Pepsi made headlines in 2008 when it decided to spend over $1 million redesigning its logo. This was a fresh reminder to businesses all over the world just how important a good logo really is.
Strangely, many online businesses don’t seem to have gotten the memo. Many digital marketers don’t have any logo at all. Others hacked something together that doesn’t communicate the core essence of their brand.
Your logo plays a very important role in your brand positioning. It is also one of the most visible parts of your website and other web properties. UX experiments show that 36% of website visitors will click the company logo to visit the homepage, because is the most prominent part of the site.
Why is a logo important for your online business?
Here are some things that you need to understand about logos and digital marketing.
Every online business needs a logo
Yes, every single business needs a logo. Too many online businesses think they are the exception.
Bloggers and affiliate marketers are particularly likely to think that they don’t need a logo. Since they aren’t actively selling their own products and services, they believe that they can get by without it. This is a big mistake.
When you have any type of online business model, your reputation is going to make or break your success. You may not be selling your own products as an affiliate marketer, but you still need to earn the trust of your website visitors before you can convert them by promoting another brand’s. Having a professional logo helps establish trust by showing that you are a serious entrepreneur that intends to stick around for the long term.
When hiring an outside logo design agency, it’s important to make sure you know what type of logo and design work you want to have done. Not only should you have a concept and idea in mind, you should also be aware of the services out there, and the associated costs with each. DesignBro.com recommends the following, and actually provides all of these services and design requirements within each logo job they take on:
- Up to 10 suggested designs from professional logo designers. Only see the best designs – forget about clutter.
- A closed competition: Designers cannot see the other designs. This stimulates more unique & creative content while avoiding simple variations and blatant copies.
- Own your design with full legal copyright.
- Receive files in relevant formats; suitable for online & print purposes (.ai, pdf, jpg, and png)
No matter if your business or brand is completely online or offline, you should have your logo and design files available in all formats and sizes. You never know when you might want to print out business brochures, business cards, or place your new logo design on your site or within social media.
A strong logo helps create a more seamless marketing funnel
Have you ever clicked an online ad on Facebook, Google or another site, only to be disappointed with the landing page that you saw? The problem is often that the advertiser didn’t provide a consistent funnel. The initial ad needs to set the expectations for visitors before they see your landing page. If you are getting users to subscribe to an email list, your ad and landing page need to make sure that your subscribers know what to expect when they start receiving emails from you.
A perfect example of this can be seen in the ad placements above. While the logos aren’t actually shown on Google, they will be displayed on the landing pages after the ads are clicked. Having a well-known and recognized brand identity only further improves the chances of higher conversions and gaining the trust of your audience. You can see more examples of how this can be done across multiple platforms and social media, in this article.
Keeping your message is consistent is essential. However, explicit, written statements aren’t the only part of the message that you need to pay attention to. Other visual cues can subconsciously convey messages that you may not even be aware of. It is important to make sure that these visual elements are as consistent as possible between every stage of your funnel. Using your logo in your ads, landing pages and email newsletters helps establish that consistency.
A good logo will convey the emotions that you want your brand to resonate
Every brand is unique. Every brand wants to build a different type of emotional connection with its customers. Creating a logo that matches the emotions you want your customers to feel is important part of the process.
Don’t settle on a logo just because it looks nice or would work well for another brand. It must match the connection you want your customers to have with your company.
Developing the perfect logo for your digital brand
As a digital marketer, you can’t afford to use a poor logo for your website, social media profiles or marketing creatives. Offline businesses can often make up for having a poor logo with their charismatic personality, community involvement and recommendations from trusted colleagues. That is a luxury that online marketers simply do not have.
Unfortunately, many potential customers are not going to give you a second chance if you don’t make a good first impression. Many website visitors will click the back button and never return.
This means that you need to use a great logo from the very beginning. Here are some things to keep in mind.
1 – Know who your customers actually are
Digital marketers don’t have the same face-to-face connection with their customers that local businesses do. This means that they don’t know as much about them. They may even make erroneous assumptions about their demographics.
Don’t make uninformed assumptions about your target demographic. Do your research and make sure your logo conforms to their standards.
2 – Don’t use low quality logo design services
I can’t stress this enough – you do not want to hire a low-quality expert to come up with a logo for you. They will usually hack something together that doesn’t look very professional. They may even plagiarize another brand’s logo, which is going to be even worse.
If you don’t have a large budget, you may want to look into using a free browser-based logo creator, which in many cases are free to play around and will give you a good idea on how you might want to map out your professional logo design. You will need to be a little more involved in the design process, but it will definitely be worth it in the long run.
3 – Consider using a focus group to look at your final logo design
You may fall in love with your new logo. That doesn’t mean that your customers are going to like it though.
It is a good idea to have people that match your target demographic take a look at it. You may even want to organize a focus group for them to give their input.
4 – Don’t make your logo too fancy
A lot of marketers try making the fanciest logo they possibly can. They cram as many contours and colors into it as they can. Their goal is to impress their customers, which is usually counterproductive.
Instead, you should try to make your logo as simple as possible. Your goal is to make sure customers remember it easily and understand your core message. Having a slick logo with few design elements is usually the best way to do this.
Your online business begins with your logo
Take a look at each of the logo designs above. What do they have in common?
Besides being well-known and recognized by almost everyone… they also don’t have any words or names on their logos. This is something every brand in the world wishes they could accomplish!
While your brand on business might never reach this level, your logo is the centerpiece of your brand. It quickly communicates the central message behind your entire company. Dedicate the time and resources to develop a logo that aligns with your branding goals. It will be one of the best investments that you ever make.
When looking to create a logo design or identity for your brand, be sure to consider all of the points we mentioned in this article.
First Impressions and Final Words: The Importance of Business Cards in 2019
Business cards have been around since the 15th century.
They first originated in China as “visiting cards.” The Chinese visiting cards would express one person’s intention to come and meet another person.
Then in the 17th Century, the popularity of exchanging cards began in Europe. Without the right business cards, you were a failure in the eyes of the public.
There were also extremely strict rules and etiquette guidelines for people handing out their cards. Failure to have the right card or follow the rules would result in a social disaster.
As we fast forward to today, people are still using business cards as networking tools. Not having a business card or having the wrong kind can ruin your business relationships.
Approximately 10 billion business cards are being printed on an annual basis. However, almost 8 out of the 10 billion cards printed are being thrown out in less than a week.
Yet, studies show that your companies sales will increase by at least 2.5% for every 2,000 cards you hand out. Even if a prospect doesn’t keep your card, they’ll still remember meeting you.
After hundreds of years, your card is still a representation of who you are and what you’re all about. Read on to find out about the importance of business cards in the 21st century.
The Importance of Business Cards
When you network you’re actively making meaningful connections. Sending out your contact information online can be somewhat effective. Many businesses successfully use affiliate marketing online to generate leads.
However, when you only rely on digital communications you’ll miss out on making a genuine connection. When you give your card to a potential client, they can put a face to the name of the company. You’ll be able to stand apart from all of the other companies they were researching online.
A computer can’t look your customer in the eye and convey authenticity, but you can. The encounter gives you a competitive edge over others in your industry.
Here are a few different online tools you can use for creating your personalized cards:
Allow yourself to be creative as you explore the different designs. Prospects will enjoy sharing your creative cards rather than boring ones. Having people share your card means your brand will reach more potential customers.
No matter what type of business cards you end up going with, consider your options on going with a cool and unique design. After all, these are going to be used for many years and will be the first impression of your own personal brand and expertise.
Effective Business Cards
Making a great impression starts with the style of your card. Many people mistakenly believe that all a business card does is give information. However, they really are tools to make wonderful first impressions.
It’s important to design a card that expresses your companies personality and brand. It can help to ask for outside advice from a friend or family member. Show them the design you are considering and ask them how it makes them feel. If the way they feel reflects your brand, you’re off to a great start.
Show Prospects You’re Ready for Anything
Have you ever asked someone for their business card and they couldn’t give it to you? Chances are you had a negative first impression of that person. Your subconscious mind is always listening, watching and making conclusions.
Even if you’re not consciously aware of it, you’ll judge someone for not having the right tools.
The same will happen to you if you’re not ready to hand over your card when asked. Even if you take the time to write your information down, chances are they won’t be calling you.
Make sure you always carry your cards on you. A simple trip to the store could end up as a networking opportunity.
When you use a business card, your information is always accessible. In today’s digital world, it’s hard to believe that anyone could ever lose access to the internet.
However, people are frequently in situations where they can’t go online. Imagine, your potential customer is camping in a remote area or staying at a cabin in the woods.
They don’t have internet access but they do have the ability to make phone calls. If they need to schedule a service or make a purchase, they’ll have to rely on their business cards.
Also, certain people don’t own digital devices or have trouble operating theirs. If your contact information is stuck in their phone, they may never access it.
Also, what happens when they lose or break their phone? A broken phone could take days to repair. Yet that doesn’t mean the customer will wait days to make purchasing decisions.
When the customer needs access to your company’s contact information, your card will be there to save the day. Giving your card means that no matter what the situation, customers can always reach you.
If your company is new it helps to have clear networking goals. When you go to different networking events you’ll bring your cards with you. Then you can set a daily goal for how many cards you need to distribute.
A good idea is to set a goal to hand out at least 50 business cards. If you’re having a difficult time, your cards will remind you to stay motivated. Make sure that as you hand out your cards you establish eye contact.
Your card will have your contact information and a brief summary of your product or service. If you’re looking for employment make sure to include a list of your skills.
The person you give your card to might not need your services. Yet, they might know someone who does need something you provide. With a list of your skills, the person with your card will know who to refer you to.
How to Make a Great First Impression from Day One
Yes, you could say that business cards are old school and not many people use them today. That might be the case, but if you are actively attending different conferences and trade show events, they will come in handy.
Just think about how many people are meeting with each other on any given day at these events. With hundreds of business cards changing hands, only the ones that stand out and leave a great first impression will be remembered.
When it comes to creating new business and partnerships, this simple one-up over the competition can equate to something huge in the long run.
If you are still using the same old traditional business card that gets scanned over for second and tossed away… rethink your marketing strategy and invest in yourself and your business today with a new design and business card. It’s one of the most important, yet cost-effective, investments you can make!
Loans vs. Line of Credit: Which is Better For Your Business?
When your business grows or goes through a short-term cash drought, you need an influx of cash. The bank is the best place to start. They give you two options a loan or a line of credit. It can be hard for a business to decide loans vs. line of credit.
They both can give you the cash you need, but each is different on how the cash gets to you and how you pay it back. As a business owner, you don’t want to make a rash decision that can impact your business for years.
We’ve broken them down and given you plenty of information to determine which is best for you.
Line of Credit Basics
A line of credit isn’t a loan. It’s like a credit card with a limit. When you apply for a line of credit, the bank gives you a set amount that you can have access to. You don’t need to take a penny of it. It can sit there ready to use when needed.
When you decide to take it, you don’t need to take the entire amount. For example, if you had a run on a popular product, but don’t have the cash flow to order more, then you can access your line of credit.
You have a $10,000 line of credit, but only need $200 to cover the costs of the product. You take the money out and then you agree to pay back that amount plus any interest.
In the meantime, your accessible line of credit is $9,800 until the money is paid back. You then have access to the full $10,000 again.
It’s rare for a business to take out a full amount and instead to take out small amounts when needed.
Benefits of Line of Credit
Financially, the biggest benefit is you don’t need to pay anything until you take the money out. You’re not locked into a monthly payment and you only need to pay the money back that you took out with a little interest.
These are geared more as a short-term loan that is paid back in a few months rather than a multi-year loan. They are commonly referred to as a revolving loan and have lower interest rates than a term loan of similar size.
If you are late on payments, then that rate can increase dramatically, and you can incur fees.
It’s also great to save for an emergency such as a sudden building repair or an increase in product price. Lines of credit are popular with small business that can’t come up the cash fast when a new opportunity arises.
A standard business loan is like a standard loan. You visit the bank and request to borrow a specific amount of money. There is a purpose associated with the loan such as the purchase of a building, fleet of cars, expansion, etc.
The bank examines your credit and balances the risks and benefits before determining to allow the loan. Once approved, you work on the length of the loan, interest, payment amount and are given a lump sum of money.
For example, your current building isn’t large enough for your burgeoning and growing business.
You can get a term loan to pay for a new larger facility and moving expenses. It can also go for equipment such as a new oven for a cookie company or new equipment that you use to create a new product.
You pay it back monthly at a set interest rate until loan agreement is fulfilled. They are traditionally used for more long-term investments.
Benefits of Term Loans
The biggest benefit of a term loan is predictability. You know each month you’ll owe the bank a set amount. There’re no worries about that amount changing or the amount owe going up or down. The rate of interest is the same for the life of the loan.
The biggest downside is you likely provided some type of collateral on the loan. If you can’t pay back the loan, then the bank can take that collateral. Keep that in mind when you’re determining your monthly payment amount.
If you pay more, then you can pay towards the principal and lessen the amount of term of the loan. You can do with what you want with the money as soon as you receive it.
Loan vs. Line of Credit
So, you know what the differences are between the two, but which one is the best for your business. It all depends on what you want to do with it.
Lines of credit aren’t meant to be long-term loans. They’re there for an emergency or small thing that didn’t fit into the budget. You need $3,000 for a new furnace or the refrigerators for your produce died. This is something that would probably be better applied to, or paid with credit cards.
It’s not meant for something large like a new building. It can be used for payroll, off-season costs, and restocking inventory. If you use for money-making ventures, then it can end up paying for itself.
Businesses use lines of credit for small purchases a little at a time. Don’t take one out and grab the whole amount at once. You likely need a business loan. It’s easy to learn why if you carefully examine the pros and cons of each method.
If your need is high cost and can take years to pay back, a business loan works best. You get a large lump sum to purchase a new building or other major expense like equipment and pay it back over time.
Which is Best for You?
Ultimately, you need to decide which one is the best for your business needs. Loans vs. line of credit can be a difficult decision, but hopefully, we’ve made it easier for you to choose.
Loans are best for long-term high-cost expenses, but lines of credit are best for short-term expenses and emergencies. What is your business looking for?
If you’re interested in learning more about money and how you can improve your business, then please explore our site.
6 Great Ways to Accept Online Payments on Your eCommerce Site
When it comes to running a successful online business, one of the most important things site owners, drop shippers, and brands need to think about is how to best accept payments online, while also minimizing payment fraud. As wonderful as it is to accept credit cards online, your business is responsible for making sure every transaction is secure and authentic.
Did you know that 42% of customers making online purchases use credit cards as a payment method? In fact, it’s the leading payment method. Electronic payment is running at second with 39% of customers using it.
As years go by, people are shifting towards cashless methods of payment.
But which method works best for your business? What are the different ways to receive payment for online businesses? This is something that you should consider for your business.
Here are some ways you can receive payments on your online business.
1. Receive Payments via Credit Cards
One of the options to help you accept payments online is by credit card. It’s a widely-used method on a global scale, especially in countries like the United States, Canada, Mexico, Korea, China, and most of Western Europe.
Credit cards are also among the most popular payment methods. Payments from these cards go through the use of payment gateways like PayPal and Due, or through merchant accounts.
If you wish to set up a merchant account for your website, be sure to learn more before proceeding.
Another way for you to receive payments online is through the use of e-wallets. There are many online platforms that offer this service. Especially with small online businesses in mind.
Using e-wallets tends to be effortless and easy on both sides. This speeds up the transaction process.
PayPal and AliPay are prominent in offering such options. This makes PayPal popular in the US and AliPay with China.
3. Direct Carrier Payments
There are some services and products that bill customers through their telephone or utility carriers. This is an interesting option for customers to pay for services or products. One such example is with Google’s Play Store, which offers this payment option.
This is a safe option for customers to pick. Direct carrier payment streamlines the process without redirecting them to a different site.
This is also helpful for merchants carrying this service. Not only does it offer a secure method but it’s also fast and seamless.
4. Bank Transfers
Another method that you can use to accept online payments is through bank transfers. This is one of the oldest and more traditional methods available.
Some merchants offer instructions for customers to send their payments towards a bank account. This method often employs the use of an IBAN number.
Keep in mind that bank transfers aren’t immediate. For some banks, it may take 2-3 business days before the deposited amount reflects in the receiver’s account.
It is also possible for customers to send their payments using cash. In fact, other countries like Russia, India, and Romania make use of cash payments for their online businesses.
There are some ways to use this method as factors such as location and reach towards customers come to play.
One of the methods that you can use is through cash-on-delivery (COD). This service allows the courier to send the product. Then collect the payment upon arrival to the customer’s location.
FedEx offers this service and is a preferable choice. Other courier companies only accept checks and money orders.
In addition to using a credit card, Paypal is one of the most used and accepted forms of payment in the world today.
While it is possible to use a credit card to make payment through Paypal, many users are also connecting their accounts to their bank accounts as well. This simply makes it one of the easiest methods of payment processing for millions of users around the world.
Another reason why Paypal is perfect for both customers and eCommerce platforms is that it’s usually simply a matter of clicking a few buttons and providing API account information to integrate it within an online shopping cart or payment solution.
An extra added benefit to accepting payment through Paypal is that businesses can grow their account history and also take advantage of loan programs like Paypal Working Capital.
Pick A Payment Method That Matches Your Business Today!
Knowing and choosing the right payment method for your online business is crucial. This is the lifeblood that keeps your business flowing. Having an efficient, fast, and secure channel to receive payments lets you gain profit while the customer gains satisfaction.
Did you find this post helpful? We have a variety of topics that you can explore to help you with your business ventures. Check this one out about maximizing both time and money as an entrepreneur.
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