Top 5 Reasons to Hire A Professional Photographer and Videographer

Think back to the most recent purchase you made. Why did you make that purchase? Was it because it was something you needed or wanted to help solve a problem in your life, or was it a whim of a purchase because the product or service just appealed to you? Was it a video that you watched that told you about the business and what this product or service was? Or how about pictures that accompanied the video to physically show the product being used or how the service is done? 

A good example is the old school, late night infomercials, that are now 1 minute videos on your social media newsfeeds to bait and hook you into buying their products. There is just something about the look and feel of those videos. They are so catchy, the wording is perfect and they really do hook you in! That is the magic of a great video and marketing team!

These are a lot of questions to ask yourself right now, but the next time you are interested in a product or service, ask yourself what is making this so appealing to me? We can bet that professional photography and videography are helping to amplify your decision to make a purchase.

But as a business owner, you are probably thinking, I have this high-tech smartphone that says it takes the best photos and it has some video editing capabilities. I will just do it on my own! Not so fast. This is a decision that needs to be rethunk! Here are 5 of the top reasons any business owner should hire a professional photographer and videographer for their next big project.

1. Creative Decisions

As the business owner, we sometimes want to cram as much information into thirty seconds as we can to try to make sure the prospective buyer knows as much information as they can. You might end up sounding like an auctioneer if you do that. With a professional photo and video team, you can express your wants, needs and desires to them and allow this team to come up with the best creative ideas and decisions for the project. They will figure out the important keywords and best angles to show to ensure the whole message is getting told. This team knows how to make a video and photo shoot fun instead of stressful and the end product will surely show this.

And to make it even better, with us, our video and photography team comes alongside the marketing team. So we are a whole crew to get the job done!

2. Saves Time

After meeting with the photo and video team to work out what you want from them, it is up to that team to then get creative and figure out what they want to shoot. Depending on the project, they may come back to you and ask a couple of questions, but after the plan has been put into place, the only thing you will be needed for is filming or photography if you are actually in the pictures or videos. If you are, there is usually a script written for video purposes so you will know exactly what to say. And as far as photography goes, you will know the look and feel of how you want to present yourself to your audience. 

Once the camera crews come in and do their stuff, you can wipe your hands of it until the team shows you a first draft of their work. Imagine not having to stress over anything after that and being able to focus on other parts of your business!

3. Saves Money

Do you have all kinds of fancy camera and video equipment? How about editing software? Those things are crazy expensive and if you aren’t going to be using them very often, it will just save you money in the long run to just hire professionals to get the job done right. Hire experts who have a keen eye for detail, understands your business and your audience, and knows your goals. Let them create video and photo magic for you while you focus on your favorite parts of your business.

4. Professional Results

Which leads us to the end product. Professional photographers and videographers will provide professional results. If they don’t, they aren’t professionals. Professional results can be checked off as the end product, but also being able to share a high quality project on your website, across your social media channels and wherever else you may want to show them. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to share a video on social media and the size or shape is giving you an error. Let your professional team provide you with everything you need to make showing your end products to your audience as easy as can be. 

5. Drives Sales

Professional videographers and photographers can help a business develop and achieve its business objectives through sights and sounds. Well-produced videos can attract, engage, and promote one’s brand and company on their own. That is why it is important to work with a professional team so your business doesn’t look low budget or low end. High end, high quality promote and give the same feel about your products or services, no matter the price point. With a professionally done video or photography session of your products or services, you will be able to draw in more potential customers, and grow your business! That is always the goal, right? Grow the business! 

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that a professional photographer and videographer will help to make your business be more successful through their services. Reach out to us to learn more about the services we offer and how we can help your business grow.

Why Outsourcing Creative and Design Services is a Great Idea

Creative and design services literally are the look of your business. From your website to your social media, to your flier, mailers, and even business cards, creative and design services help to bring these business and marketing pieces to life. 

Your graphics should be a reflection of your brand, and they should be as sharp as possible. Your business’s professional image is likely the first thing a customer sees when going to your website or noticing an ad in a magazine. Wherever your business is, your image should be recognizable. As such, creative and design services are available to help establish your look, your feel, the story you want to tell about your business and the feeling you want to give your customers when viewing your brand, all while pushing whatever the end goal is.

Good creative and design services tend to go hand in hand with good business. But not everyone is a designer or artist, nor do they have the time to meticulously work on each design they want to put out. That’s where hiring a graphic designer and creative team comes in. But is it worth it or even a good idea?

 

A Business Needs Professional Design Services

So often we hear that anyone can create a Canva or PicMonkey account and piece together a nice looking flier. And we totally love those sites. They are great for quick designs for beginners. But there is just something to be said for a tried and true graphic designer’s work through professional design programs. Professional graphic designers are artists that bring a unique personal touch to any idea that is different from the already existing templates on design sites. 

Graphic designers make sure your designs are integrated into every aspect of your business branding. Designers have a keen eye for color and imagery as they are truly artists in the business world. As professionals, graphic designers know ways to make a business aesthetically pleasing to the eye, yet memorable to the mind. And it must be memorable as customers typically only give businesses mere seconds to make a mark in their memories.

Additionally, consistency is key as it helps to build trust amongst your current and future customers. There’s something to be said for businesses that are recognized just by certain shapes or color schemes. Sometimes it is as simple as a yellow M or a black check mark. We all likely know the businesses that are associated with those graphic designs.

Graphic Designers Actually Save You Time and Money

Business owners likely don’t have the skills a graphic designer would (and if you do, you are one in a million!) That is not to say ideas can’t become a reality, but it can become a reality much faster, and cheaper, with a professional graphic designer.

Graphic designers save businesses time and money in the long run. While the DIY attitude can be great, it isn’t always true in the design world. Spending hours learning design software, designing a marketing piece, then trying to figure out how to print it on the best quality paper could result in frustration and something that doesn’t look professional at all. Design experts are masters of the trade. They can design a concept in a fraction of the time with a much better result. They also should already work with printers who can bring digital designs to life. Not a piece that needs printed? Digital design is also something that can be hard to understand. Allow for a professional to design something right the first time around so it will perfectly fit onto your website, app or social media.

Along with time, a professional graphic designer can save you money as well. While time is money in the business world, you might not even realize how much money you can save with a graphic designer. If you don’t get your idea designed right the first time around, it can be a costly mistake and potentially have a negative impact on your business. We are sure that everyone can think of a brand that once had a costly design mistake. Nowadays those mistakes may go viral or completely unnoticed. Hopefully it is the latter if it is really bad. Plus, behind our graphic design team is an editing team that will give each design a look over to make sure it is perfect. There’s nothing worse than printing a billboard only to have a word misspelled. 

Frustration equals time and money that could’ve been better spent on a part of your business that you are skilled at and enjoy. Do what you do best and delegate the rest.

Finding the Right Creative and Design Team

Like we said before, just because someone knows how to “design” something on a design website, doesn’t mean they are a graphic designer. We all can make dinner, but that doesn’t make us all chefs! 

Work with a team like ours who doesn’t just scratch the service of your business. Find a team that meets with you to learn more about you, why you started your business, and what your business is all about (and we don’t just mean your mission statement.) Look for people who want to dive deep into the workings of your business and you, and become a part of your team. So many creative ideas, like potential slogans, for example, could be missed if people outside of your business don’t take the time to learn about you and your business world.

The reason you should find a team that goes so in depth into strategy for design is because their work is your work. It should have meaning and represent your business in the right way. Don’t just work with someone who is going to throw something together, and say done. Work with a team that wants to know what we are trying to accomplish with each project. Are you looking to get more members, promoting a sale, or just trying to get your message out there?

We all can’t be the best at everything. That is why it is important to be the best at what you want to be the best at and outsource other duties to other professionals. Graphic and creative design services is a great service to allow someone outside of your business world to take on. There are truly great people who take the time to learn your business, your industry, research the competition and see what others in your field are doing in terms of creative and design. We promise that together, you should be able to create the perfect marketing materials for you and your business needs.

SEO 101 – What Is It and Why Should I Know About It?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which, according to Moz, is a “set of practices designed to improve the appearance and positioning of web pages in organic search results. Because organic search is the most prominent way for people to discover and access online content, a good SEO strategy is essential for improving the quality and quantity of traffic to your website.”

There are several elements to a whole marketing strategy. As we break apart different segments of a strategy on our social media posts, we will also blog about them as well. This blog will focus on SEO services. These services consist of a combination of things. There is not a magic button that someone can push that says optimize my keywords, make my website rank higher than my competitors, or show my images on page one. Rather, SEO is a combination of a variety of services. The biggest thing to always remember with SEO is that there is no one-sized-fits-all approach. It’s important to address SEO services with your marketing team or agency, but as a leader, it is also important to be aware of what SEO is, how it can help your business, and then make sure you are paying for only services that are addressing your SEO needs and not for a “bundle” of services you don’t need.

Let’s just skim the top of SEO so that you can have a basic understanding of what it is. If there’s more you’d like to learn, contact our team and we can dive deeper into it with you.

What is a Search Engine?

Search engines are sites like Google, Bing, Yahoo. DuckDuckGo, etc. There are so many different search engines that can be used, but according to Joe Barker, all search engines consist of three parts:

  1. A database of web documents
  2. A search engine operating on that database
  3. A series of programs that determine how search results are displayed

Professionals argue over which is the best search engine and why. Even our team has a difference in opinion. It is a major science that goes into creating a search engine. And it is even a science of figuring out how to manage SEO for clients. 

Google is typically the dominant search engine in the world, but there are reasons why some users won’t search through Google, including the theory of information being withheld. Sites like DuckDuckGo are said to be best for users who have privacy concerns and want to keep their browsing information personal. This list could go on and on as to what search engine is best and why, but it typically boils down to personal preference and where the information wanted can be found fastest.

What is Organic Search?

There are two kinds of search results:

  1. Paid results
  2. Organic results

It is easier to understand paid results – basically it is results that populate because money is behind that result. Organic search results happen because of strategy! These results then lead to organic traffic, which then hopefully leads to whatever the conversion goal is. 

Here’s where it can get confusing and tricky. Organic search results differ from search engine to search engine. It just depends on that search engine’s algorithm. Figuring out that algorithm is a lot of work, research and patience because it is ever changing! There’s never a guarantee that anything will rank in a particular position. The good news is that Google Analytics expert Avinash Kaushik once determined that around 86% of search engine users prefer organic search results. We have been accustomed to scrolling past the ad to get to the first section of results. 

How Do I Ensure I Am Optimizing Search Results?

The best advice when it comes to SEO is to write for what humans want to read first – SEO second. Like previously mentioned, the “rules” for SEO are constantly changing. So whether you are writing website copy, a blog, social media posts or whatever, write to your audience, post what they want to see, and then think about SEO. After you have your content written, think about keywords. Go back through your text and see if your keywords are there. If not, add them! Not sure about keywords? There are SEO tools to help with that!

If you are building a website, build it for the user, not the search engine. There is nothing worse than a website that is hard to navigate. User experience ranks higher in our book than SEO factors. SEO can be a second thought in this situation as well. Build your website to you and your target audience’s liking, then address headings, sub folders, mobile friendliness, links, and so on. Test the website to make sure it loads quickly. If not, take care of whatever is slowing it down because that will hurt your SEO. If users are jumping on and then off of your website because it loads too slow, that will hurt your rankings.

And as always, constantly research, improve and update your content, website, whatever it is you are working on. There really is no finish line to this work since it is always evolving. Whatever it is that your competitors are doing, search engines changes, and even your own business/personal changes are always going to happen. A strong online presence gives your business credibility, a professional image, and an improved customer experience. Our team can review your brand through your online listings, SEO scores, social media presence, website speed and more. We can also compare how your business performs online compared to your top competitors. Then we can discuss what the plan should be moving forward if you’d like! Take us up on this opportunity!

Why is ADA Website Compliance Important Now?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was introduced in 1990 to address the desire to have equal access to business services. Not only does this mean brick and mortar storefronts, but it has morphed to include websites. As time progresses, we get better and better with technologies. Now, website building gurus have access to tools that aid businesses with the ADA and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

Why is this Important Now?

A lot of everyday life revolves around the Internet. Remote work, communication with peers, social media posts, online shopping, online live education, and banking are just a couple of how it has changed our lives. Everyone should have the ability to access the products and services on websites, so that is why ADA compliance is important now. 

Unfortunately, lawsuits are hitting record numbers when dealing with compliance and business owners have websites that just aren’t up to par with adequate access for everyone. 

A positive note on ensuring ADA compliance is that it is known that ADA compliant brands have more reach online and a stronger reputation, which everyone dreams of having. When businesses make their websites ADA compliant, it helps with ease of use and in turn adds to optimal user experiences. 

And finally, it is just the right thing to do. You just never know who will come across your website so it is best to be accommodating for everyone.

What Is ADA Compliance on a Website?

There are three different levels of WCAG compliance:

  • Level A – most basic and minimal compliance
  • Level AA – mid-level ane most acceptable parameters for compliance
  • Level AAA -the highest level with fully optimal compliance

The levels can help web developers determine which accessibility tools are going to be needed for the site. Each level has certain criteria that must be met, but the WCAG does not outline specific actions the website has to take, rather it states what accessible websites should do. That can get confusing. Basically, there isn’t a right or a wrong way to make a website compliant, but there are steps along the way that have to be met.

Examples of ADA Website Compliance

Since more than 61 million Americans live with a disability, there are various parameters for compliance. Some examples are listed here, but they are not limited to just these:

  • Navigable with a keyboard (Level A)
  • Video captions (Level A)
  • Color contrast is, in most cases, at least 4:5:1 (Level AA)
  • Form fields have accurate labels (Level AA)
  • Sign language interpretation for audio or video content (Level AAA)
  • Timing is not an essential factor of any activity on the site (Level AAA)

It isn’t always about just the individuals with disabilities. We all know there are many times where we would love to just have a break from reading and listen to something be read to us instead. Or if we can’t specifically focus on something on a website because we keep getting distracted by something else, there are tools to help with highlighting the information to keep us engaged. So while compliance is specifically geared toward those individuals with disabilities, these tools can be used by everyone!

We Can Help with Compliance

It’s important to ensure that your website(s) are WCAG compliant. While we are not a law firm or attorney, we are an agency that knows understanding the differences between each level can be hard to comprehend. That is why we are here to help. We have ways to test and correct accessibility issues that will help to meet compliance standards. Following our advice will result in peace of mind for your business since you will be up to current ADA compliance.

The WCAG is always updating guidance so it is important to stay up-to-date with changes. We will share this information as necessary and will work with you to make sure you are meeting new guidelines. 

The Bottom Line

ADA compliance is just one key factor in making sure your website stays up to date and running smoothly. In an article that we contributed to in Design Rush, they talked about several other key aspects of a website and its maintenance. Accessibility was number 5 on their list among vulnerability checks, recent backups, updated plugins, security and a mix of other factors. We always strive to provide the best websites for our clients and to help everyone reach their goals while remaining in budget and in compliance. Should you ever have any questions, please reach out!

Is Change on the Horizon for Marketing?

All kinds of marketing really had to make a shift in the past 18 months. People were staying closer to home, were online more than ever, and were sitting on the couch in front of the television more than anyone would care to admit. Shopping closer to home was happening more, and the mom and pop small businesses were reaping some benefits. There are some key opportunities and challenges for businesses when it comes to marketing lurking in the upcoming year. Below we will discuss some marketing trends that should be considered for 2022. If any of these seem challenging, let’s tackle them together!

Double Down on Digital

Digital advertising is predicted to boom in 2022. This really shouldn’t surprise anyone though. According to GroupM, the amount spent on advertising to support ecommerce will increase 66% in 2022, while Zenith predicts digital channels will amount to more than 60% of global ad spend for the first time next year. 

The Internet is just going to keep growing. Digital communication is never going away. Online networks are where people spend their free time. The Internet is where people shop. It is where people communicate and it is where people research. Use the Internet and digital communications to their fullest potential in 2022.

Keep Going With Short Videos

Short videos are still going strong on social media and are predicted to continue this route in 2022. Instagram reels and TikTok are just two examples of where short videos come from. These short videos take no time to view and are widely shared. If there is a way to utilize a short video format for a product, business, promotion or spotlight, do it! Video is so powerful!

But don’t skim on the longer length, feature feel videos. IGTV and any YouTube content is still wonderful. Video overall is just great!

Customer Retention Matters

We talked previously about generational groupings for the purpose of marketing and how it may or may not help when it comes to getting to know your target audience. Beyond just figuring out who the target audience is and how to sell to them/acquire their business, businesses will need to rethink their ways of retaining customers. Competition in the digital market is likely going to become fiercer, only making it hard for a business to grab any attention. This is why the thinking around the customer needs to do a 180. 

Educating customers on why they need your product or service should always be top priority. Think of it in terms of someone who couldn’t possibly live their life without this product. Educate them on why this product is vital to own or use and why your product is better than the competition. Make it all about the customer’s feelings instead of the business. 

The hard sell is going by the wayside. People are just over it. They don’t want to be bothered by gimmicks or “tricks of the trade” anymore. There is not enough time in the day for that. People either know what they want, who they want to buy it from and just make the purchase. Or they research, usually online, but also through friends and family, and take the time to seek out which business should earn their loyalty. Redirect typical hard selling strategies to making sure current customers stay customers for the long run.

Own Your Customers

Ok, no, you don’t really own them, but you need to own how you can contact them. While social media has so many benefits, those networks could go down at any moment. That could mean losing a HUGE database of potential customers, current customers and past customers. Converting those people to your own database takes time and effort but it is worth it. Doing so allows you to be able to ensure the message you want to get to them can (think email marketing and newsletters). Additionally, you will be able to shine outside of where all of the competitors also live. Don’t get lost in the newsfeeds. 

Ask For Help

If there is one thing that always reigns true in this industry, it is that change is always happening. We are used to it and stay on top of it as best we can. But that is our job. And that is why it is important to ask our True Fit Marketing team for help with your marketing strategy for 2022. It isn’t too late to rethink what you’ve been doing and analyze what did and did not work. And it is great to make changes. Ask for help with your marketing efforts because it is important that you focus on other aspects of your business as well.