Getting Your Brand Ready for Christmas

Get ready for Xmas

It’s that time of year already…finally! After the Melbourne Cup, the festive season hits and with the longer days, daylight savings and warmer weather, Christmas is well and truly on its way. If you’re a small business, Christmas and the holiday season can be one of your busiest times of the year. So let’s make sure you’re ready.

Promotion, Sales and Discounts

Whatever you’re selling, this is the time of year when the market is saturated with promotions, deals, discounts and sales. It all kicks off with Black Friday on 29 November and Cyber Monday on 30 November in celebration of Thanksgiving. Although Australia doesn’t necessarily celebrate Thanksgiving, we’ve jumped on board anyway – any excuse for a sale! Then we’re into the Christmas rush, swiftly followed by Boxing Day and January sales. Choose which promotional method best suits your brand and make sure you give people plenty of notice. Utilise your social media channels, website and email lists. If you are Lennox-based, you will reach most of the community with the Lennox Wave. What's more, over the holiday period Helen’s bumper issue reaches locals and the many visitors to our town!

Consider Shipping Delays

With COVID-19 and the huge increase in online shopping, Australia Post and other couriers are struggling to keep up. Keep an eye on possible delays! Communicate the cut-off dates for Christmas deliveries to encourage early purchase.

Christmas Gifts for Business Partners and Loyal Customers

The festive season is a time for giving and it’s important to make sure your brand is also. Recognise the people you work with, partnerships, clients and loyal customers with a little-something-special to show they’ve made a difference to your year. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive…a card in the mail goes a long way. Again, don’t forget lead times on merchandise could be very soon.

Shop local!

Choose to shop local to support our community and local business owners. With everything that has happened this year, they really need all the support they can get. Plus, gifts are so much more special when there is a story behind them – a personal touch that cannot be matched.

Schedule your Socials

Being a business owner and wearing all those hats is full on at the best of times, so get ahead of yourself and organise what you can in advance. Batch your content and spend a few hours getting your posts created and scheduled, all the way to the beginning of January if you can! There is an in-built scheduling tool in Facebook called Creator Studio (make sure you link your Instagram and Facebook together!) and multiple scheduling apps, such as Hootsuite or Later.

2020 has been a huge year, and as a business owner we have all felt pushed to our absolute limits at times. This Christmas make sure to give yourself a break. Get refreshed for the new year, think about your goals moving forward and appreciate the fact that you made it!

Far North Coast Creative Agency Rebrand Financial Services Firm

September has been an exciting month for Barefruit. Another one of our client projects has been recognised and featured by B&T Australia. Korff Wealth, formerly known as Yellow Brick Road Wealth and Management, Northern Rivers approached us with a rebrand brief at the beginning of the year. It was interesting timing, with Australia heading into lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic mid-way through strategic and branding conversations. However, Korff Wealth saw this as an opportunity; with the current economic climate, Australians are looking for expert financial advice they can trust, more than ever. Considering, it was the perfect timing for a strategical review and rebrand of the business.

Read more about the project here.

 

AdNews features Seven Mile Brewing Co. Packaging Designed by Barefruit

It was fantastic to see AdNews Australia pick up and write a story on the the packaging redesign project, briefed into us by Seven Mile Brewing Co. The recognition of our hard work was very rewarding, especially after the year 2020 has been.

The agency was delighted to be awarded the brief from Seven Mile Brewing Co. to redesign the packaging of their three core craft brews; American Pale Ale, Cali Cream and West Coast IPA. It was an exciting opportunity for Barefuit to work with a local business who required help in designing cans that served both functional and brand purposes for their beers. The brewery prides themselves on keeping their beer cold from the moment it is poured into a can and Barefruit ensured the packaging was designed for this purpose.

“It’s really important to us that our beer is kept cold from the moment it’s poured.” says, Matt, co-founder of Seven Mile Brewing Co. He goes on to say, “This ensures the beer’s flavours and aromas stay true to how we brew them here on site. And so, we needed packaging that would keep its integrity at cold temperatures”.  

Read more about the project here. 

 

Take Amazing Photos for your Brand at Home

This is for all the small business owners who have their fingers in many pies; who are the finance, the marketing, the logistics, the production and the sales team all in one. When it comes to professional, and sleek branding, ensuring your products are photographed professionally is a biggie. You want your product to look as desirable to the consumer as possible, while providing them with an opportunity to evaluate the material, quality, design and features of your product.

It’s expensive to get have your products photographed by a professional, especially if you’re a small business. So, let’s take a look at how to take amazing product photos yourself, at home.

Plan your photo shoot

As you would do if you were planning anything, you need to do your research. Spend an hour or so looking at competitors, brands you aspire to and, of course, Pinterest to get some inspo. Save it the images you love so you have something to reference when you are behind the camera. Make sure you take a good look at your inspo photography, noting how someone has used light, what sort of light it is (warm or cool), and how they have laid out their studio space.

Set up your studio

Find an area with the best natural light in your home. This where you are going to set up. Usually having a blank wall behind you is ideal, although you can easily hang up a sheet to create a plain, yet soft background. Then you’ll need to decide how you’re going to display your product. Do you have a nice desk you can move into your studio space? Or maybe a rustic stool? Or maybe you need a model? Anything that will give you a nice aesthetic, that matches you branding of course! We can’t forget about props. These are especially important to communicate your brand aesthetic and for zhooshing up your shot. Leafy greens always go down well. Try experimenting with mirrors and flowers too. Have a friend wear, hold and/or use your product – this helps the others see themselves with your product.

Your smartphone is all you need

iPhone or Android, today’s phones have incredible cameras and, when you know your stuff, you can take some gorgeous photographs. First step is to check the settings of your phone. We highly recommend iPhone’s Portrait mode when photographing products and details up.

Now you’re all set to get stuck into it. Snap away, reviewing your photos as you go to see what works, what doesn’t and where you could improve. It might be handing to have a lamp nearby. You can experiment with this by holding it above your studio space at different angles. Don’t forget to keep referring back to your inspo photography as you go too!

 

Photo credit: @goldentimetay

Blogging for Search Engine Optimisation

Search Engine Optimisation. It opens up a whole can of worms. There are so many ways you can approach an SEO strategy, but let’s talk about Blogging. This is one of the easiest ways to boost your website’s SEO quality and the best bit, you can do it right now…for free!

A bit of Background for your first

Let’s start with a bit of background to get the bigger picture. Google’s number one priority is providing the people performing searches with the most relevant and up-to-date information to answer their questions. This ensures people using Google have a good experience and come back again (Google is a business, afterall). So, in order to get your website to the top of a search result page, you need to work with Google’s main goal. And having a regularly updated blog on your website certainly helps achieve this.

Why Google loves blogs

Now that we understand Google’s purpose and goal, let’s take a look into how blogging will work wonders for your website’s SEO quality. Search engines love websites that are updated frequently – this shows that the website’s information is relevant and up-to-date for people searching. You probably won’t be regularly updating your home page, which is why having a blog on your website is highly recommended. The more content you post on your blog, the more pages your website will have for Google to index, which helps the search engine better understand your business offering. Putting it simply, imagine if you spoke a lot about your business, going into detail about your products or services. People would have a good understanding of what it is you do. Now, imagine if you spoke about your business all the time, as well. People would not forget about your business and its offerings. This is essentially how your blog posts communicate with Google – giving the search engine more information about you (and doing it frequently) helps Google understand who you are and ensures it doesn’t forget about you.

What to write about

Yes, you need to write content for your blog. But it shouldn’t be about anything and everything. We are talking SEO, so we need to make sure blog posts are optimised for keywords. And these need to the same keywords that you have used to optimise your website pages. Optimising blog posts for keywords is not about incorporating as many keywords into your posts as possible. Nowadays, this is actually harmful for your SEO quality as Google picked up on this little trick. Plus, it doesn’t make for a great reading experience for the audience which is also important for SEO quality. Google isn’t going to recommend a website a reader won’t understand easily.

The perks of long-tail keywords

Having a blog on your website also gives you the opportunity to start implementing long-tail keywords into your content. These are longer and more specific keyword phrases that people use when they are closer to a point-of-purchase (also very effective for people using voice search!). For example, our Barefruit Marketing website is optimised for keywords such as ‘advertising agency, and ‘marketing agency ballina’. However, by having a blog we are able to optimise posts for keywords such as ‘organic and paid SEO services in ballina’ and ‘newspaper advertising in northern rivers’. By doing so, we boost the SEO quality of our website and in turn, Google is able to rank our website much higher on the search results page. In turn, we have visitors to our website who are more interested, more focused and more committed to purchasing our services.

Backlinks are important

Lastly, we’ll touch on using social media to create backlinks to your website. Backlinks are links from other places on the internet that refer readers to your site. Google sees backlinks as a measurement of credibility and authority. If people are referring others to your website, then they must have found your content helpful and so, your SEO is boosted and Google improves the ranking your website. Use your social media profiles to post about your blog posts, informing your audience, creating backlinks and boosting your website’s SEO quality all at once.

Well, if you aren’t thinking about setting up a blog on your website after reading this, you’re crazy! The benefits blogging can bring to your website’s SEO quality and thus, ranking in Google, are invaluable. And you can get started right now. Or, if you are feeling a bit lost, drop us a line and we’ll get in touch to talk about how we can help you in your journey to boosting your website’s SEO and, in turn, attracting more online visitors searching for your product or service..

It’s time to talk Search Engine Marketing

Spring has sprung! While we’re relieved that the Northern Rivers hasn’t experienced a second wave in terms of increasing COVID cases, it’s hard to hear that local businesses are still copping the brunt of the economic slow-down. It’s time to put on your "adapt to survive” hat and look for opportunities in places where business is growing. And one of those places is online!

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is one of the most important marketing channels to generate web traffic to your website. It’s the process of increasing website visibility on search engine results pages though paid search advertising. If Google Ads, previously known as AdWords, rings a bell, this is what we are talking about. With millions of businesses out there vying for the same eyeballs, online advertising to promote your products or services has never been so crucial.

Bidding on keywords

Google Ads is a platform which allows you to bid on keywords to have your ads shown when people are doing searches on Google. You bid against other advertisers for the right to have your ad shown in several places on the Google Search results page. You only pay, however, when a user clicks on your ad. By setting a daily budget, you can cap the amount that you spend each day. You could set a budget of $5 or $10 per day and know that you are only paying for those who click on your ad (and hence visit your website).

More than just search

While SEM is great for attracting those who are searching for particular keywords, Google Ads also provides the opportunity to show your ads on other platforms. Advertising on the Google Display Network means your ads have the opportunity to be shown on millions of sites such as YouTube, eBay, Amazon and Gumtree.

Catch them looking

Everybody knows the experience of looking at a product and then suddenly getting those ads shown to you again.  This is a technique called remarketing that allows Google to show your ads to people who have previously shown an interest in your brand.  This works on the old marketing “rule of seven” that people need to be exposed to your message 7 times before they take action. 

SEM is focused on converting

While traditional advertising works to grow your brand awareness, SEM reaches people actively searching, people who are ready to buy. When someone clicks on your ad your landing page should guide them through the sales process… and voila! You’ve made a sale, gathered new leads, subscribers or sign-ups.

Now that you’ve got an idea of the potential for online advertising, set up your Google Ads account. There are heaps of tutorials on YouTube to help you get going. Google even has a free online course on Google Skillshop to get you started.

Leaving the rest behind

Tweed Holiday Parks made the font page of the Tweed Daily News on 6, April 2019! The article featured the new Kingscliff park that has been in operation for 12 months and has already had great success, hosting 40,000 holidaymakers since it's opening.

The demand on the park has exceeded the expectations of park managers, Luke and Brooke who "can't keep the smiles off their faces".  The park recently underwent major renovations and refurbishments, which has given the sites a nice breath of fresh air and modern look and feel. New cabins have been built, attracting holiday-makers who love beach-side accommodation but also enjoy an affordable price. The team at Barefruit sent out a Press Release to media about the success of the Kingscliff park, and we were thrilled to find the piece had been picked up for a front page feature.

Tweed Holiday Parks initially approached Barefruit to guide them through a rebrand project. We have continued this relationship and assist them with their SEO, social media, digital advertising and more. You can read more this project here.

Testing positive to a brighter outlook

The COVID-19 pandemic has no doubt affected every country around the world in ways no one could have ever imagined. It shows the extent and importance we put on globalisation and being connected to other places around the world, especially as isolated as we are in Australia. But that’s all be put on hold and consumer behaviour has changed because of it. They say it takes 28 days to turn action into a habit and now that we have been living with restrictions for about six months, these habits are here to stay.

But change is not bad. Change is good; it keeps us on our toes. And so, we’re flipping our mindset and taking a look at how Australian consumer behaviour has changed and what opportunities are emerging from it.

Consumers are supporting local businesses

Restrictions on free movement around the country began to impact the supply of products most Australian took for granted. In addition, the closure of many Australian businesses due to social and economic impact of the pandemic was felt very personally on a local level. With ‘mateship’ at the core of our cultural DNA, Australians have turned to support local and ‘Australian Made’. It is the feeling of “we’re all in this together” that has compelled consumers to actively switch their spending to prioritise buying from local businesses. This is an opportunity for like no other. Your locals want to support you, they want to buy your products and use your services. They are even willing to pay more than what they usually would, knowing they are helping another family put dinner on the table.

Everyone is online, a whole lot more

People have not been able to connect with others physically, but that hasn’t stopped anyone. The internet and social media have been intrinsic to human connection over the past six months. Previously, social media and digital technologies were seen as a distraction, however now, they are far more significant as they offer modes for human connection, channels for consumer experiences, entertainment, brand awareness and voice, customer conversions and information and news. This newfound dependence on the internet and social media is an opportunity. You know where your consumers are and with a bit of research, you’ll know what they like. You can create content to get their attention and inspire them from, literally, the palm of their hand. And what’s better, is that they can purchase from you right then and there. Make sure you’ve got your online shop up and going! While pretty much all categories of spending has seen a declined, online shopping has actually had a boost.

People are actively looking for new hobbies

Australians have hit the pause button on their normal lives. No more commuting, no more sport, no more gym sessions or dance lessons. No more weekend trips away (or even planning holidays, for a fact). This has given people time to get back to basics. There was a surge in the demand for baking ingredients, people have loved local bars’ cocktail kits, veggie garden sets and seedlings sold out and everyone has bought a puzzle. How can you adapt your product or service in a way that consumers can engage with from their home or within their local surrounds? If you are a yoga studio, start online class subscriptions. This can run adjacent to classes held in-person. All you need is a device with Zoom set up and you are good to go. What an awesome way to extend the accessibility of your studio space and gain new members. If you sell a product, maybe think about how you can turn that into more of an experience for the consumer. For example, the make-at-home cookie kits from local bakeries and cake shops have been a hit, especially with kids and families.  Now is the time to adapt, so go for it!

With all this negative, it’s hard to keep your head above water. But sometimes the best thing you can do is flip your mindset to see the glass half-full. Change is always a good, it’s challenging, but it’s good.

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How new business owner is being resilient after tough start

At Barefruit, we are proud to have Westlawn Finance as one of our amazing clients. In a recent campaign, Westlawn has featured success stories of some of their own financial clients. These stories have been appearing in print media, as well as in video-format on Television and YouTube. A story of Georgie King, owner of the fashion boutique, Arum, in Casino was written published in The Northern Star.

Georgie has had a rough start as a business owner since purchasing the fashion boutique, Arum in 2019. One week after re-opening the store, devastating bushfires broke out across the Richmond Valley region and then the coronavirus pandemic shut down commence across Australia-wide. However, Georgie has remained positive and has started an online store in the meantime.

As a 27-year-old, Georgie purchased the store from the previous owner, Margie George. Georgie "was thrilled to be able to purchase her own business despite her age, and credits Westlawn Casino branch for helping her achieve her dream".

Secrets to success of Tweed Coast holiday parks

As always, it's so great to see articles about our client, Tweed Holiday Parks, in the media. The Northern Star wrote this article on Tweed Holiday Parks recent and ongoing success.

The location, modern facilities and drive of staff to go the extra mile is what keeps attracting visitors to the park. According to Tweed Holiday Parks Business Development manager, Lisa Mcrae, "those are the key elements to keep tourists coming back to the Tweed with a smile on their face." Lisa went on to say, "I think the location in Tweed is definitely a selling point for our customers. Five of our parks are located on the beachfront," she said.

Excitingly for the business, of the seven council-owned parks, four have been given the TripAdvisor Travellers Choice Award based on customer feedback in the most recent awards.

Tweed Holiday Parks initially approached Barefruit to guide them through a rebrand project. We have continued this relationship and now assist them with their SEO, social media, digital advertising and more. You can read more this project here.