Tag: marketing


Maximising Creative Budgets, 6 Quick Tips..

‘Making Every Penny Count’

Throughout the years, it’s almost became a life’s work to make sure that our clients (and ourselves for that matter) maximise every single bit of the creative budget we’ve got to strengthen our brand and marketing activities for our companies. Exceeding expectations in terms of quality, service and value is always the goal.

Here are a couple of quick pointers on things we’ve done in the past to achieve this..

1. Write A List and Be Unashamedly Commercial
Sometimes we’re bombarded with choice – website updates, an infographic with useful customer data, social campaigns, refine what you have or start again? Writing a quick list is invaluable, prioritise the activities with those that will best impact your top-line and do those activities first. The more commercially valuable a project is the more bought-in you’ll be, the more you’ll enjoy the process and also quick wins work for everybody and lead to more projects…

2. (Be Organised) and Find Multiple Uses For Everything
If you’re having quality case-studies written by a professional copy-writer, have them spend a tiny bit more time re-formatting the content for your social channels. If your photographer is on-site doing individual pics of the team for the website – again see if you can have those pics re-formatted for social media, for brochures, or even for future press-releases, etc… Also, when you’ve got a professional on-site look to get as many activities as possible in one visit – your provider’s set-up and travel times will eat into your creative budget so best to take a full-day packed with great activities to get more high-quality content than 2 x half-days, etc… Just make sure you provide a good lunch and lots of good coffee. However, and this is a big proviso, this is all dependant on you being organised from the outset, so every time you’re engaging a creative professional or agency. Think what else their time could be used to give additional value. In all honesty, good providers should be making you aware of these value-adds beforehand.

3. Become Invaluable To Your Provider
The company that can give more work to one agency, one photographer, one designer, etc will undoubtedly become more valuable to that provider which should allow you to command better rates or terms.

4. Direct is Fine
Seriously. Most creatives love working with decisive, no-nonsense types of clients that know exactly what they want and who may even be quite blunt with their feedback. Almost, the yin to their yangs. It saves so much time for everybody involved. I’m not saying be deliberately mean but clear about what you’re looking for and more importantly with what you’re not comfortable with.

5. Fast Deadlines
Fast deadlines are wonderful for maximising efficiency – everybody is forced to be focussed, concentrated and on their game from the get-go. Also, most good creative providers are usually quite happy to know that there is a deadline to protect against spec creep and therefore their profit margins. However, proceed with caution, be reasonable with your requests and consider using this tactic sparingly. There is a line and it’s best not to cross it – you’ll know from the provider’s reaction when you’re close. ‘Just-In-Time-Manufacturing’ is one of the most fascinating and successful concepts from the car industry – this is similar in theory.

6. Ask For Reference Images Or Even Sketches
If you’re not entirely certain of what you want, then simply ask the agency/creative provider to take a very small amount of time to provide some reference examples from their folio, some other examples from other providers or even a quick series of sketches, etc… This will help you to more quickly understand what you want, respect your relationship and to de-risk the project for both yourself and the provider.

Just six quick tips from a pretty massive back catalogue, plenty more to follow…

Any questions, drop us a line…



Social Media, A Practical Guide

Social media is quite possibly be the most important part of a company’s brand presence nowadays. Getting likes, being seen and having people engage with you can radically transform your company’s marketing success. A coherent, joined-up and ideas-led social presence will help you attract more clients, staff that share your values and new supporters from all over the world. This is the power of social media.

At the loft, we love social media. We love sharing details of our work, the way we help our clients and also some of the interesting things we get up-too in our studio. We use social media a lot and have therefore picked up some gems that we apply regularly and despite there being many more technical guides online we thought we’d put our feet right in the shoes of those that post on social media to share 10 quick ways to optimise your social posts.

1. Start with the Underlying Message

Before posting, always think… ‘What am I trying to say?’ This is important. Every post says something, consciously or sub-consciously, about your brand. What are we trying to say about ourselves or what we value with the post? We are helpful? We are qualified? We have more experience? Our service is faster?

Marketing is the communication and sharing of values and culture in an interesting way. Make sure what you are sharing displays the values you want it too.

2. A Positive Extension of those Values

As a rule of thumb, the majority of social posts should be sharing something positive! It should be something which people want to read. You have the opportunity to present the best side of your company, your products, your services, your team. Whether it is a client testimonial, something altruistic your team has done in the community or just sharing a very positive benefit of one of your services – more positive posts get more likes and therefore capture the attention of others.

However, more than being positive, consider whether what you are saying aligns with the culture your company is promoting. Doing this will help you be more authentic. Fun posts for fun companies, highly technical posts for highly technical companies, posts about ‘innovation in sustainability’ for companies that value ‘sustainability’ and are innovative around this area. Find the value or the idea and build your post around it. The really great companies do this very well on Social Media.

Everyday Athlete, Glasgow are great at showing their values with every single post.

Everyday Athlete, Glasgow are great at showing their values with every single post.

3. People Love People

Human stories tend to be particularly popular. Celebrating technical attributes or showing thought leadership are both good directions to pursue with social media but human stories such as celebrating ‘service landmarks,’ ‘new-starts,’ or just the good work your team does tend to be more appreciated on social media. Even the most technical companies will have service benefits that apply to human-beings. The more able you are to present the human side of even a highly technical subject – the more likely you are of engaging people with your social posts.

John from Scottish Leather Group was celebrating more than 41 years of Service and Social Media definitely appreciated it.

John from Scottish Leather Group was celebrating more than 41 years of Service and Social Media definitely appreciated it.

4. Image Tells a Story

Make sure the image you use really tells a story about the post itself. This is important.  If you are posting about a particular product, is that product in the foreground of the photo? Does it stand out? If you are posting about an event you are hosting, does the image reflect the nature of the event? One further thing – a more professional, polished image has value, but a slightly rougher image which tells the right story has a greater chance of being understood and properly appreciated by your online audience.

5. Use your Polish Strategically

Despite this, a little polish is definitely going to help. Your posts will grab more attention. Whether it’s some info-graphics to bring a statistic to life, more professional photography of your team members or some video graphics to illustrate a story. Content that has been presented with more care and attention does stand a greater chance of helping you to engage with others. It is worth getting a designer, photographer or videographer to bring some of your content to life for important posts.

However, the real value is in thinking past one post! If you are going to engage a professional – think how you can extend the value of their service? For example, if you hire a photographer to capture the investment your company has made in a new assembly line  – then while the photographer is on site – get multiple images which shows different facilities in a little more detail and instead of a single post – create a small campaign from these 6-8 images. This will help you get a better return on investment and a full campaign worth of content as opposed to one individual post.

Leverage the time you have with a professional photographer, copywriter, animator or designer to create as much quality content as possible. These shots were little additions provided by our photographer Malcolm when photographing the entire team.

Leverage the time you have with a professional photographer, copywriter, animator or designer to create as much quality content as possible. These shots were little additions provided by our photographer Malcolm when photographing the entire team.

6. Use the Loft Social Cheat Sheet

At the end of the day, a lot of this is trial and error – but there are some rules you can use to your advantage. To really help you maximise your posts – we have created a quick cheat sheet which shows the best times, to post, optimal image sizes and character counts. Download this sheet and the information will provide a further boost to your social posts.

The loft social cheat sheet definitely provides a bit of method to successful posting.

The loft social cheat sheet definitely provides a bit of method to successful posting.

7. Headlines should be to the point

If you read our cheat sheet, you will notice that the first few lines of any social post are far and away the most important in grabbing people’s attention. There are definitely some points to be gained by writing a title that everybody understands straight away. Different brands will communicate in different ways but in the absence of any doubt – simple language works best. Understanding over flair.

8. Use all the channels

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, etc… There are so many different channels now, and it is important to pick the one that works for you. Tools like LinkedIn work well for Business2Business audiences. Instagram or Facebook works better for Business2Consumer audiences. Some are more targeted than others.

However, in all honesty, we recommend using all of the channels all of the time. Once you have picked the right image and drafted the right message – you have very little to lose by taking the time to post in all the channels. Plus, it is interesting how often more light-hearted, authentic, less technical posts are liked on LinkedIn and how often the crowd on Instagram will appreciate something a little more content-rich. Just remember to use the correct-sized images as stretched images tend not to do favours for anybody.  You will get this information from our cheat sheet 🙂

Aggregate softwares such as Hoot-Suite can occasionally be helpful here too.

Technical content can work on B2C channels and light-hearted content can work on B2B channels - give it a go!

Technical content can work on B2C channels and light-hearted content can work on B2B channels – give it a go!

9. Maximise your Content

On that note about maximising all of the channels – make sure you re-use your content too. We spoke earlier on about investing in images, graphics, videos, etc. Once you have these assets, stretch them as far and wide as possible! Get them on your website, use them for your newsletter campaigns. If necessary – use them for print documents such as your annual report or other brochures. This will give you a much greater return for any investment on your marketing outlay.

10. Repeat

Once again, you have invested the time and energy to create content, got a great image and written a strong post. Your postings may be as successful as you want, they may not be. However, you do have the opportunity to have a few more goes. So many people will have missed your post first time round – don’t be shy and give them another opportunity to engage. You may even wish to hone your posts a little – to see if you can make it stronger 2nd and 3rd times round. You have very little to lose and much to gain.

A bit of a whistle-stop tour in how to optimise your social posts – you will find many more technical posts online but we hope that the guide above gives you a practical guide on where to start.

As always if you need any advice…

contact the loft >>>



Benedetto is an enthusiastic Creative and Business person.

‘Design with soul’ may be the company tag-line, but to Benedetto, it is also a way of life. He believes that creative and commercial enterprise is about purity of thought, honesty of construction and boldness of execution.

He believes in bringing out the true essence of human endeavour and considers his job of articulating the great work of people and companies an absolute privilege.

His journey has taken him from a career in car design through to his current role as the Founder of the loft, a design and branding studio based in Glasgow.

He is honoured to manage a great team, work with great clients and have a lot of fun mixing with so many great people in business.