logo in seconds.

Browse all logo templates

Fitness Logo
Fitness logo samples
Gym Logo

Striking use of color

Powerful colors make a logo vibrant and eye-catching. In recent years, logo design trends favored simple and spirited colors that appeal to new generations of customers.

Best logo design examples

It’s interesting to see the process behind this logo and Volusion’s brand identity design.

Best logo design examples

TeleMadrid’s rebranding is another example of a colorful and adaptable logo design.

Best logo design examples

And Duolingo’s 2019 logo update builds on their playful and energetic brand.

Memorable use of layout

Another way to make your logo unforgettable is to surprise people with an unexpected layout.

Best logo design ideas

This example from Bajo Protección invites a second look with its 3D effect.

Best logo design ideas

The Dutch National Opera & Ballet logo has us peeking from the balcony.

Best logo design ideas

And Moonpig champions creativity by updating their logo to match their surreal name.

Beautiful use of typography

Fonts are another excellent source of inspiration.

Typography can help you balance simplicity and intricacy in logo design. It’s also an essential element for your brand creation process.

Best logo design inspiration

Typography was just what Tom Sands needed to make this logo a timeless presence on their acoustic guitars.

Best logo design inspiration

Typography can also create a sense of motion, as it does in this example.

Best logo design inspiration

And sometimes, like in the case of UK-based creative agency Dry, fonts are all you need to capture your brand spirit.

Clever use of symbols

The symbols you include in your logo give people a glimpse into the brand’s spirit and generate emotional connectivity.

Best logo designs

This redesign concept uses the nave ship, a historical symbol of Paris.

Best logo designs

Airbnb logo redesign is a great example of mixing various symbols into a memorable logo.

Best logo designs

Chairish provides an honest and straightforward testimony of their dedication to their craft.

Creative use of patterns

You can incorporate different patterns into logos while still maintaining brand consistency—and these examples are proof.

Best logo ideas

The redesign of Melbourne’s logo provides a playful space for patterns and placements.

Best logo ideas

The German Historical Museum’s logo uses juxtaposed shapes that can fit well in intricate contexts.

Best logo ideas

In this example, patterns and negative space convey a message of unity.

Surprising use of negative space

“In the end, creativity isn’t just the things we choose to put in, it’s the things we choose to leave out.”

Austin Kleon

In this quote from his book Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative, author Austin Kleon captures the inspiration negative space can unleash.

Logo design ideas & inspiration

The Swan & Mallard logo challenges you to find the intertwined characters.

Logo design ideas & inspiration

Whether you’re into cats or bears, you can’t help but spot the figures that hide behind this typeface.

Logo design ideas & inspiration

This Flight Finder logo creates a sense of motion and pleases the eye with its symmetry.

Surprising use of animation

We live in the golden age of GIFs, and their cultural impact now influences logo design ideas as well. These examples show how you can add animation to a professional logo.

Logo design inspiration & ideas

PetCloud’s logo has adorable spelled all over it, wouldn’t you agree?

Logo design inspiration & ideas

I bet the designer behind this logo knew his clients would be over the moon with its design.

Logo design inspiration & ideas

And this creative used animation to deliver his logo design with a bang!

Before you go, remember this

As a designer, you know coming up with cool logo ideas is a complex process. What helps is to lead with a deep understanding of your client’s business and brand values.

It’s equally useful to draw inspiration from diverse sources and experiment with your ideas until you find the right fit. Play with colors, layout, typography & symbols to design the creative, custom logo your client expects.

Once you have it, use the logo to build branding that’s consistent across all channels. Give customers a familiar and reliable presence to count on and build meaning with.

Use this 5-step process to design creative logos

Unfortunately, a clear creative brief for logo makers is a rare occurrence. That’s why designers and agencies explore, select and clarify ideas before proposing anything.

Here’s a secret experienced creatives know: Sometimes you can reach your best ideas by using a systematic approach.

Whether you’re building a brand from scratch or planning a thorough rebranding, this 5-step process can help you come up with cool logo ideas.

1. Understand the customer’s business

The logo is central to a brand’s identity. In fact, the best of them are deeply rooted in the company’s mission. If you’re lucky, your customer has their mission clearly articulated. If not, roll up your sleeves and focus on research.

First, observe and analyze how their customers talk about them.

Explore:

Logo design ideas & inspiration

Source: TrustPilot

For brand new businesses, you can look for similar details in their competitors’ activity to give you a starting point.

2. Map out the brand’s values

The best branding relies on a deep understanding of what people want when they buy something. Tweet this

A custom logo that builds differentiation has to speak to customers’ psychological needs. A powerful design triggers a reaction and influences the choices consumers make when they see it.

Define what the business stands for to ensure your logo design speaks to the brand’s values.

For example, Patagonia strives to “build the best product.” They aim to “use business to protect nature” and do so in a way that’s “not bound by convention.”

Buffer commits to “default to transparency,” “cultivate positivity” and “improve consistently,” among other values.

Logo design ideas & inspiration

Source: Buffer

Using your customer’s brand values to guide your logo design can be incredibly inspiring.

3. Choose a series of adjectives

Now that you know what the business is all about, you use this information to pin down specifics. Make a list of adjectives that capture the brand personality.

For example, when you think of Patagonia, words like humble, altruistic & adventurous may come to mind. Buffer inspires words such as helpful, calm & dependable.

Examples of adjectives you could use:

  1. Bold
  2. Serious
  3. Rational
  4. Imaginative
  5. Idealistic
  6. Generous
  7. Clever
  8. Humorous
  9. Whimsical
  10. Luxurious
  11. Glamorous
  12. Rugged
  13. Brave
  14. Rebellious
  15. Cooperative
  16. Edgy
  17. Gentle
  18. Playful
  19. Old-fashioned
  20. Youthful

Want to go the extra mile? Analyze the vocabulary customers use when they talk about your client and dig up adjectives from it.

Single out associations that point to what makes the company different. Narrow your list down to 3. Now you have the emotional substance that fuels your logo.

4. Collect inspiring ideas

Logo design ideas often come from unexpected sources. Take it from people who faced the same challenges as you do now:

“I use weird sources for inspiration. I look at forms in nature and try to reduce them to basic shapes. I’m always trying to invoke a sense of humanity to a logo.”

Josh Baron, Media Art Director at Sparxoo

Multiply the opportunities for creative inspiration to kick in and increase the chances to get that grand idea. Look for compelling symbols, icons and patterns.

Check out fresh photography from sites that offer free stock images. Peruse design websites like Dribbble, Behance, Designspiration & Dunked.

Even better, browse countless logo examples on Logoed, Logospire, Logo Gallery, Brand New, Logo Moose & Logo Design Love.

Collect fonts & color options to create a mood board. This collage of elements helps define your concept at this stage. Include notes to explain your thought process so you can give your client a consistent overview of your creative direction.

Logo design inspiration & ideas

Source: Dribbble

Ask for feedback at this stage. Get input from your client to save you time and energy down the road. For example, knowing which elements your client notices can help you come up with better, more relevant logo design proposals.

Feedback in hand, it’s time to create the best logo you can.

5. Choose & validate the best ideas

Fast forward through dozens of iterations to logo_v27_final_FINAL.indd.

You’ve received feedback, integrated it and designed (what you assume will be) the final version.

Logo design inspiration & ideas

Source: Tubik Studio

Your moment of glory awaits, and so does your deadline.

Use this time constraint to strengthen your creative process. Stop before you get caught up in a never-ending cycle of “I know I can do better.”

Instead, focus on shaping a logo that can outlive design trends. Give people a chance to build meaning into your logo over time. Tweet this

Here’s what experienced creatives recommend:

“All logos should be four things: simple, memorable, timeless and flexible.”

Cory Schearer, Creative Director at Ferebee Lane

Keep in mind adaptability when you design your client’s logo. Your creation will be used in print, in emails, on social media, on websites and digital advertisements.

Wherever it may be featured, the logo’s role is to get an emotional reaction.

Ready to design your logo? Give us a try.

Despite the prominence of digital marketing, print collateral still has an important role to play in a balanced marketing strategy. A professionally produced brochure suggests a high budget and an established reputation.

Related: How to make a stunning travel brochure

Not only that, but brochures are versatile marketing tools. You can distribute them at trade shows, put them in brochure racks, send them via direct mail, and even publish them on your company website.

(They’re also very portable. Many people would prefer to grab a brochure and read it at their convenience rather than engage with a salesperson.)

Most brochures are just a few hundred words in length, so you don’t have a lot of space to get your message across. It’s important to make every word count. Here are eight tips for writing a brochure that signals professionalism and competence — and spurs your readers to action.

1. ) Create an outline or plan of attack

Brochures vary in content and length, but most follow a standard format.

Please note: At the end of this post, we’ve included a cheat sheet of content types you can put in your inner panels.

Before you start writing, identify your target persona for the brochure including age, gender, location, role, income, interests and challenges.

This information will guide the tone, language and content of your brochure. It’ll also help you choose a call-to-action that appeals to your readers. For instance, an offer for a free white paper would likely be of interest to an executive, whereas a mobile app download would be more fitting for a college student.

Make note of where your target audience is in the buying cycle. Don’t waste space going on about the history of your organization if your readers have done business with you before.

Also consider the level of understanding your prospects already have about the topic. Are they experts, novices or somewhere in between? Keeping this in mind will help you avoid alienating readers by talking down to them or confusing them.

2.) Write a compelling headline

Your headline will determine whether a prospect picks up and reads your brochure or tosses it aside.

Avoid using headlines that don’t tell the reader anything about the contents of the brochure — for example, “Make a Good Impression.” What does this mean, who are you making a good impression on? And for what purpose?

You can provoke a reader’s curiosity without being vague. These example headlines spark interest while also telling readers exactly what they’ll get from reading the brochure:

Don’t be afraid to use “power” words like free, quick, easy, results, exclusive, proven, etc. What they lack in originality, they make up for ineffectiveness.

3.) Be concise and use plain language

Your brochure should focus on one product or service. A trifold brochure only has space for about 350-450 words, so keep words, sentences and paragraphs short. Edit ruthlessly and include only the most relevant information, leaving room for white space and images.

Big walls of unbroken text look intimidating to readers, so use subheads liberally. Try not to put more than a couple of paragraphs in a row without introducing something else to break up the monotony, such as a subhead, bullet-point list or image.

With the help of Lucidpress’s online drag-and-drop editor, you can quickly design a professional-looking brochure with elements like callouts, pull quotes and tables.

4.) Limit the copy to 1-2 typefaces

The typefaces you choose should be easy to read and consistent with your branding. Often, if the subhead copy is in a serif face, the body copy will use a sans-serif face, and vice versa. There are some great free tools available to help you select a complementary font pairing.

Select font size, spacing and color with readability in mind so your prospects don’t have to work to read the brochure.

5.) Give readers a reason to keep your brochure

If you can, include a handy reference of some kind in your brochure to dissuade readers from throwing it away—for example:

Also, consider printing the brochure on a high-quality glossy paper to boost its perceived value.

6. Include next steps or a call-to-action

The goal of your sales brochure should be to persuade your readers to take a specific action.

This call-to-action is usually placed on the last panel of the brochure, along with the contact info. To boost response rates, offer an incentive, such as a promo code or free product.

The following are some example actions you might want your readers to take:

7.) Proofread your brochure

No matter how much effort you put into your messaging and design, errors and inconsistencies in your printed literature can kill your credibility.

Verify that the tone of your brochure matches the rest of your brand messaging. Unlike informational brochures (which may take the third-person point-of-view), sales brochures usually use the second-person to build rapport with the reader.

Refer to your brand style guide for how to handle things like numerals, dates and titles in the text. If you don’t have a brand style guide, use an established style reference like AP Stylebook. And of course, look everything over for correct spelling, punctuation and grammar.

8.) Double-check for important details

Before the brochure goes to print, check that your logo and contact information are present and error-free. Also look for details you may have forgotten to include, such as:

You can also create branded templates for your brochures so you don’t miss anything important when you start a new project — Lucidpress handles printing as well.

Bonus: What should I put in my brochure?

For inspiration, here’s a cheat sheet of content types often found in sales brochures:

Experiment with a few of these items and see where it takes you. You might be surprised at how quickly you run out of space!

What are you waiting for? Try your hand at design with any of our design templates.

Interactive marketing is a customer-oriented approach to marketing that engages the user and requires their participation. The most popular forms of interactive marketing content are polls, surveys, quizzes and games. This type of content can help you drive awareness, engage your audience, generate high-converting leads, convert to sales, or nurture brand loyalty.

Let’s take a look at the four types of interactive content that are most likely to bring you results.

Polls & surveys

Polls and surveys are probably the simplest and oldest form of interactive marketing. They’re a great way to get in touch with your audience, but despite their simplicity, you can use them in several different ways to help you build a genuine connection with your followers.

The easiest and most straightforward way to use polls and surveys is to ask your audience or customers for opinions about your product, service or content.

Interactive content examples

Source: Twitter

For example, many content creators run regular polls to inform their content creation strategy.

Interactive content examples

Source: Twitter

While many marketers use polls as part of their content creation process, it doesn’t have to be the only way to engage with your audience or customers.

You can use polls to obtain relevant statistics from your industry and later turn them into a valuable source of unique content that will boost your authority in the business field.

Interactive content examples

Source: Twitter

Of course, polls don’t have to be all work and no play — if your brand relies on aligning with your customer’s lifestyle, values and interests, you can always use entertaining content to nurture friendly relationships.

Interactive content examples

Source: Twitter

If you have any doubts on whether polls draw engagement, you can see the number of votes, likes and retweets in each screenshot. Even though the likes and retweets are often low, the number of people who voted in the polls is much higher, showing that polls really do engage your followers.

Incorporating polls in your content marketing strategy is pretty much a breeze — polls are a regular feature on both Facebook and Twitter, and it only takes a few clicks to create them.

Contests

Another well-known marketing strategy that still delivers amazing results is the gamification of various contests and challenges.

In terms of content marketing, challenges and photo/video contests are a great way to gather user-generated content that can later be used or repurposed for brand development.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably remember the famous ALS “Ice Bucket” challenge that managed to raise awareness about a rare neuron disease, engage 17 million participants, and collect $115 million in donations that led to a breakthrough in determining the cause of ALS.

Interactive content examples

Actors Henry Cavill & Amy Adams do the ALS challenge. Source: YouTube

The ALS awareness campaign challenged people to dump a bucket of ice over their head (or have another person do it to them). Then, participants nominated the next participant — the only way to opt-out of getting showered with ice was to donate money to the ALS Association.

Similarly, you can challenge your audience to a little photo or video contest with a unique hashtag on social media in exchange for a fitting reward. Of course, whatever the topic of the contest is, it has to align with your brand values and product. There’s not much point in organizing a photo challenge depicting the wonders of nature if you’re selling used car parts — but there are plenty of other challenges that would fit splendidly.

Interactive content examples

Source: National Geographic

In the end, your contest should neither be too easy nor too difficult. You want people to put some time into connecting with you in exchange for a prize or benefit that seems attainable and worthy of the work it requires. You don’t want to frustrate people or make them feel cheated.

A good challenge will bring out people’s natural curiosity and competitive spirit. The better you are at that, the greater your chances of going viral. If your contest is engaging, people will be eager to share it.

Quizzes

You’ve probably procrastinated by doing dozens of absurd quizzes with titles like “Tell us your favorite One Direction member and we’ll tell you which garlic bread you are.” Apart from being addictive and fun, quizzes can also be a great way to boost your content marketing and sell more. How?

Quizzes have high completion and click-to-conversion rates. They satisfy our need for introspection, self-confirmation, recognition and belonging — making them super clickable, convincing and shareable (qualities you definitely want in your marketing content).

For example, you can capture people’s attention by running a quiz on your website or social media, promising they’ll discover something about themselves (ideally, something relevant to your brand). The results they get can direct them towards a landing page or collect their email address in exchange.

But, don’t think that quizzes are only good for retailers and entertainment websites. This type of interactive content is also a great way to reach out to business clients. By identifying the unique challenges of your B2B buyers, you can create quizzes that offer them practical, customized solutions in the form of quiz results.

Interactive websites

Interactive websites engage and inspire your potential customers to explore content in a way regular blog posts don’t. Take, for example, this piece of sponsored content in The Washington Post.

Interactive content examples

Source: The Washington Post

The National Association of Realtors published an article with the goal of reaching their target market of first-time homebuyers. As the younger generation is more cautious and skeptical about purchasing real estate, realtor marketers knew they had to step up their game.

Interactive content examples

Source: The Washington Post

And the article itself does feel like a game, constantly requiring the reader’s attention and interaction. (For example, there’s an interactive infographic.) Content sections are intertwined with relevant survey questions about personal experiences, opinions and expectations.

Interactive content examples

Source: The Washington Post

Apart from reaching a skeptical audience with content that responds to their common complaints and questions, the survey was also a way to help realtors gather data about their ideal customer.

Interactive content examples

Source: The Washington Post

While interactive websites require extra work and time in development, that investment pays off. Try it on yourself — even if you’re not a first-time home buyer, did you feel compelled to check out the article anyway? Exactly. A great interactive website encourages visitors to explore, click and read(!) your content.

Key takeaway

As the digital sphere grows more personalized, interactive content is becoming the norm. Software developers are keeping up, providing marketers with tools that turn interactive content creation from a daunting task into a 10-minute routine.

If you decide to dedicate more time and resources to this type of content marketing, keep in mind the reward: more pageviews and more conversions. Why not give it a try?

Infographics are a creative, interesting visual presentation of your ideas, statistics or research. These can be used throughout your brand’s marketing plans—whether on Pinterest or in proposals.

You don’t need to be an expert graphic designer to create your own infographic, as there are several pre-made infographic templates available in Lucidpress. The key is to find an infographic design that best suits your communication goal.

To give you a dose of inspiration, check out these unique and creative infographic ideas you can use to set your brand apart.

For the business startup: develop your brand.

Infographic design ideas

Give a clear, brief breakdown of your product or brand development with this clean infographic template. Creating a visual map of your business brand will help keep things on track, as well as provide an overview for your contractors, investors or employees.

This infographic template is clear, clean and includes enough room to get into the details without overloading your reader. Use each section to outline your brand vision from brief to delivery. Include this infographic in your marketing strategy or print it out for a quick reference.

For the chef: share your recipe.

Infographic design ideas

Share your passion for the delicious by customizing this infographic template with your own recipe, step-by-step. Food, drink and other recipes make up some of the most shared content on social media sites like Pinterest, Tumblr and even Facebook.

This template has room to break down even complicated recipes. Each step has room to expand with details, as well as editable titles. Share this infographic on your blog, or print and fold into the size of an index card for your kitchen.

For the entrepreneur: sell your product or pitch.

Infographic design ideas

Minimize your speech anxiety by using this infographic template to plan out your business pitch. Using an outline is a proven speech tactic to look and feel more confident in your presentation. Notate your key points to keep yourself on track.

Each of the ten bullet points has room for a short paragraph. The clean, colorful and professional design is perfect for leaving with your audience to review later. Print it out after easily customizing it, and fold it into the size of an index card.

For the financial advisor: break it down step-by-step.

Infographic design ideas

Build trust with your clients by helping them understand complicated processes without causing an overload of information. Educating your clients will help them make decisions and build your credibility as an expert in your field.

This template allows full paragraphs in a beautiful, professional presentation. The right side features steps, while the left serves as an in-depth description. It is color-customizable to accommodate your brand colors. Create a handout with this infographic template to explain taxation, loans, collections and other processes.

For the manager: guide your team to success.

Give your employees clear direction with this visually interesting infographic. This roadmap to success may be used to outline goals, instructions or steps. Your team will love the change of pace, and you’ll love the results.

Provide a title and in-depth introduction, then edit the short descriptions under each of the colorful five steps. The leading lines guide your reader to the next step. Print this out for your staff members’ desks or include it in the new hire orientation.

For the marketing specialist: present your audience demographics and traits.

Infographic design ideas

Buyer personas are often used in marketing strategies to organize audience characteristics, goals and needs into a visual representation, based off real research and data. Help your team picture clients or customers with this vibrantly professional infographic template.

This template gives you plenty of room to play, while leaving enough space to breathe. Each persona has a customizable title and description. The simple illustrations prompt your mind to imagine your real clients. After making this infographic template your own, add it to your annual marketing strategy plan, board presentation or product proposal.

For the personal trainer: remind your client of their goals.

Infographic design ideas

Help your clients visualize their health success with a visualization of their plan. Starting a new health and fitness routine might seem overwhelming, but this infographic will simplify instructions into an easy-to-digest quick guide.

This infographic features blocks of text and in-depth instructions without clutter. Use each segment to outline forbidden foods and daily exercise routines. After customizing the infographic template, print or email a digital version to your client as a portable, visual reminder of their game plan for success.

For the professional: stand out against the competition.

Infographic design ideas

First impressions are important—and most employers expect one page that briefly summarizes who you are in the workplace. Make your resume stand out with a beautiful, unique resume.

This template takes advantage of the full page with multiple sections and columns. It feels professional but with a modern twist. Make it your own by customizing the color scheme, graphics and, of course, the text.

For the real estate agent: educate your client.

Infographic design ideas

Real estate agents and realtors are well-known for providing personalized customer service. Educate your client on their new neighborhood or city with a quick guide to the local population, population density, area and other demographic insights.

Using this infographic shows your clients you care about taking the extra step. Each section is customizable and easily changed so you can update it as needed. The clean layout makes it easy to focus on the numbers. Add this infographic template to your client’s portfolio or to your personal website and listings.

For the teacher: give tips to success.

Infographic design ideas

Help your students prepare for the SAT, ACT, SASVAB or other test by outlining effective study habits and tips. Outline a timeline or provide six different methods—it’s up to you with this very customizable template.

Knowing how to study is half the battle. Update the six titles and descriptions with your tips and other helpful information. Each segment allows for several lines of text. The thin dimensions make this a great bookmark for your students.

Ready to wow your audience with beautifully designed infographics? Lucidpress will help your brand send the right message.

You already know that sales collateral can help your sales reps close leads much faster. They speed up the sales process by offering prospects the information they need to make a buying decision.

But, which types of sales collateral should you use? And most importantly, which ones convert best?

Let’s find out—and let’s go over the top three tips you need to know if you want to get the most out of your sales enablement content.

Here are some of the best types of sales collateral and how you should use them.

Blogs & ebooks

Let’s say you want to make a brochure to promote your business. You google around for a tutorial, and you land on our blog, where we have a step-by-step tutorial to show how it’s done.

Sales collateral example

Next, you might sign up for a free account to use a template and quickly create your brochure.

Sales collateral example

Now, here’s where the interesting part begins.

After a couple of days, you might hear from one of our sales reps. You’d already be aware and excited about our product because it helped you.

At this point, the job of the sales agent isn’t to arouse your interest, it’s to answer your questions. You’ve already completed the first part of the sales funnel before our team ever reached out to you—and as a result, you’re that much closer to conversion.

The bottom line is this: A blog, article or ebook can short-circuit the sales process and fast-forward it directly to the closing part. It helps you close more sales faster.

Landing pages

Here’s another example of sales collateral from our own brand. Our brand templating platform is well-suited for both individuals and large companies.

But, since our software serves different customers with different needs, we created two separate landing pages for them.

Sales collateral example

How does this help sales? Well, let’s say a marketing manager visits the business page and sees that she can request a quote right away. Now, the job of our sales agent is much easier.

He knows:

He isn’t bombarding the prospect with benefits and waiting to see what sticks. Instead, he knows exactly which of the buyer’s buttons to push.

The point is this: A landing page helps you segment your audience, and it helps your sales agents talk about what interests the buyer, which makes their pitch much more persuasive.

Case studies & testimonials

Case studies are one of the most effective types of sales collateral because they rely on a powerful principle of persuasion: social proof. [Tweet this]

According to Dr. Robert Cialdini, this psychological & social phenomenon is driven by the assumption that people around us are more knowledgeable about a particular situation than we are.

When a prospect reads a case study, it provides them with valuable information about the historical performance of your company. They’re able to project their business or brand into the narrative and “try on” your company as a partner. If you could help a business like theirs achieve success, it stands to reason that you could help them, too.

The bottom line is this: A case study not only makes the prospect want your product more, it also resolves objections a person might have about your company’s performance and trustworthiness.

Live sales presentations with product demos

Sales presentations are sometimes perceived as boring or annoying. Actually, they can be one of the most effective pieces of collateral—if your sales reps are properly trained.

For instance, what brochure, flyer or ebook could be more convincing than this? (Watch how sales come pouring in…)

The bottom line is this: When delivered properly, sales presentations can be one of the most compelling types of sales collateral out there. People buy from people, and live presentations are a great way to build that relationship.

Explainer videos

The biggest disadvantage of a live sales presentation is that you cannot scale it. For instance, you can’t demo a product in front of a million people at once, right?

Actually, the internet can help you do that. For instance, if we bring one million people to our website, they can see in a matter of seconds how our product can help them.

Source: Lucidpress.com

As you can see, it doesn’t have to be a super complicated video production. And you don’t have the logistics of a live sales presentation—where you have to reserve a room, take care of your guests, make sure you have the proper equipment, and so on.

The bottom line is this: An explainer video helps your prospect have an a-ha moment that brings him closer to the buying decision. It’s a scalable way to create interest & desire with your clients before a salesperson steps in.

Brochures & flyers

What do you do when a sales agent offers you a flyer or a brochure? You probably thank them politely and throw it away around the corner, right?

Well, it doesn’t have to go that way. Not if it’s clear that your brochure will provide value to the reader.

Here are a few tips to make brochures & flyers some of your most effective sales collateral:

  1. Put the benefits front & center—don’t just talk about your company; tell prospects how their life will be better with you.
  2. Create a compelling offer (like a discount or a free sample) that’s exclusive to your print materials.
  3. Take advantage of great design—a vibrant, colorful brochure with neatly organized sections looks far more professional than a quick job done in Microsoft Word.

Sales scripts

There are basically two ways to learn anything:

  1. The slow, risky way: You can try every idea and fail until you eventually find the formula for success.
  2. The fast, sure way: You can skip all that and do what’s already proven to work.

Instead of letting your sales reps waste time & money to learn what works and what doesn’t, why don’t you provide them with sales scripts that already work?

All you have to do is take aside your top sales agents and ask them how they do it.

The bottom line is this: Sales scripts are one of those growth hacks that can bring you 80% of the results with 20% of the effort. Plus, it costs next to nothing to implement.

Other useful sales collateral types

Sales collateral includes any materials that help reps close deals faster by offering prospects the information they need to make a buying decision.

The format can be just about anything. Above, we discussed some of the most efficient types both on and offline.

Here are some other types of sales collateral that can be handy for your sales agents:

  1. FAQ sheets
  2. Buyer’s guides
  3. Newsletters
  4. Email templates
  5. Technical data sheets
  6. Slide presentations
  7. Objection-handling sheet for prospecting calls

Sales collateral tips & tricks

Stay consistent with your branding

If you’re a beer drinker, you can probably guess which product is being advertised below, right?

Consistent branding example

It’s Carlsberg, and that is a banner they used at the Euro 2006 Football Cup in France. They couldn’t use their brand name due to a French law that forbids advertising alcohol or cigarettes at sporting events (even though they were a sponsor).

But because they kept their branding consistent throughout the years, they had the confidence to leave off their logo (a move few brands could pull off), and people still recognized the brand.

No matter what type of sales collateral you use, make sure you convey:

This will help you build a strong brand over time that inspires loyalty and trust in your customers—and recognition and credibility with your prospects.

Collaborate with other departments

Different departments have different insight that could help prospects make buying decisions quicker.

For instance, digital marketers could look into their analytics and find out that certain features of your product are used more often than others.

Sales reps, on the other hand, have direct objections from the field.

If your departments communicate with each other, you can get maximum results out of your sales collateral.

Make sure your sales collateral stays up-to-date

At some point, you’ll probably have to make changes to your sales materials. Maybe you’ll go through a rebranding. Or maybe you just want to refine your value proposition.

No matter the changes, you must make sure that everybody stays on the same page. Otherwise, you might confuse your prospects.

There are two ways to avoid this.

The hard way: You track all the edits you’ve made to your sales collateral in a document you share with all team members. Of course, this is time-consuming, and you can easily make mistakes.

The easy way: Use a brand templating platform to make updates much easier, and you can be 100% sure there are no errors because your changes will sync with everyone else.

For instance, with Lucidpress:

Before creating your next sales collateral…

No matter what type of sales collateral you create, you should answer the following questions:

  1. How does this material help the prospect?
  2. How does this material fit into the buying journey of my clients?
  3. What are the top 3 to 5 benefits that matter most to my clients?

If you can answer these questions, you’re on the right track to create compelling sales collateral that streamlines the process and helps your team close more deals.

Learn how you can lead your organization to creating an effective sales enablement program with consistent storytelling across your sales org.

When you’re managing a busy sales team, you might fall into the trap of “anything goes.” It doesn’t really matter how your reps take someone from stranger to customer; it matters that they’re doing it, right?

Not necessarily.

A mismatched sales team could deliver promises they can’t keep, fail to convert leads, and be generally unproductive—something that costs companies at least $1 trillion every year, along with poorly managed leads.

What if I told you all of those issues could be prevented by spending a few hours creating one single document?

Spoiler alert: You can. It’s called a sales playbook.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to create a winning sales playbook, with tips & tricks to help you format your own.

What is a sales playbook?

A sales playbook is a document that outlines everything your sales team needs to know to succeed.

It covers basic elements like a rundown of the products or services they’re selling, while also diving into detail with things like your brand’s tone of voice, cold email scripts, and information about the people they’re selling to (i.e. buyer personas).

In a nutshell: A sales playbook is the one document your entire sales department needs to close deals… and close them often.

Why bother creating a sales playbook?

I know where you’re at right now: You’re sick of creating boring documents that lurk in the bottom of your Google Drive, never to be seen again a few weeks after you initially introduced them.

Trust me when I say sales playbooks aren’t like that.

These documents contain everything your sales reps need to make a sale, which is bound to lead to more efficiency.

A report by HubSpot found that salespeople spend just a third of their day talking to prospects. The other time is spent writing emails (21%), entering data (17%), and prospecting or researching leads (17%). [Tweet this]

Sales playbook example

Source: HubSpot

A sales playbook will solve all three problems because:

That’s over half of their daily schedule that could be better-spent talking to customers.

But if that’s not enough to convince you, remember that a sales playbook is the “ultimate guide” for your entire sales team.

Think about the reputation your business gains when your sales representatives are discussing your brand to the public day-in, day-out. You want to make sure they’re giving a good impression, right?

Sales departments who reference an in-house sales playbook are always on the same page. They know what’s expected of them, understand how to communicate without going against your brand values, and stick to sales processes you know aren’t too pushy or forceful.

That’s bound to lead to brand consistency—and the chance to increase overall company revenues by as much as 23%.

You’d be mad to miss out.

What should my playbook include?

Are you convinced it’s time to create your own sales playbook?

Before you rush off and hold a sales department meeting to run through the notes you’ve put together, think about what actually needs to be included in your document.

That usually includes the answers to these questions:

How to create your own sales playbook template

By this point, you’ve got a solid idea of what your sales playbook should include. What you might not be so certain about is how you’ll package so much information in one document.

It’s a tricky situation: You don’t want it to be overwhelming (to the point where it becomes a chore to read), yet you also want to arm your sales department with enough information to be productive.

The good news? You don’t have to start from scratch.

There are hundreds of other sales templates that you’re able to customize by simply searching for them in Lucidpress—like a proposal or presentation, for example.

Simply add your information and create more pages, and you’ll create your own professional sales playbook that’s almost ready to distribute across your entire team:

Source: Bright business ebook template

The sales playbook you create in Lucidpress is totally secure. Links are protected, meaning only your team can access it—and it’s not visible to Joe Bloggs if the link accidentally goes public.

3 tips for maximizing the value of your playbook

By this point, you’ve got a fancy-looking document that’s in review—and almost in the hands of your sales team.

Take some time to check whether your sales playbook is easy to read. Nobody is going to extract value from your document if they can’t understand it, right?

Here are three incredible tips you can use to maximize the value of your sales playbook.

1. Deliver a mini-training when introducing your playbook

Chances are, your sales team won’t read your playbook if they aren’t motivated to do it. But, you don’t want to be jumping down their throats or sending daily reminders to open your playbook. Both of those are a total waste of time.

That’s why you should consider delivering a mini-training when you’re introducing it. Bring your playbook up on the big screen and invite the entire department to see it. Then, run through the entire playbook from start to finish, and end with an ask for questions.

That way, you can spot areas that need improving before they start regularly referencing it.

2. Don’t start from scratch

It’s easy to get carried away with your sales playbook template and want to overhaul your entire sales process. However, starting from scratch could do more harm than good.

Start by analyzing the content you already have, instead.

Does your team already use email or phone call templates? Do you have a branding guidelines document that you send to freelancers? Did your CEO record a video on why they started the company in the first place?

Each of these sales playbook features can be copied and pasted—saving time and effort.

3. Ask for feedback

Whether your cold email script has an extra comma or you’re missing a key trait your typical customer has, some issues are easier to spot when you get a second opinion.

That second opinion should come from your experienced sales reps, because they’re the people who know your target customers inside out, and they likely have their own techniques proven to nudge a lead into purchasing your product or service.

However, you should get feedback from all staff, not just your best sales reps.

Why? Because other members of staff are likely experienced with each part of your sales playbook. For example: While a sales rep might have a cold email template, it’s wise to have a copywriter look over it for any spelling mistakes or recommendations to make it easier to understand.

So, invite your:

…to glance over your sales playbook template before you begin to roll it out.

It sounds simple, but it’s a fantastic way to prevent small mistakes from becoming big, conversion-blocking problems.

Key takeaways

As you can see, creating a winning sales playbook isn’t an easy task for any sales manager.

You’ll have to dive in and analyze your sales process, create solid buyer personas, and give a full rundown on how to use your product or service before it becomes a lead-dripping ultimate guide.

But as hard work it is, remember it’s the only document your entire team will need to become a sales powerhouse—and grow your business at a rate you’ve never seen before.

Not sure how your next fitness logo should look and want a few examples to get your imagination’s wheels in motion?

Maybe you want to see some design ideas from well-known brands in the fitness industry. Or, perhaps you’re looking for creative logo ideas that stand out from the crowd.

No matter whether you’re a fitness consultant, own a gym or have any other fitness business, by the end of this article, you’ll have plenty of ideas to get you started.

But, first, let’s see what makes a good fitness logo and what mistakes you should avoid.

3 fundamental rules to create a fitness logo people will remember

1. Make sure your logo doesn’t communicate the wrong message

Every aspect of your future fitness logo will evoke an emotion, from the colors to the fonts and shapes you choose.

Fitness logo design

This is why you have to be careful about the first impression your visual identity makes.

For instance, a dark, sober color isn’t something you might want for a fitness logo if you’re also helping people keep a balanced, fresh and healthy diet.

2. Keep your logo simple and clean

Ideally, your logo should tell a story. Maybe the origins or the philosophy of your brand. Or, maybe just your unique selling proposition.

This doesn’t mean you have to overcrowd your logo with all kinds of elements in order for people to get your message. When you try to convey too much in a single logo, it comes overly complex and difficult to recognize and replicate.

Fitness logo examples

Imagine someone hands you a business card with a logo that looks like this:

Fitness logo ideas

What’s your first impression? Other than nostalgia, probably not a good one, right?

Of course, you don’t have to update your logo every time a new design trend comes along. Just make sure your logo doesn’t look like it’s stuck in the ’90s.

These are three critical aspects you should take into account when creating a logo. Now, let’s dive into our pool of fitness logo ideas and see what you can learn from each one of them.

Fitness logo design ideas for your inspiration

When you have too many ideas, just stick to the basics, even if it’s cliché

Sometimes we spend too much time brainstorming and browsing through thousands of logo ideas just to find that “perfect one.”

And, too often, the result is a complicated design that few will remember.

Fitness logo inspiration

When this is the case, it’s better to stick to something classic that anyone can recognize as a fitness business.

Plus, you have the advantage that most free logo makers have these elements in their gallery so you won’t have to customize your design too much.

Fitness logo samples

Source: GLDesigns

If you want to be compelling, point out something your audience wants

What’s that number-one thing your audience wants? Point it out, and people will remember you as that gym or that fitness instructor or that nutritionist who can help them get it.

Notice how, in a second, you know this fitness business can help you just by looking at their logo. Then, note how it brings us nicely to our next point…

Fitness logo design ideas

Source: 99designs

Make sure your fitness logo doesn’t drive away parts of your audience

Let’s say you’re a fitness trainer, and you chose the logo below to represent your business.

Fitness logo design inspiration

Source: Design your way

It’s great for people who are looking for hardcore training. But, there are lots of people who just want to stay in shape. Your logo might tell them that you’re not a good fit for them.

Of course, if your ideal audience is into hardcore training, this could be a great strategic move. What’s important is for you to think through these considerations before you make your final decision. For example, take a look at our next point.

Make sure your logo isn’t limiting future expansion of your fitness business

Let’s say that you start out as a yoga fitness trainer, but you plan to grow your business beyond the yoga niche.

Fitness logo examples

Unless you go through a complete rebranding, your logo will limit the growth of your business.

When you’re looking for design inspiration for your logo, make sure you also take into account any future plans. If you can spot them now, ahead of time, you’ll save yourself an expensive and time-consuming rebrand in the future.

Use a well-known symbol

Sometimes keeping a logo simple and clean can be most effective at showing what your brand is about.

Fitness logo samples

Source: Lucidpress

Incorporate a top benefit into a classic fitness logo design

In logo design, it’s efficient to incorporate an element that people can easily recognize, such as a gear or muscles if you’re in the fitness business.

But, these elements are also a bit overused, and you might want something more creative for your logo.

Well, why not incorporate additional benefits that your brand has to offer—such as good music, for example. Now people have two reasons to choose you over the competition instead of one.

Fitness logo samples

Source: Design your way

Apple’s logo has nothing to do with phones. Nike’s logo doesn’t represent shoes, clothes or sports gear. Subway doesn’t have a sandwich in their logo.

Your fitness logo doesn’t have to be related to muscles, fit bodies or any kind of elements related to sports. It could be something as simple as two shapes that convey motion.

Fitness logo inspiration