It feels like just yesterday I was summing up my first twenty days in Lisbon but here I am again, almost twenty days into my second month of Remote Year. This month I’m coming to you from Belgrade, Serbia, which has proven to be a friendly and vibrant city, full of culture, history and lots and lots of meat.
Our partners invest a great deal of time and assets into giving us the tools to create engaging social media content to be distributed across their social platforms. From breaking down their Top 9 to perfectly styling each photo, we take so much pride in producing a visually appealing social strategy to capture the attention of our partner’s target audience.
A challenge that we have run into, however, is that a business owner will invest in their social media strategy, but not match that investment for their website, which is where the real magic happens ($$). It’s so important to reinforce your social media channels with a user-friendly, well-designed website that is consistent with the branding throughout your social channels. If your social media strategy goal is to drive followers to your website, then it’s only logical that you’ll want to lead them to a pot of web design gold that will continue to captivate them.
A beautiful website does not need to be complicated. There are four main areas that you’ll want to focus on when designing the perfect web experience: visual hierarchy, typography, branding/colors, and of course, user experience (also known as UX).
Visual hierarchy is what signals your website visitors where their eyes should travel across the screen. As the scan the page their attention will naturally gravitate to specific points on the page depending on how your website is composed. Patterns, font size, colors, and layouts all play a role in the visual hierarchy of a page, but the main takeaway is to make sure that you’re considering how each element on the page interacts with the big picture.
Typography selection is another key player in web design. Most professionals have certain fonts that make them cringe because they are commonly used on poorly designed websites (looking at you Comic Sans). Selecting typography is an important decision in how you portray your message and brand personality. The goal is to choose a font that is easy to read, but also unique enough to evoke the overall feeling that your website is trying to achieve.
The branding and color scheme of your website should flow smoothly from your social media channel. When you begin the branding process for your business, the color scheme and voice is something that you will want to define in the early stages of development in order to make sure you are being consistent throughout all your marketing materials. Your website is the perfect platform to really dive into branding and set the stage for who you are as a business. Be consistent with colors, logos and messaging.
Above all, it’s important to make sure that your website is easy to use. If you’ve ever visited a poorly designed website, you definitely know how frustrating it can be when you can’t find what you’re looking for. Every step of your website design should have the user’s ease of experience in mind. Some excellent examples of successful UX design include RX Bar, Starbucks, and SPANX.
If you think of your social media platforms as the storefront windows designed to draw your customers into your store, then your website is the equivalent of the experience they have once they walk through the door. You want to make sure it’s consistent, visually appealing, and easy to navigate. For more information on website design, you can consult with professionals at companies such as Nicely Built or Sideways8.
Story By: Sophie Duncan
Over time, Instagram has become an increasingly important platform for the food and beverage industry. Think about it, food is constantly being shared via Instagram. At least once a day you will see food appear on your feed or in your stories. Not only that, but when searching for a place to eat, Instagram has become an important way to find the best place to go. People will look at photos on a restaurants social media channel to learn more about the food and atmosphere. With all of that being said, Instagram is an important tool that should be leveraged by the food and beverage industry. Social platforms allow a business to share daily specials, events, and interact with their followers. For the food and beverage industry, this is becoming a key way to market to their target audience and bring in customers. Below we have listed best practices for Instagram when it comes to the food and beverage industry:
Story by: Hannah Lagod
I’ve been told that being a creative isn’t a job or a personality trait, but a way you live your life. I believe that’s true for any creative field whether it’s art, dance, photography – anything. At Imagine Media, we have our own in-house creative team and they produce all our partners’ creative content. We have a photographer, videographer, graphics editor, photo stylist and creative manager. Being a social media marketing company, Imagine works with dozens of clients with all kinds of different target audiences and unique brand personalities. Here are some helpful tips and tricks we use when approaching a creative process for specific brands.
1. Research. Research. Research.
One of the most important aspects of any creative field is to do your research. Whether you’re still learning your craft, learning a new technique, or working specifically with a brand, you want to know more about what you’re trying to produce and the best way to do that. Learning about a brand’s voice is a great place to start your research.
2. Make a mood board
Making a mood board is a great way to get an overall image and aesthetic for the project you’re working on. When you look around for inspiration and pull words or images that you like or inspire you, you get a better overall idea of what you’re going for and how you want your final product to look.
3. Fail fast
As Seth Godin says in his book, “fail fast.” Get an opinion, and then get more opinions. Look for criticism and try everything. Everyone fails, especially creatives. Moving as fast as you can and getting through your failures will help you learn faster, and the better your content will become.
4. Give them something to kill
Some of the best creative advice I’ve received about presenting your ideas is give them a concept to shoot down. When communicating with people who are focused on building their brand and not specifically in creative work, they are likely to turn down a lot of ideas in hopes of building the brand in their vision. Sometimes presenting what a brand doesn’t want can help clarify what they do want. When presenting content to them, bring your best ideas forward, but also throw in a few for them to turn down, because they inevitably will.
5. Trust your content
The second-best piece of creative advice I’ve received is to trust your content. A brand hired you for a reason – they like your work! Walk into every creative situation with confidence. The brand knows that you produce great work, and you should believe it too!
Story by: Amanda Carneglia
At this point, I’m over halfway through my time at Imagine Media and as sad as I am to be close to wrapping up, I’ve been thrilled with my experience. From the time period between being hired and officially starting and getting into my tasks, working at Imagine has been everything I could have asked for and more. I wish everyone could be an ambassador here because of the truly fulfilling experience I’ve had.
Meet Paula Hyman Showroom, your go-to wholesaler for young, contemporary apparel! We’re so excited to welcome our newest partner, Paula Hyman Showroom, to the Imagine Media Family.
Located in the heart of Atlanta at the Mart, Paula Hyman Showroom got its start in August of 1989 and has grown to wholesale many top brands such as Free People, Spanx, and Miss Me. Their brand can be described as contemporary, fresh, timeless, and personable, as their mission is to ensure the highest level of customer service and quality products to their buyers.
Imagine Media cannot wait to work alongside the team at Paula Hyman Showroom! Please join us in welcoming them to the Imagine Media Family. In the meantime, keep up with Paula Hyman Showroom on Instagram and Facebook!
Story By: Krista Smith