BRANDING AGENCY

5 Reasons We Build With WordPress

5 Reasons We Build With WordPress 1500 1500 Jesse Alex

WordPress is, by far, the most popular open source Content Management System (CMS), used by approximately 75 million websites.

Our team here at Brand Fiend has many years of accumulated knowledge and experience building quality websites using WordPress. We’re grateful to have worked with a wide range of clients from startups, e-commerce, restaurants, and more in helping them establish online homes for their brands. Since we build 90% of our clients sites via WordPress, here are a few reasons why it’s our top choice in helping brands reach their website goals:

1. Highly Customizable with Great Flexibility

WordPress is extremely popular because it meets the demands of many users with its flexible framework, which allows designers and developers to create and modify layouts and applications. Our team here at Brand Fiend has experience extending WordPress functionality, as well as incorporating a wide range of plugins, to meet our clients’ unique demands that go way beyond your basic website. Our experience in coding mixed with WordPress helps us provide great online homes for our clients. Need help implementing a certain functionality into your website? We can help!

2. Plenty of Room for Expansion

There are more than 50,000 WordPress plugins (often free), such as slideshows, contact forms, SEO optimization, E-Commerce integrations, add-ons, and more. These plugins allow you to implement various elements on your website to help enhance your look + feel, functionality, and more. Here at Brand Fiend, we have access to unlimited amount of plugins in order to help meet your website needs.

3. Super User Friendly

One thing we love about the WordPress platform is that it provides a user friendly back-end for our clients to manage once we’ve completed the build. It allows you to manage everything from SEO, website analytic’s, e-commerce store functions, your blog post, and much much more. Need help learning the back-end of WordPress so you can use it more efficiently? We can provide a walk through in order for you to do so!

4. Most Popular Platform Out There

We’ve been building from WordPress since 2009-10, so we pretty much know it like the back of our hands, and so do many other people as it’s the most used Content Management System in the game. The numbers don’t lie!

5. WordPress is a SEO Friendly Platform

WordPress is written using standard compliance high-quality code and produces semantic markup. In non-nerdy terms, this makes Google and other search engines love WordPress. This is why WordPress sites tend to rank higher than others in search engines. By default, WordPress is really SEO friendly out of the box. But you can also use WordPress SEO plugins to further optimize your website. Our favorites are All In One SEO or YOAST SEO. Need help with your websites SEO strategy? Don’t hesitate to hit us up!

Do you have a WordPress site you need help with? Contact us.

 

How To Thoroughly Audit Your Web Presence

How To Thoroughly Audit Your Web Presence 900 900 Jesse Alex

Guest Blog By: Kevin Cooper, Founder of Broad Band Search

How do you make decisions relating to branding, marketing, SEO, and content direction? While some may try to get by with their intuition, the most successful websites use data to drive their decision making in most cases.

Yet data just doesn’t come out of anywhere. It would be wise to consider performing an audit of your web presence to now only know where your website is headed but where it could head, and what potential isn’t being used to the fullest. A full audit will give you knowledge as to your position in the market, what strategies are and are not working, and provide new perspectives on how you run your site and how it is viewed by the public.

While there’s no particular order you will want to do these in (you will want to look over the combined data at the need anyhow) and there are additional measures you can take, you will want to at least take the following steps when auditing your web presence:

Perform SEO and Local SEO Analysis

SEO is the bread and butter of a solid web presence, so it’s only natural that checking your SEO metrics (things such as your bounce rate, number of referring domains, and the amount of organic traffic) is vital when performing your audit.

You will almost certainly want to use SEO analysis tools to do this, so you’ll want to make sure that you are looking at the right metrics. This will require some additional research on your part if you aren’t familiar with the terminology, but it will be a skill that is essential for proper site management.

At the same time check your page rankings and how they might have changed (positively or negatively) over time.

If your website or business is focused on a local area, you’ll want to check your local SEO metrics instead and based your decisions off them.

See How Your Marketing Strategies Are Performing

While you are looking at your SEO statistics, try to line them up with your marketing methods (whether you are doing that yourself or outsourcing it) and see what you can do to get a full overview of how those strategies are working. A/B testing might be a good tool in this case, and you should try to be quick with any changes you might make to your strategies.

Audit Your Social Media Metrics

This one, fortunately, isn’t a difficult step at all. You’ll want to check your pages and pull the data on what gets share most, and on what platforms your content seems to be the most successful. You will want to choose your own engagement metrics and goals based on your site’s needs, but social media presence is web presence for some brands, so see where you are trending.

Review Your Overall Brand

Your brand recognition and how your brand is perceived are both important parts of your web presence. You might want to ask yourself the following about your site:

  • What are people saying about the brand in comments sections?
  • Does the web site work to enhance the brand, or is there noticeable dissonance that needs to be addressed?
  • What values does your brand portray, and does your web presence work with that?

You will want to see what your brand looks like from the outside as much as possible, and then take measures to adjust. If you’re very concerned or want to focus on other matters, Brand Fiend’s services might be great for your site

Perform a Content and General Site Audit

You will want to look at your site not just from the point of view as a site administrator and editor but as someone potentially looking at the site for the first time. Is the content interesting to you or would it at least be to your target audience? Can you read everything easily, and is the site visually pleasing to the eye? Is there anything that would annoy you?

While analytics are a fantastic tool, sometimes looking at the site like this is one of the only ways to determine why content is or is not working. You will also want to make sure the landing pages and the general information presented on the site is up to date and accurate.

See that Your Services Are Performing Adequately

As part of your web presence audit, you should check to see what your services are doing for you. See what you are using and what you might need, and consider the following:

  • How do you feel about your web hosting services? Are you getting the technical support you need, or is it holding your site back?
  • Are there marketing tools and services that you still use, or are there alternatives that would work much better for your needs?
  • How about the basic services you need to run your blog? Is your internet connection dropping to the detriment of your blog? Do you think a better office or setup on your end will allow for better web presence administration? Consider everything that could be a factor.

Review the Competition

Your site’s web presence isn’t just about your site, it’s about your site’s place in the great online ecosystem online, especially within the industries or niches your site operates in. Check the following for your competitors when it doesn’t go too far out of the way of your own analysis and searches:

  • How do their page rankings stand up?
  • What social media platforms are they most successful on and what content is performing well?
  • What marketing tactics are your competitors using?

Conclusion

A full web presence audit is quite an undertaking and can take you a few days, but it is a necessary one. With the right steps and tools at your disposal, you will be able to make sure that your website grows at a better rate in the future and avoid many of the problems your competitors might face in the coming years. Just remember to perform one at least every six months (and you might want to perform other checks more frequently).

Have you ever performed an audit for your web presence in the past? Was it a dedicated effort, or part of a larger initiative? Are there any other steps you think should be included? Please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the subject.

Kevin’s Bio: Kevin Conner is the brains behind Broadbandsearch.net. He has been a digital entrepreneur for several years and fully understands the importance of keeping on top of your web presence, both business and personal

How We Helped Layne’s Chicken Fingers Triple Their Social Media Following In a Few Months

How We Helped Layne’s Chicken Fingers Triple Their Social Media Following In a Few Months 900 900 Jesse Alex

Over the past few months we’ve had the pleasure of working with College Station staple, Layne’s Chicken Fingers. During this time, we’ve helped build some amazing brand awareness by providing services like social media management, reputation management, paid social, web development, strategic marketing, and more. So if you’ve seen more of Layne’s recently, that’s all us 😉 But no seriously, if you haven’t tried Layne’s Chicken Fingers, the first thing we recommend you do is to try their Soon To Be Famous™ Chicken Fingers! They have 3 newly opened locations in the DFW (Lewisville, Allen, and Frisco) and the food is great! When you have a great product like Layne’s Chicken, it makes our job much easier! In just our first few months of working on a wide variety of things for Layne’s, one amazing thing we’ve been able to do is rapidly grow their social media following! When we started, their Instagram following sat at 550 and is now over 3,000. Also in that short period of time, we’ve been able to increase their Facebook likes by over 500. “Holy Shit”, you say? We know right, so we decided to break down the ways we’ve been able to help build so much brand awareness, which has increased their overall sales growth as well. See below for our break down on things we’ve been able to do to make this happen!

Cohesive Look + Feel

One thing we noticed in the midst of taking over everything marketing and social media related for Layne’s is that their online presence lacked a cohesive look to it and we immediately knew our approach to things would help enhance that. So we started with a social media audit, then making sure we made their brand colors stand out on each platform, as well as making sure the appropriate logos were used on each one as well. After that, we wanted to make sure people knew what Layne’s was all about, their “Soon To Be Famous” Chicken Fingers!

Check out their Instagram

Food Photography

In order to help build on topic one, we needed to provide Layne’s with some brand new images to help promote their product! This meant new photos of all their menu items as well as inside and outside of the store, to give people a look at what Layne’s is all about. These photos were to help us tell their story in the most high quality way possible, we wouldn’t have it any other way! These photos would also be used on social media, their new website, and various other places, to help build an entire cohesive look.

Influencer Marketing

Since Layne’s was such a new brand in the DFW market, we wanted to come up with creative ways to authentically connect their brand with trusted people in the Dallas community. In order to do so, we created an entire list of Dallas Food Bloggers/Influencers and were able to get some of them in to try our food while taking photos to document their experience. As you may know in today’s world, one of the biggest things you can get is a cosign (shout out to our good friends at Cosign Mag) from someone people like! So we connected Layne’s Chicken with some really dope influencers in Dallas like: Jalisa Vaughn, Summer with Love, The Dallas Yum, Dallas Cowboys rookie Kyle Queiro, and more. With influencer marketing alone, we were able to introduce the Layne’s brand to an audience over 150k in total! We were also able to get some really nice photos to use for social media during this process as well, so it’s a win win!

 

Social Media Management

Before we jumped on board, Layne’s lacked consistency in the amount of times they posted on social media, along with an inconsistent approach. We took immediate control of this by posting 3-4 times per week across their main platforms, as well as taking advantage of things they didn’t see value in prior, like Instagram stories and Snapchat advertising. Our consistent and relentless approach let people know that Layne’s is here to stay and that they should get used to us! These efforts helped build great brand awareness and overall follower growth!

Reputation Management

While posting is one thing, actually interacting with your audience is another! Anyone who has been to Layne’s knows that their brand is sarcastic and funny. You know this from the clocks in their restaurant, store open and close hours, and more. So one thing we wanted to do is respond to all the comments we could, whether good or bad! Not everyone is going to have good things to say about your brand, but this isn’t something you should run from. We used this as an opportunity to educate the Layne’s naysayers, making them aware of our great food, and also having some fun while doing so!

Check out some of our crazy comments here

Paid Social

In the midst of all these other amazing things, we made sure to use our marketing budget to reach people in the area’s surrounding these three new locations! We did this by allocating a weekly budget to push paid social media marketing campaigns via Facebook and Instagram. With these paid campaigns we focused on targeting areas surrounding all DFW locations for Layne’s Chicken, to help build awareness. In just a few months, our paid social media marketing efforts have reached over 1 million impressions and engagement numbers that are through the roof!

Check out one of our post that had amazing engagement

Public Relations

We wanted to also build credibility for the Layne’s brand by getting them placement on credible sources. We sent out press releases on their behalf, making media companies aware of their new opening in Frisco, as well as getting their overall story out. These efforts helped us get placements on the likes of D Magazine, Cosign Magazine, and some other amazing food bloggers in the Dallas area!

Video Content

In collaboration with our good friends over at Cosign Mag/Cosign Media, we helped curate some dope video content to help show the Layne’s experience.

Community Engagement

Not only did we help build awareness via social media, but we took our efforts above and beyond as well! We were able to set up community events in which Layne’s Chicken was able to provide food and the Layne’s Experience. From high school football games, football practices, middle school events, and more. These efforts helped Layne’s actually get out and touch people in their communities, which still goes a long way in the social media age. During these community events Layne’s was able to provide food, pass out coupons, as well as push people to post about their experience on social, which helped grow their following as well!

Marketing Materials

While setting up these events listed above and hearing about the events Layne’s had done prior, we realized they had no marketing materials to help themselves stand out at events. We see every event and encounter with your brand as a way to tell your story. With that being said, we designed and printed various event marketing materials to help enhance the experience at these events. This included things like custom table covers, custom event coupons and materials to pass out to attendees, and more.

Overview

Building a your social media following and brand awareness is no easy task, it takes time. But with a little hard work, dedication, and the right team, it can definitely happen! If you struggle finding the right ways to promote your brand and grow your following on social media, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We’d love to hear more about your brand and how we can help you achieve amazing success. Contact us!

 

 

 

 

The Benefits of Outsourcing Social Media Management

The Benefits of Outsourcing Social Media Management 900 900 Brand Fiend

When speaking of social media management, what all does that include?

Social media management includes creating content, scheduling posts, and the overall upkeep of various platforms. It includes the tracking and analyzing of interactions with customers and performance of various campaigns. With social media management you can get a more in depth idea of your audience through those specific social media platforms. This will help with creating more effective marketing campaigns. 

Now, you may be thinking “Hey, I use Facebook daily, managing my business accounts shouldn’t be too much different.”. Although the similarities are clear, there is much more that meets the eye. Managing social media can be a lot to handle for companies who don’t  have a specific team in place. Hiring a secondary company who is well equipped with covering social media management is very beneficial. It will give you a strong social media presence and help keep your business ahead of the competition.

So Much to Do, So Little Time

Managing social media is extremely time consuming. From creating content, to analyzing data, and just simply engaging with your audience, there is a lot of time that has to be dedicated here. There are many companies that aren’t aware of the magnitude of time that goes into managing their social media. This underestimation may cause them to become overwhelmed or simply neglectful. Outsourcing this task to a third party will give you the opportunity to focus on the tasks that cater to your employees strengths, and other important factors such as finances or customer service.

The Art of Penny Pinching

Hiring a single individual as a social media specialist or marketing manager can be an added expense that won’t amount to the alternative of having a team of people who can produce more. When you go with a secondary company, they can provide a team who will cater to specific entities within the social media marketing umbrella. You can get a web designer, graphic designer, social media specialist, brand specialist, and the list goes on. These individuals will possess specific skills that you may not be able to find in just one individual. 

Knowledge and Resources

Companies who specialize in social media management have the knowledge and resources necessary to optimize success and generate more business. They have already researched and are familiar with the trends, now they just need to tailor it to fit your brand. Don’t underestimate the creative process. Creating a mix of sales-based and fun, engaging content that offers value to your audience takes a special eye. Companies who specialize in social media management have systems already in place to utilize platforms simultaneously making for a more well-rounded and effective campaign.

Can you see how beneficial it would be to outsource your social media management? Here at Brand Fiend, we have a group of talented and passionate employees. Let us lend our expertise to you and your brand. Click here so we can talk about it!

 

Hiring a Graphic Designer Versus A Branding Agency

Hiring a Graphic Designer Versus A Branding Agency 900 900 Jesse Alex

WHAT IS BRANDING?

The term “Branding”  is very broad & a lot of times its hard to fit what all we can do into one sentence. Sometimes one paragraph isn’t even enough. Initially, a lot of start ups look at us as Graphic Designers because the things they believe they need fit into what a Graphic Designer does. While there isn’t anything wrong with what they can provide, it only scraps the surface of what we can do as an Agency. First things first, bringing brand strategy into graphic design is no easy task, but it’s one every business needs to achieve if they want to brand themselves the right way and establish a solid foundation.

Graphic design is just one element of branding. How your brand is perceived by the world has a direct impact on your success. Your brand should be communicated clearly at every touch point in order to create consistency and to establish who you are in your particular marketplace. Perhaps it’s just easy to confuse graphic design with branding but here’s an easy way to look at it. Your brand is how people see your entire company, i.e. brand image. It encompasses your brand identity, logo, web design, brand message, social media, fonts, values, color palettes, and more.

KNOW THE DIFFERENCE

While a Graphic Designer can provide you with the initial things, more than likely they won’t assist in helping establish your brand’s entire foundation, i.e. your message, taglines, strategy, website, and more. That’s where we come in. We work extremely hard to provide a cohesive experience for your entire brand. Not only can we knock out your logo and visual design needs, but we also help establish your brands message, website, social media, taglines, values, email campaigns, and other things to help bring your brand together. All things that are essential in establishing a solid foundation for your startup.

HOW WE CAN HELP

Ideally, you want one person/agency to accomplish all of these things for you in one place. Simply because you want your brand to provide a well put together look on all platforms once presented to the world. Getting these things in different places doesn’t ensure that will always happen and most times, you’ll end up spending more money having to revamp once you realize your brand isn’t quite a “brand” just yet. So as an agency, we’re here to help with all these things and are passionate about helping startups effectively get it right the first time, so there’s no need revamp over and over again.

Need help establishing a foundation for your brand? or need help revamping a brand that you’ve been struggling with? We’d love to hear about it along with what you’re passionate about. Reach out to us by clicking here.

5 Things We’re Thankful For as a Branding Agency

5 Things We’re Thankful For as a Branding Agency 3000 3000 Jesse Alex

So it’s Thanksgiving. It seems as if this year just flew by (they all do). So in the spirit of gratitude I wanted to highlight 5 things we’re thankful for as a branding agency. Keep in mind, there are many things we’re grateful for outside of this list, but here are a few:

1. THE INTERNET

I know this may seem so simple. But there’s nothing that gets you over a creative block like searching the internet for some new inspiration. Whether it be some design inspiration, a funny video that sparks some laughs, or a motivational speech that reminds you how amazing you are and to keep pushing.

2. COLLABORATIVE CLIENTS

There are plenty of ways to be a great partner to your clients. During our brief (almost) 2 years we’ve found that collaboration and mutual respect between the agency and the client go along way and makes for a great foundation. We’d love for this to be a Jordan and Pippen kind of partnership, nothing but success!

3. RECEIVING A GREAT RESPONSE ON A FIRST DRAFT

There’s nothing like getting that “Wow, this is so amazing” email after your first project review.

4. TEAMWORK

You’ve always heard the good ole saying, teamwork makes the dream work! Well this is yet true again when it comes to branding as it is with many other things. Having an amazing team that’s willing to sacrifice for the greater good is always helpful. No one person can do it all by themselves. It took me time to learn that and I understand that there’s nothing like having a great team to make things happen.

5. RETURNING CLIENTS

There’s nothing like a client who understands the nature of your solutions and believes in the work you do. Many clients reach out to us for the initial logo and web design process which is great! What’s greater is when those same clients realize we can help them with their social media strategy, email marketing, printed materials, and more.

What are you thankful for? 🙂