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What to Expect from Graphic Design in 2018

What to Expect from Graphic Design in 2018

Graphic design is a fast paced industry. With new formats and technological advancements, new designs are being conceived all the time. Some of these are hybrids and a few are evergreen designs that never go out of style. So, if you want to make an ad or place an order for it to capture your target market in Lebanon, you need to know what will attract attention. A large amount of money cannot guarantee a good response. Bad or outdated designs can actually have a negative effect on your ad campaign.  We have narrowed down a few designs that are likely to dominate your screens this year in Lebanon:

Responsive Logos

A responsive logo is a fairly new concept but it’s one that many big brands are adapting in Lebanon and around the world. Basically, the size or the area dominated by the logo changes depending on the size of the screen. It does not necessarily mean the logo becomes smaller but the details get stripped. In other words, the logo becomes more simplified.

The Glitch/Ruined Effect

What was once annoying is now achieved through a lot of hard work. Designs that employ this technique look as if the picture is distorted because of technical issues. With the use of graphic design software, the glitch has become an artistic effect that arouses nostalgia and a certain level of belonging for those who know what it actually is. For people who haven’t experienced glitches and data corruption, it is just a new and mysterious form of design.

Typography

Typography has stood the test of time. People love to write things in artistic ways. It is a digitally evolved form of calligraphy. These days, creative typography can be combined with other techniques or used as a sole design. Either way it pleases the eye. The text can be cropped or chaotic. Other elements can be added to texts and letters can be turned to real life objects.

Bright Colors

The brighter the better. This is the year of bright colors. Marketers in Lebanon want to make their ads pop. Bright colors and geometric designs are pleasing to the eye. Adding metallic elements is another way of making your ad stand out. You can also combine it with other trends to create a real-life like effect.

Handmade Artworks

Hand drawn illustration has always been and will always be popular. Each piece has something new to offer with every artist adding their own personal element to the design. Now, these illustrations are presented with a combination of graphic design to bring out the best of both worlds.

Graphic design trends are constantly evolving. So, whatever changes take place in the rest of the world, the trends in Lebanon follow suit. It is necessary that you research and look for the trendiest graphic design houses when you want professional graphic design services.

 

Common Local Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Common Local Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

In today’s tough economy, it’s extremely difficult for small businesses to get ahead and establish their brand. Many small brick-and-mortar businesses are barely surviving and those planning to make the shift online can’t seem to achieve any success either. So, what seems to be the reason for this? Well, marketing has changed and businesses need to learn to take real action to be a step ahead of their competitors. So, if you own a small local business and want to generate more leads and customers, avoid these local marketing mistakes.

Not Using Local On-Page SEO

Your Local On-Page SEO is crucial for helping you rank better on Google and subsequently receive more sales and conversions. If you fail to work on local SEO, chances are your website will be left floating around in an empty space. Bear in mind, SEO is what Google looks for on your web pages to determine if it has the information “searchers” are looking for. So, make your page as relevant as possible and add title tags, image tags, Meta tags, and H1 tags with your keywords to help your pages get listed. Also, take some time out to research the best Local SEO strategies and implement them on your website.

Using the Same Terms Many Times

Previously, if businesses wanted to gain recognition online, they would fill their content with irrelevant keywords. This would allow them to rank better on Google. However, ever since the search engine has updated its algorithms, keyword stuffing is known to be a great sin. So, when someone says focus on your keywords and make sure they are used on all your web pages, it doesn’t mean you use the keyword EVERYWHERE. Bear in mind your content should appear natural and keywords should never feel forced.

Not Claiming their Google Places

As mentioned earlier, marketing has taken a huge shift. Now, the more visibility you have on Google, the greater your chances are of gaining customers and repeat business. So, if you have created a website, claim it on Google Places. This way, customers will know exactly where your business is located and how they can contact you. This increases the chances of you getting more customers to your physical store, while also enabling them to browse your products and services online.

Lack of Social Media Presence

Marketing depends greatly on your social media presence and the trust customers and fans have on your social media page. Without any social media presence, it can be tough to leverage the benefits of online marketing. Not to mention, social media activity is one of the many signals Google uses to rank businesses. So, promote your website and products and services via Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms. Using Social Media Marketing (SMM) is a great way to achieve more exposure and create a “buzz” around your services.

So, if you want to take your business to the next level and beat the competition, avoid these local marketing mistakes.

A Guide to Using LinkedIn to Market Your Business

A Guide to Using LinkedIn to Market Your Business

LinkedIn is not only a place for job seekers and professionals looking for opportunities to enhance their career and expand/grow in a reputable firm. Sure, millions of job seeking individuals use LinkedIn every for growing their careers and networks, but the site even proves to be an exceptional place for expanding your business.

Messages are professional, conversations are geared towards transactions and partnerships, and you can find many talented recruits for every job description/designation. Have you recently created a brand new LinkedIn account and need to get started communicating with other professionals? If so, then follow these vital LinkedIn marketing tips below:

Complete Your LinkedIn Profile

It does not matter if you have been using LinkedIn for a few years or just started out, in both cases, you need to go through each step and complete your profile according to the standards set by LinkedIn. Bear in mind your profile is the heart and soul of your business brand online and every person researching about your company will require information regarding your products, services, etc.

Some of the basics of completing your profile include adding a high quality picture and compelling summary (make it clean and professional please), giving and receiving a few recommendations, and updating your hobbies, interests, and other vital info. Your profile should be 100% complete.

Find Highly Targeted Connections

One of the best things about LinkedIn is that you car specifically target your profile and digital marketing/advertising campaigns. 14Small business can easily zero in on multiple industries who they know would typically buy their services and products.

For instance, let us say you are a company selling customer support software and applications to small businesses with less than 100 employees. In order to boost your marketing efforts, you can set your advertising campaigns to target businesses with 100 employees seeking “customer support software”.

Stay On Customers’ Radars

Once you have completed your profile 100% and followed the detailed steps/guidelines provided by LinkedIn, you need to promote your profile in order to gain more followers. Upon gaining followers and customers, try your best to stay on their radars. You can do so by expressing further interest, again by using LinkedIn.

Post weekly LinkedIn blogs posts, daily status updates, and latest news about your company. Also, make sure to send monthly emails that share information about particular problems/issues that clients can solve using your services. Do not forget on making offers, such as inviting people to attend a webinar or particular business event.

Give a Face to Your Workers

One of the best ways to promote your business and earn respect in the recruitment world is keeping your employees happy. Once you keep them content and satisfied with their jobs, get them to create and complete profiles on LinkedIn and link to your company.

This should include adding relevant job history, a biography, and using appropriate profile and cover photos. Most companies even host a “LinkedIn Day” with a photographer available to take professional photos. This helps employees optimize their profile the best way possible.

Therefore, now that you are familiar with the tips mentioned above, marketing your business on LinkedIn will not be a problem.

A Guide to Monitoring Your Restaurant’s Online Reviews

A Guide to Monitoring Your Restaurant’s Online Reviews

Technological advances have simplified the old-fashioned way of doing things, even in the restaurant industry. For instance, nowadays almost all restaurants use an SMS printer for taking orders. This ensures orders are not misinterpreted and as the order is printed, there is also no risk of having to decipher messy handwriting or hearing the order wrong.

But, where there are benefits, there are also drawbacks. Customers are now more internet-savvy than ever. They may not provide feedback about your restaurant’s service personally, but they may share negative reviews on social media, which can prove costly in the long run. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at a few tips to monitor/ manage your restaurants online reviews:

Sign Up for Instant Notifications

TripAdvisor, Zomato, and other review sites offer businesses free email notifications every time a review is posted about them. There are good chances your restaurant is listed on at least one of these sites. So, sign up at all review sites where your restaurant is listed and appoint someone on your team to actively monitor these reviews. This makes it easier to understand what customers are thinking about your restaurant and whether or not they found your service up to the mark.

Set Up Google Alerts

Google Alerts has developed into the most reliable business review website that enables companies to keep tabs on what’s being said about them. All you have to do is head to the Google Alerts site and create a search query relevant to your restaurant’s name and location. Once Google finds matches related to the search, you will receive an email with the relevant information. However, bear in mind that Google Alerts doesn’t catch all reviews about your restaurant, just the important ones.

Manually Check the Sites

What better way to analyze reviews than to visit the websites yourself? Create an account and log on to the review sites every now and then to read customer reviews. Figure out which sites have your restaurant’s name listed to shortlist the ones you need to monitor. Typically, Zomato and TripAdvisor are the two most widely used review sites, but depending on the city you are located in, there are other sites you might have to sign up on, including Savored, CityEats, and Citysearch.

Monitor the Metrics

When it comes to monitoring your restaurant’s online reviews, you should take advantage of any free data on offer about your presence. For example, the Google Places dashboard provides information on how many users are searching for you on Google, which zip codes they are coming from, and also the keywords they used to find you. Yelp, on the other hand, tabulates mobile calls to your business, requests for directions to your business, mobile check-ins, clicks to your website, and user views. Monitor these metrics to understand consumer needs and tailor your services accordingly.

So, now that you are familiar with the tips mentioned above, monitoring your restaurant’s online presence and reviews won’t be a problem. Of course, you might find this beyond your capacity. Therefore, the best option is to find a professional who can get the job done for you so you can focus on your restaurant!

A Beginner’s Guide to Marketing on Facebook

A Beginner’s Guide to Marketing on Facebook

In the process of looking for new ways to boost your company’s image and boost sales, you have probably faced one important question: “How can you get information about your brand in front of people?” The answer: you need to know exactly where people are. And, without doubt, Facebook is where you can find many people to market your brand.
The market leader Facebook is the first social network to surpass 1 billion registered users and currently has more than 1.55 billion monthly active users. And, on any given day, 48% of these users log in. So, you can spread information about your brand to a huge audience by creating a Facebook page and following these tips below:
Give People a Reason to Join Your Page– A Clear Call-To-Action
Why should people join your page? What are you offering that others don’t? Give people a reason to like or join your page by creating a strong call-to-action or a campaign. For instance, you can create a campaign that encourages users to like your page to receive special discounts or a free trial. Similarly, you can create a strong call-to-action, like “Got some spare time? Come volunteer for our latest “so and so” project. Or if you are busy now, cheer us on from the sidelines”. This way, you can offer real value to your target audience, hence resulting in an increase in conversion rates.

Stay on Topic – Post Articles/Blogs Related to Your Brand/Industry
People who join your Facebook page are likely to expect posts related to your industry or brand. So, don’t go on posting things about the Kardashians and focus on providing relevant information to your audience. There are plenty of things you can write or share on Facebook. For instance, you can write about an upcoming event and tie it to your brand. You can share funny or humorous YouTube videos loosely related to your business or even ask the audience to post stories, questions, or pictures about their experiences with your brand.

Ask the Right Kind of Questions – Be Friendly and Easy to Communicate With
Without doubt, one of the best ways to get your fans engaged and involved with your brand is to ask interesting questions. So, don’t be afraid to share or ask a few personal questions. If done correctly, you can build great relationships and significantly increase your fan engagement. However, ask questions that are easy to respond to. For instance, if your brand offers event and concert management, a good question would be, “How can you describe your first experience at a concert?” Get the drift?

Include Pictures in Your Facebook Updates – A Picture Speaks a 1000 words
Where Twitter is a link economy, Facebook operates as a picture and video economy. Therefore, always include picture and videos in your posts. This way, you can increase your engagement with customers and improve the chances of getting more people to join your Facebook page. Posting images increases the chances of users sharing your posts. This as a result leads to increased page likes, especially if your picture touches the hearts of customers.
Last, but not the least, celebrate your milestones with your fans. Reached 1,000 likes on your Facebook page? Go crazy, celebrate with your fans, and offer them something unique!

A Guide to Simplifying Your Local Marketing Efforts

A Guide to Simplifying Your Local Marketing Efforts

Advertising and marketing a brand is becoming more complicated with time, especially for small businesses with limited resources and local operations. So, what can small businesses do to simplify the process? If your marketing strategies and efforts are geared driving towards targeted traffic from local cities and neighboring towns, local SEO is what you need to work on, as it is less complicated and more useful for drawing local business. For more information, let’s take a look at a few tips on how to simplify and improve your Local SEO and marketing efforts:

Complete Your Profile in Listings

Take the time out to list your company information in local business listings, web directories and search engines by adding correct contact info, address, social media links, etc. Also, add pictures and videos. As the saying goes, pictures say a thousand words. By providing exterior and interior pictures about your business, customers feel more comfortable about your listings. Not to mention, the more extensive your profile, the better your listing will appear to your customers.

Reputation Management

Nowadays, everybody has the ability to gain online access and leave feedbacks and comments on a business’ profile. This can work to your benefit or your detriment, depending on how you manage your reputation. Bear in mind that customers who choose interact with a business will often search for the company’s reputation online. Therefore, make it a habit to listen and respond to bad reviews. This way, you can establish yourself as a company that cares about its customers, giving you the opportunity to gain more business.

Be Consistent Across the Web

Being specific and consistent when it comes to your target audience is a key step in simplifying your marketing efforts. Therefore, make sure you don’t get sloppy or lazy while posting your business information in listings, and always try your best to post consistent and clear messages on social media websites, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.

Assess Your Marketing Efforts

A recent study from Forrester revealed almost 66% of marketers think they do an excellent job at creating and personalizing marketing and advertising. However, only 31% of the consumers agree. This is mainly because not many businesses have enough data available to assess their marketing efforts. Of course, collecting more data may defy the initial purpose of simplifying your marketing efforts, but proper assessment of your work will help streamline the entire process. After all, the more you know about your audience, the better you can deliver targeted advertising.

Get More Mileage from Your Content

Last, but not the least, with limited resources, local businesses may find more success by creating a quality piece of content rather than customizing content for every channel (search campaigns, social media networks, and email marketing). Therefore, consider reusing your targeted message across media channels to simplify your marketing efforts and save time and resources.

So, now that you are familiar with the abovementioned tips, simplifying your local marketing efforts won’t be a problem.