what we do

ALH Social Media Marketing is a social media and brand management company that helps entrepreneurs to get more clients using simple on and off-line marketing strategies. We complement our social media skills with our skills in graphic, logo and web design. We also specialize in printing, promotional gifting and packaging to offer you a broad based marketing solution that is so appropriate to your business that the services or products you offer become irresistible to your clients.

clever ads

Clever ads around the world to inspire you.

the abc's of brand management

An Alphabetical List of the Components Required to Manage a Brand

Advertisements are messages paid by those who send them and are intended to inform or influence people who receive them, as defined by the Advertising Association of the UK

“A mobile application (mobile app) is a computer program or software application designed to run on a mobile device such as a phone/tablet or watch. Apps were originally intended for productivity assistance such as Email, calendar, and contact databases, but the public demand for apps caused rapid expansion into other areas such as mobile games, factory automation, GPS and location-based services, order-tracking, and ticket purchases, so that there are now millions of apps available. Some apps are free, and others have a price, with the profit being split between the application’s creator and the distribution platform”. (Wikipedia). Apps are widely used in advertising and promoting brands.Apps are also designed for use on desktops and websites. 

“Authority content is the act of consistently creating and distributing helpful information and stories to gain attention, engagement and trust for a clearly defined audience with the objective of identifying who will benefit from your products and services”. David Jenyns, author of Authority Content.

A billboard is a BIG, highly noticeable way to bring attention to your product or service. It is designed to capture the attention of motorists and pedestrians. It is typically placed around high-traffic areas.

A blog can be defined as a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style. One should regularly add new material or update your blog. Ian Cleary describes a blog in this way: “A blog is a magnet that attracts your potential customers if you write high-quality relevant content. Once you have relevant traffic you can then start working on the conversion of this traffic.

A blog is also a good reason to learn more about your industry. As you are always looking for new angles to write about you read more and when you’re writing you research more about the topic. So it’s a fantastic education tool.

Finally, it is a great tool for networking. To be really successful with blogging you need to build relationships with a lot of people so you need to network.” Ian Cleary – razorsocial.com

The Business Directory defines branding simply as: “The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers”. – http://www.businessdictionary.com

There are many definitions and excellent articles on the internet on this topic. Do the research if you really want to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market niche you wish to inhabit.

Below are 5 reasons business cards are important:

  1. Swapping contact information digitally is impersonal.
  2. Arming yourself with business cards at all times will ensure that you never miss an opportunity to make a valuable business connection. They are an excellent direct marketing tool.
  3. A business card is often the first impression people have of your business – make sure the impression you leave is professional and  memorable.
  4. Creative business cards get shared and continue to market for you in your absence. 
  5. Business cards show that you are prepared (and serious about doing business).

See article by Jonathan Long written for Entrepreneur: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/244406 

Consistency is important because:

  1. It Creates Brand Recognition. Brands with distinct brand and marketing consistency are able to benefit from being easily recognized, which can help save money, build your brand, and trust.
  2. It Creates Brand Awareness. Customers are significantly more likely to purchase from a brand they recognize for their consistent image and content schedule, so make sure to maintain both with some regularity.
  3. It Creates Trust. Customers are more likely to purchase from a brand or company that they trust. Being trustworthy is a major element of a successful brand.
  4.  It Makes You Memorable. The power of repetition is extremely effective. The more often people see, hear, or experience your brand, the more likely they are to remember it.
  5. Consistency Increases Revenue. Consumers prefer brands that remain consistent in their messaging, logos, and marketing efforts. A great way to guarantee that is by developing a set of brand guidelines.

See the article by Julia Belkin on Thrive Hive: https://thrivehive.com/the-importance-of-brand-and-marketing-consistency/

Establishing trust is an important part of attracting and maintaining clients. The main purpose of business stationery is to depict the company in a positive and professional manner. Professional stationery tells clients and potential clients that the business is professional and legitimate. Remember to pull this professional, consistent imagery through to all digital communication as well.

Refer to CONSISTENCY above.  Corporate clothing fosters a repetitive, visual, tangible identification with the company. It creates brand recognition, brand awareness, trust among customers. It can go a long way to help build a distinct corporate culture among your employees. Nowadays there is such a wide variety of quality, chic corporate clothing that staff would most likely appreciate wearing. It saves them time and money. Corporate clothing establishes a dress code that should be both professional and comfortable. If done correctly it can eliminate the possibility of employees dressing inappropriately. The perception of your corporate image can improve significantly among customers and clients. These attitudes often translate into increased customer loyalty and higher sales. Corporate clothing is branded, more often than not. Customers tend to  associate branded items with higher quality. Corporate clothing taps into that perception, elevating the apparent quality of the services and/or products your company delivers. Customers tend to view employees who wear corporate apparel as both brand ambassadors and experts in their field. This opinion increases their confidence in employees’ competence and the belief that your employees have the ability to meet their needs – consistently. Ultimately, well chosen corporate clothing can promote loyalty while boosting public perception of reliability and expertise. 

Scott Cook says it best: “A brand is no longer what we tell the customer it is – it is what the customers tell each other it is.” Make sure it’s excellent.

Not all direct mail gets results. Designing direct mail is a unique, creative challenge. The success of any direct mail campaign also hinges on talented copywriters and client service experts. 

Eight of the most common categories of direct mail include:

  1. business-to-consumer direct mail;
  2. business-to-business direct mail;
  3. invitations and announcements;
  4. special event promotions;
  5. postcards and catalogues;
  6. non-profit /association mailings;
  7. development/fund-raising mailings; and
  8. three-dimensional direct mail.    

If done correctly, it can be highly effective. Contact us to discover new and exciting ways to get results with creative direct mail design. 

Email marketing is the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing.” Wikipedia. 

A successful email marketing campaign will get the recipients to take action, engage with your business, and help you to get more leads and sales. 

But before you run a successful email marketing campaign, you’ve got to do some preparation:

  1. Build a targeted email list;
  2. Know what you want to achieve;
  3. Understand the different types of e-mails and the roles they play (there are mainly three categories: promotional emails, transactional emails, and newsletters);
  4.  Know your target market;
  5. Use technology wisely – research the e-mail marketing services best suited to your needs;
  6. Create great optins – you need to get people on your email list to run a successful campaign. To do this you’ll need to create attractive optin forms that get attention and encourage people to sign up;
  7. Plan your emails and followups carefully and strategically;
  8. Craft your subject line in a way that entices people to open the e-mail;
  9. Write your copy. There are several items to consider for your email copy include;
  10. Focus on the design of your email. Email design matters in any successful email marketing campaign. Make sure to use a responsive email template so your email resizes automatically on a phone, tablet, or desktop; and
  11. Test and track your email campaigns. What you cannot measure, you cannot grow. To really succeed, you’ve got to collect data to improve future campaigns.

Read an excellent article by Sharon Hurley Hall on https://optinmonster.com/how-to-run-a-successful-email-marketing-campaign/

There is a difference between promotional emails and transactional emails.

You send marketing emails when you aim to promote your product whereas transactional emails are to communicate with the customers based on their actions.

Generally speaking, transactional emails are more effective than promotional emails. They offer a great opportunity to boost your sales if you do it right.

When it comes to email marketing, most people think about the promotion emails only. However, there are other extremely important emails, the so-called transactional emails. These transactional messages should be the fundamental part of your email marketing strategy to build a trustworthy reputation and a great customer service.

The purpose of these automated emails is to reassure the customer that a process has been started or finished. For this reason, you need to automate this process, so you can send the right emails to the right person, at the right time.

You must personalize these messages to make them relevant to the recipients. It would be extremely unprofessional to send standardized emails without the information the recipients actually need.

The customer expects to receive these emails. These transactional messages show that you are reliable and go the extra mile to follow up.

A great transactional email marketing strategy helps you improve the customer service you provide as well. Imagine, if you didn’t send an order confirmation email when the customer orders an item, they would wonder whether you received the order at all. They would contact you by email or message you on social media causing unnecessary annoyment. You want to avoid that.

Read an excellent article by Roland Pokornyik (CEO / Co-founder @ Chamaileon.io & EDMdesigner.com) on https://blog.chamaileon.io/transactional-emails/

 

They say first impressions are important, but what about last impressions? Below, we explore how to make the most of your email signature with design.

If you conduct business via email, your email signature is often one of the final points of communication a consumer has with your service/brand.

A good email signature is simple, informative, professional, and puts the information in the forefront. But, this doesn’t mean your signature has to look dull or boring. There are many ways to get the most out of your email signature, so let’s run over 10 easy tips and look at some beautiful examples.

Some points to remember:

  1. Don’t include too much information;
  2. Keep your colour palette simple (an in keeping with your corporate colours);
  3. Keep you font palette even smaller (my golden rule is three, but there are always exceptions);
  4. Use (obvious) hierarchy to direct the eye;
  5. Keep your graphic elements simple;
  6. Use social media icons to drive traffic;
  7. Align your design – keep it neat;
  8. Make use of space with dividers;
  9. Make it mobile friendly; and
  10. Maintain balance in your design.

Read the full, excellent article on Canva at: https://www.canva.com/learn/best-email-signature-design/

A brand ambassador is someone who promotes a brand and its products to their network with the objective of increasing brand awareness and driving sales.

Historically, a brand ambassador was typically a celebrity or someone with a good amount of name recognition who was paid for their efforts to promote a brand or products. However, this definition is expanding and has reached employees of organizations.

In the past, notable ambassadors for businesses mainly have been founders and executives. In recent years, though, and with the rise of social media, non-executive employees from all departments have and can become effective brand ambassadors.

Turning employees into brand ambassadors really matters:

  1. By turning and enabling employees to become brand ambassadors, you can greatly increase marketing and social reach of your company.
  2. People trust recommendations from people they are connected to. Boost the number of leads, and improve the quality of those leads.
  3. They increase social recruiting for top talent to bring to your team. 
  4. In a nutshell, employees acting as brand ambassadors are essential for extending your brand reach.

Read full article by Todd Kunsman: https://learn.g2.com/employee-brand-ambassadors

There is no doubt. Your business environment affects your brand’s functionality.

Definition of Business Environment: A company’s operating system is affected by the combination of internal and external factors, that include: economic and social trends, technology improvements, suppliers and clients, government activities, management, employees and business regulations.

Given the fact that there are only two environmental factors, internal and external, every company must try to maximize their control over these components because leaving them without attention will literally destroy your business.

The internal business environment emphasizes on factors happening within a company that impacts the success of an operation. This may include:

  1. Employee attitudes: maintaining good relationships between and within departments can also boost the productivity and effectiveness of your workplace.
  2. Operational and administrative procedures: Having an outdated information technology (IT) and keeping inaccurate records are the number one priorities to be rebuilt – it directly affects your public image and  customers will see your brand as unreliable.
  3. Innovation is essential to be ahead of others.
  4. Financial risks: Your company’s financial structure and business transactions are on what your risks depend on.

The external business environment refers to factors that happen outside the company and affects its functionality. These may include:

  1. Government regulations play a vital role in your business by introducing new regulations that might prevent you from scaling your company.
  2. Economy: economical factors determine how much money to spend on growth, how your product markets and which market you’ll be able to pursue.
  3. Competition: your competition significantly affects the way you do business. You have the choice to find a field where competition equals to zero or enter a market where rivalry is fierce.
  4. Public image: any scandal information leaked, negatively affects your company’s public image and it severely damage your sales. On the other hand, positive news can boost your product sales and strengthen your authority among the society. Public opinion can be influenced through effective PR campaigns by spreading useful and informative news.
  5. Customers: Influencing your consumers through marketing strategies is an essential part of the external business environment.

    Maintaining good relationships with your clients can increase your sales and engagements. So, market research is widely used to determine, whether certain changes will increase the number of sales or not.

Read full article for interesting insights, authored by Walter White at: http://inevitablesteps.com/business/business-environment/ 

Consider making your biggest brand impact on the exhibit side that faces the aisle that will get the most traffic.

Exhibitors want to build awareness:
  1. For their company.
  2. For their brand.
  3. For their division.
  4. In a (new) industry.
  5. In a (new) location.
  6. For a (new) product.
  7. For their re-brand, after a merger or re-positioning.
How to build awareness at a trade show:
  1. Get a bigger exhibit
  2. Create graphic impact
  3. Design for 3 dimensions
  4. Build a hierarchy of messages
  5. Be consistent with your other marketing
  6. Remember that a logo is not a brand unless it is on a cow – ADAMSMORIOKA
  7. Create a brand experience
  8. Exhibit at more shows
  9. Bring your brand ambassadors (see employees above)
  10. Do more promotions
  11. Meet the press

Get a ton of really good information by reading the full article by Mike Thimmesch at: http://www.skyline-etips.com/11-ways-to-build-your-brand-at-trade-shows/ 

One can say that graphic design is a principles-based system to establish a [global] brand. It is a crucial business strategy. I love what Sametz of Sametz Blackstone Associates says – that although clients’ problems may vary, “the assessment of needs, goals, personalities, resources and audiences is always critical not only to make the most compelling communications – visually – but to make communications that will really work hard on the client’s behalf.”

Sametz works with his clients first to define a program – so that all the work is ultimately judged against what the client agreed to achieve. This elevates the project from simply like or not liking to whether it works or doesn’t.

Good graphic design – truly excellent design – can effect significant change.

Read the book: Designing Identity – Graphic Design as a Business Strategy by MARC ENGLISH. 

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