, , , , ,

Go Behind the Scenes With Us!

We strongly believe in incorporating video content to your overall comprehensive marketing strategy. Whether it’s using Facebook live, producing a YouTube show or a simple “How To”, video can really increase your engagement on social media as well as other marketing channels. The use of video on social media has exploded in 2018. On YouTube alone, over 5 BILLION video views are watched each day!

Videos are a fun, informative, and engaging way to reach your target audience. At DARCI Creative, we offer complete, turnkey video services to our clients and event organizers. We love showcasing our client’s brands using video in creative ways. Today we’re taking you behind the scenes with Dan Modern, DARCI Creative videographer, as he starts and finishes a video shoot for our client, HRCU.

Videos are an extension of your brand, so it’s important to be strategic about it. If you’re looking for video services from the pros, give us a call to talk about our services! We have a full-service team of videographers and editors that will elevate your brand with a fresh, creative approach – from storyboard and coordination to execution and post-production.

 

Daniele Hosser
DARCI Creative
Senior Account Executive

, ,

To Schedule or Not to Schedule

How Hootsuite & Other Content Schedulers Can Help Your Social Media Strategy

Love it or hate it, there’s no avoiding social media these days. Whether you’re a brand, an individual, or like us, an agency who manages social accounts for other businesses – social media needs to be part of your marketing strategy. It’s a fantastic place to showcase your brand and keep a meaningful conversation going with customers (and potential customers) in an engaging way.

Easier said than done. Social media can be overwhelming, whether you manage one account or ten. Algorithms change, content seems to move at the speed of light, and the ‘best practices’ of yesterday may not be the same today.

One solution to lessen the stress? A social media content scheduler. We use Hootsuite, a user-friendly dashboard that lets you manage multiple networks and profiles, schedule content in advance, and even measure your posts’ results.

Before we take a peek at what Hootsuite can do, let’s talk about scheduling content. No matter how many social profiles you manage, we highly recommend creating a content calendar and planning your posts out in advance. When you create a plan like this, you’re inherently encouraged to take a more intentional, strategic approach to the content you share (rather than sit there staring at a blank caption box, scratching your head about what post on a given day). It allows you to mix up your content, from photo and video to blog posts and graphics, offering a variety of means to keep your audience engaged and interested. And of course, it takes the pressure off coming up with a post idea the day you need to share it.

There are a variety of content scheduling tools available – and many of them offer free options in addition to more advanced plans – but Hootsuite takes the prize for us. We love the way this tool allows us to break down all facets of social media: by platform and by client, organized into customizable “streams” for easy viewing.

Here’s what our Hootsuite dashboard looks like on a given day, highlighting our DARCI Creative Instagram streams:

Notice how we organize our dashboard: by posts that we have already made, scheduled posts to go out, and posts from other accounts that we have ‘liked’. We even created relevant streams based on location (Portsmouth, New Hampshire has its own stream for all posts marked in that location), as well as relevant hashtags like #branding.

Now let’s take a closer look at the scheduling feature. Whether you’re looking to post on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook, it’s easy to attach media forms like links and images, set a custom date and time to post, and tag a specific location. Save a draft for later or schedule it immediately to publish at the specified time – how easy is that?

We’ve found Hootsuite’s scheduling tools especially useful for Instagram. And now, all scheduled Instagram posts are automatically posted to Instagram for us (whereas the previous method of Hootsuite sent a “push notification” to our phones for us then to manually publish the post at the scheduled time). It’s easier than ever to plan ahead on social media – and a lot less stressful, too.

We hope you’ve been inspired to revamp your social media strategy, plan out content in advance, and use a scheduling tool like Hootsuite to stay on top of your social media game.

And if you need a hand, let us know how we can help with your social media efforts. We’ll craft and manage a strategic plan that will drive growth for your business and keep your brand top-of-mind in today’s noisy world.

 

Alanna Hogan
DARCI Creative
Copywriter & Executive Assistant, Social Media Manager

,

Like Mother, Like Daughter

What My Mom Boss Has Taught Me About Life & Biz

“You look like you could be related to Darci!” is a phrase I’ve heard a lot over my years working at DARCI Creative. Every time, I smile and laugh. Surprise! I am her daughter. And, proud of it.

Then usually comes, “That’s amazing! I could never work with my mother.”“How is it working together?”… Working together is wonderful and is something I am so grateful for. Not only is she the woman that raised me, but she is also my best friend, role model and the person I admire most in this life. However, to work for her requires all the skills she’s taught me in life and then some. Here are a few things my Mom Boss has taught me about life and business:

Trust Your Intuition – Growing up this was something my mother always said. And it always paid off one way or another. It’s just as important to follow your intuition in business, as well. She wouldn’t be where she is today without it and neither would I. This mantra allows her to produce her best creative work and allows me to provide our clients with quality campaigns that achieve exactly what they are looking for. That photo in the ad proof doesn’t look quite right… trust your intuition, work with your team to find the perfect image. The script for that television commercial isn’t flowing… trust your intuition, step away from it and come back with a fresh perspective to write something that really grabs the target audience’s attention. You won’t regret it.

Hustle With Heart – My mother knows how to hustle. She built this agency from the ground up. In the beginning it was just her – now she has over 30 clients, 8 employees, sits on a number of non-profit boards and is a large contributor to our community. None of this could have ever been achieved without her hustle, her heart and her drive to provide for her family and others. Working for someone with that drive is contagious and encourages the entire team at DC to work their hardest and exceed her greatest expectations. Growing up watching how hard she worked to do something she really loved was truly inspiring and has influenced me in every aspect of my life. When it comes to my family life, my work life and personal goals, I am dedicated to achieving my goals and dreams with a hustle and whole lot of heart. One of our favorite quotes is, “Do something you truly love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Sure, not every day is easy, but if you’re committed and truly love what you do, it’s all worth it in the end.

A Work/Life Balance Is Key – I recently listened to an interview with one of the original founders of Home Depot and current owner of the NFL Atlanta Falcons Team, Arthur Blank, and he said something that really stuck with me. He said, “I always made sure there was balance in my life. Because too many young executives, men or women, their attitude is that you got to work now, work hard and, you know, put my career on fifth gear and go, go, go. And I said when you return home in 10 years, you’re not going to recognize your kids and your spouse is going to look at you and say, ‘Who are you again?'” As I listened to this interview with this man who has achieved so much success in his life, I couldn’t help but think of my mother. As hard as she worked my entire childhood, she always made time to show up for my brother and I. And she taught me that you can have a career, raise children and be successful, but it’s so important to find balance in your life. Whether that means you work a little bit earlier in the day to make it to your daughter’s dance recital, or you work all day on a Sunday so that you can go on a field trip with your son’s 5th grade class – in ten, twenty years from now you’ll be happy you did.

I could go on and on about other important life lessons my mom has taught me, but I’ll stop here. Trust your intuition, hustle hard and find the balance in every day and you can achieve great things. Oh, and don’t forget to laugh!

Daniele Hosser
DARCI Creative
Senior Account Executive

, ,

Re-entering the workforce

Guess what, girls? I did it! I went back to work (part-time).

Guess what else? You can do it, too!

If you are like me, you have been blessed with the opportunity to stay home with your tots and take on the job of full-time mom. And while I loved (and still love) every single second of staying home with my kids, there was always a nagging itch to go back to my career… to put on real clothes and put my education and previous experience to work.

So how did I do it?

The first thing I did was to stop making excuses. You can come up with a million reasons why you shouldn’t go back to work (and believe me, I did!), but if that itch is still there (which it was), then it’s time to reevaluate. Listen, you don’t know unless you try! So, stop coming up with excuses not to work, and make a list of reasons why you should to go back to work.

The next step, which I think is one of the most important steps, is to define what you really want. Is it full-time, part-time, flexible hours, working from home, going to an office – or a combination of a few of these? Lucky for us, in today’s working environment there are a lot of options. As you get out there and network or interview, be clear on what you want. Stick to it and don’t feel bad about it. It may take a little longer to land that perfect position, but it will be worth the wait if it fits your wants and needs.

Prepare the home front. Going from full time mom to working mom doesn’t just affect you – it’s going to affect everyone in your house. I would be lying if I told you the transition is going to be easy. It’s not. It takes planning, organizing and something I’d never really done before… asking for help! You’re probably going to need help in one form or another, so start getting comfortable with the idea that you are going to have to ask for it.

Planning makes perfect. You really need to plan for how you’re going to do it all. Carpools, childcare, laundry, food shopping and the eight million appointments that are part of raising a family, to name a few. It all has to get done, so it’s best to have a plan of attack.

Know and accept that things are not going to be the same. There might be dishes left in the sink. You might have to get up in the wee hours of the morning just to fit in some fitness, and your kids might actually have to make their own lunches or do their own laundry (gasp). Once you accept that things will be different, but will still be okay (maybe even better!), then you can move forward.

Once you’ve done all this, it’s time to just go for it! Keep in mind, lots of people do it every day. They’ve figured it out and so will you! And if I’ve learned anything about re-entering the working world, it’s that all things are possible. Finding the right tribe and the support that you need will enable you to get there faster and to feel better doing it!

Pam Oulundsen
DARCI Creative
Project Manager & Data Analyst

, , , ,

Q is for Quiet

Follow Your Own Voice.

phasdfasfoto 3So many companies vying for your attention makes the world a very noisy place. Sometimes, as marketers, we need to take a step back, get quiet and remember what we stand for. The most powerful brands are simple and really know what they stand for. Nike. Apple. Google. BMW. Disney. We all know who they are and what they mean to us. That’s the power of good branding backed up with ingenious ad campaigns and really smart integrated marketing strategy.

If you’re a business owner, or looking to expand your business, shhh. Take some time out. Think about what you stand for and write down, in five words or less, what you bring to your  customers. This will become the core of your Brand strategy and you’ll want to use it on everything you do to communicate who you are and what you offer to the world. True, it’s easier said than done. Just be quiet and trust your inner voice. It’s almost always right.

 

, , , ,

M is for mmm-mmm good


The Power of a Good Tagline.

asdfowkfI’m a huge fan of great lines. It’s so awesome when something is delivered in a few words that really captures the reader (or the listener) and communicates the essence of a company or product. Like a lot of marketing terms these lines go by several names: slogans, taglines, straplines, or even mottos. But I refer to them as Positioning Lines to my clients. That’s because the string of words that you place alongside your logo and your company name are key critical to establishing your position within the market place.

Here are 5 tips to creating a great Positioning Line. 1. ID: It needs to support — and stay consistent — with the brand name. (eat fresh) 2. Sticky: Great positioning lines stick around because they’re memorable. (‘Does she… or doesn’t she?’) 3. Positive Benefit: You want to convey the consumer benefit for using your product or service in a positive way. (Just do it.) 4. Shine: With so many competing messages in an overcrowded playing field it’s important to set yourself apart with a creative and original Positioning Line, ie, don’t be boring and don’t do what others do. (Have it your way.) 5. KISS: Keep it simple, stupid. This is one of the toughest things to achieve. One word is rarely enough and 7 is usually too many. (Stronger than dirt.)

I think “mmm mmm good” is a much more successful line than, “It’s amazing what soup can do.” What do you think?

Let’s play, “Name that Brand.” Click on the Your Thoughts? link and tell me how many brands you can name for the lines I’ve used above as examples.

 

, , ,

L is for Love.

Fate vs. Free Will.

ph;lllloto 2I love what I do. I also love Matt Damon’s movie, “The Adjustment Bureau.” In fact, I’ve watched it four times in the last six weeks. Each time I watch it I feel uplifted because his character represents the qualities that I crave in a relationship: honesty, devotion, absolute commitment and the ability to put the other person first. These are all qualities that lead to great client relationships too, and I dare say that I do my very best to sustain them with all my clients.

It’s not always an easy thing to do, however. Especially when the client decides to exercise their own free will without any input from me. It’s a classic red flag in any relationship when one person makes decisions without clueing the other in on said plan. I consider myself a partner in my client’s business, so imagine the upset that can occur when a client goes rogue. At first, it’s insulting. Then confusing. Next comes the anger and disappointment. Then the final stage of apathy. Like… whatever.

The reason I’m obsessed with “The Adjustment Bureau” is that it gives me hope. Hope that maybe there is someone out there willing to look past what they think is their path and really consider the possibility of something spectacular. Someone who understands that going for spectacular results requires taking risks. If you believe that maintaining the status quo is the best you can do, that’s exactly what you’ll get. But, if you believe something great is possible despite what others think, or what repercussions might arise — I believe the rewards are great.

You do have a choice in your relationships. If a client is moving in a direction that you are not comfortable with — that impacts your ability to produce great results — consider the consequences of resigning the account. You might just free up the space for a new, more perfect client for you. Same thing goes for other relationships in your life. I always scratch my head when people stay in relationships that make them miserable. Take the chance. Exercise free will and choose the best thing for you. Time is our greatest commodity. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you have an unlimited supply.

 

 

, , , , ,

K is for Kick-Ass Creative

Creative Marketing
fuktukkk

What drives success? Well, when it comes to marketing I feel it’s a split between intelligent strategic planning and kick-ass creative. After many years in the field I’ve crossed paths with shops who have a primary strength in one area or the other. Some are whiz bangs at strategic planning but lack any real creative flair, and others are all about the creative with little interest in strategy. You need both.

Of course, the creative is the fun part. But it’s a lot like life, really. You can be creative with the way you dress, or decorate your home, or pick up chicks — whatever. But, you still have to clean the house, pay the bills and plan for the future.

A lot of people may think that Branding is all about being creative, but the best brands are driven first by the strategy. Take this example that we did for our Physical Therapy client.

We developed the Brand position of “Get Going.” and in this piece we created a look and feels that’s all about movement. The best part? When the client saw the online flash ad we developed as part of this campaign, he wrote back: “This is kick-ass.” Moral of the story? Live creatively and be smart about it.

 

, , , ,

I is for Interesting & Interested

Getting Attention.

photo 1In a recent blog post from Seth Godin he wrote, “Interesting & Interested … it helps to be both. These are two ways you earn attention. If it’s so obvious, why is it so difficult?”

There’s so much to this simple post. And it really got me thinking about mistakes that so many clients make with their marketing. It really comes down to these two words. If you’re interested in who your target audience is, they will find you interesting. How simple is that? The thing is, a lot of clients over think this stuff. Understanding your audience is the real key to successful marketing. Because when you “get them” you can speak their language. And when you make yourself (your company, your product) relevant, you create receptivity.

On the flip side, being interesting is all about being yourself. Don’t try to be like the other guy. Find out what makes you uniquely you and tell your audience about it over and over again, in as many ways as possible. Eventually they’ll think, wow, that company is really interesting.