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Category Archives: Digital Branding

  1. The State of Agile Branding

    • by Brandon

    Agile Branding in the Digital Age

    You’re sitting at your desk (or maybe somewhere else – we don’t know), and you’re worried about how to best develop your identity online. Creating a digital brand is not easy, especially when consumers are the driving force behind it – along with their ever changing opinions. In today’s rapidly evolving market, you need a brand identity that speaks to your audience on a personal level, while also adhering to your company goals. It must define you. To know whether or not your branding is effective, creative solutions (along with quick feedback) are needed. This is where agile branding can be useful.

    Agile branding does a few things:

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  2. The Secret Sauce Behind Digital Branding

    • by Admin

    Digital Branding - A Secret Sauce

    If you thought successful digital branding was all about coming up with a snazzy new logo or designing a flashy website, you’d be off to a good start, but the idea of successful digital branding goes much deeper than that. In many ways, the game of branding hasn’t changed a bit since 1955 when a young whippersnapper of a burger franchise hoisted a set of golden arches into the air and invented the fast food industry. What has changed is the medium where that brand-building takes place, which sort of changes the game completely. Why not grab a cup of coffee or your favorite cold beverage and let’s learn about branding in the Digital Age?

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  3. How Does SEO Impact Digital Branding?

    • by Varsha V.

    SEO and Its Impact on Digital Branding

    Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is probably one of the most commonly used terminologies when it comes to online marketing. While many of us know the benefits, we might not be using it effectively as a digital branding exercise. But before that, how many of us actually understand digital branding and how SEO impacts that?

    Well, to better grasp this concept, let’s begin with a basic introduction to SEO and digital branding.

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  4. What is Native Advertising?

    • by Admin

    Do you know what native advertising is? Could you identify it? This article, for example, is not a native ad. Or is it? In the new world of content – where everyone gets to create it – native ads can be placed anywhere and within anything. From articles to videos and images, any form of content can be a type of native advertising. They can also be part of your Facebook feed, your favorite Pinterest board, and even the funny YouTube videos you watch every week. But what is native advertising anyway?

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  5. The Story Behind 5 Icons Everyone Knows

    • by Admin

    Press play.

    We see a lot of icons every day and some arise in our day-to-day in such a natural way, we don’t even think of it. We all know the tumbled triangle that comes to mind whenever we think of the word ‘play’; same for the share button frequently seen in our social media timelines.
    But have you ever thought of who designed them? Is there a reason behind their format? This week we will be taking an in-depth look into these so-known symbols and the intriguing stories behind them.

    Play

    icon-play-128
    This icon is everywhere and across various media platforms. But we are left with a question: Where did it come from?!
    There is no exact idea of when this icon was originated. What we can say is that it was brought out from the 60s, the era of audiovisual and reel. The original triangle brought up the idea of time as an arrow, with its direction indicating whether time was going forward or backwards. The great success of this icon was due mainly to the globalization of the electronic equipment industry.
    Through its success, others icons have been generated from the same foundation: the triangle.

    USB

    usb-xxl
    We all have something with this icon. From the useful, ubiquitous, and cheap, the symbol is present in many devices and cables. From chargers to external drives, amongst many others, simplifying the use of many cables.
    The idea behind this symbol was Neptune Trident Dreizack. The trident symbolizes power, in the sense of being a single connector for multiple devices. The different shapes at the ends symbolize the drive.
    As this symbol is rather abstract, the three USB letters are often used instead, and the icon is to be left this way until it becomes standard on a global scale.

    Bluetooth

    bluetooth
    Of all the symbols on this list, Bluetooth definitely has the best story.
    In the tenth century, Danish King Harald Blåtand loved the blue fruit (blueberries) so much, his teeth were always stained with blue. The English translation of his last name is – you guessed it – Bluetooth.
    Bluetooth creates a secure way of exchanging data amongst several wireless devices, and its predominantly Scandinavian creators recalled the legend of the viking king, Blåtand.
    The king had an impressive ability to bring people together in negotiations without violence. The symbol represents the unified mountains of Scandinavia, as his way with words went so far as uniting Norway and Denmark as a single territory.

    On / Off

    button-on-off_318-30091
    One of the most universal symbols in existence, you will find this one across various devices. First originated in the binary system and used by engineers in World War II, the 1 means on, and the means 0 off.
    In 1973, the International Electrotechnical Commission came to the conclusion that a circle interrupted by a small bar in the center represents the state of “standby” for electronics (going back to the binary system). However, the Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers (IEEE) found this to be a very vague definition and decided that the symbol should simply represent “on/off”.

    


    Share

    Very-Basic-Share-icon
    The icon, looking something like a diagram, was developed by Alex King in December of 2006 and bought by ShareThis in 2007. It was originally made for the generic action to share a page, whether via social bookmarking or simply via email.
    However, this icon is not uniform for all websites and social media, as you can see on several platforms. The icon is changing and left is the question of whether this one is to lead in the future.

    Some symbols are universal, but that shouldn’t stop you from looking after your own. So why don’t you give us a call? Here at ST8, our design team is ready to take over and create the best icons and logos to fit your brand.

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  6. The ABC’s of Landing Pages That Work

    • by Admin

    When you click on a landing page, what’s the first thing that pops in your head? Are you annoyed, amused, perhaps intrigued? Talking about landing pages, the main thing to be aware of is impression. How do your visitors see you? Are they engaged and interested or will they move on to the next page within seconds? There are few things that create a better first impression than a well designed landing page, and the key is to understand your visitors and what leads them to take action.

    But, what is a landing page?

    A landing page is any page on a website where traffic is sent specifically to prompt a certain action or result. One way of understanding the process is to think a soccer match during penalties. When the whistle marks the beginning of a penalty, the goal is to get the ball to, well, hit the goal! Similarly, landing pages work with copy and design and their goal is to get visitors to take an action.
    Landing page traffic can come from various sources, from a pay per click or marketing campaign, banner ads and sponsorship graphics to email links and blog posts. The best landing pages are simple, well-designed and speak to the right audience.
    And how is my landing page different than my website?
    From landing pages to websites there is one major difference: your visitors. There are two different types of visitors, coming from two different backgrounds: the ones landing on your page and the ones who just end up there.
    The first type probably knows you. They likely typed in your name or web address and probably were referred by someone, read one of your articles or an email they signed up for. You won’t need to try hard to sell them anything, but you will need to make sure their experience is the best possible and they have easy access to all navigation and resources they will need to continue to get and know you better.
    The second type doesn’t know you. They found something floating around the web and somehow got linked to your page. They may be skeptical too. The goal here is to educate, convince (nicely) and most of all, make them feel comfortable. You want them to be curious about your business and the solution you could provide them. You want this interaction to be simple, direct and effective.
    Making sure to track both your landing page and website performance is the best way of understanding your visitor’s actions to set up a strategy and reach your conversion goals.
    There are a lot of parts and terms to landing pages and working with the basic ABC’s, we found a great infographic where you can get all the information you need to design pages that work:

    copyblogger-infographic-abcs-of-landing-pages

    Need help with your landing page and website design? Contact us at ST8. Let’s work together and create the best strategy to impress your visitors.

    Infographic and featured image via Copyblogger.

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  7. Online marketers – don’t forget you’re building a brand.

    • by Admin

    Online marketers – don’t forget you’re building a brand.

    It’s easy for online marketers to get caught up in all the technical stuff like click-throughs and conversion rates. I mean, it’s this type of data that makes online marketing so awesome, right? Right. However, it’s important for us to step outside our digital box and see the brand from someone else’s point of view. Those “clicks” are real people who don’t give a flying fudge what your conversion rate is or how much money you just paid Google for their visit…they’re just surfing the web. They will develop a perception of your brand based on this experience. It’s inevitable. That “click” is now a walking, talking, tweeting, posting advertisement that you once had a chance to influence. Did you create a positive brand experience for them? Don’t forget, between the analytics and optimization, you’re building a brand.

    Your brand has a story to tell. A common expression, but a simple truth nonetheless. What is a brand without a story? Boring, thats what. To our benefit, the internet is one of the most versatile story-telling machines out there! There are endless ways to share your story online. One of the most obvious and necessary places to share your story is on your website. This is your home turf, so whether you think your website  represents your brand accurately or not, it does. Your visitors make immediate assumptions of your brand based on your website’s design, usability, loading speed, color palette, and so many other subconscious indicators (including your SERP – #1 is perceived as the industry leader). Investing in smart website design is an important aspect of telling your brand’s story and it should not be overlooked. Thankfully, we have analytics that help us improve this user experience and lead to more effective story telling.

    Thanks to the rise of social networking sites, branding has taken on a whole new meaning over the last 10ish years. Networks like Facebook allow your brand to live your story in real time. Genuine brands truly have a chance to shine here. While engagement metrics help us know just how bright we’re shining, the number of “shares” cannot truly measure impression #268’s delight with your Facebook page and how many buddies he told at the bar.

    If you do it right, your brand’s story plays a major role in your online marketing strategy. When everything works together and flows in the same direction, genuine brand experiences are born and a healthy web presence follows.

    “Quit counting fans, followers, and blog subscribers like bottle caps. Think, instead, about what you’re hoping to achieve with and through the community that actually cares about what you’re doing.” Amber Naslund, Author

    “Let your originality – your specialness, your brand personality -come through in your online content.” -Ann Handley & C.C. Chapman, Author, Content Rules

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  8. “How to Rank” SEO Master Blueprint – Instruction Manual for Beginners from SEOmoz

    • by Admin

    If you are new to SEO and are still learning the ins and outs of “How to Rank”, this is definitely going to help. SEOmoz blog post titled “How to Rank: 25 Step SEO Master Blueprint” provides an incredibly detailed and easy to understand framework for how to get your SEO strategy off the ground. Author Cyrus Shepard gives a few disclaimers before the journey begins:

    1. There are 100’s of ways to rank a web page, from tweeting a link to getting New York Times articles written about you. This is only one process.

    2. The blueprint is an SEO framework – it’s not meant to detail every step, but instead provides you with the basic outline of ranking a web page from beginning to end, so you can build your own campaign on top of it.

    3. Many experienced SEOs undoubtedly have superior processes. Listen to them every chance you get.

    Now, I won’t repeat the entire post word for word here, but here is a snapshot of the table of contents… There is some seriously good stuff in this post and I encourage you to make your way over to the SEOmoz blog and check it out!

    Blueprint-TOC

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  9. Embracing the Growth of the Omni-channel Consumer

    • by Admin

    Here at ST8 it is not only our responsibility to understand your brand, but also to recognize the needs, desires and habits of your brand’s target market. This requires a vast amount of research into the target mindset and most importantly what influences their purchase decision. Recently, there has been a vast amount of research conducted on the consumer once they have entered purchase mode and some interesting patterns have begun to arise.

    In this digital age, the pursuit of a product or service has changed drastically. No longer are retailers strictly relying on storefront displays and striking print ads to garner a customer’s attention. With the access of technology at their fingertips, consumers are relying on their own insights, as well as the insights of other consumers, to reach a purchase decision. Online resources provide a consumer with detailed imagery and product description, user reviews, and often even videos. These features are all designed to lead the consumer towards a more educated purchase decision. By creating this relationship with the buyer, they are more likely to feel confident with their purchase and less likely to experience post-purchase buyers remorse. Because of this, the need for in-store-handling of a product is no longer the most important part of the shopping experience. The fear of online shopping is dissipating and consumers are now relying heavily on search engine “point-and-click” ease of access more than any other resource when making a purchase.

    Successful businesses and retailers are catching on to this trend and faceting it to achieve sales and success. By incorporating an Omni-channel approach to retailing, businesses are ensuring that the knowledge their consumer craves prior to making a purchase decision is easily accessible and seamlessly consistent. They are replacing the experience of stepping into a store by providing their consumer with information and an online experience that can mimic, and even exceed, the former.

    This article by Nathan Saffran delves further into the insights of consumer purchase decision-making.

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  10. Coca-Cola Content 2020 – A Whiteboard Masterpiece

    • by Admin

    Coca-Cola explains how they will take advantage of opportunities in the new media landscape where content is king. These 2 videos detail how the company will move forward from creative excellence to content excellence. This content will emphasize a commitment to making the world a better place, at the same time driving business objectives for the company.

    Enjoy the compelling story Coke’s Jonathan Mildenhall, VP Global Advertising Strategy and Creative Excellence, tells as it is complimented by incredible whiteboard artwork. Overall, this makes for a very worthwhile 17 minutes…

    Part 1

    Part 2

    Coca-Cola explains how they will take advantage of opportunities in the new media landscape where content is king. These 2 videos detail how the company will move forward from creative excellence to content excellence. This content will emphasize a commitment to making the world a better place, at the same time driving business objectives for …

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