Branding: Choosing the Right Colour Palette

Branding: Choosing the Right Colour Palette

Whether you are starting a new business or rebranding an existing one, finding colours to fit your brand’s personality is an important step in the branding process.

In most cases, the colour palette you use for your brand identity is just as important as using the right language.

Understanding colour theory is essential for the success of your brand. The colours you use affect how your brand is perceived and can provoke emotional cues from your audience.

What is colour theory?

Colour theory, also referred to as colour psychology, is the study of colour choice and its impact on emotions and behaviours. In marketing and branding specifically, colour theory revolves around consumers and their impression of a brand depending on the colours that are used.

Defining your brand identity

One of the first steps to building your brand will be determining your brand identity!

When you define your brand’s personality and narrow down what you are trying to communicate, choosing the colours that best represent your brand will come quickly.

Are you creating a brand that is playful or serious? Youthful or mature? Luxurious or affordable?

There are so many things you should ask yourself when defining your brand identity!

By determining your brand’s personality, you can better establish a colour palette that best fits what you are trying to communicate to your audience.

Using your branding colours

Consistency and repetition are key when it comes to using the brand colours you have decided on.

You’ll want to use the colours you have chosen for your logo, website and any advertisements you may make. If you are selling a product and open a storefront, it is also important to showcase your colours around the store as well.

By consistently using the same colours, you strengthen your brand identity and your audience will begin associating your brand with those colours.

Meaning of Branding Colours

Whether we like it or not, emotions are extremely powerful and can drive decision-making.  While branding, consider how your brand will be perceived and what emotions you want to provoke from your audience.

After determining your brand’s personality, choose colours that hold the same or similar emotions.

  • Red – Power, passion, heat, danger, excitement, action
  • Orange – Creativity, stimulation, adventure, enthusiasm
  • Yellow – Positivity, clarity, happiness
  • Green – Nature, money, fertility, health, energy, success
  • Blue – Stability, trust, calm, relaxing
  • Purple – Power, extravagance, wisdom, magic, spirituality
  • White – Innocence, modesty, cleanliness, perfection
  • Black – Luxury, elegance, mystery, sophistication
  • Pink (of course!)Feminine, playful, loving, charming

At the end of the day, there is no right or wrong way to pick your branding colour palette!

Personal experiences, cultural differences, age and gender can alter the effect that colours have on an individual. While it is important to keep in mind the research behind specific colours and the corresponding emotions, there is no concrete rules for choosing your brand colours.

Find something that works for you and your brand. Colour psychology is based on emotional connection to colours, so don’t forget to consider your own feelings when deciding on your brand colours.

Is TikTok for You?

Is TikTok for You?

How to best use the new social platform for your marketing efforts

Wondering how you can use TikTok in your marketing efforts and increase brand awareness? If you use the new social media platform just right, you could grow your audience, increase engagement and reach millions of users.

TikTok, previously known as Musical.ly, was originally created for users to film short lip-sync videos to popular songs. After the name change in 2018, the content on the app generally stayed the same. While some of the most popular content on the app is still primarily lip-syncing and dancing videos, there is no set rule book as to what types of videos can be posted. You can find videos of users trying new recipes; the latest social media challenges; interior design trends;  and even book recommendations, if that’s what you’re looking for.

With over two billion downloads and more than 800 million active users worldwide, TikTok can be used for brands to reach new, larger audiences.


TikTok Demographics

As of May 2021, TikTok ranked seventh for the most used social media platform, with most of its users being teenagers and young adults between the ages of 10 and 29.

The app is also available in more than 150 countries, allowing users to create brand awareness worldwide. This can be a great platform to connect with new audiences in different countries.

While the design of the app does cater to the younger generation, app popularity continues to grow. As the types of content shared in the video continue to change, the reach and demographics of the app will shift.


Making your Video

TikTok has made it extremely easy to create and share content through the app. Once you know how the app works, the posting process takes little-to-no effort.

It’s important to remember viewers initially got hooked to the app due to the short video content posted.

Ideally, when posting, your video should stick to the 15-to-30-second range. Keeping your content short will also increase maximum watch time.

Make use of the TikTok song library and filters you can find on the app. These often go along with trends that can push the videos you post to the “For You” page (FYP).

Before posting your video, make sure to include closed captioning. This is an easy way to increase your video reach and make sure your content is more accessible.


Creating Engaging Content

The biggest draw to using TikTok is the short, engaging content it can provide. TikTok also uses a unique algorithm, catering the apps FYP to each individual user.

While it’s difficult to pinpoint how TikToks algorithm works exactly, there are some ways to help get your video on users trending pages.

New video trends are created daily, such as the latest dance challenge for a popular song or the use of an in-app filter. It’s important to stay on top of these trends because the algorithm prioritizes content that is popular in the moment.

TikTok allows brands to connect with their audience in a new, fun way. While seeing ads have become a new normal for consumers, users of TikTok aren’t looking to watch videos from brands that are pushing product.  

This platform is a great way to showcase behind-the-scenes content from a brand that wouldn’t normally be shown anywhere else. Videos showing how photoshoots work from the perspective of the photographer or quick try-on hauls from clothing companies can be a great way to engage followers.   

Starting a new social media platform can be time-consuming and overwhelming at times. An easy transition to using TikTok may be repurposing videos that were initially posted on Instagram or Facebook. That way, you don’t have to create brand new content right away.

It is also important to remember, while TikTok is meant to be a place to post more lighthearted content, it is important to continue to use the same message across all social media platforms.


Experiment and expand your marketing reach

TikTok can be an excellent way for a brand to continue to expand its marketing channels and increase brand awareness.

While the platform still has a way to go before it becomes a key player for brand marketing, it provides a lot of opportunities to expand marketing efforts and increase brand awareness.  By getting yourself on TikTok now, you can establish your following now and take advantage of the platform as it continues to grow.


– Contributed by Rebecca Pilkey, Junior PR Specialist, Pink Palm MarCom


How to Make an Effective IG Reel

How to Make an Effective IG Reel

You may have already noticed your Instagram explore page favouring IG Reels. At the very least, if you look at the navigation bar, the Reels tab has taken centre stage.

IG Reels are short 15-to-30-second videos set to music or your own sound. They are a great way to share fun and engaging content to help build your brand and grow your reach on Instagram.

If you are already utilizing Instagram’s story feature to keep your followers engaged, trying out Reels may be worth a try.

Here are some tips to make effective IG Reels:

#1: Create a storyboard

Setting an objective and planning your Reel can make filming your video way easier!

Reels should contain helpful information, tips and tricks or tell a story, all while showcasing your values and your brands personality.

They are meant to be fast and creative to catch the interest of your audience. However, they also provide a fantastic opportunity to connect more on a personal level with your Instagram followers and less like you’re selling a product.

While you shouldn’t make your Reel look like an ad for a product, this is an excellent opportunity to do a little show and tell for your followers.


#2: Practice Makes Perfect

After creating a storyboard, it is best to practice filming your Reel before posting. It is easy to forget how fast a 15-to-30-second video can go.

IG makes it extremely easy to edit, trim and delete any clips you have filmed without having to re-film the entire video.

Consistently creating excellent Reels could potentially land you a spot in the IG Feature section, which could reach an audience outside your current followers.


#3: Video Quality 

The quality of your video is essential. The Instagram Reel algorithm does not favour videos that are blurry due to low resolution. You can use filters or camera effects to make your video more creative.

Instagram also confirmed that using videos with visible watermarks or logos will also not be recommended to followers.

It is also important to keep in mind that the video will not do well if it contains a border of any kind or if most of the video is covered by text.


#4: Closed Captions and Subtitles 

After you have completed filming and editing your IG Reel, adding closed captioning is arguably the most important aspect before you post. This is helpful to people who tend to watch videos without sound but, more importantly, is a way to make your IG more inclusive to those who are deaf or hard of hearing. 

By being more inclusive to all your followers, you will have supporters who want to engage with the content you are posting.

It is also important to note that you should keep your closed captions in the centre of your screen, so it stays completely visible to those who need it!


Reach your audiences consistently

If you are someone who constantly posts IG Stories throughout the day, IG Reels may be the next thing you want to explore.

If you are concerned about trying to add yet another thing to your to-do list. Try re-using content! If you have a TikTok account that you regularly post to, save those videos and post those as a Reel.

While this is a great way to provide a long video format to your followers, through Reels, you can create more compelling content and increase your reach on Instagram. Try it out!


– Contributed by Rebecca Pilkey, Junior PR Specialist, Pink Palm MarCom

How to build and leverage a robust content strategy

How to build and leverage a robust content strategy

Looking to add more content to your social media channels and website? We often overthink what we could be posting online and spend a lot of time bouncing from topic to topic. The truth is, your business would benefit from a robust content strategy that not only outlines your subject matter but allows you to leverage it across multiple channels.

You see, social media is just one piece of a bigger content strategy. It should align with your website, print materials, and overall brand voice to give your clients a consistent experience. I’m not just talking about the words—the photos, colours and subject matter all play an important role.

As I write this article, I am visualizing the ways I can repurpose this article for various mediums. It starts with this 800-word article and translates into a blog post, then a video, and finally I break it up into small social media-sized bites of content. That content, if written well and supported by powerful graphics, will likely provide enough content for at least eight to 10 social media posts. Doesn’t that sound great?

Streamline a list of key topic areas

It all starts with a solid understanding of your business strategy and ideal clients. Take the time to unpack their needs and wants so that you can find the best voice to speak them. This important branding exercise not only helps your business determine how to speak to your customers, but it allows you an opportunity to create a consistent brand voice. This is what builds loyalty and trust with your client base.

Find five to 10 key topic areas that you can share your expertise on. These themes are “evergreen” and can be used and repurposed as you see fit. Your key topics are likely found on your website and in other marketing materials. Of course, you want to  highlight your products and services, but you also want to look at how you can help your clients and add value.

For example, if you’re a photographer, you don’t need to sell your services within the context of every key topic. You might want to broaden your topic areas and identify ways that clients can prepare for a photoshoot, or why annual family holiday photos are so important. Thought leadership is an important strategy to employ when you’re looking to make a name for yourself online.

You can also look at other topics that your business aligns with to round out your content themes. For example, you may want to showcase your community connections, the latest industry news or behind the scenes photos and videos of your business.

You will want to take the following steps for each key topic:

  • Create an outline per article/blog post.
  • Align the content with a relevant, powerful image.
  • Develop bite-sized information—content that is easily digested and pulled as quotes.
  • Determine who you will tag, link or mention in your social media or blog post.

Develop solid social media content

With your outline now complete, you want to build out your content. I like to use my visual assets to build out my strategy—this works especially well if you use Instagram. I find it much easier to work this way as people are typically drawn to visuals first. Once you have selected your visuals, add your text.

One thing that is crucial to every business’s content strategy—investment in quality photography. Whether you need portraits, lifestyle shots, flat lays or stock-like photography, it’s important to work with a professional. Not only can they capture content unique to your business, but they have the expertise and tools to provide you with content that will have a much longer life span.

Besides creating your own content, you may want to curate a selection of accounts to repost. There are several apps to repost on social channels such as Instagram; just be sure to attribute the photo and content to the originating account. 

And finally, be sure to leverage the searchability that social media offers. Research and use hashtags regularly to expand your audience reach. As mentioned earlier, you will want to tag your location and partners, so you can extend your reach and build your network.

Share what you love

Above all else, it’s important to be authentic and passionate on social media. You want your channel to exude your brand.

Repurposing your content can provide you with a consistent vault of material to work with for months, and most importantly, it can save you valuable time. And, who doesn’t want more time in a day?

Connect with me to learn more about optimizing your business’s communications efforts.

Why You Need a Communications Audit

Why You Need a Communications Audit

Have you taken the time to evaluate the impact of your marketing and communications efforts? Do you know how many hours you are spending per week on these tasks? Do you have an inventory of your owned media channels and products? You should—your business’s reputation depends on it!

A communications audit can help you determine if you’re using the correct channels and key messages to reach your audience. It allows you to pivot your strategy to make sure your business has allocated the right resourcing to your marketing and communications efforts in this quickly changing environment.

An audit can take anywhere from a week to a month to complete, but once this inventory has been completed, you’ll be able to create a communications road map that will lead you to success.

COVID-19 has changed the landscape of business communications.

If you haven’t had an external communications agency or professional look at your marketing and communications strategy and activities—now is the right time. 2020 has been full of surprises and stresses for businesses. We currently exist in a new reality, as we continue to work our way through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Businesses have had to shift their outreach and operations strategies just to stay afloat. Many businesses have had the ability to adapt quickly. But not all. Small businesses have faced significant hurdles.

It’s not always possible to adapt your operations quickly to the changing policies and regulations that have been implemented by local governments. Regulations may vary from province to province, and even region by region, so learning from others is not always feasible.

Whether you’re in the restaurant or funeral industry, you have likely been waiting for the next policy change and wondering how you will manage it. The good news is that in all this change the one thing you can take control of is how your business communications are operating. 

Technology is changing faster than ever. 

Are you using the right communications channels to reach your customers? It’s not necessary to be active on all social media channels to be successful, but it is crucial to know how to reach your audience. You don’t need to have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok; you need to focus on where your customers are and build a strong network there. 

If your business strategy has shifted during the pandemic, and you haven’t adapted your marketing and communications approach, you’re not reaching the right audience with the right messaging. If that’s the case, it’s time to realign your strategy and communications tactics so that you can be a step ahead of the game.  

In this case, a communications audit can help you determine if your efforts are paying off for your business. It will ultimately help you to shape a marketing and communications strategy that is proactive, rather than reactive, leaving more time for you to focus on what you do best—run the business.

Is your message still relevant in today’s COVID-19 environment? 

Are you still communicating the same message from your pre-COVID-19 days? Does it mean anything to your customers? Have your client needs changed? 

It’s time to look at reorganizing your key messages and approach to marketing your products or services so that you can reconnect with your clients and their needs. Your world has changed and so has theirs. How does your marketing and communications strategy align with this new approach? Are you connecting with your audience during this difficult time? 

Identifying the gaps in your approach to advertising, social media and online communications can help you prioritize what steps you need to take to reach your clients. Perhaps you used to send out your weekly e-newsletter on a Tuesday morning to reach your clients on their commute. Is that still the best way to reach them? An audit will help you understand where there’s room for improvement, and what to keep operating as is.

A communications audit is an investment of time and money—but it’s worth it!

You can successfully pivot your business communications during this unprecedented time by investing time and money in a communications audit. 

Examining your business marketing and communications practices will provide a clear look at your outreach channels, the timing and strategies that you’re employing and why. It will allow you to see what’s missing, and what you’re focusing too much on, or not enough. 

Communications is about making connections. Establishing partnerships. Leveraging knowledge and stories to create bonds with clients. Quickly changing courses when the landscape changes. The one thing we have learned from 2020 is that we need to be ready for change. Are you?

Connect with me to learn more.