O2 Creative Is Rebranding!
O2 Creative is Rebranding!
Why? After a few too many people thought were an oxygen bar we decided to develop a survey to identify our brand’s identity.
The survey results confirmed that we needed to rebrand in order to better convey what we do as a business, what we are capable of, where we work, and the types of industries we work with.
Here is some information on the process –
- We met to discuss direction: We like our color scheme of lime green, black, and white. (Good thing too because it matches our office and none of us enjoy or are great at interior painting.)
- We like our name: (Phew! That would be a lot of documents, addresses, etc. to change.)
- We are web-based: We’ve realized that in the past few years, our business has changed to be more web-based – (websites, web design, online marketing, SEO, etc.). Our new branding needs to reflect, and convey that…our current branding, logo, tagline, etc. doesn’t.
- Solution: We’re going to take on a whole new look, put ourselves first and develop a responsive website, design and develop handouts, business cards, etc. (We are getting a makeover folks!)
While our rebranding process is still underway, our team and designers have made great strides in giving our current logo a “facelift.”
Here is a sneak peak!
Our Old/Current Logo: We like it, we used to love it…but we need a change. We need something so FRESH and so CLEAN…like OutKast. Something that will clarify and convey who we are and what we do.
Our New Logo: The goal was to develop a simpler logo that has a greater range of use. When it comes to logos, the simpler the better. That way we will be able to “manipulate” our logo in order to fit each of the particular uses we have for it. (Fun Fact: Logos are getting smaller and simpler these days to conform with mobile sites, social media, etc. Just one of the many trends we are staying on top of!)
Then moved onto Illustrator where he took the concepts to create vector drawings derived from the sketches and ideas. (This is where the magic happens…)
Our team identified a direction…which we are excited to unveil in the next few weeks. Stay tuned!
Brand Mentions Improve SEO
Link building used to rule SEO, but today Brand Mentions has taken control. Why? Google trusts Brand Mentions more because they are harder to manipulate and falsify.
The Dark Past with Link Building – Back in the day, Google and other search engines decided that the more links a website had leading to their site, the better SEO ranking the site should get. However link building was easy to fake, and many website and SEO managers began to utilize Link Pyramids and other artificial link building strategies to increase the number of inbound links to their sites.
Today, most search algorithms are OVER that. They, (especially Google) dislike being ‘tricked’ and your SEO will suffer if you try. So don’t do it! If you have existing artificial links from the “glory days past”…find them, and dump them, before they come back to haunt and hurt your website.
A Bright Future with Brand Mentions – Google has determined that quality links and brand mentions on other (reputable and legit), websites carry more weight than plain links to your site.
Their reasoning: If a website manager, content writer, or social media manager, (from an unrelated brand) trusts your brand enough to mention it and/or link to it, then Google approves, and will give your site a higher SEO ranking.
Brand Mentions can range from:
- Text mentions of your brands name
- Discussing your brand
- Having a live link with copy about your brand
- Sharing your content
Platforms where Brand Mentions count:
- Social Media (Google+, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
Ways to monitor your Brand Mentions:
- Use robotic applications such as, Fresh Web Explorer or Mention
- Pros: Fast and easy (what a combo)
- Cons: Not free and can be less accurate
- Manually use Google to identify Brand Mentions:
Identify Brand Name Mentions:
- Open a Google Search
- Use parenthesis around your “Brand Name” – to ensure you only get results with your exact Brand Name
- Click on Search Tools and select location and the time frame you want to search
Identify Brand Website Mentions:
- Open a Google Search
- type url:website (example, url:o2creative.com)
- Click on Search Tools and select location and the time frame you want to search
From here you can take the necessary steps to protect your brand’s identity and recognize those who are recognizing and mentioning your brand.
If you have questions or concerns about your website’s SEO, we are here to help. O2 Creative specializes in websites, SEO, graphic design, branding, marketing strategies, and printing. Our team of skilled and creative designers, web programmers, copywriters, and social media experts work with clients to ensure their businesses stand out. Give us a call, send us an email, or stop by our office today. · [email protected] · Phone: 970.726.8021
Google and Your Website
Google and Your Website
“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact on our search results.”
What does that mean for your website? If your website is not responsive or mobile friendly, your mobile search engine rankings will take a hit. (Say goodbye to your first page rankings)
Why is this happening? Google is putting mobile users first, because mobile traffic is outweighing desktop traffic on the old “inter-web” these days…
Not sure if your site is mobile-friendly or responsive? Test it here
If your website is responsive, pat yourself on the back and go watch videos of cute puppies…
If your site is mobile-only, take a deep breath knowing your site will be safe from Google’s “mobile-pocalypse,” but you might want to continue reading to learn the many benefits of a responsive website.
If your website FAILED you’ve got two options:
– Option 1: Create a mobile-only website that links to your website
– Option 2: Replace your website with a responsive website
Mobile-only design: This is a separate website specifically for mobile devices. (You will end up having two websites, one for desktop users and one for mobile users.)
- Lower upfront cost
- Customizable for mobile users
- Site needs to be maintained frequently for future browsers
- Higher long-term costs to maintain and update multiple websites
- SEO challenges – Google sees two websites vs. “piggy backing” on the sites
- Redirecting from desktop website slows the loading, hurting SEO
Responsive Website: This is an all-inclusive website that aesthetically fits whatever device (desktop, mobile, tablet…) users are browsing on.
- Lower lifetime cost (less day to day maintenance)
- One website covers everything
- Very flexible among different devices
- Provides users with a unified experience no matter the device ~ ideal for branding
- Google recommends responsive – (Google is the BOSS..surrender for your business’ sake)
- Higher upfront cost
The Trend: Google has specified that these changes are specific to mobile search results, however indicators suggest that Google will expand these rankings to desktop searches as well. With mobile devices outweighing desktop users, we recommend that businesses and organizations switch their websites to responsive or mobile-friendly now.
The Reality: So on April 21, 2015 Google’s mobile ranking algorithm will include their new mobile-friendly usability factors, either pushing your site’s mobile SEO rankings up, (if you’re mobile-friendly/responsive) or pulling your mobile rankings down if your website is not.
Contact us at O2 Creative for more information and to find out how this will impact your website. Don’t let your search ranking slip. Let us help you revamp your website and capitalize on Google’s new mobile ranking algorithm.
Winning at O2 Creative!
With over 4,000 entries from all over the world, we are excited to announce that we have been awarded not one, but TWO Silver Davey Awards by the International Academy of the Visual Arts (IAVA)!
What are the Davey Awards?
The annual International Davey Awards honors the achievements of the “Creative Davids” who derive their strength from big ideas, rather than big budgets.
We were awarded a Davey Award for the trail signage we produced for the Town of Winter Park and Headwaters Trails Alliance and another for the digital and print marketing we did for Winter Park Lodging Co.
Project: Trail Signs
- These projects combined took over a year to complete.
- 100+ signs were designed and printed.
- O2 Creative is now an expert in ‘wayfinding,’ (the organization and communication of our dynamic relationship to space and the environment).
- We took these very complex and detailed projects extremely seriously because what good is a system of signs if they don’t get travelers to the desired destination?
- We identified and used materials that would survive the test of time in this climate for years.
- Created designs that would be relatively simple to replace and add sections to cut down on future costs for Winter Park and Headwaters Trails Alliance.
- Used similar fonts and styles for the signs in Winter Park and the Headwaters Trails Alliance to create consistency and a unified feel throughout all trails in the area.
- We truly enjoyed collaborating with Headwaters Trails Alliance and the Town of Winter Park on this project.
- Seeing the trails in use by locals and guests alike has been the biggest payoff.
- It’s cool to know that the trails will be enjoyed by thousands of people for years to come!
Project: Digital and Print Marketing
Client: Winter Park Lodging Co.
- We’ve been working with Winter Park Lodging Co. for 5+ years.
- Winter Park Lodging Co. has a lot of different clients they work with.
- We helped create content that would effectively communicate with all of those clients.
- We spent a long-time developing and tweaking the brand.
- Focused on keeping all pieces developed consistent with brand.
- Updated their website to display the luxury accommodations.
- E-newsletter template that reflects the overall brand.
- Seeing how the collateral we created has had a positive return on investment for Winter Park Lodging Co.
- Visually seeing the collateral working together.
We at O2 Creative hold all our work to our highest standards, and it is nice to know that our work meets the standards of the International Academy of the Visual Arts too!
So What Makes us Successful?
- High standards – We strive to ensure that all of our work exceeds our client’s wildest dreams!
- Inspiration – Look around us! The natural beauty in the Rockies never ceases to inspire!
- Collaboration – FACT: Teamwork makes the dream-work!
- Good Karma – You get what you put out there…
- Green Walls – There is never a dull moment when you’re surrounded by neon green and art!
- Pug-sulations – Consults with the pugs! You’d be surprised how opinionated (and right) they can be!
- Knowing our clients and their consumers – This is key!
Hiring a marketing agency vs. marketing in-house
Hiring a marketing agency vs. marketing in-house – which is better for your business? We at O2 believe that hiring a professional marketing agency can benefit your business in a number of ways. Here are just a few:
Time: Ah, precious time. This can be a premium for many businesses. Marketing takes time too, from devising strategies to coordinating campaigns to creating ads and promotions to…you get the idea. Hiring an agency means the agency will worry about marketing for you, which saves your business precious time.
Expenses. Hiring an in-house marketer can expend a lot of money (salary, benefits) and expend time too (recruiting, interviewing, hiring, training). Hiring an agency can often be less expensive than marketing in-house, especially when you consider that O2 specializes in working with small businesses – we’re a small business too! We can create marketing packages that will fit your needs as well as your budget.
Experience. At O2, we have over 30 combined years of marketing experience, and we’re undertaking new marketing endeavors every day. We can provide you with expert direction if you aren’t sure how to market your business. Our experience also contributes to our next point…
Efficiency. Since we’re extensively experienced, we can quickly and efficiently identify the best marketing initiatives for you. We do this stuff every day! We’ll help you create the right message for the right business at the right time.
Perspective. Small business owners must often keep a narrow focus on their business. While this can be necessary for the sake of the business, it can also make it difficult to step back and think about your business in the big picture of marketing. Hiring an agency can provide a much broader perspective on marketing and other matters. Let us handle your marketing so you can focus on the operations of your business.
Resources. We’re a comprehensive professional agency with a large variety of services to offer. In addition to marketing and advertising services, we can also provide graphic design, web design, promotional products, printing services, and more.
Fun. Okay, why does this matter? Well, we really think you’ll enjoy working with us at O2. In addition to being experienced professionals, we’re actually friendly fun folks too. For instance, even though we’re in the office working hard on Halloween, we still took the time to have a little holiday fun. To prove it, here’s Brad dressed up like Joe Dirt, and Sophie dressed up like a ladybug:
To contact us at O2 Creative, call 970-726-8021 or email [email protected]
At O2, we work with all sorts of clients in a wide variety of markets, industries, and locations. One of the biggest factors in successfully working with such a variety of clients is successfully communicating with each client. We think professional communication is important for every business, so we thought we’d share some tips and tactics that have helped us become better communicators in our business:
Meet regularly. This is perhaps the best way to communicate. In-person, face-to-face meetings help us to get on the same page with the client and really get the creative ball rolling. You’re always welcome to stop by the O2 office, and we’re also happy to come meet you at your business. Or, if you’d like to get even more casual, we’ll gladly meet with you over a drink somewhere around town.
Communicate across multiple mediums. In addition to in-person meetings, we’ll regularly talk to our clients over the phone, via email, Skype, or even on social media. Each of these mediums can be convenient and effective ways to communicate, and can even offer their own unique advantages.
Address issues immediately. If there is ever any confusion or misunderstanding, we try to clarify the issue ASAP. Multiple mediums of communication come into play here too: for instance, if we’re not sure about something in an email, we’ll contact clients by phone to seek quick clarification.
Be timely. Communication should always be timely! This is especially important when keeping a campaign or other project on track. When we fall behind in communication, we fall behind in the campaign.
As a creative agency we genuinely care about the success of our clients. We want each of our clients to be as successful as possible in their respective market, and the success of a project is directly related to the quality of professional communication. This is why we put so much effort into communicating, and encourage our clients to effectively communicate with us as well. If you don’t communicate with us, we can’t work as hard for you.
So whether you’re a current client, or you’re just curious about working with us, please communicate! We’d be pleased to discuss all the opportunities we might have to create a more successful business together.
To communicate with O2 Creative, call 970-726-8021 or email [email protected]. Or contact us on Facebook or Twitter. If you’re in our area, just stop by our office at 345 Zerex Street in downtown Fraser, CO. You can also mail us at PO Box 1349, Winter Park, CO 80482. Or, feel free to Skype us too!
Writing tips from O2
At O2, we write a lot. We write blogs for clients, write content for websites, write copy for advertisements, even write creatively in our free time. We recently discussed a few practical tips and tricks that have helped us become better writers, and we decided to post a few of the writing tips from O2 in this week’s blog:
Create an outline. Determine how you want to begin your written piece, how you want to present the main points, and how you want to conclude your work.
Take notes. If you come across a creative thought, write it down. You may have a great idea right now, but unless you make a note of it, you may not even remember it by the time you sit down later to write.
Use the fewest words possible. Try to keep your writing economical and to the point.
Let your imagination take over. Don’t hesitate to let a creative impulse take your work in an unexpected direction, especially in the initial draft stages.
Write a first draft. Your first draft is the most important, since this draft determines the ultimate direction of your writing. With that said…
Don’t sweat the first draft. Your first draft will never be your best, so don’t get upset if it just isn’t where you want it to be. Allow yourself time to revise your writing.
Sleep on it. After writing your draft, don’t be afraid to leave it be until tomorrow. Many of your best revisions are the ones you’ll make the next morning with a fresh mind.
Use a thesaurus. Sometimes finding the right word can make the difference between good writing and superlative writing. (Yup, we checked the thesaurus for that one.)
Proofread, over and over again! In addition to proofing your own work, have someone else proofread as well. It’s important to get a second set of eyes on a piece of writing.
Think about your audience. Consider who will be reading your work, and try to write in a voice that will communicate with them. Sometimes it even helps to imagine you are writing to a familiar friend.
Read it out loud. Hearing each word out loud will help you really understand the voice of your writing. This also helps you proof your work, since you can often catch those hidden errors when you hear the writing out loud.
Don’t get frustrated. If you’re experiencing the dreaded “writer’s block,” don’t try to force it. Just step away for a moment. Work on something else, go grab a fresh cup of coffee, or just take a walk to clear your mind.
Have fun with it, most importantly of all! Think of writing not as a homework assignment, but as a fun way to express yourself. Once you can really enjoy the writing process, you’ll become increasingly comfortable as a wordsmith, and your creative voice will really start to shine in your work.
These are just a few quick writing tips we discussed. There are certainly plenty of other tips, but this post is already getting a little lengthy. If you have any other tips you’d like to share, please do!
To contact O2 Creative, call 970-726-8021 or email [email protected].
Why your business needs a professional website designer
Nowadays, just about every business has a website. Not every website is created equal, however. The best businesses have the best websites, and the best websites are designed by professionals. There are lots of reasons why your business needs a professional website designer. Here are 5 quick reasons why:
Improves brand awareness and market presence. More and more these days, customers find businesses online. They’ll search for you on the Internet, which means your website is often the only chance you get to make a good first impression. For your market to think you’re a good professional business, you need a good professional website. A dated, ugly, poorly functioning website – or worse, no website at all – is an awful first impression to make.
Your website needs to look professional. You could try using a pre-designed amateur website template, but it’ll look just like that: amateur. If you want your business to appear professional, you need a website that has been designed by professionals. Speaking of…
Professional website designers design websites better. Professional web designers know web design inside and out. We do this stuff all the time! We can quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively design your website with every feature you might need: e-commerce, navigation features, social media integration, scrolling banners and photo albums…you name it! We at O2 can design mobile websites for your business as well, which will automatically display correctly on every sort of smart phone or tablet device. We can even provide website hosting too.
Saves you time and effort. Sure, you could try to design your own website. If you have no experience with web design or programming, however, the task is likely to be much more involved than you realize. Besides, if you’re a small business owner, your day-to-day operations are already enough to worry about. Let us design your website, so you can focus on operating your business.
Get search engine optimized. Your website won’t do much good if your customers can’t find it, which makes proper search engine optimization (SEO) critical to website design. Professional website designers can implement all the latest and greatest SEO tools and techniques right into your website, which will help Google, Yahoo, and other search engines find you. This helps more customers find you, which in turn creates more business.
These are just a few quick reasons why your business needs a professional website designer. The list really could go on and on. The guys at O2 are some of the most creative, most talented, and friendliest website designers around as well. We’re always happy to work with clients from both near and far, whether in Grand County, Colorado, or halfway across the world. To further discuss the benefits of professional website design for your business, contact us today!
To contact O2 Creative, call 970-726-8021 or email [email protected].
O2 expanding to Summit County
Big news from O2!
As you know, our office is located in Grand County, as are many of our clients. In addition to Grand County, we’ve always been happy to provide our top-quality graphic design, web design, and marketing services to businesses near and far. That’s why we’re pleased to announce our plans to expand to Summit County, Colorado!
That’s right. We’d like to formally offer our services to Summit County businesses (though we’ll still be working hard for Grand County and all our other clients either way!)
With our years of experience in resort and tourism marketing and design, we’re already the perfect fit for many businesses in Summit County. We’re happy to come meet in Summit, or if you’re ever in our neck of the woods, you’re always welcome to stop by our Fraser office.
So if you know of any businesses looking for marketing or design work in Frisco, Dillon, Breckenridge, Keystone, Silverthorne, or anywhere else in Summit County, let us know! We’re happy to provide websites, mobile websites, graphic designs, marketing, advertising, promotional items, logos and branding, social media, and any of our other services to our Summit County neighbors.
So contact us at O2 for more info or for a free consultation. Your mountain business deserves to work with a mountain agency!
Give us a call at 970-726-8021 or email [email protected].
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