social-media-services

8 Social Media Services That Agencies Should Offer Clients

Expert Tips For 8 Social Media Services That Agencies Should Offer Clients

Less than a single generation was all the time it took for social media to go from a place for electronically exchanging information and virtual community to a crucial modern marketing tool that’s fundamentally changed the future of the entire industry. Marketing and advertising agencies have smartly responded by adding social media services, but which ones should a company look for when shopping around for the right agency to trust with their business? We’ve gathered our top 8 here…

  1. Platform-specific social media services

They might all be social media platforms, but they also have very different best practices sets. Did you know that Instagram will be far less likely to push your video to your audience if a reel you post there has a watermark from another platform? Or that the lifespan of a post on Facebook is only 5-6 hours? Agency experts will know how to maximize efforts with each platform they specialize in.

They also can help advise you on which platforms you should focus on. Don’t just go wherever is new or most popular – go where your audience/customers are! For example, if you’re a B2C company, don’t expect to see much sales ROI from a LinkedIn account. How about your audience’s demographics? Approximately only 14.8% of Pinterest users are male, and the average age of users on the platform is 40, BUT the age range of active ‘pinners’ skews younger. Platform-specific information like that in the hands of the right social media services company can be a hugely powerful tool to ensure a company’s social success!

  1. Strategy planning

Would you start a road trip without having figured out your route first? Unless you’ve taken up van life, probably not. An agency should help strategize the best route for achieving professional goals as efficiently as possible. A detailed plan can be custom-built around many elements like audience research, niche analysis, keyword study, set content pillars, paid vs. organic ad strategy, content calendar structuring, repurposing know-how, and so on. Services for social media marketing should speak to every piece of this ever-changing puzzle.

  1. Account/profile creation and branding

Signing up for a social account is easy, but factor in the right profile image to hook a casual peruser. Is your bio optimized for searchable keywords and conveying a clear message about who and what you are as a company? If you’re a retail store, do you know how to link to and integrate your product? Platforms like Pinterest and Instagram have developed features that allow users to buy directly from your business’ social account, so it’s vitally important for an agency to know how to keep the buying process as efficient as possible for your prospective customers!

  1. Content creation

What’s social media without content? Creation is certainly a unique skill set and one that can also be platform-specific. It can entail graphic design, video editing, music pairing, scriptwriting, storyboarding, caption, and CTA crafting, all requiring alignment with that strategic planning. That’s not to mention the plethora of content creation apps on the market today. It can take weeks to master even one; an agency with this service should know exactly which app is best for a project’s needs and be ready to prove it!

  1. Content publishing 

While we wouldn’t say, the act itself is complex, keeping up with it definitely can be. If anything goes wrong in the posting, be it a system error or human error, it can take a business owner’s valuable time to assess and sort the issue. Having multiple accounts to manage can confuse which content types are supposed to go to which platform. Sometimes pre-planned posts can end up not going according to plan when they clash with unexpected real-world events. Avoid appearing tone-deaf by keeping someone assigned to publishing management.

  1. Research and analysis

Success doesn’t just happen; it takes a lot of time and a lot of preparedness: keyword and hashtag research. Let a full-service social media marketing agency like Agency Partner take care of all that while you run your actual business! Competitor audit, influencer-partnership research, trend tracking, and that’s just for starters.

  1. Education and consulting

Social media for personal use is different from business use, which isn’t always intuitive. It can be hard to find the right balance between professional and relatable, and that’s where education and consultation come into play. You’ll set yourself up for the best long-term success by having someone(s) to teach you at least the basics of this hugely important marketing style, even if you don’t intend ever to be running it yourself.

  1. Community management

So, your posts are gaining you lots of comments and DMs and taggings? Congrats! Now comes typically the most time-consuming part of the process – managing the community you’re building. Make sure to look for social media engagement services. It’s crucial to engage back with users reaching out to you. Just hearting their comment on your latest post is a small gesture that can make all the difference in relationship building with your audience. Thank your community when they create and tag you in user-generated content (UGC), and repost them where appropriate! Especially important if those messages and DMs are about customer service issues, you need someone skilled in managing that sort of issue in a professional, ‘brand voice’-y way. No gesture within your community should go unacknowledged! 

Agency Partner Interactive is your first and last step in finding the right agency that offers you all 8 social media marketing services. Ready to take your company’s social media to the next level? Have you got any questions first? Let’s talk! Call our team at 214-609-1662 or send us a message to get started today!

b2b-business-marketing

What Is B2B Marketing: Definition, Strategy, and Trends

Expert Tips For What Is B2B Marketing: Definition, Strategy, and Trends

There are many different kinds of businesses and just as many terms to match! Like B2B, business to business, B2C, business to consumer, and SAAS, subscription as a service. Today, we will focus on B2B and what makes this kind of marketing different from other businesses, giving you best practices, trends, and strategies to use for your own business. If you’ve wanted to grow your B2B marketing for your company, you’re in the right place!

What is B2B?

A B2B or business-to-business company is one that sells its products or services directly to other businesses or organizations, not the general public. Services like Office 365, Salesforce, SugarCRM, and others are examples of SAAS companies that are B2B. Many organizations operate under both the B2B and B2C umbrellas.

Any individual(s) with control or influence on purchasing decisions is the target audience for B2B marketing efforts. This can range from low-level researchers to the C suite.

What is B2B Marketing?

Marketing your B2B business is different than marketing for a B2C business. When looking at content, B2B is going to be more informational-based. It doesn’t have to be boring, but it is typically more focused on the services you offer and value for clients or members rather than selling a product immediately with catchy headlines.

Most decision-makers are focused on the bottom line and are trying to get the most ROI or return on investment they can. It’s essential to give as much data as possible and provide as many services as you can to show the value in your company.

Creating Your B2B Marketing Strategy

Customers and even attention are in high demand. A thorough B2B strategy that results in success necessitates careful planning, execution, and management. Here’s a high-level summary of how B2B businesses distinguish themselves in a crowded market:

Develop a Vision:

The first step is to develop a clear business vision. You need to identify what you want your company’s future to look like and the role that social media, content marketing, etc., can play in achieving this goal.

Define Your Market:

Who is your ideal client? Who would benefit the most from your business? What are their demographic traits? Where do they live online and in the real world? Who are the decision markers? These are all things you want to consider as you start figuring out your place in the market.

Identify the Best B2B Marketing Channels:

Once you’ve defined your market, it’s time to start thinking about what channels will work best for marketing.

The good news is that there are many options available these days, and the choice of which one(s) to use largely depends on how much budget you have, where your ideal clients live online (and offline).

  • Where do they spend their time online? 
  • What questions are they asking search engines? 
  • Which social media networks do they prefer? 
  • How can you fill opportunity gaps that your competitors are leaving open?
  • What industry events do they attend?

Create Assets and Run Ads:

Once you’ve figured out the best platforms to reach your customer, it’s time to create some ads! Find out what message you want to send to your customer. What will resonate best with them? What will they be most interested in? What do you want them to think or feel when they see your ad? Create engaging ads that are informative, not sales. You’re looking for value-add here rather than someone clicking on an ad just because it looks interesting.

Optimize and Learn

Once you’ve started your ads and your marketing strategy, it’s time to take a look at results and learn from what you’ve done. Which leads or customers came from which channel? What ad performed the best and why? How did these ads impact your overall marketing strategy and business goals? Look for ways to improve and look at new opportunities continuously. A well-performing B2B marketing strategy will need this less often, but when it’s just started, you’ll need to do it a lot.

Types of B2B Marketing

There are many types of b-to-b marketing strategies and campaigns, but they all can be broken down into four main categories: Blogs, search, social media, white pages/eBooks, email, and videos.

Blogs: Blogs are a great way to get in-depth and detailed with your company’s expertise. Blogs allow you to create more educational content than sales, but it takes time and planning to do this well. The best B2B blogs are at least 1000 words.

Search: SEO, or search engine optimization, is a very popular b-to-b marketing channel. This channel allows businesses to get in front of their ideal customer at the exact time they’re looking for a certain service or product. Google and Bing change their algorithms a lot, so it’s essential to stay up-to-date on search trends and best practices.

Social Media: Social media is a powerful B2B marketing channel because, as we know, most business transactions start with some research phase – typically online – where your ideal customer will be looking for you or someone like you. Paid and organic social media channels are both valuable when it comes to B2B marketing.

White Pages/eBooks: eBooks and white pages offer a way for B2B services providers and companies to get in front of their ideal customer with targeted, relevant information that they’re very likely looking for at just the right time. These are often used for lead generation and can be a very inexpensive way to reach your customer.

Email: Email is the linchpin of all B2B marketing strategies, especially for lead generation and nurturing campaigns. Emails are most often used for sending eBooks or white pages and communicating with prospects throughout their buying journey from awareness through purchase.

Videos: Videos can be a great way to introduce your company and its unique selling proposition (USP) while educating about the pain points of problems you solve. B2B companies often use whiteboard videos, live video streaming, or recorded webinars for this purpose.

Ready to Up Your B2B Marketing Game?

If you’re looking to improve your B2B marketing, consider contacting an agency. Agency Partner Interactive is a digital marketing agency that specializes in B2B marketing strategies.

For more info, read our Ultimate Guide to B2B Marketing here and contact Agency Partner Interactive for a free quote and personalized strategy for your business.

corporate-branding

What Does Your Company Brand Stand For?

Expert Tips For What Does Your Company Brand Stand For?

Defining your corporate identity will provide considerable benefits. This article explores the key steps and strategies that should be considered to achieve this goal.

Businesses understand how to define the products or services that they sell. Take Apple as an example. The tech brand has made a fortune by successfully positioning its products as minimal, stylish, and innovative. Even when they’re not constantly reaching these goals, customers still purchase products based on the assumptions that they have these traits.

In contrast, defining corporate identity can be a far more complex conundrum. Defining corporate identity requires a business to answer two key questions:

“Who are we, and where do we fit in the market?”

It’s not just essential to answer this question for a buying target audience. Other audiences care about this answer, too, including shareholders and employees.

Defining your corporate brand and understanding what your company stands for will provide significant benefits.

It can provide a company with the right competitive advantage. If a business understands what the brand stands for, it will know how well they are positioned against rivals. It provides purpose and direction for that business as a whole.

A corporate identity will also ensure successful levels of growth because businesses will find it easier to recruit new employees. They will understand how to attract the best recruits while ensuring that the business’s reputation as a whole is protected. 

Elements Of A Corporate Identity

Your corporate identity is formed from numerous elements such as:

  • Design – This includes assets that ensure a business is unique and stands out from competitors.  
  • Communication – How information is passed to different stakeholders and employees.  
  • Behavior – How the business reflects the core values, brand promise, and brand philosophy.

Understanding Your Corporate Identity And What Your Brand Stands For

Various models are used to assess the corporate identity and the brand position of the company. One example is the HBR Corporate Identity Matrix. This matrix postulates that there are internal and external elements that shape the corporate identity of a business. Furthermore, some features effectively bridge these two different groups.

Theoretically, using the matrix could allow you to understand whether the business identity is clear and where improvements should be made to ensure that your identity provides the right benefits.

Internal Elements

The main eternal elements of corporate brand identity are the vision and mission of the company and the culture. This also includes the capabilities of the company or what it can bring to the table that separates them from other companies and organizations

External Elements

These elements relate to how the business wants or needs to be perceived by stakeholders outside the company. Factors such as value proposition and the positioning of the business must be considered here.

Bridging Elements

The bridging elements are some of those that we have already discussed, including:

  • How the brand communicates 
  • What it stands for 
  • The values that underlie promises made to the customers

These concepts form the core of the brand identity, and they should be represented by simple phrases that summarise the intentions and the positioning of the business.

How Can The Matrix Help You Understand Your Brand Identity

According to HBR, the Corporate Brand Identity Matrix can be used by an individual or team to reveal whether a company’s identity is correctly integrated.

Overall, there are nine different elements within the matrix. HBR suggests that business teams can start by formulating answers to any of the questions within the matrix, including:

  • What is our intended position in the market?
  • What are our key offerings?
  • What attitudes shape how we work and behave?

The organization claims that if companies provide concise, straightforward, authentic, and timeless answers to the questions within the matrix, they will clearly understand whether their identity is integrated effectively.

Past Successes

HBR suggests that many businesses have already found success by using the Matrix. When Volvo was decentralized in 2016, the organization was left in a difficult and somewhat risky position. The business’s identity was no longer clearly defined, so the people within organizations were unsure how to best provide strategic support to “daughter” brands of the business. This led to issues with describing the brand through both marketings as well as investor communications.

Using the matrix, HBR was able to help Volvo clarify its position, strengthen its brand identity on the market and ensure that it could communicate effectively with all the critical stakeholders of the business.

Other organizations have seen similar successes after taking a deep dive into the stance of their respective brands. For instance, Cargotech, a significant player in the cargo handling industry, was able to use the tool to effectively bring three daughter brands together with a “one company” approach.

A Starting Step

It’s important to note that using a tool like the HBR matrix is only the beginning when improving your brand position and clarifying your corporate identity. Once corporate teams understand the identity, the legitimacy must be tested often with internal surveys. If the validity is confirmed, it’s then essential to ensure that every team member understands the brand identity and is working or communicating within these new guidelines.

Taking these measures will ensure that a business succeeds in achieving cohesiveness. It will ensure that everyone within an organization represents the business in the same way with each interaction. Whether they are interacting with stakeholders, clients, or customers, the corporate identity should be upheld.

The right corporate identity can also provide authority on the market and position your business as a leader within a highly competitive industry. This is possible through the right:

  • Action
  • Communication  
  • Design

The profound benefits of understanding and maintaining your corporate identity should now be clear, and tools such as HBRs Corporate Brand Identity Matrix can be vital to achieving these goals.

To gain a deeper understanding and expert support with the branding of your corporate enterprise, contact Agency Partner today. Our dedicated, experienced team is ready to assist you with your brand goals and help elevate your business in your respected industry.

web-development-services

What are the Most Common Web Development Services?

The Types of Web Development Services

Generally speaking, if your company isn’t online, it doesn’t exist to most people. Many businesses utilize web development services to create a user friendly website that can generate leads, sell products and more. Some businesses go so far as to create business enabling web apps, and others simply rely on a capable web presence to serve as a brochure of sorts. 

Top Website Development Companies
Agency Partner Is An Award-Winning Web Services Company

Whatever your  goals, web development services bring brands online in such a way that creates value. There are many different styles of web dev services, and at Agency Partner, our award-winning website team offers free consultations so that we can first define the business problem at hand, before then recommending a single best web services solution.

Web development services are popular and common among organizations of all sizes, from multinational corporations to tiny startups. There are several web development solutions to pick from, depending on your unique product needs and budget. A well-designed website or web application can be a valuable marketing tool as well as an efficient way to manage information. The bottom line in that an experienced web development team can reimagine your business and give you a competitive edge in today’s online marketplace. 

There are several web development services that businesses may use to design and build a website or web application. Custom web applications, eCommerce platforms, full-stack development, CMS —there is no set formula for what your company needs in an online presence. It is all dependent on your business needs. 

Here are some of the most common web development services you can use to achieve your goals:  

Full-Stack Web Development 

Both back-end and front-end development are included in full-stack web development. This sort of web design and development service combination produces a bespoke solution for your company’s needs by planning, designing, developing, and hosting the website. 

Full-Stack developers are some of the most experienced and talented engineers you can find. They are capable of not only creating web applications but also helping with the hosting and maintenance of your web development projects. Full-stack web development companies have the knowledge to create a custom web solution. In addition to HTML and CSS, this type of development includes: 

  • Program a browser (like using JavaScript, jQuery, Angular, or Vue) 
  • Program a server (like using PHP, ASP, Python, or Node) 
  • Program a database (like using SQL, SQLite, or MongoDB) 

The most common Full-Stack Web Development Services are: 

  • MEAN Stack: MongoDB, Express, AngularJS, and Node. js.
  • MERN Stack: MongoDB, Express, ReactJS, and Node. js.
  • Django Stack: Django, Python, and MySQL as Database.
  • Rails or Ruby on Rails: Ruby, PHP, and MySQL.
  • LAMP Stack: Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP.

Ecommerce Applications

Ecommerce web development is a subset of full-stack web development. The UX UI (user experience, user interface) considers both the front and back-end web technologies needed to run an online store. This is often a custom web development service and is geared toward businesses looking to sell products online. These web project often require experienced eCommerce UX designers and website designers to get the job done right. Ecommerce web design companies can develop stores from scratch or set up a shopping cart plugin for your existing website. This type of web application goes beyond simply having a shopping cart, but it actually handles inventory, payment processing, product listings, and more!

The most common eCommerce platforms are: 

Custom Web Applications 

Custom web applications are custom web-based solutions for your business needs. Unlike a website, web applications are software elements that run on a web server. They are web-based, but function like traditional desktop applications.

In all likelihood, you probably use a web application every day without even knowing it. 

Some popular web applications you may already be familiar with include: 

  • Facebook (built on the PHP programming language)  
  • YouTube (built using Python and Django web framework)  
  • Twitter (built using Ruby, Java, C++, etc.)  

Content Management Systems (CMS)  

Content Management Systems are web applications that allow users to update website content through a web browser. CMS services are often used by companies to update web pages quickly without the need for hiring web developers.  

The most common CMS platforms include: 

QA & Testing  

Quality assurance and testing are sometimes the most overlooked web development service. Quality assurance helps web developers ensure that the application they are building works properly.  

Testing web applications and websites, is an important step in web development to make sure your website meets the performance, quality, and usability requirements for your business need before moving forward with any project. Testing can be done both manually or through automated software tools like Selenium – which uses a web driver to control web browsers. 

Web Support and Maintenance 

Once you’ve finished building your website or web application, web support and web maintenance services will help keep it running smoothly. 

Web support is web management that prevents issues from arising in the first place. This includes tasks like training employees to use your web application correctly, monitoring system performance, reviewing logs for errors or security vulnerabilities, etc.  

Web Maintenance ensures a website runs as expected after launch by fixing web issues, making web improvements, updating web content, and more.  

Website support and maintenance usually come in three different types:  

  • Monitoring: web monitoring means you have dedicated professionals monitoring your infrastructure 24/7. Web monitoring is also web security – so your website can detect potential threats and escalate them quickly. 
  • Remediation: this is a type of monitoring that includes issue resolution by trusted developers. 
  • Management: web management includes both web support and web maintenance services that help maintain a healthy, bug-free environment for all of your web applications. This might include tasks like updating software libraries or plugins, patching servers against known vulnerabilities, etc.  

Are You Ready to Upgrade Your Online Presence? 

SEO marketing
Meet With Our Web Design Services Team Today

Whether you have a website and need help maintaining it, or you have an idea for a web application and need help bringing it to life, we can help.  

Contact Agency Partner

Hiring an experienced web development company will ensure you get the web presence your business needs to succeed. Agency Partner Interactive has years of experience building web applications, eCommerce sites, and websites for companies just like yours. If you can dream it, we can bring it online. 

Located in Dallas, Texas, Agency Partner Interactive is a web design, digital marketing, and web development services company that can help you achieve your business goals.  

 

Contact us today to find out more about our web development services! 

graphic-designer

What Does A Graphic Designer Do?

Expert Tips For What Does A Graphic Designer Do?

So, what does a graphic designer do exactly? Well, they design graphics.

Okay, thanks for reading! Bye!!

I am just kidding.

There’s SO much that graphic designers do.

Graphic designers create visual tools to support a brand’s ideas and messaging that influence and inform consumers. Their handiwork is everywhere you look! As the expression goes, art makes you feel something while the design makes you do something, and graphic designers do both.

A Day in the Life

Also known as visual designers and graphic artists, the particular role of a graphic designer can vary widely depending on the specifics of their project and client. They may craft the overall composition and production design for any media such as advertisements, logos, short-form video, product packaging, social media content, or corporate reports, and that’s just scratching the surface. A pretty general overview of a typical day for a graphic designer looks like… 

Setting the Day’s Workflow 

  • Daily tasks and expectations are established. They may be advised by the client and then assigned by any relevant in-house or agency project manager. It is essential for time management if freelancing. 

Reporting & Updating 

  • Communication is a must about progress updates and any check-ins for feedback on yesterday’s headway. Meetings may be had directly with the client or with project managers. Estimated finish dates will often be determined or updated, and clarification of direction may be needed.  

Research 

  • Many say that true originality no longer exists. There’s nothing unusual about a creator needing some inspiration to get started. Maybe it’s spending some time researching similar projects by other designers or getting some insights into the client’s intended market audience. Take a look at what’s trending lately or look into what’s unique about marketing within the current project’s industry. 

Drafting 

  • Time to put the research to work! Short projects may require rough drafts being ready in a matter of hours, while others may take several versions of proposals as the ideas are fine-tuned.  

Designing 

  • The designer incorporates the specific client-provided brand assets like the brand’s approved typefaces, hex codes for colors, logos, or any other cohesive elements to begin bringing the project to life. Be it Figma or Photoshop or Final Cut Pro, here is where it matters most that a creator knows what software will give them the best, most relevant results. 

Wrapping Up 

  • Has the file been saved and sent back to the client for review? Has a backup copy been made yet? Update the client once more on ETAs also before calling it a day!

Graphic designers utilize an impressive span of knowledge and skills.

A solid graphic designer must understand color theory, psychology, typography, design software, and visual elements and marry it all to each brand’s unique identity. They’ve got to be skilled at consolation and presentation, sales, HTML, analytics, infographics, storyboard creation, design strategy, task flexibility, interpreting aesthetics, cost estimation, font selection, spacing, ad design, photo-editing, proofreading, visual message integration, and everything in between.

This job is anything but simple!

With such a variety of skills, many graphic designers develop into roles like Art Production Manager, Brand Identity Developer, Logo Designer, all the way up to Creative Director; so many more happily stick long term with the job description they love.

Graphic designers combine art with tech.

Through a combination of technology and art, a visual designer’s goal is to enhance a brand’s recognition and ensure their visual message is consistent and accurate, marketing-wise. This usually starts with producing rough illustrations of design ideas, either by hand sketching or in the relevant creative software.

Nowadays, with the prevalence of digital tools, it’s not impossible to lack drawing skills and still be a graphic designer as long as there is a strong artistic eye and a good sense of design elements. Knowing just the basics of pencil sketching can be all you need for noteworthy creations, especially when it comes to graphics in UI/UX design and web development like that of Agency Partner.

Understanding the possibilities and limitations of media, like the responsiveness of an app or the physical material a graphic will be printed on, can make a massive difference in the scope of effective design. Much the same way drawing skills may be helpful but not intrinsic to good graphic design, coding knowledge isn’t a must but can smartly inform an artist’s ideas and ability to collaborate with developers when necessary. Speaking of…

Graphic designers stop, collaborate, and listen.

An intelligent graphic designer often collaborates with teams of programmers, analysts, marketers, copywriters, client executives, and even other visual designers to successfully render their final products. It’s beyond important that a graphic designer carefully listens and prioritizes to understand clients’ objectives and effectively strategize their designs.

While artistic sense and ability are essential, one of the best ways for designers to set themselves apart in this competitive industry is by strengthening client-related soft skills. Learning how to stay attuned to a client’s needs and effectively communicate through every step of the process can be the difference between ‘good’ and ‘great’!

Graphic Designers DON’T…

As important as understanding what a graphic designer does, we also need to understand what is mistaken for falling under their already extensive list of responsibilities. Graphic designers do not decide the brand identity, only how to help visually bring it to life effectively. While they may create stunning visual details within an app, the app layout itself doesn’t entirely fall under their job description. Need a map drafted for a new travel book? Got a marketing presentation due soon? Nope, not a graphic designer’s job either…at least not yet!

Working as a graphic designer can be stressful considering how many different tasks you may have to handle daily and how lightning-fast the industry trends and tools typically evolve. Branding has never been more critical than now, and skilled graphic designers are vital to its success and effectiveness. The graphic design job outlook is pretty rosy, too, with the job market for the position projected to grow 4.2% in the ten years between 2016 and 2026. From print to digital to motion graphics and more, this industry will never go out of style.

Facebook Rebrand to Meta - Adam Rizzieri Agency Partner in the news

CMS Wire: Facebook’s Rebranding Embraces the Metaverse, But Not Everyone is Convinced

Originally published on Nov. 4, 2021 at CMSWire.com, Written by David Roe
During the recent Connect 2021 Facebook conference, CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced Meta. Meta, he told, the audience, is a significant re-branding that brings together all the Facebook apps and technologies under one new company brand. The focus will be to bring the metaverse to life.

The Facebook Founder’s Letter

He also explained that the metaverse will feel like a hybrid of today’s online social experiences, sometimes expanded into three dimensions or projected into the physical world. It will let you share immersive experiences with other people even when you can’t be together.

In a Founder’s Letter he went further: “Our mission remains the same — it’s still about bringing people together. Our apps and their brands aren’t changing either. We’re still the company that designs technology around people. But all of our products, including our apps, now share a new vision, to help bring the metaverse to life. And now we have a name that reflects the breadth of what we do.”

He even pushed the metaverse ahead of the original offering that has generated a business model worth billions. From now on, the letter reads,  we will be metaverse-first, not Facebook-first. That means that over time you won’t need a Facebook account to use our other service.”

Premature Rebranding?

Is that wise though?  No sooner had the conference wrapped then major question marks started appearing in a wide range of posts and articles. Denise Lee Yohn, in the Harvard Business Review, for example, argued that the rebranding as a metaverse-first company is pre-mature at best and even foolish in its attempt to distract from the criticism the company has recently faced in the US and Europe.

“The metaverse,” she wrote, “is not well-known or understood, so it’s confusing. But the most critical issue with this rebranding is that the new brand has been introduced without any substantive change at the company. She pointed out that Zuckerberg explained that it was time to adopt a new company brand “to encompass everything we do”.

But that’s just not true, she argued. “The vision behind Meta is still just that, a vision. Facebook’s decision to rebrand is an ill-timed move.” The real problem, she added, is that Facebook is re-branding before its vision is a reality. Right now, social media remains the core of the company’s operations and revenues.

By adopting a brand name that is based on future potential capabilities and a platform and products that, by Zuckerberg’s own admission, may not be offered for a decade, the company sets itself up to confuse people at best; at worst, it will disappoint people and further degrade their trust in the company. So is the rebranding a mistake?

Adam Rizzieri, chief marketing officer, at Addison, TX-based Agency Partner Interactive agrees. He believes that the rebrand is premature and even disingenuous. Facebook’s core business is online advertising fueled by user data that it collects on its social media apps.

This business model is what allowed the company to present an incredibly strong third-quarter earnings report. Social media is exactly what they do. “Yet here we have Mark Zuckerberg trying to distance himself from the business model of social media, in favor of a hypothetical concept of an evolved internet that won’t exist for about 10 years,” he said.

The ‘Meta’ Name

Facebook as a company is more than the big blue social media platform. Facebook is also Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, Portal, and other hardware devices, Andrew Selepak at the University of Florida, told us. Changing the company name to Meta allows the company to highlight that they are more than one product or service in much the same way Google changed its name to Alphabet and Google became a subsidiary of the company along with their other properties like YouTube.

“The rebrand to Meta makes business sense especially as Zuckerberg plans to get the company to shift away from focusing on two-dimensional social media platforms to the three-dimensional environment of virtual reality,” he said.

He argues, however, that Meta is a terrible name for the Facebook rebrand. Facebook is years away from creating the virtual environment that Zuckerberg is promoting and virtual reality has been a long-overpromised idea that has never been realized.

Although Facebook does have the money, engineers, and resources to put toward creating a true virtual reality environment that is used by more than just tech enthusiasts, they are years away from completing it and even further away from it being adopted by large numbers of people.

“The Metaverse is currently science fiction rather than science reality and the name is confusing as premature,” he said. “By trying to change the media narrative of the company during a public relations nightmare after the Facebook whistleblower, maybe Metaverse as a name change is a bit appropriate with Zuckerberg as a real-life Marvel supervillain.”

Addressing Facebook’s Competition

There are other problems too, according to Chris Apaliski senior director of paid social at Austin-based performance marketing agency Adlucen. Facebook is just responding to the world around it and its own image in the wider social world. Facebook has evolved over the years.

It started from a limited platform for students to connect to each other and has now turned into a media powerhouse and one of the world’s biggest advertisers. But Facebook still faces threats from competition and needs to shake the image of being the “senior platform” of sorts — with an age demographic that gets older. Rebranding and retaining a focus on the Metaverse enable Facebook to be an early adopter in that space and once again lead the charge in social innovation.

Apaliski points out that Mark Zuckerberg has talked about being the first into the space and how he believes the metaverse can be the next evolution of the mobile web/web 3.0. He has also expressed the desire to continue to innovate in the AR/VR space, as well, including the Oculus purchase. “The metaverse is the next natural step to create structure over Facebook’s book of companies (FB, IG, WhatsApp, Oculus, etc.) similar to the approach Google wants to take with Alphabet,” he said. “A rebrand enables Facebook leadership to continue to focus on this future.

There is also significant opportunity for advertisers in the Metaverse and the digital world. “As we look toward these digital evolutions (Metaverse, NFTs, etc) the most innovative companies will get on board. Simply put — advertisers will find their way into anything,” he said.

What Kind Of Metaverse?

David ‘Ed’ Edwards is VFX product manager at motion capture leader at UK-based Vicon. He says arguments about whether, or even if, there will be a metaverse is redundant as they are already with us. However, he says the delivery timeline of a single ‘Metaverse’ will be a question of strategic benefit to its prospective creator. If one organization pins its future on this concept and wishes to capitalize on it before anyone else, it could even be unveiled within a couple of years, or even sooner.

He cites Facebook’s Oculus as a very obvious thing to focus attention on regarding the company’s ambition to pioneer the metaverse, given its significance in the history of VR (and entertainment, more broadly) and the overall nature of its acquisition by Facebook. “I can’t imagine Facebook won’t explore every opportunity available to make Oculus a central part of their metaverse experience to validate that level of investment,” he said. How significant a component it ends up being, I think will ultimately be the consumer’s decision.”

How Bright Is Meta’s Future?

The future is not all bright and there are many people that remain unconvinced about Facebook’s rebranding and the metaverse in general. Mike Davis, founder and president of the Internet Accountability Project, and organization that lobbys to make big tech companies accountable for their actions.

He says the rebranding is Facebook following in the footsteps of Big Tobacco after the industry was exposed for its toxic and deadly impact on society. Philip Morris got caught preying on kids, so they became Altria. Facebook got caught preying on kids, so they became Meta. But consumers and legislators should make no mistake: this is the same company that lies to its users, Congress and government regulators.

Facebook is also taking a page from the Google playbook when it renamed itself Alphabet to delay antitrust scrutiny and prepare for the day they were inevitably broken up. Facebook is in a crisis of its own making and renaming itself won’t stop Congress and federal law enforcement from updating and enforcing our antitrust laws, according to Davis.

Final Thoughts

Many people in the market have yet to come to terms with Facebook’s business model. Arguably, this is why it has been so difficult for lawmakers to adequately regulate the industry and address privacy concerns. “To ask the market to now conceptualize a real-life version of The Matrix is completely unrealistic,” Rizzieri added. “For those who don’t get the business model, they are now more confused and increasingly apathetic to big tech’s dominance. For those who understand the model, the idea of a Facebook-controlled metaverse should be scarier than the latest Halloween movie.

© 2021 CMS Wire. All rights reserved.

Catch Us In the Media

Agency Partner’s award-winning team often contributes expert opinions and perspectives on things that matter. Follow our contributions to the latest news and media topics or head over to the newly reinstated/uncancelled Agency Partner YouTube page to see us on TV and hear us on the radio or podcasts.

If your business is looking to utilize a digital marketing strategy or perhaps you need help with your web design and mobile needs, we’re happy to help! For no risk and no obligation, give us a shot!

Make the team at Agency Partner your next call.

website-design

How to Design a Website

Expert Tips For How to Design a Website

A web presence is essential in a digital world, especially if you’re a business or brand. Did you know that the very first website was launched on August 6, 1991? Now there are nearly 1.9 billion of them! But how do you even design a website in the first place?

A website uses 3 main languages to set its framework, design, and performance

  • HTML defines the basic structure and accessibility of websites
  • CSS sets the presentation, style characteristics, and layout of its pages.
  • JavaScript controls a website page’s interactivity

So how about in plain English this time…

Let’s break that down step by step, shall we?

Set your intent

What’s your purpose in creating the site? Got a product to sell or a service to promote? Maybe you want to start a blog or portfolio or new social hub, and the term “Community Standards” makes your head want to explode. Set your own! Having a clear picture of why you’re creating will make the flow of this process so much easier from start to finish.

Choose a host or website builder

A site host like Vultr or SiteGround may be all you need if you truly want to create your site from scratch. But if that’s a little more in-depth than you’re interested in, check out a website builder such as WordPress and Zyro. Wanna simplify the process even more? Agency Partner can take care of web development for you!

Register your domain name

There are three primary, customizable parts to a domain name:

  • Subdomain: typically ‘www’ (#funfact it can technically be any combo of letters!)
  • Root domain: your unique site address
  • Top-Level Domain: .com, .net, and .org are most common

Depending on availability, you can purchase a domain name for as little as $2.99 annually. Think about what your full URL might look like when choosing each part. Consider the relevance of TLDs in your niche and industry; for example, .org typically doesn’t make much sense for an eCommerce site.

Define the layout

The structure can be critical to the success of a website. If navigation is not clear or intuitive to the user, they won’t stick around, and your bounce rate metric will skyrocket. No Bueno!

Consider your brand

Make sure the site reflects the brand and its messaging. Even an artist building that online portfolio or a non-profit seeking online donations need a clear brand identity. From the micro and UX copy of your hamburger menu to any site error messages, the tone of voice must be consistent across the entire site. How about the color palette? If you have a brand logo, is it being thoughtfully placed in your design?

Prep your content

Think about what relevant types of content can help you build authority and trustworthiness in your industry to drive traffic and engage your ideal customer avatar. Batch create your content as far in advance as possible, try using content calendars to stay organized, and always hit that ‘Preview’ button before you publish anything!

Strategize your SEO  

How do your customers find you in an ocean of competition these days? Through search engine optimization, or SEO! This affects almost everything about your site, right down to that domain name you picked. Consider your keyword strategies when creating content, defining your user interface (UI), and even crafting back-end content like metadata! Ensure these keywords are terms your customers would naturally use when looking for what you offer, and always follow SEO best practices.

Include useful pages 

Could your site’s users benefit from an FAQ? Need a ‘Contact Us’ or booking page? Always keep first in mind your users’ needs and experience while they’re visiting. Anything that you can make native to your site to minimize site redirection is ideal! If you’re a restaurant, make sure to have your current menu, contact info, business hours, etc., directly available within your own site so that the user doesn’t need to go anywhere else for it!

Design your website elements 

Popular user-friendly platform Canva is an excellent resource, both its free and Pro versions, especially if you’re more of a beginner with graphic design, though Photoshop and Adobe XD remain the industry standard. Both YouTube and Skillshare host tons of design tutorials for all skill levels. Remember that a very elements-heavy site will likely run slower for your users than a more streamlined, minimalist approach. Good news for you beginners! For website design ideas, we love perusing Pinterest and Elementor. Also, hiring a pro graphic designer might be a wise investment, time- and money-wise. A site that doesn’t truly look polished and professional is much less likely to be trusted as a legitimate page.

Make it accessible for everyone. 

ADA compliance across the digital space has seen a massive push in recent years, and we at API are here for it. In fact, complying makes you eligible for a tax deduction of up to $5,000! Not sure if yours is up to compliance standards? Check out these tips, or have API do a full site audit for you!

Optimize for device compatibility

Approximately half of all website traffic comes from mobile devices as of 2017, so it’s essential to consider how your site will look and function outside of just a standard computer.

Set up back-end analytics

If your web builder doesn’t have site analytics built-in, or you need a deeper view, consider signing up for Google Analytics for insight into your site’s performance.

Now for the scariest part of all – Hit ‘Publish’!

Yep, it’s definitely a lot, but take it one step at a time. You got this! You no longer have to know the ins and outs of coding to build a beautiful, user-friendly website. Of course, that’s not to say using a site builder is easy enough for absolutely everyone or that everyone has the time to build a site themselves. So, if you don’t get this, remember Agency Partner is one Contact Us page away! 

agency-partner-adam-rizzieri-on-cw33tv-social-media-safety

Nexstar Media: “Morning After” on CW33 TV To Discuss Social Media Safety

Originally aired live on Nov. 3, 2021, on CW33 TV; by the Digital News Desk
DALLAS (KDAF) — More than 7,000 CEOs have been impersonated by scammers since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.That alarming statistic hits home for many others across the world as the FTC says they measured about 500,000 imposter scams since 2020.

This problem is now affecting our very own Jenny Anchondo as she battles with social media accounts pretending to be her and scamming people out of hundreds of dollars.

Adam Rizzieri, co-founder and chief marketing officer for Agency Partner Interactive, joined our show to talk about the dangers of social media impersonation and what you can do to prevent it.


 

 

© 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. and Agency Partner Interactive LLC. All rights reserved.

Other Resources

Learn more about “imposter scams” today. These are a growing threat and have increased in frequency since the COVID mandates. Individuals and businesses alike are targets and the FTC has proven to be a great resource on this topic.

Click Here to learn more from the FTC’s official website.

Catch Us In the Media & Leverage The Power of Your Online Presence

Agency Partner’s award-winning team often contributes expert opinions and perspectives on things that matter. Follow our contributions to the latest news and media topics or head over to the newly reinstated/uncancelled Agency Partner YouTube page to see us on TV and hear us on the radio or podcasts.

If your business is looking to utilize a digital marketing strategy or perhaps you need help with your web design and mobile needs, we’re happy to help! For no risk and no obligation, give us a shot!

Make the team at Agency Partner your next call.

business-consulting

Consulting Is More Than Giving Advice

Expert Tips For Consulting Is More Than Giving Advice

A consultant is one of those professions that many people will have heard about, but few know what it means.

The global consultancy industry is worth $250 billion and has continued to experience growth in recent years. The success of the consulting industry is relevant to the worldwide economy, and as organizations enjoy growth, they turn to consultants to help guide their future strategies.

Clients can benefit from consulting services when they truly understand what they want, know what to ask of consultants, and deliver appropriate recommendations.

But while businesses look to consultants to provide advice and recommendations, the guidance provided isn’t always taken on board. So what is a business consultant, and how can a consult become more than just giving advice?

What is a business consulting all about?

Management consulting can encompass many things. While consultants typically offer services relevant to their specific industry expertise, steps involved in the consulting process underpin the work.

However, each business will have its objectives for what it wants from the consulting process. The clearer the company’s objectives, the more successful the consulting process will be.

Of the potential steps involved in the consulting process, many clients only focus on some of what could be achieved through consultancy. Understanding the different elements could strengthen the client’s request, enabling a successful consulting process to be completed.

Information gathering

A significant portion of a consultant’s work will relate to information gathering. Consultants can have access to tools and data gathering techniques that businesses may not possess themselves, in addition to having the capacity to carry out the research that companies may not have.

There’s a responsibility on both the client and the consultant to provide clear intentions for the information gathered on how to be used or why it’s needed. This can help inform the process to ensure the most relevant outcome. For the consultant, having a clear brief to work from will help ensure that the work carried out meets the client’s needs.

Working to identify the problem

Businesses engaging with consultants usually do so because they have a problem to solve. This could include expanding into a new location, launching a new product, or adopting a sales or promotion strategy. Clients usually engage a consultant with the problem they need solving, and a consultant will search for the solutions.

However, a great consultant will look deeper into the issue and explore whether the problem present is the real issue at hand. By understanding the background to the issue and even reading between the lines to work out a better solution, a consultant can see broader or related problems at bay.

Presenting this information to the client can lead to an appropriate way forward that provides the best way and ensures the right outcome come for engagement.

Using expertise to provide solutions to the problem

A consultant’s strength lies in their ability to diagnose the issues resulting from the client’s problem effectively. This process, however, can be a difficult one, especially if clients are reluctant to divulge certain information. For clients to get the most from their consultant, they need to answer difficult questions about previous decisions or certain behaviors within the organization.

For clients, being unwilling to aid parts of the process can mean that the consultant can’t do their job thoroughly. An independent consultant is hired for a reason. Management needs to let the consultant in and uncover the internal processes, decisions, skills, and other key factors to diagnosing the problem and coming up with the appropriate solutions.

Making recommendations

Providing recommendations is a vital function of a consultant and is the final step in the process for many businesses, who will then decide how to implement these recommendations. Many don’t implement them, often citing unrealistic recommendations that are not accepted by executives, boards, etc., or are unworkable due to budget or process constraints. However, it doesn’t always have to end this way.

If the client is involved throughout the process, then the recommendations provided will have been developed in line with the achievable objectives set out at the beginning of the process.

Securing agreement and action

Most people believe that the responsibility for implementing a consultant’s recommendations lies with the client. However, if the client does nothing with the recommendations offered, it becomes a waste of the consultant’s time and energy. Clients should explore ways in which a consultant can assist with implementing recommendations in a supportive and constructive way.

Being willing to implement the recommendations is another factor to consider. It’s essential to seek buy-in from the higher-ups who will sign off on the proposals, which involves persuasive action from the consultant and the individuals working on the engagement from the client’s side. Close working throughout the process and a willingness from the client to bring people of all levels into the process can help make the process more collaborative. This can lead to agreement on the proper action to take, helping to get the most effective outcome from the engagement.

Leading change through process

A management consultancy engagement should result in definitive actions to take now. Still, it should also consider future challenges the client may face, with some recommendations and learning that can help them navigate these challenges. Changes to processes could be one of the ways this is achieved, but the client must be open to making these positive changes.

As businesses turn to consult more and more, they’re starting to see the value that making full use of a consultant’s expertise can bring. While information gathering and the subsequent report of recommendations can satisfy some businesses’ needs, they’re missing out on the full value working with a consultant can bring. As businesses learn more about the potential consultancy can bring, consultants will need to adapt their approach to ensure full service to their clients.

If you’re looking for expert consultancy, get in touch with Agency Partner Interactive today. We can provide business consulting services to satisfy your web design and marketing needs. Let us help you find the right solutions for your business.

branding-creation

Branding Creation: The Branding Solution You Need To Tell Your Story

Expert Tips For Branding Creation: The Branding Solution You Need To Tell Your Story

According to Nielsen Media Research, there are over 500,000 registered brands worldwide. And, thinking about it, you can probably name a few hundred and recognize over a thousand of them. But what about the rest of them? 

Branding your company or product is not a process to take lightly. Tailored and innovative branding solutions can elevate the reputation, brand awareness, and image of your business. Oppositely, inconsistent, unappealing, or inadequate branding can cause your company to be quickly forgotten. Essentially, yes – the branding you choose can make or break your project.  

With so much at stake, partnering with an experienced branding agency such as Agency Partner Interactive (API) can truly make a difference. Learn about the elements of branding solutions for small businesses below and discover how we can help you define your brand. 

What is a Brand? Let’s Start From The Basics

When thinking about a brand, the first things that come to mind are a logo, a tagline, or a color scheme. Does “Just Do It” ring a bell?  

But the concept of branding is much more than that and encompasses many aspects of your verbal and visual communication elements. And that’s exactly what makes it so hard to craft a definition of a “brand.”  

The American Marketing Association defines branding as: “A name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller’s goods or service as distinct from those of other sellers.” 

Yet, Kotler & Keller, in their Marketing Management, defined “branding” as: “endowing products and services with the power of a brand.” 

Here at API, we understand that a branding solution encompasses many elements – including 

  • Identity elements include logo, advertising, video assets, online presence, social media accounts, print materials, and collaterals. 
  • Every Point of Contact or EPOC – such as your branded stationery, website, and newsletter 
  • Brand perception – the way your employees and your audience perceive your brand makes up your branding. 

And, it’s these perceptions that drive behavior! Let’s look into the elements of API’s complete branding solutions.

Elements of Branding To Tell A Story

In the video below, you can find out more about branding. Once you are ready, let’s dive into the elements of creating your brand’s identity and your story. 

Visual and Verbal Identity

As we have seen above, your logo, tagline, and color scheme are not the only elements of your branding strategy. And yet, statistics show that using a signature color can increase brand recognition by 80%, and consistency in presentation and tone can increase revenue by over 33% 

And, since you only have around half a second to make a long-lasting, memorable impression on your customers, there are some branding elements that you can use as communication tools. These include: 

  • Visual elements – logo, typography, and iconography 
  • Media elements – color scheme, photography, and video content 
  • Defining characteristics – personality, promise, archetype, and brand compass 
  • Verbal elements – integrated systems of words, messages, and voice tone that are known to your audience. These include your brand voice, story, tagline, name, and writing. 

Develop a Story For Your Brand

For just under 90% of consumers, finding authenticity in a brand is critical for their buying decision process. But how can you make your brand appear honest, transparent, open, and authentic? 

Telling a story could be your most powerful tool. Your brand story is at the base of your brand personality and should include elements such as: 

  • The story of your brand 
  • Founders and team bios 
  • Mission and goals 
  • Projects and values 

Don’t forget that even if your company entirely operates online, people still look for the human touch and authenticity.

Get To Know Your Buyer Persona

Knowing your audience is essential to creating a brand that is appealing to that specific target market. However, knowing every person in your audience is impossible. That is why marketers use a buyer persona.  

Creating a customer persona can help you discover the likes and dislikes, traits, history, and needs and wants of your audience so that you can tailor your messaging and identity to them. Here at API, we consider  customer person creation a vital element of branding solution services. 

Analyze The Market and Position Your Brand

If you don’t see the ROI expected, that might be because you are operating at the wrong level on the market. In this case, you will need to change your branding or reposition your company into a more appealing sector.  

Some tips for creating the correct branding for your market positioning include: 

  • Be clear on your value proposition 
  • Define your sustainable competitive advantage and unique selling points 
  • Clarify what the message to your audience is 

Remember that your brand positioning can drive consumer behavior and influence how they perceive your brand.  

Know What Media and Channels to Use

They are deciding what media and communication channels you will use is an active part of brand creation. Indeed, not all channels will reach your desired audience the right way, and selecting the right one is central to branding success and marketing effectiveness.  

Running customer research, focus groups, online surveys, and reviews is an excellent way to understand better what channels your consumers use the most and decide how to target your branding.  

Remember – whether it’s social media marketing or you are connecting with your audience via newsletter, having a brand identity that is bold and outstanding makes every touchpoint more meaningful and memorable.   

Monitoring and Measure Success

Sculpting a brand is not a one-time effort but rather an ongoing project. Since the market, your audience, and your company’s goals and mission will evolve, your brand should do so too. In this way, brand solutions can remain relevant and appealing throughout time. And, don’t forget to have solid KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) in place to review and measure the success of your branding or rebranding project.

Discover Your Full Branding Potential With Agency Partner Interactive

Creating a brand is an exciting and intimidating project for all entrepreneurs. But, since adequately branding your company can truly make a difference in your chances of success, you should not think twice about partnering with Agency Partner Interactive.  

Our Dallas-based team can help you create complete branding solutions that encompass visual elements, logo creation, advertising, and collaterals.  

Here are just a few of the services we offer: 

  • Identity Design 
  • Brand Name 
  • Market Research & Buyer Persona Creation 
  • Content Development 
  • Collateral Design 
  • Trademark Consulting 
  • Rebranding 
  • Brand Positioning, Strategy, & Guidelines 
  • Brand Development & Management 
  • Website Optimization 
  • Environment Retail Design 

At Agency Partner Interactive, we believe that each brand is unique and should be its branding solution. Get in touch today with our Dallas-based team of branding experts to find a tailored solution for your needs.