Launch of our brand new Rock Paper Simple website!! [video]

A couple of weeks ago we quietly launched our brand new website with the plans of doing our big announcement at our March Hangout!! The whole team is excited to make our big announcement! When you’re a digital marketing agency, it can be hard to find time to launch your own work… but we managed to find the time and here it is!

We have invested countless hours into it… so to celebrate it’s launch, we invited a whole bunch of our colleagues, friends and clients to join us to paaarty! Check out our launch video below and click around to explore this brand new website!

Brevard Family Partnership Lip Sync Battle 2017

We’ve put together a Rock Paper Simple team (and friends!) for Brevard Family Partnership’s Lip Sync Battle and will be performing Bon Jovi’s Living on a Prayer… as Bon Jovi! We are going all-out, buying (and making) costumes and props, meeting after work to practice, playing the song on endless loop (Joe is going to lose his mind, I’m sure of it!)… now we need YOUR HELP!

This is a fundraiser for Brevard Family Partnership, an amazing organization that believes that “All children deserve to live in safe, nurturing homes where they can feel valued and loved.”.

So how can you help? We need you to buy a seat or two or ten… come support us, and in so doing give back to our incredible community by supporting BFP and the families they serve. You can even have your company sponsor the event! The event in October 21st at 7pm.

We seriously can’t do this without you. It’s more than a fun evening where you get to see Dale DupreeScott EllerJoe SmithBrian Hawkins and myself rock out in 80’s garb… it’s coming together as a community and making a difference. So come on… “take my hand, we’ll make it I swear!!!” Let’s DO THIS!

How you can help:

Brevard Family Partnerships: Working in concert with over 70 community partners and providers, Brevard Family Partnership manages and has oversight of child abuse prevention programs, foster care, child adoptions, independent living services for youth aging out of foster care, and family services for residents of Brevard County, FL. It is their mission to protect children, strengthen families and change lives through the prevention of child abuse and the operation and management of a comprehensive, integrated, community-based system of care for abused, abandoned and neglected children and their families. Learn more at www.brevardfp.org.

What does it mean to build a Marketing-Focused website?

When it comes to this question, you should really be asking yourself why you have a website in the first place. Why is this website important? For most of you, your ultimate goal is sales. Some websites may have other goals such as generating leads or subscribers, but eventually we all want those leads to convert into sales.

A Marketing-Focused website should be able to help you accomplish those goals. Take a look at The 7 Steps and you will find the “SIMPLE” approach to ensuring our clients’ have a Marketing-Focused website. Once you have decided what your goal for this website is, you should start thinking about what you are offering your customers and why they need it. It is important to know why your potential customer needs your product/service because this is what will make them convert.

Once you have your website goal, offer, and benefit down, it’s time to start thinking about who your target audience is. When you aim for everyone, you’ll get next to no one. It is important to focus your marketing efforts on a niche group of people who are most likely to purchase your product/service. Once you have this niche group in mind, create content for your website that speaks to this group.

Make sure your website looks great, is user-friendly, and is easy to navigate, so that your audience has no problem making a purchase, subscribing to your blog, or contacting you. Now when your audience gets to your website and sees how AWESOME it is, you have to give them a way to convert. After all, this is what you want, right?

When you have a Marketing-Focused website that helps you reach your goals, it’s important to implement analytics to track all of your efforts. You will want to make sure you’re tracking who is coming to your website, how they found your website, how many times they visited your website, and if they didn’t convert… why not? Did they have trouble finding information on your website? Was there a problem in the shopping cart? Were you asking for too much information? These are all potential reasons why a visitor to your site did not convert. Find out why and fix the problem.

This last part may seem like the hardest part (Ugh… Analytics!), but the team here at Rock Paper Simple has your back and can help you with this entire process.

Having a Marketing-Focused website means you have a website that has a purpose. You want a website your visitors enjoy using. You want a website that shows visitors what your brand is. You want a website that converts those visitors into long-term fans AKA customers. The more your site’s visitors enjoy using your website, the more likely they are to return to your site and recommend your site to a friend. This means… More Sales!

Is your website serving its purpose? If not, the RPS team loves everything marketing, so if you have any questions we’d love to hear from you. Schedule a free consultation or give us a call!

What it’s like working with Rock Paper Simple [Video]

Hey there! So what’s it like working with working with Rock Paper Simple? Scott and Stephanie put together this great video where they share just that! (see it below!)

As Scott will tell you, it all starts with a Discovery Session… this is where we get to know more about your business, what sets you apart and what your goals are. It’s so important for us to understand what stage your business is in, what really separates you from everyone else and makes you awesome at what you do, what those goals and objectives are for you and even how big or small your want to go with your marketing, website or branding. You learn more about our team and capabilities as well and our office has lots of great snacks (and coffee… lots of and lots of coffee!). While the planning session is typically with Scott, our Business Development Manager, he will call in other members of our team as needed to help answer all of your questions!

Once we know more about you, we can help craft the best solution for you to help accomplish those goals we talked about!

Once we know what we are doing for you and an agreement has been made (make sure you tell Scott you want to share in the ceremonial Rum celebration drink!), Stephanie, our Director of Operations, takes over to manage your project and you typically get a questionnaire to fill out from her that will give us all the information we need for our next meeting, which is called the Planning Session. Why a Planning Session? Because your business and goals is unique and we want to make sure we have a REALLY good plan in place to accomplish those goals.

This Planning Session is all about going over the questionnaire, reviewing your goals, your likes, dislikes, needs and really diving deeper into the details of planning of your project. You will meet some of the team members that will be working on your project depending on what your project entails. Here we discuss colors, design style, pages for your website, specific marketing messaging and strategies, brand messaging and so much more depending on your projects. (We do send you home with some homework to send us… so good communication is key!).

Once all of that is done, we move into the design, development and/or implementation stages and get to work… but every project is different from here. Some, like Logo Design projects, are entirely design/concept/revision, while a website project will go from design mockup to copywriting to revisions to development to revisions and finally to launch… and a marketing project is an ongoing campaign!

What’s the final deliverable look like? Well, if it’s a website, along with launching it so the world can see your awesome new website, you will get training on how to use it to it’s full potential. If it’s a logo or branding project, you will receive your brand materials and files as well as learn when and how to use them. For a marketing project, you get monthly reporting and lead tracking to ensure your goals are being met and results are showing ROI. And for any creative collateral projects, you will have the final product ready for pickup here at our office or delivered right to your office (how cool is that!?)! And remember… you retain ownership of whatever we create for you!

Give the video a watch to learn a bit more about what it’s like working with Rock Paper Simple!

How to Add a Facebook Cover Video

Having a great profile image and cover banner have been the two ways businesses and marketers have spiced up their Facebook pages, creating their own unique brand image and engaging users. Facebook has provided yet another way to use this space that may help drive even more engagement and keep visitors interested. Video grabs our attention far more than images do, so now that we have the option to add a Facebook cover video, it’s time to learn how to add yours!

This new feature gives your Facebook page more dimensions and grabs the attention of those browsing your page. It looks awesome too!

 

How to Upload a Cover video

It’s very easy to upload your video. Simply navigate to your Facebook page, making sure you are an admin, and hover over the cover image. You will see the “Change Cover” button with a camera icon. Click the button!

You will then see various options for your cover banner. Select either “Choose From Videos” if you have already uploaded your video or “Upload Photo/Video” if you still need to upload it.

Keep in mind that your video will need to be a minimum of 820 x 312 pixels (although they recommend 820 x 462 for best fit) and be between 20 and 90 seconds long. It will play without sound unless the user prompts otherwise, so be sure your video communicates well even without sound. These are some pretty specific requirements, so you will need to do some video editing to make the video just right.

 

Interview with Mendx about Facebook Cover Banners

I got together with my friend and colleague, Justin Snyder, to do a quick video about the new Facebook Cover Video. Take a look as Justin gives some insights into this new feature.

321 Millennials Interview on Space Coast Daily

I had the chance to interview the board of 321 Millennials yesterday (well, all but one board member!) on the Space Coast Daily TV Business Spotlight where I have the honor to interview and engage with businesses, organizations and leaders from across Brevard County. We gathered at Intracoastal Brewery and spent about 8 minutes learning more about 321 Millennials and how they impact the community.

321 Millennials is a group of young professionals here in Brevard who decided to create their own organization to impact Brevard’s community and economy. The acknowledge that millennials are the next generation to lead and influence the word and have pledged to stay involved in the community to ensure that next generation is the best it can be. Watch the interview below to learn more!

The Rock Paper Simple Golf Giveaway!

 

Rock Paper Simple is giving away 4 rounds of golf to 4 winners!

Win a golf outing for four at your choice of Mallards Landing or Crane Creek Reserve golf courses! Golf cart is included! You can take three friends out for a round of golf or you can go by yourself four times (we recommend taking friends)!

“Fore!” – We are giving away 4 rounds of golf to 4 winners over the next 4 weeks! Sheesh… that’s alot of 4’s!

Winners will be selected each Friday starting August 25th, 2017 until 4 winners have been awarded. We will announce the winners once they have each claimed their prize!

Head over to our entry page to enter to win!

Four Ways to Improve Your Brand’s Image

Let’s take a look at some of the major brands out there today. These brands serve similar needs, but you’d never mistake Microsoft for Apple, RC Cola for Coca-Cola, or Dunkin Donuts for Starbucks. Why is that? These brands created a positive brand perception through the way they look, what they say and what they do. Not to mention their consistency over the years.

Maybe you’ve developed your company’s brand but there’s no rhyme or reason to it, or maybe it doesn’t seem to match who you really are and what you really do. Creating a brand image combines many factors, but the two we like to focus on here at Rock Paper Simple is your company’s personality and visual presence.

Taking your company’s personality and visual presence into consideration, here are four ways to improve your brand’s image.

1. Corporate Culture

Corporate culture is the foundation of your brand. If your team doesn’t believe in your brand, why should your customer? Often times, we see companies who’ve developed core values they can’t commit to. Not only is it important to develop core values you can commit to but also ones you’re passionate about. Remember, your employees are your most powerful brand advocates and building a brand should start with them.

Here at Rock Paper Simple, we created six core values that define who we are – simplicity, results, integrity, teamwork, community and fun. Each one is defined in one sentence, and each team member is committed to carrying out these core values (or they wouldn’t be on staff!)  If you get the culture right, most of the other stuff – like great customer service and passionate customers – will take care of itself.

(Click here to read our blog post about company culture)

2. Invest In Brand Consistency

Remember those major brands we mentioned at the top of this blog? Well, how do you identify them? By their logo, of course! Your logo is the core visual of your brand and the one-thing customers will associate with your company over and over again.

Brand guidelines have become essential in achieving consistency. If you’re not being consistent, this leaves room for your brand to be misused and misrepresented in the many mediums and platforms that exist today. By establishing your own look across all your marketing and social media channels, your company will stand out amongst the competition. The key is consistency, and like we say here at Rock Paper Simple, “Keep It Simple.”

3. Update Your Website

When it comes to your brand’s presence online, your website should be your highest priority. Now you may be wondering if your website needs to be updated, and if you’re not sure, check out our free Website Checklist resource by clicking here.

If you want your brand to stand out then your website should reflect your brand’s identity. Take it a step further and imagine that same website generating leads and creating conversions. What about eye-catching images, compelling content, a crisp design and fast load times? Sounds too good to be true! But all of that is possible, and users will love engaging with your brand online.

4. Commit More Time to Purposeful Social Media Marketing

Social media gives companies the opportunity to interact with potential customers instantly, yet most small businesses miss the opportunity to engage with prospects because they’re not using social media marketing effectively. Whether you’re trying to manage multiple networks or you don’t even know where to start, consider these three things when creating a strategy:

  • Define Your Target Audience – Who is it that you want to reach? Depending on your target audience, Facebook may be the platform for you instead of Instagram. There’s no need to be on every single social network if your audience isn’t on there.
  • Define Your End Goals on Social Media – What do you want to accomplish through social media? Maybe you desire customer loyalty, or perhaps you’re looking to capture leads? Your content strategy should align with these goals.
  • Identify Your Brand’s Voice and Stay Consistent – Your brand’s voice should align with your core values we mentioned above. If your brand operates with humor, let that shine through on your social media pages; however, we believe in quality content. Just because one of our core values is humor, that doesn’t mean we are going to share a funny meme with our fans every single day.

We will be talking more about staying true to your brand on social media in an upcoming blog, but in the mean time, start thinking about these three things.

One thing we are passionate about here at Rock Paper Simple is branding. If you have any questions or would like to discuss your branding, request your free consultation today.

Call-to-Actions and How to Make Them Effective

We all can name a website or two that doesn’t do much more than take up memory in cyberspace. It doesn’t engage visitors, and it doesn’t generate leads. It’s possible your current website isn’t rocking the web like it should either.

The majority of our clients at Rock Paper Simple need a website that’s designed to impress and drive results. One of the many ways we help our clients generate leads and create conversions is through effective call-to-actions on their website. Some websites don’t use call-to-actions, and if they do, they aren’t effective. All of our websites are designed with results in mind, which means more leads, conversions and sales for you. Would your business benefit from that? We thought so too!

What is a Call-to-Action?

A call-to-action is a line of text, usually placed in an image that prompts visitors to take action. The action you want the visitor to take could be anything – “Click here to schedule your 30-minute consultation now,” “Download our free e-book,” or “Get started today!”

Call-to-actions can also be placed in e-mails, at the end of a blog or a social media post.  Of course in the non-web world, call to actions are also used on just about any type of media advertisement including printed pieces, radio, TV and more.

Five Tips for Effective Call to Actions

Writing a call-to-action that compels your web visitor to action doesn’t have to be this long, overwhelming process. In fact, these five tips will simplify the process and allow your website to kick your business into overdrive.

1. Alignment/Relevancy

Have you ever clicked on a call-to-action only for it to lead to the wrong page? How does that affect business? If you’re depending on your website to bring you leads, a disconnect will have the visitor more likely to leave than become a lead.

The call-to-action must align with the page it lives on and where it redirects. We have a call-to-action at the bottom of our web design page encouraging visitors to schedule their 30-minute consultation. Since this page educates the visitor about our services, this call-to action fits the page by giving them the option to find out more about our web design services, ultimately creating a visitor into a lead. However, if that particular call-to-action lived on “The Simple Team” page, the visitor may feel that we are pushing our services too soon.

2. Clear and Compelling Message

Before a visitor clicks on a call-to-action, they have to be convinced they will get value out of doing so. One way to communicate value is through a clear and compelling message that creates a sense of urgency.

First, every call-to-action created needs to answer what you want the visitor to do and why. No one is going to click on a call-to-action that doesn’t communicate the benefits up front. When writing a call-to-action, plan for results that will not only accomplish your goal but also the visitors.

3. Use Them-Centric Copy

The majority of your website’s copy, including call-to-actions, should be solid, benefit-based content that speaks to your target demographic. It’s likely your customer is visiting your website to learn how a product will benefit them. Vague descriptions, fluffy words and industry jargon are too hard for visitors to understand and should be avoided.

Here at Rock Paper Simple, we practice what we teach. Using them-centric copy is one of our seven steps to building a marketing-focused website. Our webpage has call-to-actions and messaging that speak directly to our clients and their needs.

4. Visibility

Seems kind of obvious, but if your call-to-action isn’t visible, it’s pointless. Whether the call-to-action is placed above the fold or below, we found that as long as it’s near strong, supporting information, conversions will take place. Size and design are also important elements to consider. Visitors won’t notice your call-to-action if it falls flat and blends in with the page. By changing the button’s design to a complementary color (we call this an action color) and an appropriate size, it’s likely the visitor will notice and take action.

5. Keep It Simple

One of our company’s favorite phrases is “Keep It Simple.” Too often, we see businesses over-complicate their websites and marketing strategies to get a lead, when in reality, they end up pushing consumers away. Simplicity is what consumers want. Focus on delivering compelling content that concentrates on the user’s benefit and interests. Keep it simple, and they will engage.

Call-to-actions are one of the many ways Rock Paper Simple helps your website work for you and kick your business into overdrive. Would your business benefit from increased engagement? Click here to schedule your complimentary 30-minute consultation now!

How Company Culture Makes All the Difference

J. Williard Marriott, founder of the Marriot Corporation, once said, “Take good care of your employees and they’ll take good care of your customers, and the customers will come back.” Marriott achieved great success, but he would have never been able to do that without his colleagues and employees.

Marriott understood the importance of building a positive work environment. He took the time to learn about his employees’ workplace needs and found a way to meet them. From uniforms to equipment, nothing was too small to help make his employees’ job better. To take it one step further, Marriott made the effort to communicate with employees – showing interest in both their career and personal life. He truly did care. By practicing these two things, Marriott created a workplace environment and culture that his employees thrived in.

Company culture makes all the difference, and the workplace environment and culture you create sets the stage for how team members are treated and valued.

Now you may be thinking that your team should be grateful to have a job in this economy and not expect anything more than a paycheck. And maybe you’re right, they should be thankful (we all should be thankful for what we do have) but if your culture doesn’t empower your team and emphasize the value they add to your company, chances are they aren’t going to stick around. Or worse, they will stick around, but not have their heart in it.

Marriott worked hard. He was successful. And he found ways to encourage and motivate his employees to do the same, which meant treating them as he would want to be treated.

Here at Rock Paper Simple, we believe we should “empower talented people”. It’s on a plaque on the wall in my office. That is one of the most important jobs I have at Rock Paper Simple. If I’m not empowering my team to do their jobs better, I’m a poor leader and am not pulling my weight here.

At our office, we don’t use the word “employee” because we consider every person on our team a “team member,” a valuable contributor who has his or her own unique talents to bring to the table.

In the early days I would correct my Team Members often, “You guys aren’t employees… stop saying that. You are team members!”. And now I find it funny when I slip up during press interviews or financial conversations and my own team corrects me, “Joshua! It’s Team Members!”. I firmly believe they take great joy in correcting me on this, and truth be told, so do I… because it means that component of our company culture has really taken root.

Our meetings and brainstorming sessions are exciting and full of energy because everyone has something to contribute. We often schedule Rock Paper Simple “Hang Outs” where we take off early and enjoy fellowship with each other along with our clients and colleagues. We have a lot of fun at our office, but we also know how to get down to business and get the job done.

Speaking of our awesome team, meet the ‘Simple’ team here!

 

The company culture and workplace environment at Rock Paper Simple empowers each team member, and as a result, we give our clients only one level of service… awesome service!

I truly believe that what we’ve built is about more than just doing some marketing and making some money, that it’s about people… it’s about the clients, it’s about our team and it’s about the community.

Having a great company culture doesn’t always have to mean the cliché bean-bag chairs and humor-laced company statements, though. Every company is different and yours might take a more serious note than ours… but that’s not what is important. What IS important is that your team grabs hold of the vision, that they feel empowered by the culture in a way that allows them to serve each other, your customers and your community in a big way!

Take care of your people and they will take care of you. I am blessed to have an amazing team and we enjoy a wonderful company culture here at Rock Paper Simple!

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