Tag : graphic design

What a Graphic Designer Can Do for Your Business

What a Graphic Designer Can Do for Your Business

You need a graphic designer—no ifs, ands, or buts. But what do you have them do once they’re hired on? Before you start sending job offer letters, it’s best if you figure out what your new employee will be doing.

Since you don’t want to hire someone without having work for them to do, I’m going to show you exactly what projects your new graphic designer should start with. Let’s talk (photo)shop!

Create a Branded Style Guide
Graphic design is so much easier when everyone is working off the same page. For this reason, you should have your new hire create a branded style guide that breaks down exactly what your visuals and graphics will look like going forward. This way, you can approve the style and make sure it’s conveying the message that you want for your brand, and your graphic designer will know what they need to deliver to make you happy!

Create a Logo
If you don’t already have a logo (or you have one you made yourself), then this should be where your graphic designer starts. Your logo is going to be prominently displayed on your website and across all social channels, so it’s important that you’re presenting something appealing for your audience! This also helps establish your branding color palette moving forward.

Create Email Signatures
You might not believe it, but email signatures go a long way in making sure that correspondences with your business are more professional and respectable. A professional will make sure that the signature is aligned with your business’ color palette, font, and overall style! Your emails will also be a lot more impactful once you have a professional signature!

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Create Ebooks
By working with your copywriter, your graphic designer will be able to combine great content with visuals that keep your readers moving through the ebook. Mixing text and visual materials is not only a great way to make sure your reader understands your points, but it breaks up the ebook and makes it easier to read!

Create Videos
Whether you want an animation or just a high quality video to showcase your business, this is all in the realm of graphic design. Video content is more popular than ever, so start pushing out some video content! Don’t overdo it, but it would certainly be worth your time to have your graphic designer create a few short videos and see how they perform on your social media channels.

Create Building Branding Elements
Whether you’re a brick and mortar store or an office, you’re going to have clients/customers stopping by eventually. Make sure that your location looks like it belongs to your brand! Your graphic designer can make room tags, signs, and other materials that will bring your brand’s identity into your physical location.

Create Name Tags
Never underestimate the power of a good name tag! Your name tags should follow your brand’s color palette and feature some sort of visual—preferably your brand’s logo. This way, when you’re interacting with clients or customers, they know that they’re dealing with a professional and are more likely to take you seriously!

Don’t Wait to Get Started
We’re still early in the year, so take this opportunity to try something new for your business. It might be a little pricy, but paying now is better than investing in subpar social media and branding work! You know why you need a graphic designer, and now you’ve got a list of tasks for them, so there’s no reason not to dive in and make this investment for your business!

Do you want to discuss what you can expect from your new graphic designer? Schedule your free consultation with The Go! Agency!

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5 Reasons Why You Need a Graphic Designer

5 Reasons Why You Need a Graphic Designer

Visuals are a vital part of social media marketing. As humans, we’re not just lazy and refuse to read—our brains are hardwired to better retain visual information. So while we’ve established that you need a writer and even given a few suggestions about work you should have them do, none of that is going to take you very far without a competent graphic designer!

You want to get a great return on your investment into digital marketing, and I’m here to make sure that happens. Here are five reasons you need a graphic designer right now!

1. First Impressions Matter
Before you’ve fully formed an opinion about something, your first impression has already been decided. The instant you see a site without a consistent color palette or a blog post without accompanying visuals, you’ve already decided that what you’re looking at is amateurish and probably not worth your time.

A graphic designer changes that entire experience. The homepage is crisp, clean, and comes together to create a visual narrative. The blog comes with a relevant image that helps you understand the sort of content you can expect when you click the link. In short, your work stops looking shoddy and lazy and instead appears well-crafted and professional!

2. Your Brand Needs an Identity
Your copywriter will help you develop a unique voice for your brand, but that voice needs to extend to your visuals, too. Acting on your own, your visuals will probably lack the consistency that develops your brand identity, and your audience will be unsure of who you are or what your business’ angle is.

Conversely, a good graphic designer can keep certain elements the same in visuals, which will build your brand’s voice. If you’re operating a brewery, your graphic designer would probably use photos of people in their 20s and 30s rather than images of people 60+. This tells your audience that your brand is youthful without you ever saying a word!

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3. Grab Attention
Let’s be honest—people are rarely paying attention to what they see when they’re scrolling through social media. Great copy is informative and draws the reader in, but only if they stop to actually read it. Visuals are better for grabbing attention!

Visuals give information in an instant rather than the few seconds it takes to read. If you see a man picking up a can of soda, you’ll understand what’s happening much faster than if you read my description of what he’s doing. Saving that time is key to getting your message across before a social media user swipes past your post!

4. Vary Your Content Mix
There are certain kinds of content that really only work with visuals. Quotes are a great example! An inspirational quote is very shareable content that showcases your brand’s values, but it’s pretty dull without an accompanying graphic. Once you add in a visual, though, it instantly becomes a viable way of encouraging your audience to engage with your brand!

Graphic designers also allow you to post videos, graphs, and a host of other content that would be impossible without a professional graphic designer on staff. If you notice that your competitors’ social media pages are looking a little bland or stagnant, this is a great way to get ahead of them!

5. Things Look Clean
I’m sure that there’s at least one person reading this who’s sure that they could handle all of this graphic design work even though they have little to no experience. To that person, I respect the confidence, but the reality is a little different.

Good graphic design means monitoring visuals for consistency with brand image, kerning, spacing, style, color palettes, and a thousand other things that nobody but a professional has the time or experience for. So sure, you could probably post a stock image of a woman laughing, but that’s not nearly the same as having a professional on staff creating quality, compelling visuals for your brand.

Find the Right Professional
It’s tempting to cut corners on things like this, but that’s only going to hurt your business’ social media in the long run. If you want to manage your own social media, then there’s nothing to do but bite the bullet and hire a professional. You’ll be glad you did when your page has consistent, polished visuals going out!

Do you want to discuss the realities of hiring a graphic designer? Schedule your free consultation with The Go! Agency!

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The Essential Guide to Visuals

The Essential Guide to Visuals (17)

The best piece of content in the world will never get clicked on without a good visual. Of course, this begs the question: What makes for a good social media visual?

Well, there are a lot of things that factor into image quality: white space, kerning, and several others. But if you’re not an experienced graphic designer, just describing these issues isn’t going to tell you very much.

I’m going to show you real examples that my team made of good graphic design practices vs shoddy graphic design practices. Take a look!

1. White Space

White space is the empty part of a visual that gives it room to breathe. An image that’s crammed full of saturated colors and complicated patterns is going to exhaust anyone looking at it. On the flip side of that, too much white space makes your visual boring!

In this first example, the bad image has way too much white space. It’s boring, empty, and you’re only getting a glimpse of the one object in the image.

But white space is used much more effectively in the second image! It isn’t just a straight shot of the laptop, which would be dull to look at, but it balances the activity on the keyboard with the emptiness of the background and the rest of the laptop.

2. Text Layout

In our first visual, there’s a nice picture presented in an interesting way, but none of that matters once you notice that the text is cutoff. It makes the poster look amateurish, which is never a word you want associated with your brand!

In the second image, the text is in its proper place and you can fully appreciate the image and layout that the graphic designer chose. This visual is much more likely to earn some clicks!

3. Kerning

Kerning is the spacing between letters/characters in your visual, and it plays a huge role in how your work is received.

Look at the first design. There’s so much space between the letters that the text is right against the border and the edge of the image is cutoff. As a result, the whole thing looks like a crowded mess.

The second image tightens up the kerning, leaving plenty of room for both the visual and the text. Instead of cramped, this visual feels well-crafted and perfectly spaced!

4. Overcrowding

Sometimes, visuals just have too much going on!

The first visual’s funky background makes the entire thing feel too crowded. Your eye isn’t sure where to go, and your social media following would quickly tell you that your visual gave them headaches!

The revised visual is much more pleasant. There’s plenty of empty space, and your eye can much more easily focus on the central image.

5. Legibility

As a graphic designer, you have to carefully pair the color of your font with the image!

The text in the first image is clear—until we lose it in the trees and the woman’s hair. Because the graphic designer didn’t consider how a dark green font would look against leaves, you lose the tail end of the message.

The green text looked great, so our graphic designer fixed this by changing up the spacing. You get a clear, legible visual without sacrificing text that fits the image’s background!

6. Justification

In design, justification is how text/graphic elements are structured. For example, if text is “right justified,” it will all start from the right side of the visual.

This is where we enter the uncanny valley—something looks off, but the reason may not be obvious at first. In our first image, the text is all slightly mis-aligned, with the “No” slightly off from the preceding line of text.

Our second image changes everything to be left justified, and the entire visual is better for it. It looks crisp, orderly, and doesn’t make you scratch your head and wonder, “What’s wrong here?”

Invest In Your Visuals
There are a lot of elements that go into great graphic design, but it’s important that you keep them in mind! You wouldn’t skimp on your written content, and visuals are at least as important!

Could your visual content use some help? Schedule your free consultation with The Go! Agency!

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The Essential Guide to Content Curation

The Essential Guide to Content Curation

Managing an effective content marketing strategy is challenging. Between sharing the latest news, monitoring your competitors, and creating your own content, you might feel like you’re not sure where to start.

The good news is that you’re not the first person to need some help, and there are industry best practices to help you avoid the common frustrations. Now, I’m going to walk you through how to handle all your content curation responsibilities!

Gather Information
Before you share or write anything, you need to know what people are saying around your industry. One great source of information is Feedly, which will give you a variety of sources relevant to whatever keywords you search.

Another resource is Google Alerts, and it offers some unique advantages. Like Feedly, it lets you track certain keywords to see what’s new on those topics. Google Alerts, however, will send notifications about new content in these areas, which can be surprisingly helpful.

Say, for example, you sell glasses. You’d probably track phrases like “eyewear” and “optometry.” But why stop there? You could also track a competitor or their CEO. This way, you’ll be able to learn from their successes and mistakes. Similarly, make sure you’re signed up for any newsletters or eAlerts they distribute.

How does that help? Well, once you’re aware of what your competition is doing, you can see how it’s working. What kind of content are they posting? Maybe they’re posting five blogs a week, but is that getting them engagement from their audience? Determine what is and isn’t working for them, then build your content strategy on the back of that information!

Develop a Content Mix
As you might imagine, posting the same type of content every day is going to bore your audience to tears. That’s why you’re going to need to plan out a compelling content mix.

You’ve looked at your competitors, and what did that information show you? Were they sharing news related to your industry that customers would find appealing? Did they offer unique insight in the form of regular tips or advice? Look for alternatives to promotional content, because too many promos are going to make your brand look overly sales-y and less relatable.

How do you find the right promo ratio? You experiment. If your competitor saw a lot of success posting three promotional pieces a week, see how your audience responds to four. Viewer engagement and clicks on your posts will quickly tell you what you’re doing right and what needs to change.

Remember that, ultimately, your viewers are coming to your page to create value for themselves, and your content should reflect that goal. You may want to spend an entire week talking about your new frames, but your audience wants to learn more about how to take care of their contact lenses. If you want to keep their attention, you need to meet them at that point of need.

Work Smart, Not Hard
One piece of advice that content managers often find surprising is that you should recycle your best content. It can sound sacrilegious to people who have been told all their lives to always create completely original work, but if a piece of content does well, why not make the most of that great article or blog you created?

Of course, you don’t want to just post the same story verbatim. Update it a little! Try experimenting with new headlines or images to freshen things up. If you’re feeling like the article could be better-structured, then by all means, move things around. This will all still take less time than writing and posting entirely new content.

As a rule, you want to wait at least two weeks between an initial publication and recycling that post. This way your readers won’t feel like you’re sharing the same thing over and over, but you’ll still get to members of your audience who missed it the first time around.

Know Your Stuff
Above all, the most important part of content curation is that you need to know what you’re talking about. Whether that’s reading and sharing industry news or creating compelling blog content, compiling information is going to make you a much more effective marketer.

Could you use a little more advice on content curation? Reach out and schedule your free consultation with The Go! Agency!

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The Essential Social Media Manager Tools

The Essential Social Media Manager Tools

You’ve set up your social media pages and you’re ready to get posting, but you’re quickly finding that keeping up with all these different platforms is next to impossible. It’s a common feeling among social media managers, and there is a solution!

In a word: tools. There are plenty of great resources out there to make your job easier and let you get ahead on your social media strategy!

I’m going to share the social media management tools that my team uses every day to make sure our clients’ pages are running smoothly and getting them closer to their goals!

Nobody has the time to go through and publish each individual post at just the right time every day. So what’s the solution? Scheduling tools! These little guys can let you write up a bunch of content, then schedule it to post at specific times on your preferred platforms:

  • Hootsuite: This is one of the most intuitive scheduling tools out there!
  • HubSpot: If you want a scheduling tool with all the bells and whistles (including monitoring your content’s performance metrics), this is the program for you.
  • Buffer: While not quite as well-known as the other items on this list, it’s a great program if you find that the other options aren’t suiting your needs.

Instagram is notoriously finicky for its scheduling, which is why you should consider using a tool that’s optimized for Instagram. I’d suggest:

Need to find stock images for your visuals? I’ve got a few resources that have always done right by us:

  • Pixabay: Want a huge, international stock of public domain photos, graphics, and footage? Look no further!
  • Unsplash: More than 70,000 photographers post their content here, all copyright-free under the Unsplash license!
  • Pexels: Another great source for public domain photographs!

You’ve got your images, but how do you alter them to create your own unique, branded visuals? Try these tools:

  • Canva: This is a great tool for beginners, as it’s popular among professional and rookie graphic designers alike!
  • Photoshop: If you’re comfortable using more complex programs, this tool should be right up your alley!
  • Animoto: This is one of the top platforms for creating video slideshows and other short, moving content!
  • Ripl: A comparable product to Animoto, Ripl makes it easy to create animated visuals!
  • PicMonkey: Want to go back to basics? PicMonkey is a no-fuss image-editing program that’s also great for graphic design!

Writing up heaps of copy and content is no walk in the park! Creating content takes time, which is why I recommend not just creating original content for your business but also curating content from other sources. Instead of searching the internet for hours, these tools gather the content into one spot for you!

  • Feedly: Feedly lets you search by topics and pulls up great, usable content to help springboard your ideas!
  • Grammarly: To proofread any technical issues you may have missed!
  • Google Alerts: Set up alerts on industry-relevant keywords to make sure your writing is current and following trends in your field!
  • Hootsuite Streams: Track keywords and hashtags to see what others in your industry are posting. If you know what your competitors are talking about, you can figure out how to fill in the gaps they’re missing!
  • Hashtagify: Not sure what hashtags will get you attention? Use Hashtagify to track the impact of a hashtag and see what’s best for your posts!

When linking to another site, it’s important not to include the full URL. Many link shorteners allow you to see how many times the link has been clicked, which can help you track how your audience responds to content. Use any of the following tools to get shortened, convenient URLs for your posts:

Don’t Feel Overwhelmed
Being a social media manager is stressful, especially if you’re not using the right tools. Skip that anxiety and use these resources to make sure you’re not only doing your work efficiently, but as easily as possible. No social media manager can be successful without a little extra help, and that includes you!

Do you feel like you could use a little extra help? You can have a free consultation with our team of marketing experts!

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