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Creative, Marketing
I hate to be cliche and start an article about organization by saying, “In today’s crazy world…” but, well, in today’s crazy world it is hard to keep everything straight. It’s difficult to be productive when you have Santa Clarita Diet queued up on Netflix, an ever growing list of unanswered emails, and a venti double red eye coursing through your system. How do you boost your productivity and get through your workday without your brain melting? Hint: the answer is not snorting coffee beans, although I’ve been close – real close.

Tip Numero Uno: Get a Planner and Treat That Shit Like a Bible

I have a really pretty Lily Pulitzer planner that I bought one day on a whim. Little did I know that this small planner would save my life on multiple occasions. How many times have I thought to myself, “Oh man I have nothing to do today, awesome! Let’s go longboarding, let’s get coffee, let’s watch Netflix!” only to casually flip open my planner and see what my lovely past self left for me: a laundry list of things to do. Thanks, past self! I kind of hate you, but I love you at the same time. Tumblr GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY The takeaway here: Stick to your planner. Your planner is now your only friend: tell it everything, and don’t leave any details out! (It’s your only friend, after all.)

Stay On a Consistent Sleep Schedule

Early bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and totally boring (here boring meaning actually functioning). Alright, I’m not trying to be harsh – but from Monday to Friday getting the same amount of sleep a night is critical. Last year I went to bed at 11pm and woke up at 7 am everyday. It did wonders for my productivity. Even if there wasn’t a reason to get up so early, I would. By 8 am I was dressed, had eaten breakfast, and could set my mind onto the day’s priorities. Work GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Read More, Text Less

No, really. Invest in magazines like Advertising Age, read up on Business Insider – devote thirty minutes of your day to running through the latest marketing news and you’ll have those references to fall back on when you’re in dire need of an idea. Another great resource is Hubspot for all your digital marketing needs. Rather than spend time looking at dogs on Instagram, take your minutes of free-time and turn them into Advertising 101. The Office GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY I have never regretted learning something new about this industry – whether a client or a agency member, there’s always something new to find out and utilize. And that’s a wrap! Stick to your planner, get some rest during the week and devote some time per day reading up on what’s happening in Advertising. 80S GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY Peace. Speaking of reading up on Advertising, check out these articles for your 5 minute daily dose of digital marketing: http://www.forgedigitalmarketing.com/2017/02/22/microtrends/ http://www.forgedigitalmarketing.com/2017/02/17/brand-gap/
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Advertising, Creative, Marketing
Hi there! We need to talk. I couldn’t help but notice that your advertising is falling a bit flat these days. Don’t get defensive just yet: this happens to more companies than you might think. You fall into the same old, same old pattern that everyone is doing and eventually our fearless consumer can’t tell (or simply doesn’t care) that your product is The Best Product Ever!™ because they cannot for the life of them distinguish you between all the other noise they’re hearing on the daily. Look, buddy, I’m not even going to ask you how you got into my office. I don’t have the budget or creative genius required for high-profile advertising – I’m just trying to get my message out there! Fear not, I have good news. You don’t have to be a genius or have a huge budget to put forth some truly stellar work. Unfortunately, your refusal to believe that there are better ideas out there on the creative horizon are holding you back. Let me show you how to cut the cord and banish boring advertising copy to historical archives (where it belongs.)

Push a few boundaries.

I’m not talking about deciding to litter your copy with profanity or calling out your competition or any number of ways you may take this tip and twist it into an excuse to behave badly. I’m talking about playing on words – and to stop taking yourself so seriously! Geez! The last thing you want to do is cause an uproar and have your consumers clamoring at your office doors for an advertisement copy that brought you and your coworkers to tears (it was just so funny, you didn’t mean any harm!) a week ago. There is a very fine line between tongue-in-cheek-advertisements and now-society-hates-you copy that could land you, and your product, in hot water. This advertisement is clearly labeled towards the younger demographic but it’s also a clever play on words. It pushes a few boundaries but it offers a delicious alternative to America’s Favorite Pastime (wait, I thought that was baseball?). Make the consumer smile and shake his head. I need some camaraderie in these copies! Walk the fine line of pushing a few boundaries in your copy and you will reap the benefits.

Make ‘em cry

Okay, you say to me, I see where you’re coming from – but my product can’t be sold like that. I’m selling baby diapers, wrinkle cream, life insurance! This leads me to the second tip of the day: resonate with the consumer by going the sentimental high road. I’m a firm believer that if you are making the target audience laugh or cry you’re doing a good job. People remember the things that make them laugh, and the things that make them cry. https://youtu.be/Cjq50t_-JFo I have sobbed in public places due to the MetLife Hong Kong commercial. I wish I was joking, but I’m not. This is of course a large-budget kind of execution, but the sentiments are the same. If you can get your advertisement to resonate with the consumer you will not soon be forgotten. Advertisements that preach happy, generic smiling faces are advertisements that make me yawn, what else is around for me to look at? Here I believe is a two in one: pushes some boundaries with the imagery but also catches the eye and makes a person think about what the advertisement is really trying to say. They may stop, be intrigued, and want to learn more. If you are trying to speak upon the dangers of emotional abuse by showcasing a happy child who has already worked past their abuse, your audience will not be so captivated. After all, that child is safe and happy now, so why should they worry? Another cool example of hitting the sentimental button in a consumer’s brain.

Guerilla Marketing

This is easily one of the best, low-budget, high-recognition advertising strategies out there. And trust me when I say, it certainly won’t be boring. If you’re anything like me (and I hope you are not) when you first heard of Guerilla Marketing your initial thought was: What the hell is Guerilla Marketing? In which case my ever-patient professor went on to explain it and all was made clear. Therefore in this same knowledge-sharing spirit, let me explain Guerilla marketing to you. This is Guerilla marketing: https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wordstream.com%2Fimages%2Fmr.clean-urban-marketing.jpg&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wordstream.com%2Fblog%2Fws%2F2014%2F09%2F22%2Fguerrilla-marketing-examples&docid=ITbQopbSaxkNXM&tbnid=sVC_qo5kUxXSiM%3A&vet=1&w=600&h=399&client=safari&bih=696&biw=788&q=Guerilla%20marketing&ved=0ahUKEwiH8ZqX6dHRAhVn6IMKHZSnAfwQMwitASgAMAA&iact=mrc&uact=8 This is Guerilla marketing: http://favbulous.stfi.re/post/1278/80-creative-ads-campaigns?sf=yoklopo And this is Guerilla marketing: Guerilla marketing is essentially displaying some ingenuity when it comes to your advertisements and the environment around you. It’s difficult to find advertisements more engaging than the ones Guerilla marketers come up with. Consider where your target demographic frequents and scope the area out. Now for the fun part: making use of those spaces.The park bench is now an advertisement, the floor you walk on, the wall you lean on. It’s hard to ignore. For a low budget campaign, Guerilla marketing can be a cost-effective option that reaches a lot of foot traffic. I hope with a little creative elbow grease you can finally ditch the boring advertising copy you have burdened yourself with and enter into the world of actually surpassing your sales quota. Alright, I know, a little harsh – but a good marketer recognizes that the world is saturated enough as it is with flashy advertisements. An advertisement that can make a person stop for even two seconds and think – “Huh” – is a brand that is on its way to success.
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Creative, Social Media
It’s almost 2017 and human beings officially have attention spans that are shorter than goldfish. Yikes. So what does that mean for promoting your business in the mobile-social revolution? VISUALS. The quicker you can communicate value to your potential target audience, the more chance you have to capture their attention and have a shot at converting them into a customer. This leads us to today’s discussion: how to take better pics to promote your business online. The best part? You don’t even have to have a big fancy DSLR camera. So whip out your smartphone, let’s do it.  
  1. STAY ON THE GRID.

They teach you fancy stuff in film school like The Rule of Thirds, but all you need to know is this quick iPhone hack. Switch the grid on! Go to settings and find Photos & Camera. Here you will find the hidden settings that were dismissed back in iOS7. Tap the switch next to Grid to turn it on. It’s about half way down, under the Camera section. Use this to line up horizons and space out subjects.

how to take better pics to promote your business on social media

2. GO INTO THE LIGHT.

A really nifty trick to shoot emotionally stimulating photos is to shoot silhouettes. Emotional recall is proven to create better brand awareness as users can more easily remember things that have moved them on some level. Silhouettes are a quick trick. Simply place your subject in front of a strong light source and shoot into the direction of the light source. Look at you, you romantic!how to take better pics to promote your business on social media

3. KEEP IT SIMPLE AND SYMMETRICAL.

Remember that grid from tip #1? Use it to center your subject directly in any of the center squares within the grid. Keep the background super simple for maximum subject focus. You can also create symmetry by placing two objects on opposing sides of the grid. Remember k.i.s.s., keep it simple and symmetrical!

how to take better pics to promote your business on social media

4. PULL YOUR FOCUS.

Once you’ve created your composition within the grid to your liking or even chosen a silhouette, make sure to choose your focal point. On most smartphones, you just need to press on the subject to pull it into focus. If you have a closer subject with some desirable detail, pull the focus to their face or detail point and watch the background magically blur out, creating a memorable, ethereal pull focus! You’re a pro!

how to take better pics to promote your business on social media

Photo tricks like these are simple and create the perfect grounds to build awareness and consideration for your brand, products, or services when promoting your business online. Try these photos out in some social media advertisements and don’t be afraid to drop us a message if you need help!

Happy snapping!

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Creative, Social Media
Social media marketing is all about the visuals. Not a graphic designer? Don’t fret. Here are 4 free tools you can use to create social media images for your brand or business!   Canva | Best Social Media Images Tools | Forge Digital Marketing
  1. Canva

Canva is one of the best free tools to create social media images and more for your business. You can select templates and customize them and either download your creations to your desktop or you can have the app for your phone or tablet. Pro tip: you really don’t need to pay for the upgraded version (unless you want multiple resizes for different placement applications).

Best for: blogs, quotes, social media posts

Over App | Best Social Media Images Tools | Forge Digital Marketing 2. Over App

Over is an amazing resource for those who need to design on the go. There are free images and daily art that you can combine at your will. Micro-transactions in the app allow for greater customization and access to new tools or photos and art. This is a more serious app for those looking to get instafamous.

Best for: instafamous folks, trendy millennial-oriented bizzes

PicMonkey | Best Social Media Images Tools | Forge Digital Marketing

3. PicMonkey

PicMonkey has literally been around for AGESSS. I used it in highschool in my first social media job to create FUN posts! PicMonkey really falls into the “cute” aesthetic more than serious (like Over). They do a great job of offering up to date holiday inspired themes for pictures and posts and have a lot of great little design assets for you. You can pay for an upgraded program if you get serious about this tool, but a lot can be done for free.

Best for: cute businesses, local organizations, schools

Adobe Spark | Best Social Media Images Tools | Forge Digital Marketing

4. Adobe Spark

There are dozens of free adobe apps that can revolutionize the creative for your business. Adobe Spark is just one more tool. This user-friendly site allows you to write what you want to say first and then apply a template and customize from there. They include a watermark on your social media images unless you share them directly from the website (bummer).

Best for: bloggers, design tech beginners

Go check out these tools for creating social media images. If you still need help, please feel free to shoot me an email and we can talk about your business’ creative needs! hi@forgedigitalmarketing.com
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