New Year New Look

Yes, you know the saying “New year, new me!”

Let this year be the year you shine and achieve all your dreams and goals! Speaking of those goals . . . we have some exciting news!

While at Cardiff’s #Introbizexpo we debuted our newly branded production showreel, for those of you who missed it you can watch it here on our Vimeo channel or Instagram! We would love to hear what you think!

Alongside this news, we are currently in development of the new and improved Cre8ion website, due to launch soon, so keep your eyes peeled, and watch this space!

Refreshing yourself and your style is the trend of a new year, and you can do it whenever you want to; But don’t forget it’s not just you it’s also your business that needs your attention! Trends, tastes, fashion and people change which effect how people see you and your business why not think about rebranding or giving your current brand a lift with a refresh?

Get in contact with us and let’s make your year the best it can be!

Retrospect: Our Top Designs From 2018

The August Bank Holiday has just gone, and our epic summer is nearly over. We thought we’d greet autumn, the season of harvest by taking stock of our best work so far. Here’s a selection of our top three designs from 2018.

1. GL Integrity Brand

One of our favourite projects of the year is undoubtedly the GL Integrity Financial Planning brand. As one of the most innovative brands that we’ve ever had the pleasure to work with, GL wanted to build a financial advice brand that displayed a friendly and approachable attitude. As specialists in financial planning, GL aim to give their clients direction and confidence by aligning personal and financial goals to what matters to them the most. In terms of branding, they wanted to communicate trust, functionality, and longevity, without looking too corporate.

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Working together, we created a brand new look for GL, complete with branding and logo design giving them an approachable feel with a professional flair. Bringing the best of Design, Digital and Production departments together, we designed and built a professional website with the new brand in mind.

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We then followed up with video content: a short introduction to explain the principles of GL Integrity, and a testimonial from one of their clients which assists in building a rapport with their existing and future clients.

2. Filton Avenue Welcome Book 2018

This year, we’ve also worked on a new project for one of our most loyal clients Filton Avenue Primary School. A few years ago, we’d already designed their new brand and marketing strategy, built a new website and developed app technologies that allowed parents to get access to all the information they needed in order to see their child’s journey. We also created branded welcome packs and uniforms for the school. This ensured that their brand worked well across all platforms, giving the school a unified and consistent feel.

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To keep communications fresh and showcase the exciting new developments of the school, we regularly photograph students in their learning environments. This year we’ve also designed a new welcome booklet for the school, with a fresh and modern feel.

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3. Cre8ion Marketing Workshop Booklet 2018

Now onto our best-kept secret. At Cre8ion, we’ve worked on a special booklet to make the workshop element of our 360° process more effective. We’ve enjoyed the role reversal of designing marketing materials for ourselves rather than a client. This is not something we often get a chance to do, and the experience has been immensely satisfying. We’ve loved to revisit our own company branding in order to showcase our best capabilities in an authentic and coherent way. The booklet is an active working document for the workshops that we run for our clients, where design and function come together seamlessly. We can’t reveal much about the content, but here’s a little preview.

If you’re looking for a professional brand marketing agency that will work with you to tell your unique story in a way that engages your dream customer, contact our team for an informal chat to see how we can help.

Photography: 4 Stages to Getting Studio Photography Right

Photography involves more than just setting your flash and clicking a button. It’s a process which we believe consists of four stages. Get these right, and you’ll end up with beautiful quality shots for your next marketing campaign.

Stage 1 – Plan, communicate and organise

Before you start, you need to lay the groundwork. It may seem like a time-consuming stage where much isn’t happening, but every minute that you invest in this stage will pay off, and the process will flow more effortlessly.

Plan what shots you want to take. This will help you decide how to set the scene, pick the perfect indoor or outdoor spot for shooting, and what equipment is needed. Taking staff photos for your website, for instance, will involve a completely different process than shooting images of your products.

This is why we always ensure that we communicate clearly with our client, in order to understand what the project is about, and what their desired end goal is before we start the shoot.

Organise the right equipment for the task. There’s a ton of photography equipment out there, and you need to make sure that you get the right tools for your photoshoot.

Stage 2 – Get to know your equipment

Even if you have the slickest camera on the block, you need to really know and understand how it works. There’s nothing worse than turning up at a shoot with new or unfamiliar equipment. Sometimes lights may not be compatible with a certain camera, or the camera may not be performing in the way you expected it to. That’s why investing in a professional marketing agency like us really pays off. We’ll organise the right equipment for the job and test it all out, to make sure that everything’s set and ready for the day of the shoot.

Stage 3 – Take your time

Even if you’ve planned everything in meticulous detail, even if you know exactly what you want to get out of the shoot, and you know everything there is to know about your equipment, it’s always best to take your time on the day of the shoot. Go over your notes from the planning stage before the day. Create a shot list, so you’re all set and ready to go. And as a basic rule, always aim to take at least three photos of each shot, so you have more scope to pick the perfect image later.

 

 

Stage 4 – Get it right in post-production

Here’s a disclaimer that’s worth remembering. The post-production phase of photography is designed to enhance your existing photo, not create a completely new image. That’s why the planning and the shoot are so important. While the post-production stage will help you ensure that your finished photos are as good as they can be, remember that there’s only so much you can do on a computer. If the original image is blurred, then it will never be 100% sharp, even after applying the best effects. Besides, the more time you’ve invested in the initial three phases, the less time it will take to produce the final image, and the quicker you’ll see the desired results.

If you’re looking to create some new product shots, profile snaps for your brand new website, or fresh visuals for your brand marketing and social media campaigns, then look no further. Contact us today to see how our team of experts can deliver the perfect result.

How to Approach Building a New Website for Your Brand?

Is your website in need of a refresh? Does it meet any of these warning signs? Revamping your website can feel like a daunting project. But it’s easier when it’s broken down into smaller tasks. Here’s our approach to the job.

What do you want your website to achieve?

To build a successful website, you need to know what it is that you want to build in the first place. It’s important to decide what purpose you want your website to serve. Are you looking to raise your brand awareness? Or maybe you’re after more leads? Or perhaps you’re at the stage where you are getting enough leads, but you’re struggling to convert them into customers? At Cre8ion, we can help you build a website that’s fit for your purpose, and speaks the language of your target audience.

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Decide on the essential stuff first

If you’ve spent ages thinking about this, and you still don’t have a clear idea of what you want your website to achieve, look deeper. It may be that you don’t have a clear idea of your brand. So before you jump into designing your new website, spend some time really considering what’s unique about your business. What’s the drive behind what you do, beyond generating an income? What are your values, and where do you envisage your business going in five or even ten years’ time? If you’re not sure, we can help you discover these important elements at one of our specialist workshops, included in our 360-degree marketing model.

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Choose a creative concept that feels right

Once you know the ‘why’ of your business, and you’re crystal-clear on what your brand is about, you can start to design a website that will bring those values to life. If you trust the job to us, as part of our trademark approach, we’ll offer you a custom-built creative concept, based on what you’ve told us during the workshop, within your chosen brand guidelines reflecting your values. After that, we’ll tailor and tweak, until we know that you’re 100% satisfied with the chosen concept.

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Here’s our approach in practice. This is a website we created for our clients GL Integrity Financial PlanningWorking together with their team, we designed and built a website that reflects their personality and nature while still informing people about their services in financial investment. With a sleek and responsive design, this website looks great on any device, boosting user experience and search engine rankings.

So if you feel like it’s time for a website refresh, contact us today and you’ll place your new website in expert hands. You might also want to take a look at our top tips for web design.

Social Media: Create Amazing Content with our Top 5 Posts

Doing social media for your business can feel a bit like shooting with a blindfold on. While posting on a consistent basis is vital, posting random content won’t get you much engagement. To help you create content that converts, take a look at our top 5 posts on social media marketing.

1. Top 3 Best Social Media Campaigns of All Time

Humour goes a long way, especially when it’s paired with a great cause. Before you start building content for your own social media channel, learn some best practice techniques from top three best social media campaigns of all time – the ‘Old Spice Guy’, the #IceBucketChallenge and #likeagirl. We’ve summed them up in this blog post.

2. What social media channels should you choose for your business?

You might wear trainers when you go out for a jog, but you wouldn’t wear them to a wedding. It’s the same with different social media channels. The feeling of shooting with a blindfold on is often the result of a lack of understanding of what each social media channel is actually designed to do. Before you start creating your content, it’s worth deciding which social media channels are best suited for your business. Explore the key features of Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram (the three channels that we most often use for our clients) in this post to decide which of these you should focus your efforts on.

3. How do you engage your followers?

When it comes to social media, it’s important to produce a constant flow of content. But if you want to convert some of your virtual followers into real-life loyal customers, then what you’re really after is engagement. Learn all about ‘audience engagement’, the digital marketing buzzword in this post, plus some handy tips that you can apply to your own social media content to build engagement.

4. Short for time? Produce sleek content with your smartphone

Social media requires a lot of effort – you need to post often, and on a consistent basis. What’s more, research shows that visual content is 40X more likely to get shared on social media compared to other types of content. Of course, we’d love it if you hired us to produce all your visuals for you. But if you’re stretched for time, take a look at some simple tips on how you can frame a great shot, using your smartphone, in this post.

5. Find some great stock images for your visuals

Authentic photos and videos can be costly. If they’re only going to be around for a few hours on your social media feed, it may be a good idea to use stock images for some of your posts. Learn the best platforms for sourcing stock in this post.

Of course, with stock, there is always a chance that someone else might be using a similar image. If you’re after some fresh photos and videos for your social media campaigns, contact our team and let us help you produce amazing content that converts.

How to Write Web Copy That Gets The Right Hits

Your site might be getting hundreds of hits. It might even be generating dozens of leads. But quantity isn’t everything. How do you ensure that those leads actually convert into loyal customers? 

Tailor your web copy to speak the right language

The first step to successful conversion is actually attracting the type of leads who are likely to convert into customers. This is a person whose values probably resonate with those of your business; someone who will really benefit from your products or services. So how do you get them to come and stay on your website?

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Your content needs to be engaging. Your website needs to speak the kind of language that will attract the right customer. The more tailored your web content is, the more it will attract the type of hits that are likely to convert into customers. But getting it right doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get thousands of hits or endless traffic to your site. What you’ll get instead is hundreds (or maybe just dozens) of the right kind of hits. But if these few hits get a high conversion rate, who cares how much traffic you’re generating?

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For our clients GL Integrity Financial Planning, we write highly tailored content, targeted at a specific clientele. This results in less web traffic, but more quality hits and higher conversion rates.

To create the kind of web copy that speaks to the right customer, you need to identify the unique selling points of your business. In other words, why do you do what you do? Once you know your ‘why‘, it’s easier to identify your target audience and change the tone of your business, so that it promotes your unique values and speaks the language of your target audience.

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Write consistent and authentic content

If you have a regular blog for your business site, we salute you. This is one of the best ways to keep your customers engaged (if you want to know more details on why blogs work, read this). While you do need to keep SEO keywords in mind when you plan what posts to write, it’s also important to ensure that your content is engaging. Consider what topics might add value to your clients – what could genuinely benefit them? What issues or questions could you help them solve with your blog posts?

If you don’t know the ‘why’ behind your brand, or you want to take your marketing strategy up a notch this year, our 360-degree marketing process will make it happen. Contact us today for a chat on how we can help you.

Consistency: The Key to Successful Brand Marketing

You might be familiar with the phrase ‘consistency is key.’ But do you know what consistency is, when it comes to building a successful brand? And how you do you make your brand more consistent and more successful? 

What is consistency?

Just so we’re all on the same page, let’s first define consistency. The Oxford English dictionary defines consistency as ‘consistent behavior or treatment’.

Now, if you apply this definition to a brand, it essentially means that your brand behaves in a consistent manner. Whatever message you’re putting out there, whatever product you’re launching or service you’re providing, your brand needs to look and feel consistent. This is absolutely crucial in establishing a unique brand identity that will set you apart from your competitors.

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How do you achieve a consistent brand identity?

In order to achieve this, you need to do two things.

Firstly, you need to know what your brand is about. What is your ‘why’? What is your motivation and your purpose behind the brand? You need to be crystal-clear about this. If there’s any confusion – if your brand lacks clarity or you don’t have a vision on where you’d like to take it – this will be apparent in the way your brand looks. A diluted identity leads to a diluted look, and weak customer engagement.

If you’re at this stage, don’t worry. Usually, the answers are already there – you’ve created a business because you had a particular motivation to do so, which you may not have had time to reflect on. We can help you discover what that ‘why’ is, define your mission statement and get clear on your vision, with one of our legendary workshops.

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Secondly, you need to create a uniform identity for your brand. This includes anything from a consistent colour palette, to a new website, to the tone of voice that you’re using. If you want to be really professional and avoid any brand inconsistencies, it’s crucial that you get a Brand Guidebook for your business. Once you’ve got this, you can use it to ensure that anything you’re creating (whether that’s a social media post, a brochure, or a new email marketing campaign) communicates a consistent message of what your brand is about. If you want to find out more on what’s included in a Brand Guidebook, see our blog post.

Brand consistency in practice

Let us share a quick example of successful brand consistency, using the work we’ve done for one of our clients GL Integrity Financial Planning. 

To achieve a consistent and unique brand look and feel that can’t be mistaken with anyone else, we’ve used the same tone of voice and visual identity to power their website…

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… and their Instagram account.

Without a consistent brand identity, you’re selling yourself short, and this probably reflects in the amount of leads you’re converting. If you want to take steps towards a more consistent and, therefore, a more successful brand, get in touch with us today to see how we can help.

Web Design Best Practice: Our Top 5 Posts

Your website is your most essential piece of kit when it comes to digital marketing. Whether you’re launching a new website or looking to make a few small changes to improve your current website’s look and functionality, here are our top 5 posts on web development to help you.

1. Digital Marketing Trends: Why We Love WordPress

WordPress powers 27% of the Internet. That’s a pretty impressive statistic. Does your business use WordPress? If not, here are our top 5 reasons why you might want to invest in developing a website, powered by WordPress.

 

 

2. Five Ways to Keep Your Website Fresh and Healthy

Could your website do with a ‘health check’? Here are some simple yet effective ways to keep your website current and trendy, while maintaining its functionality.

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3. Essential WordPress Plugins That Will Make Your Website Thrive

If you’re already a WordPress convert, there are some awesome plugins that will make your website so much better with very little effort.

 

4. No Cons, Only Pros: Why Your Business Should Absolutely Invest in a Blog

SEO is an essential feature of digital marketing. And having a regular blog is one of the best ways to improve your SEO and climb the ‘Google ladder.’ But SEO is not the only reason why you might want to consider having a blog – here’s a list of other reasons.

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5. How to Utilise Your Business Landing Page

Your business landing page is much like a business card that’s been handed out at a networking event: it needs to stand out among all the others. Here are five simple tips on how to improve your landing page.

If you’re looking to boost your brand marketing strategy this year by redesigning your website, contact us today to see how we can help.

The Power of Testimonials in Brand Marketing

“92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising,” writes Kimberley A. Whitler in an article for Forbes. Both common sense and statistics make a strong case for the power of the word of mouth. While you can’t force people to talk about your brand, you can collect testimonials from those who do and use them in your brand marketing. Here’s how customer testimonials can help your clients, your team and your brand image.

The case for potential clients

Let’s start with the most obvious one. Naturally, when a potential customer discovers your products or services, they want to know whether they’ll get their money’s worth before committing to your brand. That’s why it’s so important to get your existing clients’ testimonials and showcase them. You should make it standard practice to collect ‘success stories’ from your current clients and add them to your website content and on your social media pages.

And don’t shy away from negative press. If someone is unhappy with your business, try and engage with them to see how the problem can be resolved. Once it has been, you can showcase that story as a way of displaying that your company is willing to go the extra mile for a client.

You might also consider awarding clients who are particularly active on social media and making them your ‘brand ambassadors’. Here’s a customer testimonial for Al Bacio, the Italian restaurant based in Clifton, Bristol.

 

The case for your team

While it’s true that people are motivated by money and opportunities for growth within a business, no doubt they’ll get excited to learn how your business has benefited or genuinely helped someone. Client testimonials are good for the company’s morale, especially when everyone has put a lot of work into making a particular client happy.

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The case for your brand image

What makes a brand? It’s not the colours you use on your marketing materials, it’s not how great your website looks on a mobile device, or how many times a day you post on social media. A brand is essentially what other people say about your business. So it’s essential that you collect those stories – good and bad – not only to showcase them but also to work out where you are getting it right in terms of your marketing strategy, and where more work is needed.

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How best to showcase client testimonials?

It’s a good idea to collect as many testimonials as you can and showcase them on all available platforms (website, brochures, flyers, banners), as long as they fit your content. Don’t keep them static either – change them up if you can. Visual content works wonders on digital platforms and social media, so make sure you get some of those stories captured on video or attach a photo to go with the testimonial.

Want people to say the right things about your brand? A good marketing strategy will help you make that happen. Contact our team today to see how we can help.

Top 3 Best Social Media Campaigns of All Time

It’s no secret that social media goes a long way in digital marketing. How do you get it right though? There are no clear-cut answers when it comes to social media campaigns. But there’s certainly a lesson we can all learn from the top 3 best social media campaigns of all time.

1. The ‘Old Spice Guy’

‘Look at your man, now back to me, now back at your man, now back to me.’ Sound familiar? This was the catchphrase of the ‘Old Spice Guy advert, starring Isaiah Mustafa,  that went viral back in 2010. The funny video aside, this marketing ploy was so successful because of the ‘response campaign’ where the Old Spice Guy’s creative team filmed 186 video responses to fans from Twitter, Reddit and other social media platforms, within 3 days.

Lesson: Humour goes a long way. Break down ‘the fourth wall’ by creating a highly entertaining character whom your viewers can interact with. (Even if you can’t afford Isaiah Mustafa.)

2. The #IceBucketChallenge

Do you remember throwing a bucket of ice cold water over your head, recording it on video and sharing it on Facebook? All in the name of charity. The #IceBucketChallenge campaign engaged 17 million people worldwide and raised $115 million for ALS Association. It’s often referred to as the most successful social media campaign of all time.

Lesson: A great cause and an entertaining challenge equate to millions of shares (and tons of fun).

3. #likeagirl

It’s always good to challenge the status quo – and marketing campaigns should be no exception. Need evidence? Check out Always, the feminine hygiene products brand’s Like a Girl’ video that raked in more than 85 million views from over 150 countries, thanks to its attempts to question gender stereotypes. Not only that. The #likeagirl hashtag became a huge success, with women all over the world sharing their views on what it means to do something ‘like a girl’. It raised important questions, such as at what age does the phrase become an insult, and can we change that?

Lesson: Discover the ‘why’ behind your brand – the values that you’re most passionate about, the ethics you want it to represent. Be authentic and be bold.

Ready for a new bold and daring marketing campaign for your brand? Ready to discover the all-important ‘why’ behind your business? Then contact us today to see how we can help.