What is a place brand strategy and how can it help communicate the brand identity of a place?

A place brand strategy is about the promotion of what the area wants to be well known for in terms of its offer, experience and reputation. Each city or place needs to plan for its growth so a consistent, coherent message will help encourage people to live, work and visit to secure its future prosperity.

A place brand strategy helps shape a location’s future positive image increasing visibility and recognition. The strategy is not just about the logo and a catchy strapline, it’s about what the brand is focused on achieving; clear goals to attract visitors, residents, companies whatever the object may be.

place brand strategy

place brand strategy

Place brand strategy top ten tips

1. Positioning – the place needs to be promoted with distinct messages and images to segmented targeted audiences, you’ll require an adapted message to domestic and international audiences, media and investors.

2. Differentiation – means the place needs to have distinct characteristics that set it apart from competitor locations or places, it needs to have genuinely interesting things to see and do.

3. Building relationships – with designated stakeholders such as local governments, business support agencies, property investors and developers will help strengthen the place proposition.

4. Place personality – captures what are the strong emotional connections of the place; so is enterprise limping or thriving, is lifestyle calm or chaotic, is heritage ancient or contemporary, is infrastructure outdated or innovative?

5. Support business growth – a successful place brand will aim to help grow existing businesses in the area and retain and attract new businesses and jobs developing long term engagement through a connected business community.

6. Attract talent – a targeted place brand strategy will appeal and attract talented, skilled people especially from the Millennials age group; they in turn will want to live, work and contribute to economic prosperity.

7. Storytelling – social media can facilitate a real-time engagement sharing local stories about the place in a natural emotive way, this can be the best form of positive word of mouth referrals and testimonials.

8. Support stakeholders – a grounded identity will resonate with the stakeholders so encourage them to support and adopt the identity and engender collaborative thinking and become place brand advocates.

9. Digital marketing – an important channel of the brand strategy delivery will be its web and social media presence, however this must be carefully controlled and

10. Connected research – ensure the place brand is has well researched evidence about the physical infrastructure, quality of life, economic regeneration and its visitor attractions and links to the surrounding areas, this will help shape the overall story.

A place can have complex attributes. Adopting an experience led place band strategy will help define your offer and deliver an integrated brand and marketing strategy.

alexandrapatrick provides original, cost-effective strategic marketing services in Kent, UK. alexandrapatrick has particular experience and expertise in digital marketing, copywriting, public relations, location/destination marketing, healthcare marketing and marketing consultancy.

If you’d like to find out more about how we could support creating a place brand strategy for your business, email info@alexandrapatrick.co.uk or contact via Twitter.

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Brand ambassadors – what are they and how can they benefit your business?

Brand ambassadors can be invaluable for your business. A brand ambassador is a person who talks about your business in a positive way, they don’t have to be a celebrity or YouTuber . They will be selected by a business or organisation to embody the brand, to provide a credible, trustworthy visibility to help increase brand awareness and achieve a return a return on investement.

If you’re a start-up, brand ambassadors can help your business grow by building recognition to a much broader reach. Brand ambassadors represent an ideal opportunity for businesses to leverage an existing online following. However, they must be a natural affinity in the brand relationship with transparent like-minded values and interests.

brand ambassadors

brand ambassadors

Top ten ways brand ambassadors can benefit your business

1. Right skill-set – create a wish list of the audiences you want to reach, then choose the right ambassador with the right skills to reach them; often they will be good-will ambassadors so respect their commitments and understand their motivations too.

2. Research a best-fit – the perfect brand ambassador will be a ‘thought leader’ or ‘community or social  influencer’ who is consistently well informed about your brand to build growing positive engagement.

3. Humanise your brand – the ambassador will humanise your product, they should embody an authentic brand identity in appearance, demeanour, values and ethics, ideally your business brand values should be an intuitive part of their character.

4. Knowledgeable – whoever you choose, they must have a genuine interest in the brand, it’s critical that they understand the role they are playing and that they know the brand offer and have the credibility to influence large audiences.

5. Passion – the brand ambassador must have an instinctive passion for the brand and an engaging personality to be able to genuinely connect with customers and develop relationships on a personal level over time.

6. Connected – a brand ambassador should be someone who lives and experiences your brand, someone your customers can connect and engage with and who has a well-connected network, YouTube is preferred platform for influencer- lead initatives.

7. Millennials – ideally find a brand ambassador who appeals to millennials, this segment is more likely to show their purchases to their friends and write online reviews, so select an ambassador that will stir up a conversation.

8. Social media – if you choose the correct brand ambassador you can capitalise on their well-known social presence and gain wider exposure to their loyal fan base, they can ripple a positive word-of-mouth through their social networks; their circles already trust the messenger.

9. Stay on message – brand ambassadors can orchestrate key messages to showcase what the brand stands for and what its design and innovations are about, if well informed brand ambassadors will stimulate more positive comments, reviews and referrals that are on message.

10. Listen – to the feedback you gain from your customers and followers, endeavour to create meaningful engagement through brand ambassadors who customers can truly identify with; this will engender stronger customer loyalty.

Brand ambassadors can become part of the business to encourage more long-term customers and increased lifetime revenue and improve your online and offline reputation. If you’d like to find out more about how we could support creating brand ambassadors for your business, email info@alexandrapatrick.co.uk or contact via Twitter.

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What is a brand style guide and what goes in it – top 10 tips

Your brand needs protecting and so a Brand Style Guide sets out the fundamental rules of the use of the brand and its business principles.

A Brand Style Guide keeps everything about your brand identity consistent and is something tangible to refer back to. Broadly, there are two types of information that make up a Brands Style Guide – Brand Identity and Corporate Guidelines.

Depending on the size of your business, you may have some or all of these elements documented in different formats. If you are a start-up, this type of information may only live in the brains of the founder and the person who does your design work – as the business grows this becomes increasingly unwise.

The more people your company employs and the more you want people to ‘live’ the brand, the more formally this information needs to be held and distributed. So before you start creating a Brand Style Guide, consider who will be using it, what they will gain from using them, where and how it will be accessed and why they being produced?

brand style guide

brand style guide

Key elements of a Brand Style Guide

Brand Identity

1. Logo – guidance for size, use of colour, incorrect use and proper placement; the brand logo must be visually consistent.

2. Colour – specific primary and secondary colours and combinations of the colour palette; consider the emotional connection that will communicate a distinct personality; break this down for online and digital.

3. Font / typography and imagery – what typestyles to use, and detail the font family and when they’re appropriate and differ for both online and offline communications;
show image style and photographs that work with the brand..

4. Template toolkit – positioning of logo, address information on letterhead, business cards, press release, e-signature, PowerPoint presentations, signage and if applicable livery.

5. Digital – positioning, use of logo and its assets in style sheets, banner advertising collateral and social media tools and usage.

6. Tone of voice / editorial style – the tone/personality of your brand, if formal, friendly, casual, approachable, technical? How you may capitalise (or not) product names and think about the attributes and themes you wish to convey – include examples.

Corporate Guidelines

7. Core purpose – the brands history, mission statement and key values need to be communicated clearly, understood and adhered to.

8. Brand messaging – its positioning in the market, key characteristics / iconic imagery, its essence or promise, differentiators from competitor brands, and expression to target audiences.

9. Brand filters – this may outline the types of businesses with whom you do and do not business; your pricing policy, if you discount? Describe ‘Who We Are / Who We’re Not’.

10. Target audience – unpack the key components of customer information so you may develop fictional personas to personalise product/service offers appropriately.

If you’d like to find out more about how we could support creating a Brand Style Guide for you, email info@alexandrapatrick.co.uk or contact via Twitter.

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Planning a charity marketing campaign – 10 tips for fundraising

It’s that time of year when charity marketing seems to pick up a momentum whether it’s a national campaign such as the ‘Race for Life’ or a humble local community fayre, so many charities are competing for their share of audience and donations.

All are worthy and need support to raise much needed funds for their good causes. However, for organisers there is the temptation to jump in first without considering a carefully thought through charity marketing campaign. They should consider how they can increase their brand presence to reach wider audiences, to generate maximum funds.

charity marketing campaign

charity marketing campaign

Here’s our 10 top tips for a charity marketing campaign

1. Background – set the scene with your current position, consider what you have achieved to date in relation to what you want to achieve.

2. Overall aim – summarise ‘the ask’ succinctly, what you need to do by when, stating your ultimate charity goal.

3. Key objectives – whether it’s to raise funds, attract new donors or launch an appeal; make sure objectives are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely (SMART).

4. Set a marketing strategy – outline why you need the funds, who will benefit and what difference it will make to them and anchor this to content marketing, this could include videos, images, blogs, and stories.

5. Target audience – be clear about the audiences you’re trying to reach and what you expect them to do, this needs to be supported by the right content and tailoring messaging to get these audiences to believe in your cause.

6. Agree a budget – how much do you plan to spend in line with how much you want to raise in total, you need to determine a projected break-even point; no matter how limited your budget may be don’t let this hinder your unlimited creativity to raise funds.

7. Project plan – set out your actions and timetables, this will be critical to stay on track and on budget outlining your marketing channels, such as social media alongside mobile technology, SEO or email marketing.

8. Who does what – be clear about roles and responsibilities, who does what throughout the campaign, this may not always be easy if co-ordinating non-paid volunteers.

9. Shopping list – state how specific amounts will make a difference to your goal, e.g. £5 will pay for 50 test tubes, £500 us to etc. this all helps raise your charity’s brand awareness.

10. Outcome – monitor and evaluate your progress and share this with your donors and fundraising team, this strengthens engagement and brand loyalty.

The success of your campaign is very much dependent on creative content to inspire, educate and convince your audiences of the donations you require; more so than ever social media has enabled new simple ways to directly engage.

Remember, once the event or campaign is completed, continue to track and share your achievements to thank donors and encourage momentum for the next campaign!

If you’d like to find out more about how we could support your charity marketing campaign, email info@alexandrapatrick.co.uk.

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How to create a successful digital marketing campaign

Have you ever admired a digital marketing campaign that just seemed to ‘get it’, -connects, engages, and entertains? To make a successful digital marketing campaign happen, it requires diligent effort, dedicated time and specialist resourcing.

You really can’t underestimate the amount of pre-planning involved before you go-live with a campaign. Following these useful tips should help shape your thoughts.

digital marketing campaign

digital marketing campaign

Top 10 tips for a digital marketing campaign

1. Personas – build detailed profiles of your target market, understand their background goals and challenges; it will take time but it’s worth it, find out more about developing personas.

2. Competitive analysis – it’s critical that you do your homework on your competitors; research how successfully they’re targeting new customers, and identify the digital marketing channels they use, review their social media presence and how they generate new business in this way.

3. Messaging – unravel the content that will resonate with your personas and differentiate you from the competition, what is your offer and how will it benefit your personas?

4. SEO keywords – identify the search keywords your personas are using online, which are the most relevant to optimise your content; utilise search tools to help your research and monitor the results of these keywords carefully to help improve your website’s search engine rankings.

5. Content strategy – review every page of content on your website and blog and consider how these can be refreshed to nurture new leads; prioritise those pages that require rework and rewrite to satisfy your persona’s buying needs.

6. Sales lead strategy – track and qualify leads from your various digital marketing channels, consider how new leads can be generated and track with an internal CRM; engage with your sales team and reinforce the importance of capturing insights to help improve sales conversion.

7. Email strategy – consider which personas will respond well to an email strategy, analyse your contact database and review who successfully responded in the past, what they shared with others and ensure the email marketing is integrated with your other digital channels.

8. Social media strategy – is about publishing content, monitoring interactions and developing engagement tactics; competitor analysis will help establish which platforms to consider, how often to post and which content builds strong connected communities.

9. Blog strategy – blogs help establish thought leadership and help convert visitors into leads but to make it work you need a strategy that captures popular content topics and keywords that help optimise these topics; engage experts to contribute to your posts to provide unique, fresh content.

10. SMART goals – goal setting will ensure your digital marketing campaign generates a return on investment; a SMART goal is (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound); everyone needs to sign up to these agreed goals and use them as a guide to continually monitor the campaign performance.

A successful digital marketing campaign needs thorough research and analysis to transform and take your business to the next profitable level.

We’re interested in your thoughts on digital marketing campaigns, have your say on Twitter or comment below.

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Snapchat for business – is it right for your brand?

How important do you think Snapchat is as a marketing tool? Maybe you need some facts and figures before you decide if it is right for your business.

Snapchat is relatively young, yet its revenue is growing rapidly with a reported $3 million in 2014 and predicted $50 in 2015. Snapchat is a mobile social media network that has gone mainstream. It’s primarily a video messaging app that allows you to snap images, chat by adding a sketch overlay and record videos.

You have the ability to share Snapchat stories of which there are more than 400 million created per day and users can contribute by sharing the same moment from different perspectives. It’s possible to watch live events as if you were there too.

A recent development in response to feedback is that  Snapchat users can now add new friends by location, username or Snapcode.


Top 10 reasons to consider Snapchat for your brand

1. Active users – Snapchat launched in September 2011 and have 100 million daily active users (200 monthly active users), representing 18% of all US social media users.

2. Sharing content – 65% of Snapchat’s users actively share content every day, so they are highly engaged; indeed Snapchat represents 5% of all selfies shared on social media.

3. Images shared – there are 8,796 photos are shared on Snapchat every second and  there more photos are shared on Snapchat than any other social network.

4. UK smartphone users – more than 25% of UK smartphone users use Snapchat and in Norway it increases to 50%; interestingly Ireland represents the top country for Snapchat usage.

5. Videos online – Snapchat gains 6 billion video views a day and these are made up of entirely mobile views, in comparison Facebook archives 8 billion a day on desktop and mobile.

6. All mobile – the Snapchat audience is all mobile/smartphone users. so be mindful of the profile you might be targeting.

7. Snapchat demographics – 60% of the audience profile tends to be 13-24 year olds, 63% are aged between 18 – 34, 71% are under 34 and 70% active users are female.

8. Snapchat Discover – is the hub that collates content / stories from various sources and it receives a huge volume of traffic each month; Cosmopolitan the women’s magazine gets 3 million viewing a day.

9. Brand exposure – can be impressive, take the digital music brand iHeartRadio it generated more than 340 million impressions on Snapchat during its two-day music festival in September 2015.

10. Advertising advantage – only 1% of advertisers are using Snapchat, yet 30% of US millennial internet users access Snapchat regularly representing a huge opportunity to reach out to this demographic.

Some brands are taking Snapchat seriously. In December 2015, NFL became Snapchat’s first sports partner although it is reported that 87% of users never anything they see on Snapchat. However, it’s reported  Snapchat is working on a major redesign of the video messaging feature to make it easier to use which might help those sharing and commenting on impulse buy videos.

We’re interested in your thoughts on Snapchat and if you think it is right for your brand. Don’t forget to have your say on Twitter too.

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SEO B2B statistics – why your website should be optimised in 2016

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) might be something you know you should do but still can’t quite convince yourself of the benefits of integrating into your digital marketing activity.

Here are some SEO B2B facts to get you thinking. Google gets over 100 billion searches a month worldwide. And we all know when you type in a few words on Google to find what you want, there is far too much to choose from. So surely more and more it’s crucial your website is findable and visible.

But remember it’s not just Google where people search for content, YouTube is now the second most-used search engine on the internet. These SEO facts and figures might help you shape a SEO B2B strategy and help decide what success factors will keep you stay ahead online in 2016.

SEO B2B statistics 2016

Top 10 facts to improve SEO potential for B2Bs

1. Longer search queries – according to a recent study 50% of search queries are four words or longer, these are known as ‘long tail keywords’.

2. Lead generation for B2B – SEO is said to have the biggest impact on lead generation, so if you’re serious about increasing revenue and converting new customers, SEO should be part of your B2B digital offer.

3. Mobile search – Google searches performed on mobile devices outnumbered those on desktop – 88% on smartphones, 84% on computer/tablet – so ensure you have a mobile responsive website.

4. Social media – this is another tool to guide people your website, so encourage your followers to share and like your content to widen your reach and encourage effective distribution of content.

5. Be easy to find – 81% of major B2B purchases start with a website search, in fact B2B’s do 12 searches before visiting a specific brand’s site so it’s vital that your products and services are easy to find.

6. Local search works – 50% of those searching locally on their mobile will visit a local store within one day, research shows 18% of local smartphone searches led to a purchase within a day compared to 7% on non-local searches.

7. Wikipedia links – these links show up on the first page of Google on over 60% of search queries, so having a Wikipedia presence can deliver competitive value and give you an important share of space.

8. Update content – 60% of B2B companies say the biggest challenge is creating engaging content; yet eMarketer found of small businesses with websites only 10% updated their site at least once a week, 33% at least once a month, and 21% once per year or longer.

9. Images need optimising – images are part of your overall content delivery and so when you add images to your website, add a relevant ‘alt text’, use descriptions and compress the image size to help improve SEO.

10. Email outreach – use email that has key phrases in title headings and in the body of content; the average time an online viewer spends on a page is less than 60 seconds , so make the content pertinent to your audience.

If you are still unsure about the benefits of SEO potential to generate income for your business, pay attention to the latest updates about SEO. If you have just started a SEO B2B strategy, be patient and don’t try and to achieve a quick win by spamming potential buyers to gain exposure, it will compromise your credibility and authenticity.

Share your thoughts on SEO B2B facts and figures below or on Twitter.

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Top 10 tips to create a website design persona

A website design persona is quite simply a fictional person who embodies a group of people that you would like to visit and use your website. A persona is a collated potted summary of their characteristics, needs and motivations so you may get an insight into their website buying behaviour.

Once you understand that persona group you can build and design a website that best fits their needs, create a user experience that plots out simple journeys for them to access relevant information speedily.

We all know different people have different needs, and by creating these thumbnail descriptions for these types of people you can take create a website that is more engaging and inviting for them to purchase.

persona profiles

10 tips to create a website design personas

1. Create a positioning statement – ask what is the purpose of your website, what are you offering and how can they access it, how does the design and content help personas achieve a task, satisfy a purchase need?

2, Set your targets – consider how many more visitors do you want to attract to your website, what do you want to do buy more of, sign up to, take part in online than they have done before

3, Persona groups – which types of people can be grouped together that use your site, these insights help you focus on prioritising key content and design features that they expect to see on your website.

4, Persona attributes – for individuals this means give them a fictional name, how old are they, what do they look like (fictional photo), what is their gender and family status, what type of education did they receive?

5. Professional attributes – what is their job, do they work part of full time, why are they interested in the content of your website, where else are they looking for information, how did they access the site?

6. Technical experience – what devices do they use regularly, what devices do they use most regularly to purchase online, do they use social media, how much time to they spend browsing and purchasing online?

7. Persona motivation – what are they motivated by, what are their personal and professional goals, what tasks are they trying to complete by looking at your website?

8. Persona quote – what quote might define what matters to the persona, focus on what expectations and needs they require from your website, for example: “Peter is
a 55 year old accountant who has been using the internet for two years at home on his desktop, he has never purchased online via mobile and prefers to research instore before he makes a buying decision”.

9. Moodboard – brainstorm and create a moodboard of themed images that represent that persona group, ensure it stays relevant and realistic, so where do they shop, confident using a mobile, eat out, use social media, income spend online, if they make impulse purchases, confused what to buy?

10. Person profile – layout the persona profile in a standard format that you can compare other persona groups (up to three or four), ensure it is in an easy to read, logical format, include if they are a new, existing, or long term loyal customer.

Personas help you to design the best user experiences, customer journeys and define touchpoint mapping for your website. By assessing persona behaviour and motivations you can conduct a content audit to identify the gaps to meet their needs quickly and efficiently.

Share your thoughts on persona profiling below on Twitter.

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Top 10 tips to create a mobile app brief

There are 5.2 billion mobile users in the world and a study by Flurry found 86% of all time spent on mobile devices is now happening within apps. In 2015, Europe experienced mobile app use growth by 58%. So from these figures you may well be persuaded to consider developing a mobile app for your business.

Developing a mobile app can bring gains in improved productivity and help meet customer expectation in real time. But before you commit to developing a mobile app, you need to write a detailed brief to ascertain the viability of any future investment in time, effort and money. This will involve some careful planning and preparation.

Mobile A pp Brief

Top 10 tips to create a mobile app brief

1. Why develop a mobile app? Assess your need to develop an app, conduct a competitive review to support your decision, find out what are the alternatives out there, how can your app do better? Can you justify the potential financial risks and maintain its sustainability long-term.

2. Who are your target audiences? Consider who will be using the app you develop, understand their persona profiles and map out their personalised preferences for the use of the app. Their demographics and type of buying segment they fall in to will shape the user experience they expect to receive too.

3. What do you want the app to achieve? Outline a clear proposition and specific objectives for what the app will achieve, its benefits to your audience when they expect to access it, will it solve a problem or satisfy a specific need?

4. How and where will the app be used? Will it be used on the move, in a fixed location or a specific setting – this all determines the development of the system requirements and the design, how it will look and function. Plus, remember any specific regulations or Kitemarking that you may need to abide by, particularly if you are in healthcare.

5. What features will you require? Identify if your app will need to be optimised for the App Store, determine which content features will satisfy the audiences immediate needs and which features can be rolled out over time to respond to requests to improve and update the app over time.

6. Which device or operating systems/platforms? Whether it is Apple or Android, the operating system will impact on the delivery time; consider your existing audience smartphone ownership, what devices do they use?

7. What content will go into the app? Ensure the content is relevant to your audience; consider how the content will be updated in real-time and how it will appear on the screen, this needs to be clearly, plotted out, designed and developed,

8. What design ideas do you have? Design must reflect your brand, landscape and portrait modes vary, so screenshots can guide you here in your planning process; keep the design simple so it is clearly understood. Remember user testing and refinement, ensuring industry standards are compiled by whilst ensuring it loads quickly.

9. Database integration required? Find out if you need a database to integrate into your app, investigate who owns the data to ensure there are no hidden costs and ensure that associated hosting issues are resolved, who is providing and what do you need hosting to do, checking if there any security compliance issues too.

10. Do you have support? Put in place feedback support for your customers to listen to their needs when launched, plus allow for ongoing design and technical support along with resources to conduct associated monitoring and control of analytics.

Of course the mobile app will be just one part of your digital offering, so ensure it is fully integrated into your other channels, particularly social media activity and ensure your wider digital plan outlines your promotional and pricing strategy for the app.

Share your thoughts on how to create a mobile app brief below or on Twitter.

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