5 Top Tips for Planning Your 2023 Marketing Strategy

5 Top Tips for Planning Your 2023 Marketing Strategy

Thinking about how to plan your 2023 marketing strategy? The good news is thinking about your marketing now will set you up for success in the coming year, but we know it can be time-consuming and overwhelming for many small businesses. Today, we’re going to share some of our top tips and best practices so you can go into 2023 feeling confident about your marketing plan.

How to Plan Your 2023 Marketing Strategy
1. Plan in advance

We know, that’s what you’re trying to do now, but we mean you need to be specific.It’s all too common to create an overarching plan in the early months of the year, only to never look at it again or just use it as a vague guide.

Make sure you get specific about your plans. If you’re going to run a huge BlackFriday sale, start putting concrete plans in place 1-6 months beforehand. Even small sales should be planned a month ahead so you’ve got time to create assets, streamline processes, and get your audience excited about it.

2. Have a clear brand

Your marketing has to stand on the foundation of your brand, and we’re not just talking about the colors of your logo here. Your fonts, colors, tone of voice, and more need to be aligned and consistent in all your marketing efforts. (Learn more about what branding you need here.)

If your branding isn’t cohesive, prospective customers will get the impression that you don’t know what you’re doing, or you may even end up turning off your ideal customer. Review your branding now and consider if you need to do a brand overhaul before 2023 starts in earnest. (If you need help defining your branding, we can help.)

3. Set SMART goals

Set goals for your marketing and make them SMART-that’s Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. When you’re setting goals for the year ahead, for the quarter, or for a single campaign, make sure your goals meet these criteria. For example, instead of “increase sales”, your goal should look more like,“increase sales by 10% in Q1 and Q2 of 2023.

4. Set a budget

Do you set a clear budget for marketing campaigns and advertising? It’s all too easy for small businesses to tweak their budget up or down depending on how the business’s finances are doing, but to determine if a marketing campaign is really working, you need to be consistent. Stick to your budget unless you have a really good reason not to (such as you realize you set the budget too low or an ad is working well and you want to try scaling it up).

5. Delegate

Whether you’re the only team member or you’ve got a team of 100, there’s no reason any one person should be doing all the work. If you’re doing all the marketing, make sure you’re not becoming overwhelmed and starting to drop some of the balls you’re juggling. Outsourcing is a great way to get small jobs done without the expense of a full-time hire.

January is a great time to reassess where you are so you can move forward with confidence. Whether your brand needs some work, your website needs an overhaul, or you need some support with your marketing, Pixel Parfait is here to help. To find out more or to contact us for a free consultation, click here.

What We’re Thankful For: 5 Things We Value in Our Marketing Partners

What We’re Thankful For: 5 Things We Value in Our Marketing Partners

It’s that time of year when we reflect on all the things we’re thankful for and this year(like every year!) we’re incredibly thankful for our marketing partners. We’re fortunate to have cultivated a group of marketing partners that are great to work with and value the same best practices and ethics we do. So, what are the things we value most? Let’s gush a little more.

5 Things We Value in Our Marketing Partners

1) Staying on Top of Their Industry & Technology

We love businesses that don’t accept “good enough,” but instead strive to stay at the forefront of their industry and aren’t afraid to experiment with new ideas to lead the pack. They don’t let the necessities slip; they keep their website and social media profiles up-to-date and are running their own race, not simply trying to keep up with their competition.

2) They Value Social Media Management

We adore businesses that understand the value of social media management and the power consistency and connection on social media platforms can have for their businesses. Our marketing partners understand that social media management isn’t just about freeing up their time but putting their social media presence in the hands of experts. (Find out more about how social media management can add value to your business here.)

3) They Value Their Website

Our marketing partners understand that their website isn’t just an online placeholder or business card; they understand that their website is their online home and can be a powerful tool for capturing new leads and connecting with clients. They keep their website up-to-date and ensure it always accurately represents their company so clients feel confident when they work with them.

(If you haven’t recently reviewed your website, make sure you’re not making any of these 5 scary mistakes!)

4) They Value Good Branding

We value businesses that understand the power of good branding and in using their branding across all channels. They have a defined color palette and 3 or so chosen fonts and they use them everywhere. They understand that being instantly recognizable to customers breeds trust and so they won’t settle for an off-brand image, color, or font on any medium. They review their branding regularly to check that it’s still aligned with their goals and the customers they want to serve.

(What branding do you really need? Find out here.)

5) They Share Our Values

Our marketing partners share our values and ethics, which makes us the perfect match for working with one another. They understand that without integrity, they won’t develop a long-standing and faithful customer base, and without honesty, there will always be a level of disconnect between them and their clients.They value humility and don’t blow their own horn without numerous successes that show why they’re one of the top businesses in their industry. Our marketing partners are people-first businesses, valuing their employees, partners, and customers, and truly care about their well-being.

(Want to learn more about us? Click here.)

Our marketing partners make it a pleasure to get up every day and come to work for these reasons and for that, we’d like to say thank you! We truly value you and we look forward to continuing to work with you in the future. If you are not yet one of our marketing partners and are worried you don’t yet meet these values, don’t be! That’s exactly what we’re here for. You can find out more about us and schedule a free consultation here.

5 Scary Mistakes You May Be Making On Your Website + How to Avoid Them!

5 Scary Mistakes You May Be Making On Your Website + How to Avoid Them!

In an era in which everyone heads to Google before making any decision, your website is absolutely critical to the success of your business. Your website is often the first touchpoint for a potential customer and those first few seconds they spend on your website will dictate whether they stick around or hit the back button and move on.

In other words, having a well-designed and well-maintained website is not just something that’s good to have, it’s something you need. A website serves to establish your unique selling point, your brand voice, and the value you have to offer your customer, regardless of the type of work you do.

If you’re wondering if your website is doing everything it should be, you’re in the right place. Read on as we look at five avoidable mistakes you might be making.

5 Common (Yet Preventable!) Web Design Errors

  1. Not conveying your value above the fold: The first sight a visitor sees when they load up your website is incredibly important, and it’s your first opportunity to tell them that they’re exactly where they need to be. Your website should tell them exactly what they can expect from you the moment it loads, they shouldn’t have to scroll down or click through to another page. Give them a short, snappy statement about what you can do for them with attractive, on-brand graphics.
  2. Not having a clear CTA: Do visitors know what action you want them to take when they land on your site? You should make it extremely easy for visitors to get in touch, and have one clear action you want them to take. Do you want them to buy, schedule a call, or sign up? Make it clear and put a button in your header so they can do it as soon as they decide they’re ready to contact or buy from you.
  3. Not branding fonts: As a business owner, you have a lot on your mind, and typeface might not seem like it should be at the top of your list. But lots of different fonts will make you look unorganized and undecided, and visitors are far less likely to stick around if your site features too much information crammed into one page because they need information that’s easy to scan. Make sure all text is legible (not too small!) and stick to a maximum of three fonts.
  1. Too many popups (especially too early): When it comes to website browsing, very few things are as irritating as being bombarded with invitations to join a mailing list, accept cookies, receive a discount on your first order, and answer a few marketing questions. One pop-up is enough when someone loads onto your site – ideally, you should have a delay on any popups so they only show up after a visitor has shown interest in your site, such as being there for 10 seconds or more.
  1. Not making your website mobile-friendly: With more people using their phones as their primary devices than ever before, your site must be accessible on mobile. Google favors businesses with mobile-friendly websites on search engine results pages which ranks them better than websites that aren’t mobile-responsive. In other words, a mobile-friendly website will provide visitors with a better experience and help you show up higher in the search results!

 

Of course, there are plenty of other mistakes people make in terms of web design, and if you’re still unsure how to manage your company’s website, we’re here to help. We can help you with your branding (yes, you need it! Find out why here), website design, copywriting, and everything else that goes into making your online presence one that attracts your ideal customer. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation with our talented design team, click here.

Make an Impact on Your Social Media Audience: Achieve Your Marketing Goals

Make an Impact on Your Social Media Audience: Achieve Your Marketing Goals

Before you started your business, did you have an accurate idea of how much work it would be? Most small business owners knew it would be hard work, but didn’t realize quite how many hats they’d need to wear! From the salesperson to bookkeeper to social media manager, you’ve done it all.

Fortunately, you don’t have to do it all alone, and one of the best tasks to stop managing yourself is your social media. Social media management allows you to offload the time-consuming yet essential task of managing your social media accounts so you can focus on what you do best.

Our social media management services have been helping businesses like yours engage with their audience and reach new customers for years, but now we’ve made things even easier with our Pixel Portal.

What is the Pixel Portal?

Pixel Portal allows you to work with us for your social media management needs in a way that’s easier than ever before. Pixel Portal provides a platform where you can work with the Pixel Parfait team to take social media off your to-do list and start making more of an impact on your audience.

The Pixel Portal gives you full access to easy automatic scheduling, analytics reports, one-click approvals, and more, depending on your chosen package.

Pixel Portal Packages

We offer three levels of social media management packages through the Pixel Portal; Self-Serve, Mini, and Pixel Perfect.

Self-Serve

Our Self-Serve package is best for those who still want to be in control. This package would be perfect for the small-medium size business that has a social media manager in-house.  Whether that Social media manager is yourself or someone on your team, this package provides a better way to manage multiple accounts without the need to log in and out over-and over to get your posts out each day. Plus, with our strategy call add-ons our team of experts will help you develop and manage a goal driven social media strategy that works for you and your business. This package facilitates your ability to organize your posts, schedule and post to your feeds, and see your metrics all within the Portal.

The Self-Serve package includes:

  • Unlimited access to Pixel Portal for up to 3 users
  • Full analytics reports through the Portal
  • Content library for posts
  • Automatic scheduling for 3 business accounts (add additional accounts for just $5 per month)
  • Online support team as needed
  • (Optional Add On) Strategy Calls – Our Social Media Pros would love to help you stay on track to success with a virtual strategy call.  These calls can be added anytime and will be packed with tips, tricks and professional counseling to help you or your team manage your social platforms with strategy and purpose.

Mini

Our Mini package is best for those looking to have social media taken off their to-do list but still want the control of being a part of the planning process and enjoys being able to approve all posts with an easy 1 click process. The Mini package takes all the guesswork out of creating content, so all you need to do is work with the Pixel Parfait team to supply product/business-specific photos, approve our posts, and check your metrics to see your increased engagement. The Mini package includes the Self-Serve benefits, plus:

  • 3 feed posts per week (12 per month)
  • Copywriting and basic hashtags for each post
  • 1 round of edits
  • 1-click approvals through the Portal
  • Automatic scheduling for 3 business accounts
  • Monthly email planning with us, your social media unicorns!
  • (Optional Add On) Photography – need help with getting good quality photos of your product, business, or team members?  Clients local to the Prescott, AZ area can take advantage of this add-on for a photography session where we will capture content for up to 6 months in just 1 day!

Pixel Perfect

Our Pixel Perfect package provides the ultimate level of support and management services.  This package is best for those who are serious about their social media presence and want to allow our team to drive the process of developing custom creative content for their business. You get all the benefits of the Self Serve & Mini package with even more content creation and support from our team.

The Pixel Perfect package includes:

  • 5 feed posts a week designed and posted (20 per month)
  • 3 story posts per week – includes 1 video or reel per week (12 per month)
  • 4 IG reels per month, also shared to your IG story
  • Up to 2 extra special posts a month (for holidays and events)
  • Copywriting and full hashtag strategy for each post
  • 1-click approvals
  • Posted to all eligible business social media accounts
  • Unlimited Portal access for full social media management and reporting
  • Dedicated online support team
  • Optional monthly strategy calls with your Pixel Parfait Team of experts
  • Monthly emails for planning and executing your custom marketing plan

Ready to see the Pixel Portal for yourself? Contact us today to schedule your free walkthrough to set your social media accounts on the path to success.

What Branding Do I Need? Why You Need a Full Brand Guide

What Branding Do I Need? Why You Need a Full Brand Guide

Most people start thinking of branding as a logo and color palette, but just a little research will reveal that it’s much more than that. There are dozens of elements you may need while doing business, and while you can start a business with just a few brand elements, you need a full brand guide if you want to grow.

Why do I need a full brand guide?

You set your brand standards for anyone working with you

A full brand guide (also sometimes called a brand book or style guide) is an essential tool for your business, as it allows anyone working for or with your business to perfectly capture your brand, without any additional support and guidance from you. All you need to do is send them your brand guide and assets (such as logos), if necessary, and they’ll be able to produce on-brand content for your business.

It saves time and money

Any time you work with a professional, you’ve got to spend time communicating with them and, of course, pay for their time. If you don’t have a full brand guide, you’ll have to do a lot more back and forth to get what they’re producing for you right, and you’ll have to pay for the additional time it takes them to change things according to your feedback.

All your content will be cohesive

A business with no branding will have no cohesive look to the content they produce, but even if you have a handful of branding elements to use, you’ll leave all other elements to interpretation. For example, if you have a logo and colors, but little else, your team may use different fonts, a different voice and tone, and different shapes and patterns to produce your content. Customers respond best when they can instantly recognize anything from your brand, and that’s not possible if all your content looks like it may be from different companies.

What should a full brand style guide contain?

This can differ somewhat depending on your company’s needs (for example, one company may need 5 different versions of their logo, while yours only needs 3), most full brand guides contain:

  • Logos and submarks
  • Color palette
  • Fonts for headings, subheadings, body text, and any other applications – some will include a web-safe alternative
  • Brand identity, values, and voice
  • Any styling elements and guidelines (such as straight lines vs. curves, certain design assets as accents, style of buttons on site and landing pages, and so on)

Some brand guides also include things that team members should avoid, but making sure you’ve clearly defined what people should do is key.

There are so many elements that go into a full brand guide that it can be overwhelming – especially if you’re not a designer. Graphic designers can create unique assets for your business and have the expertise and eye to know what works and what doesn’t, which can be a big struggle if your expertise lies elsewhere.

If you need help creating your business’s branding, we’re here to help. Our branding services will support you as you establish your brand and as it continues to grow. To find out more about our graphic design and branding services, click here