10. No Means NO
Something that bothers me more than anything is hearing the phrase “No just means not yet”. We’ve all seen the tea video, we all know about consent, and it flows through everything in life. When a person says “No” they told you no. If and when they’re ready for the opportunity you’re providing, they’ll come to you. As long as you continue growing your business then they know they’ll have the option if they change their mind.
A phrase I love reminds us to keep growing, strive for respect in ourselves and teach us patience. One “No” simply means there’s a better “Yes” coming your way.
9. Hashtags Aren’t Everything
Hashtags are a great way to boost engagement, but they aren’t everything. Creating copy for a post comes with targeting an audience. Anyone in marketing knows that each platform drives towards different brand personas. Hashtags have a place and that is not on every form of social media. Utilizing hashtags on platforms like Instagram can easily boost your engagement. Though using hashtags on Facebook and Twitter won’t do much.
Focus your hashtags on the platforms that will benefit you. Do not forget to do your hashtag research to ensure you reach the actual audience intended.
8. There are Other Colors in Your Color Scheme
Branding comes with colors, and colors have meaning. Knowing what colors fit your brand is vital to the completion of content that is successful. With that being said there is wiggle room.
You don’t have to only focus on your brand colors. Using shades of your colors to highlight and accent your content can have a major impact. Furthermore, when creating your brand, start with having those shades and variations chosen. This allows you to implement them without shocking your audience.
7. Your Brand has to Have Personality
The quickest way to create brand trust is to give your brand a personality. People don’t trust a big name because they’re a big name. That big brand is trusted because of the influencers and tone they are known for.
Examples of brand personality include Wendy’s Twitter account, the employees at Chick-Fil-A, and Hallmark's feel-good Christmas movies.
It’s that simple, people don’t trust “things” they trust other people and personalities. Give your brand a personality for the world to fall in love with.
6. Content Creation is Complex
There’s depth and it’s more complicated than it looks! Successful content creation comes with strategy, planning, and target audiences.
The first step in creating successful campaigns is knowing who you’re talking to and how to reach them.
Are you using Facebook to get out your content focused on children’s sports? Perfect, maybe target moms. This might look like steering your content towards family time, children having fun, or dad practicing with the kids.
Are you using TikTok for the same message? That can be on the trickier side. You want to capture and use the algorithm that every age group uses. Focus on the sport, focus on the fun, make the user feel like they’re on the field/court/sideline. Give a first-person perspective speckled in with the third-person
Regardless of how you choose to proceed, start with content calendars and a log of ideas. Keep yourself organized. Write out every idea you can muster and plan those ideas into a calendar, keeping your insights in mind. I love using Google Sheets so I can check off ideas as I use them, hide excess lines, and have the ability to go back to look at my previous ideas. This doesn’t mean you have to use every idea the minute you think of it. If you’re in the middle of July and think of a Holiday promotion, don’t check it off and keep it for when you’re stuck in Q4.
5. What the Font?
This is one of my favorite things to say when I am frustrated with marketing or font pairing. I was raised by an Army father so it may be a play on words- I’ll let you piece that together.
My favorite example of why fonts matter is Comic Sans. I know everyone in the marketing world is groaning and reverting to their middle school days in computer class.
Imagine, you’re driving down the street and you see a grocery store and their logo is in a vibrant Comic Sans. How likely are you to take it as a legitimate business? Probably not as likely as a business that was to use a dark green Bold and Light Serif combination.
However, imagine you’re driving down the street looking for a new daycare. You see a sign that says “Kiddies Paradise” in the infamous colorful Comic Sans. Underneath it, in a Quicksand Serif, it says something as in “Pre-school and Daycare”. More than likely, you have this notion of trusting your child to go there. Why? Because it looks fun, inviting, and reminds you of a memory from childhood.
Seriously, fonts matter so much. Research font pairings and find what’s right for you’re business.
4. Ignore the Peanut Gallery
I hope I’m not the only one who knows what this phrase means. I mentioned it to my husband and he was so confused at the meaning. Ignore the peanut gallery, simply put ignore the commenters who have nothing nice to say.
In the age of rising technology, you will always have “trolls” on your posts. Your first thought might be to turn off the comments, I could not advise against that more. You’re letting the trolls win when you do that, you’re showing you don’t have it in you to stay positive.
This comes with exceptions as most things in life do. You want to make sure you’re interacting with your people. Though there’s a fine line between interacting with people and feeding into negativity.
Deleting unnecessarily rude comments is fine, handling complaints by moving the conversation to a DM is also encouraged, but avoid interacting with people who will get on a post just to say they don’t like it. Ignore them.
3. Social Media is more than Facebook and Instagram
I cannot reiterate this enough. There is a multitude of social media platforms. Facebook and Instagram are on the list, but so are LinkedIn, Tiktok, Twitter, Reddit, and even Snapchat.
Each platform has its target audience, its own verbiage, its own best practices. If we're being honest, each platform has its own personality. You're not going to get on TikTok and post a video that has no picture and strictly is a voice-over. People would scroll right past it. You have roughly four seconds to capture the attention of your audience before they decide if they want to engage with the content.
Knowing how to best manipulate each platform and work it to your advantage is how you keep your audience engaged. This is where we see the importance of content calendars.
2. SEO and SEM
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are so important but not the end of the world.
In my personal opinion, one of the hardest components of marketing comes from SEO/SEM. Deciphering what keywords to use, incorporating the proper meta, and finding the best adjustments to increase traffic can be taxing. It takes time to perfect, and asking for help is nothing to be ashamed of. People have careers focused strictly on SEO/SEM so be proud you’re attempting it and learning as you go.
With that being said having a solid foundation for your SEO/SEM can be beneficial. It is one of the most effective ways to increase your business growth in competitive markets. Successful SEO/SEM can affect your bounce rate, session duration, and target audience.
On the other hand, meet the world of bots. If you see astronomical spikes be cautious before remodeling all you’re doing. Research where you could have bot activity and adjust post-research.
The takeaway - ranking on search engines comes with research, not ranking first on Google is not the do or die of your business, and maintaining proper SEO/SEM is not easy but 100% worth it.
1. You’re in the Science of Art
The number one item I wish I had known going into marketing and graphic design is that it is where art and science meet.
Marketing and graphic design are more than ignoring data and throwing something together. It comes with learning how to decipher data, staying on brand, learning a new personality, and allowing that personality to grow as if it were a person.
We never stop learning. Find a teacher or mentor, learn all you can from them, teach them your ideas, and be proud of your work every step of the way. It’s easy to allow ourselves to get in our head and doubt the work we busted our butts for, we are our worst critics.
When you’re doubting yourself, look to your mentor, ask for advice. Be prepared to defend why you did it the way you did if you’re asked, but accept their feedback and absorb it like a sponge.
No two people see something the same way. Where you might see the colors look perfectly blended, they might see a harsh line between the colors. Where you might think the copy comes off respectful, they might read it as a negative connotation. It is better to say or do the wrong thing and correct your mistake than do nothing at all.
Marketing and graphic design are constantly evolving. It will always have a new process to learn, especially as technology advances, so find your mentor and learn something new every day.
What's something you wish you had known before going into marketing?
This blog was written by Shiann Hagan and her talented marketing twin Savannah Blalock.