Top 5 Branding Strategies of 2017


Top 5 Branding Strategies of 2017

If you are in any way connected to the business world, you have heard a lot lately about branding. Branding is simply defining your image. Your brand tells the world who you are, what they can expect from you, and what you stand for. In the world of media relations, there is no more important concept.

Yet for many businesses (especially new businesses) branding takes a back seat to the thousands of other things that are on the agenda.  It should not. Branding is more than your company sign, and the design of your business cards and letterhead. Let’s take a look at some important branding strategies that any business can incorporate.


Consistent Design Rules

Step one is always to design your logo. The logo is (forever) what will identify you. You never redraw your logo. The design, color, and size (in relation to paper goods, truck decals, and promo goods, is always uniform) When designing your logo think of other companies.  In almost all cases, the bigger the company is, the smaller their logo is. Use distinctive graphics. Do not use different fonts, borders, or backgrounds. When someone sees your logo, they should instantly think of your brand. They should never have to search or wonder if they are looking at a knock-off trying to copy you.

What does your color choice say about your company? Blue is a color of trust, while red is a color that speaks of boldness. Black, gold, and silver are elegant colors. Green makes us think of clean, environmentally friendly products. Before you choose a color for your logo, research it and see what impact that color has on the viewer and if that is the message you are trying to portray.

Get your story out

People want to be a part of something. They love to hear stories. Take advantage of technology and get your story out. Let people know how you began, and what your visions are. Create video campaigns of how your company, vision, and dedication inspires others. Infographics, online interaction, and “about us” marketing is a must have branding strategy.


Community Action

Whether you call it media relations, public relations, or fused communication, getting involved in the community is a tool required to establish your brand. When people make a choice about a product or service they are going to purchase, they are drawn to businesses that care. If you are supporting education, commerce, feeding the hungry, or supporting animal shelters, be active and visible.

Encourage your customers to get involved and tell their own stories about how they helped the community through or because of the influence of your business. Praise them, feature them on your website, and in your publications. By making your brand part of the community, your community becomes part of your brand.


Social Media

Your social media presence is a huge part of your branding strategy. No longer is social media just for the younger target audience. Every age group has learned the convenience of e-commerce and online communication. Keep your social media presence active! Do not let your website get old and stale - make sure the website loading time is fast and provides up-to-date content.  If a client returns to your site weeks after their last visit, give them new material to access.  Respond to your customer base. Never ignore a question posted on your site. Ad video, and interactive programs to make the visit entertaining. This will make clients remember you and your brand.


Create a legacy

Every move you make should be made with the idea of the legacy you are leaving behind. Look at every action as an action that is preparing your place in history. Your attitude of “actions of today, impact generations of tomorrow” will be transparent to your clients. Create a legacy of honesty, reliability, and value - and make sure to repeat the successes! This is your brand and this is what you want to be remembered by. Your management and staff should operate from that mindset and your brand will benefit by bringing you loyal customers.



Author Bio

Wendy Dessler

Title: Super-Connector at OutreachMama

Wendy is a super-connector with OutreachMama and Towering SEO who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.


The Power of Online Reviews: 5 Facts You Can’t Ignore


The Power of Online Reviews: 5 Facts You Can’t Ignore recently released some stats on online reviews and online reputation management, and the results were staggering.


Online reviews play a pivotal role in whether or not a potential customer will buy goods or services from a particular business. Service companies – such as restaurants, hotels, salons, etc. – are particularly susceptible to the impact of online reviews. Take a look at these 5 facts that might change the way you view online reviews:


1.  Positive reviews can create an 18% average increase in sales.

Why? Because customers trust businesses with 5 and 4 star ratings more than those with negative feedback or no feedback at all. Seeing that others have tried your products and services and were pleased is huge in creating new sales – particularly if you are in the restaurant, hotel, or other service field.


2.  Customers trust online reviews nearly 12 times more than other advertising messages.

It’s important to have strong branding messages, but remember the value of online reviews! Consumers trust other consumers to be truthful far more than corporate advertising. If your business focuses on millennials, then this stat is even more critical because merely 34% of millennials said they trust television advertising, as opposed to 68% who trust online reviews.


3. With every added “star” your business has by it’s name, sales are proven to increase by 5-9%.

Incentivize customers to review your business, particularly if they had a positive experience. Again, the more reviews you have, the more likely people are to trust your company, and positive reviews are priceless in terms of conversion. And bonus: content can get picked up by search engines and lead to richer SEO.


4.  Customers will spend 31% more with companies that have excellent reviews.

Not only will positive online reviews bring in more customers, but they can also increase the ticket size. Again, customers trust online reviews enough to put their money behind businesses other people like.



5. Negative reviews aren't all bad.

While negative reviews do impact your business, there is a silver lining. For one, negative reviews generate buzz, which in turn, generates awareness around your products and services. This had been shown to actually increase sales – as opposed to decrease them. Also – if your company responds to a negative review in a professional, helpful, and courteous manner, consumers generally negate that negative review from their decision making process.


Bottom Line: Closely monitoring your online reviews is critical to the success of your business. Luckily for you, 214 Interactive is an expert in online reputation management in Dallas, Texas, and we can do all the heavy lifting for you! Call us today for a consultation!


Want to read more? View full infographic from below:


Geofencing: Why Your Small Business Should Give it a Shot


Geofencing: Why Your Small Business Should Give it a Shot

Raise your hand if you’ve heard of geofencing?


A relatively new advertising tactic, many small businesses are unaware of this marketing gem – and that’s why 214 Interactive wants you to jump in now.


What is geofencing?

Geofencing is a hyper-localized advertising tactic, using smartphone location data to target advertising to people within a certain geographic range of your business, chosen by you. So for example, someone searches for, “restaurants near me” within the geofence you have set, and customized ads from your business will appear.


The Power of Geofencing

As we said earlier, geofencing and hyperlocal advertising are still being honed by marketers and many are still unaware of its power. If you haven’t jumped on board yet, here are a few reasons to give it a shot:


·     Few are Doing It: Being an early adopter has its perks. According to a recent survey, a whopping 80% of businesses would say they have yet to harness the full potential of hyperlocal advertising. This means less competition for you and your business if you start geofencing today.

·     Prime Demographic: The United States population loves the smartphone – with 77% of Americans using one daily. And even better, 85% of college grads use a smartphone, meaning your business has the opportunity to directly penetrate an audience with the means to make purchases immediately.

·     Be a Part of the Purchase Process: Along with the growth of the smartphone, comes the growth of searching and researching on a smartphone. 51% of smartphone users have discovered new products and services on their phone – products or services they wouldn’t otherwise have known about. By influencing consumers while they are actively researching, your business stands a much higher chance of gaining new business.


Interested in discussing the possibility of geofencing for your business? Give 214 Interactive a call today! As a leading full service digital agency in Dallas, Texas, we seek out new tactics for our customers to help them reach their goals.



4 Trends in Online Reputation Management You Need to Know About


4 Trends in Online Reputation Management You Need to Know About

Controlling your business’s online reputation can be hard.


And if there’s anything we’ve learned, the Internet, social media, and everything in it is constantly changing. Just when you’ve figured out how to appropriately handle online reviews and customer interactions, the landscape changes.


So what can we expect in 2017? 214 Interactive brings you 4 online reputation management trends you need to know about:


1.  Consumers are Wary of False Reviews

A recent study by shows that a whopping 90% of Americans are wary of online reviews, believing many are fake or misleading reviews. And unfortunately, there is reason for concern. Recent data has shown that as many as 33% of online product reviews and 16% of restaurant reviews are actually fake reviews. This is important for small businesses and restaurants to be mindful of in building credibility and offsetting the negative impact.


2.  Make Way for the Chief Experience Officer

In order to optimize customer interactions in 2017, businesses of all sizes must find a person to handle marketing strategies with a holistic approach. Today’s CMOs must be Chief Experience Officer, making the experiences of customers on social media, review sites, etc. a pivotal touchpoint for branding and customer service.


3.  More Time is Being Spent Researching Than Ever Before

A recent survey by WebPunch showed that 30% of people will spend more than an hour researching a product or service before purchasing – whether it was a cheap purchase (under $200) or expensive (over $500). This tells us that online reviews continue to hold value and there are business growth opportunities in combining online reputation management in Dallas with SEO.


4.  Online Reviews are Growing

The influential power of online reviews isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, as the number of online review sites continues to increase. Google and Yelp continue to lead the pack, but social media reviews are increasing daily. Users want their opinions heard, and in turn, they want to share product experiences, customer service interactions, etc. It’s a trend that will continue to increase in 2017 and beyond.

Ready to get a handle on your business’s online reputation? 214 Interactive – a full service digital advertising agency in Dallas – specializes in online reputation management and would love to discuss opportunities for your business. Give us a call today!


5 Ways to Better Engage with Social Media Followers


5 Ways to Better Engage with Social Media Followers

Never before have consumers had so many different entities vying for their attention.


In fact, in a world full of distractions, research shows that the average adult has an 8 second attention span before their brain pops to something else. (That’s less than a goldfish, people!)


So with that in mind, how to do you make your content count? How do you engage with potential customers in a way that is going to increase future engagement, and ultimately, conversion?


Here are 5 ways to better engage with your social media followers and improve your conversion rate in the process:


1.  Know your Audience

This might seem like a no brainer, but the demographics, age, similar interests, etc. of your followers will better determine how you talk to them. For example, if your followers are mainly millennials, then older pop culture references may completely miss the mark. Tailor your tone, language, humor, and content directly to your audience and you’ll see a rise in engagement.


2.  Insert Call to Action

Sometimes people just need you to spell it out. Increase engagement by asking people do something specific:


“Click this link to watch our factory tour!”


“Comment with your product experience!”


“Share this link to be entered to win free stuff!”


Not only are you giving followers a way to engage with you, but it will increase engagement from others who see the post through friends.

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3.  Give your Followers Elite Status

Consider your followers VIPs. (They are taking the time to follow your brand, right?) Alert them to product launches, do random giveaways, or run contests. Making your followers feel important will make them feel more connected with your brand and more likely to recommend you to others.


4.  Respond to Feedback

Make time to respond to all comments posted to your social media pages. Maybe it’s a simple vote of confidence for your company, or maybe it’s someone dissatisfied with a product. Treat each comment as an important brand touchpoint, because it’s always easier to keep a customer with good customer service than it is to get new ones. Plus – you never know who else might read the content posted.


5.  Add Entertainment Value

Stop the scroll and engage your followers with eye-catching content. Depending on the brand, maybe it’s a funny meme or link to an eye-opening industry video. Find your followers’ interests and use those to create content that pops off the page.


Need help getting more likes, comments, and shares on social media? You’ve come to the right place! 214 Interactive is a leading digital advertising agency in Dallas, Texas, and we’d love to discuss how our expertise can help grow your brand through social marketing.


Why You Need a Google Street View Inside Photo Shoot


Why You Need a Google Street View Inside Photo Shoot

We’ve all heard the sayings…


“Put your best foot forward.”


“You will never get a second chance to make a first impression.”


“Be the kind of person you want to meet.”


The first impressions you and your business make shape whether or not a potential customer ever conducts business with you in the future. And if this is true, then why do we not pay more attention to our Google My Business profiles?


Google – the number one search engine worldwide – is used by tens of millions daily to locate potential restaurants, retailers, services, etc.


Think about how many times a day you “google” a business of interest.


Now think about the images that pop up once the retailer is found. Are they enticing? Do they draw you in?


Google automatically provides street views throughout the United States, but you never really know what you’re getting with the generic street view. Did you know you can hire a trusted, certified Google Street View photographer to take 360 panoramic views of your business, street views, interior shots, and more. Here’s a few reasons 214 Interactive considers this vital to your business:


1.  First Impressions: As we’ve touched on already, consumers will instantly judge your business by the imagery that shows in your Google My Business listing when your business name is searched. And according to Google’s own research, listings with a virtual 360 tour and photos are more than twice as likely to generate interest that those without.

The photos that appear in your Google Business profile when searched (example on right) are vitally important to your digital presence.

The photos that appear in your Google Business profile when searched (example on right) are vitally important to your digital presence.


2.  Touchpoint Throughout the Web: Once a profile picture and other point of interest photos are selected for your business, Google uses those photos throughout its various search options. And bonus: when those photos are Google created content, they are weighted with more significance. Google Maps, mobile devices, Google search, etc. will all use these photos – so you want them to be good and enticing.


3.  Chance to Update Marketing Materials: When hiring a trusted, certified Google Street View photographer, you will not only get the panoramic views, street views, and interior shots, but Google releases the intellectual property of the photos so YOU own the photos, allowing you to use them however you'd like. Why not make all communications more snazzy?


4. Free Virtual Tour: One of the many reasons businesses are converting their Google listing to a Virtual Tour version is because, once the Google photography is published to their listing, Google will host the virtual tour for FREE. All you're out is a ONE TIME nominal Google photo service fee.


5. Full Optimize your Business Listing in Google: When all photo touchpoints are incorporated into your Google My Business profile and you add a Google 360 virtual tour, you remove the "incomplete" status from your listing and "complete" your Google profile status. Once that's done, the listing is fully optimized to Google's search algorithms - in turn bringing more leads your way. Plus, you will have a permanent SEO component by having 10 key search terms embedded to your Google photography. Learn more here:

Interested in optimizing your photography in your Google My Business profile? 214 Interactive works closely with a trusted, certified Google Street View provider who can take 360 panoramic, street views, point of interest shots, interior shots, and more. Give us a call today to get started!



Tackling Negative Restaurant Reviews - 214 Interactive

At 214 Interactive, our restaurant clients frequently ask, “what can I do about negative restaurant reviews?”


And it’s a great question.


Websites like Yelp or TripAdvisor are common touchpoints for potential guests looking to find out if your restaurant is worth their time and money. Negative reviews can be frustrating – and even angering- but there are ways to handle them gracefully and work them to your advantage.


1.  Respond Quickly to Negative Reviews

Burying your head in the sand and ignoring negative reviews is not going to make them go away. Instead be mindful of when new posts occur and provide timely responses to help mitigate any damage. This does 2 things: 1) shows the reviewer that you genuinely care about their customer experience, and 2) shows potential guests that you take each customer experience seriously.


2.  Keep Negative Reviews in Perspective

It’s hard not to get angry when a customer posts a negative review, but it’s important to remember it may not be as bad as the reviewer made it seem. Statistics show that people who create reviews tend to me more opinionated than the general population, and those reviewers tend to pepper their critiques with colorful ways to get noticed. Acknowledge the negative experience, learn what you can from their review, but try to keep it in perspective.


3.  Learn from Negative Reviews

Negative reviews have a way of unearthing issues or problems you might not have been aware of! Use your customer reviews as an opportunity to glean feedback and improve your guest experience moving forward.


4.  Apologize Publicly; Follow-up Privately

Respond to each negative review with your sincerest apologies, thanking the reviewer for their feedback, and reminding them that you are committed to a positive customer experience. From there, follow-up and address their specific concerns in a private message vs. the public forum. Go the extra mile and invite them back, urging them to ask for a manager when they arrive to ensure a positive guest experience.


Finding the time to track and follow-up with negative reviews can be challenging for any business. 214EATS – a division of 214 Interactive – specializes in restaurant marketing and online reputation monitoring. 214EATS Dashboard allows businesses to get notifications of any online reviews; however, many of our customers hire 214EATS to respond directly on their behalf. This timesaving tool has been a true game changer for many of our clients. As one recently said, “We have been able to reach many upset guests and win them back due to 214’s assistance.”


Call us today to get your restaurant on board with 214 Interactive and 214EATS!

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