Category Archives: Branding

Must Have Photos When Hiring a Professional Photographer

One of the most exciting things you can tell your marketing agency is, “we hired a professional photographer.” Receiving professional photographs to utilize on your website, social media, and marketing campaigns makes us more excited than a dancing puppy!

 

 

Find the Right Photographer

Remember not all photographers are the same! Review your options and hire a photographer that matches your personality. Decide the most aspects of a photographer and shape your questions around those aspects.

  • Have they ever taken product photos? (For example as an eye care practice you may want professional photos of some frames)
  • Have they worked with other similar businesses?
  • What is their pricing and payment structure?
  • Do they help with posing?
  • Do they have backups in case of illness, or will things be rescheduled?
  • Do they have an assistant that attends the shoots?
  • What is the image turnaround time?
  • Do they have insurance in the case of injuries?
  • What is the image ownership and permissions policy? This is usually outlined in a contract.

You want to make sure you own the photos and are allowed to use them on all of your marketing materials for as long as you want. Don’t forget to read their reviews and review their online portfolio!

Make it Worth Your Investment

Your Must Have Photos

Hiring a professional photographer and setting time aside for them to capture the necessary photos is an investment. The last thing anyone wants is to make the investment and realize you walked away missing a key shot. Think through all the aspects of your business you would like to promote and start making a list.

Products

Outline a list of products to photograph. This can be a specific item, a group of items, or both. If you own a bookstore, you may want a few long-term best sellers photographed, but you will also want book displays and bookshelves captured.

Equipment and Services

If you use any specific equipment, make sure the equipment is photographed on its own and while being used by a team member. In healthcare, this could include taking a picture of an exam lane and photos of the doctor “examining” a patient.

Building

If you are a brick-and-mortar business, create a sense of familiarity for first-time visitors by featuring photos of your building on your website and social media. The outside of the building, the sign, and all areas of the inside of the building are beneficial and can be used.

People

Determine who from your team will have photos taken and if they will be headshots or portraits. Providing professional headshots for all employees is a nice gesture of inclusion and signifies their importance to your business.

Think about what makes your company unique and build your list around that. This information is a jumping-off point, but when you work with our team, we get to know your brand identity and make customized recommendations to share with the photographer before their visit.


Heather Morrison
Heather is the VP of Operations at Innereactive and we are lucky to have her. She has over five years of experience running an HR department and enjoys helping businesses like yours find solutions to their HR needs.

Working With a Social Media Agency

A social media agency will never know your company as well as you do, but that doesn’t mean working with an agency isn’t the right decision. At Innereactive, we aim to become an extension of your business so the content we create captures your brand and your employees.

Getting to Know You

To successfully create a social media strategy for your company, an agency should first review your brand guidelines and get to know your employees. If your company does not have brand guidelines outlined, here are some ideas your agency might ask to help guide your social media strategy.

  • Does your brand have a defined color scheme?
  • What imagery preferences do you have?
  • Can you share your company culture, vision, and mission statements?
  • What goals do you have for your social media presence?

Seasonal Campaigns

One of the easiest places to build strategy and social media content is through seasonal campaigns or promotions. Understanding what promotions you have planned allows an agency to support your initiatives through social media posts strategically. Drawing attention to the products and services you are trying to promote across your platforms will lead to higher sales.

The People

Most important is understanding the people that keep your company running, your employees! People connect with companies because they like the service or product provided. However, if you only post about your services or products, you miss an opportunity to create a deeper sense of loyalty by creating human connections.

Determining What to Share

The right balance of content is a unique equation for each company. Generally, we encourage companies to focus on brand, promotional, educational, and shared content. A real estate agent might have a higher percentage of promotion content because each house listing they promote is considered promotional. However, a healthcare provider will more likely focus on educational content. Always include as many custom photos as possible, regardless of your industry, and avoid using stock photos.

Educational Content

Education content is the supporting content about your products or industry. Use this content to help consumers make an informed decision about their purchases.

Promotional Content

Promotional content ensures your customers know the benefits of being a customer. This content can include information on seasonal sales, reward programs, and soft-sell campaigns.

 

Brand Content

Brand content focuses on your company/employees and allows an opportunity to show your personality as well as how your company values align with your consumer’s values. More than ever before, consumers are interested in purchasing from a company with aligning values. We encourage all companies to be authentic about their values. Promoting unauthentic values results in greenwashingpinkwashing, or rainbow-washing claims.  

Shared Content

Tap into the Law of Reciprocity and demonstrate your commitment to and interest in your community or larger society. Look at the organizations you belong to and see if you can cross-promote an upcoming event or fundraiser.

Ready to start a beneficial relationship with Innereactive? Fill out the form below and talk with us about your social media goals and strategy, we’d love to help!


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Heather Morrison
Heather is the VP of Operations at Innereactive and we are lucky to have her. She has over five years of experience running an HR department and enjoys helping businesses like yours find solutions to their HR needs.

What Should be Included in Your Brand Guidelines?

Brand guidelines are clearly defined standards showcasing how you and others should talk and present your company to the world. These guidelines are a physical or digital booklet to share internally with your entire team and with any vendors or partners.

What is it good for?

Absolutely nothing. Just kidding! By providing a guideline for your employees, vendors, and partners to follow when representing your company, you are establishing consistency. And consistency is no small feat. From your logo and colors to your mission and messaging, your brand guidelines provide direction allowing employees to establish an “on-brand” decision without always needing to consult upper-level management.

The Power of Consistency

Consistency breeds recognition. This recognition generates feelings of understanding and trust that help drive consumer brand loyalty. If you think about some iconic brands, can you recognize their ad campaigns without a logo? In a lot of cases, yes! This is because of their consistent brand elements and messaging. For example, can you recognize the saying “Just Do It?” Doritos took this concept even further and launched an ad campaign that didn’t show their logo or name, but still clearly represented their brand identity. These companies established that iconic recognition by presenting a consistent brand identity outlined in clear brand guidelines.

What should be included in brand guidelines?

What you include in your brand guidelines might differ slightly for each brand. However, as a general rule of thumb, you want to have anything that helps people understand your brand. Remember this document will help guide individuals inside and outside your company, so be sure to include information you assume is even basic company knowledge.

The Basics

No matter your industry, company size, or location, there are certain brand aspects that every brand guideline should include.

  • Company History | Your company story, including why you got started.
  • Logo | Variations of your logo, color options for your logo, and logo sizing and spacing.
  • Brand Colors | Colors you tend to use throughout your brand materials, including the HEX, RGB, and CMYK codes.
  • Fonts | Font variations and text sizing.
  • Imagery | Examples of photography, illustrations, and icons in the proper aesthetic (and ones to avoid).

Culture

All companies have a culture, but only some are intentional about creating one. If your company leans on your culture to help make business decisions, it is essential to include it in your brand guidelines.

  • Personality | Who you are or a list of adjectives that describe your brand.
  • Mission Statement | Why your company exists and what purpose you are serving.
  • Vision Statement | What your company aspires to be.
  • Core Values | Your company principles and beliefs.

Possible Additions to Your Brand Guidelines

Now is when your guidelines become individualized! Brand guidelines don’t have to be limited to the usual brand items. Think of your brand guidelines as a consistency handbook! If there is something you want to present in a specific way, no matter where it’s shared, include it!

  • Target Audience | Specify a target audience and why they need you.
  • Social Media Assets | Profile and cover image styles, team welcome, anniversary, or closure announcements, and company-specific or common hashtags.
  • Voice | Words and phrases your brand regularly uses (and ones to avoid).
  • Grammar | The grammar rules you follow and break. For example, does your company always use the oxford comma?

Brand guidelines are an important part of a brand identity. If you need help putting together a formal document to share with vendors, partners, and new hires, our team of professionals can help.


Name(Required)
What marketing services are you interested in?(Required)

Heather Morrison
Heather is the VP of Operations at Innereactive and we are lucky to have her. She has over five years of experience running an HR department and enjoys helping businesses like yours find solutions to their HR needs.

The Elusive Mission Statement

A How-To Guide for the Rest of Us

Let’s start off at square one. Should you bother even having a mission statement? Does it hold a purpose? Does having a well-defined statement actually help your business? In short, the answer to all three questions is a resounding, “Yes!” If you don’t currently have a mission statement on paper, chances are you were still thinking about it as you were establishing and growing your business. Let’s look at why you should be writing out your mission and vision, and how you can begin to hone yours. Continue reading

What can a good logo do for you?

We get it. Running a small business is a big job! Sometimes you prioritize working for others over working on yourself. It’s a really common problem. The real issue is that you may find yourself several months or even years into running your business without good branding, or even a polished logo in practical files that you can use easily and consistently. Continue reading

Responding to Online Reviews

Many online reviews won’t make the difference between a slow day and standing room only, but there’s no doubt that they can noticeably help or hurt your sales. There’s no shortage of funny stories about business owners responding to negative reviews, too. But somewhere between the good reviews and the bad, the appropriate responses and the funny ones, there is a good strategy for your online review policy. It all starts with one golden rule. Continue reading

How to Pick a Perfect Font

We frequently work with clients on designs for their websites and digital marketing materials as well as print projects and other advertising on paper. It’s always important to make sure the copy is well-written and free of ambiguity or obscurity. We need to be sure the layout is clear and easy to follow, and any artwork has to fit the feel and tone of the piece. But the one place that lots of people get stuck when trying to describe or tweak a design is the font. Continue reading