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10 Ways To Create a Strong Online Presence For Your Business

The average person spends roughly eight and a half hours a day online. Between work, streaming, social media, and shopping, that leaves a huge window of opportunity for your business to reach those high valued target customers.

Make it easier for your target customers to find you online by creating a strong online presence. Here are a few ways to start:

1 – Mobile Responsive Website

The majority of consumers now use their mobile devices to browse the internet. That means your website needs to look as engaging and attractive on a small smartphone screen as it does on a desktop.

2 – Content Creation

Marketing today is all about maintaining high-quality customer relationships, and that requires keeping consumers attention. The best way to do that is to have a content calendar that prompts your business team to update your website and social media with fresh visual, written, and audio content.

3 – SEO and Location Data

Every company needs a search engine optimization, or SEO, strategy to organically appear higher in popular search engines like Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo. Hiring a professional digital marketing team is an excellent way to improve your website SEO, especially if you are a local business. Google loves to elevate search results based on your physical location and area of service.

4 – Managing Your Website & Online Reputation

Having so many review-based services is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you get to know which restaurants, bars, and stores your community likes the most. On the other, one bad review can mean the difference between being #1 and #5. Therefore, you need to manage your online reputation and mitigate as many bad reviews as possible, so your final rank appears good enough to draw in customers. 

 5 – Engage in Social Media

Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay. The benefits of directly connecting with your clients far outweigh the minor inconvenience of staying up to date with new content. The good news is you do not have to engage in every single platform. Stick to the 1-3 platforms that work naturally for your business and focus your efforts on growing your viewership.

6 – Create with Sharability in Mind

The more your original content can be easily shared across multiple platforms, the faster you will organically improve your brand reach. It is not uncommon for a store in Denver, CO, to feature some excellent content noticed by tourists from New York City. You never know who you’ll reach, but at least you’ll know you are reaching them. 

7 – Leverage Google My Business

Google My Business is a profile service where your registered company shows up at the top of Google’s search result page when people search for your industry, company, service, and location. It is a great way to stay top of mind for anyone looking for your business. 

8 – Video is Best

If you have the option, always elect to create content with video elements. Consumers are more attracted to video media and will spend more time browsing your website and social accounts if there are explainer videos, daily vlogs, or tours of your office.

9 – Be Accessible

There are many tools available to check the overall accessibility of your website. The general trend is for search engines to start offering preference to websites built with more accessible layouts and options. This is because it is the right thing to do and helps ensure your site has a clean, easy-to-understand design.

10 – Unify Your Brand Presence

Every single instance of your company online needs to have the same contact information, brand color, slogan, identity, and themed content. Consumers want to feel a connection with their brands, and that means offering them a unified presence. Search engines will also appreciate that all your information is the same and rank a little higher.

Consistency Equals Growth

Building your online presence to shine through your competitor’s noise is crucial to growing your business and reaching more target markets. Following a few of these tips will help you on your way, but the most essential factor is consistency. 

Like every other relationship in the world, people want to know they can trust and rely upon you to offer the same quality content and service every time they contact you.

If you would like to find out how we can help you improve your online presence, email us at


Tony O. Lawson

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These Brands Are Still Tapping Into Nostalgia for Slavery, Whether You Realize It or Not

Some of the most egregious examples using a cultural stereotype as a mascot are the ones rooted in nostalgia for slavery. A few examples are the mascots representing the Aunt Jemima, Cream of Wheat, and Uncle Ben brands that all emerged between the Civil War and the Civil Rights Act.

Aunt Jemima

brands and slavery

Aunt Jemima dates back to 1889, making it the oldest of these brands with problematic mascots. According to, the character was first portrayed in 1890 by Nancy Green, described by the brand as “a storyteller, cook and missionary worker.” (It doesn’t mention that she was born a slave in Kentucky in 1834.)

Aunt Jemima was later portrayed by another woman, Anna Robinson. Her backstory is unclear, but the brand notes that after traveling the country to promote Aunt Jemima starting in 1933, Robinson “is able to make enough money to provide for her children and buy a 22-room house, where she rents rooms to boarders.”

Other women followed. Actress Aylene Lewis was the last, portraying Aunt Jemima at a branded restaurant within Disneyland from 1957 to 1964, where she “[served] pancakes and [posed] for photos with guests.”

blog post from the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture explains that stereotypes about African Americans grew after the 1857 Supreme Court decision in the case of Dred Scott v. John Sandford, in which Chief Justice Roger Taney wrote that people of African descent were not U.S. citizens and had no right to sue in federal court.

According to the post, this legal precedent spurred caricatures of African Americans in popular culture, including the Mammy stereotype of the nurturing African American housekeeper, with which Aunt Jemima is now synonymous. It was first popularized in minstrel shows after the Civil War—in fact, Marilyn Kern-Foxworth, author of the book Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, and Rastus: Blacks in Advertising, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, wrote that Aunt Jemima hails from a song in a minstrel show that one of the brand’s founding partners saw in 1889.

Quaker Oats, which has owned Aunt Jemima since 1926, did not respond to interview requests.

Mrs. Butterworth’s

Another that potentially falls under this umbrella is syrup brand Mrs. Butterworth’s, which was founded by CPG giant Unilever in 1961 and more recently came under the purview of packaged foods company Conagra. In an email, Dan Skinner, manager of brand communications, said, “We have never discussed Mrs. Butterworth’s race, religion or ethnicity, other than to say that she is ‘motherly’ and known the world over for her delicious syrup.”

She has, however, been compared to the Mammy stereotype—and actress Butterfly McQueen, who played the maid Prissy in the 1939 film Gone with the Wind, was reportedly the model for the original bottle. (Skinner said Conagra has nothing in its records that verifies McQueen’s role.)

Cream of Wheat

brands and slavery

Just a few years after Aunt Jemima, a hot cereal brand called Cream of Wheat started using a similar image.

Holding company B&G Foods, which has owned Cream of Wheat since 2007, says the brand dates back to 1893. B&G and Cream of Wheat do not offer any information about the man on their boxes, although his image appears in a number of ads in a slideshow dubbed “Our Favorite Memories.”

In a blog post, Kirsten Delegard, co-director of the Mapping Prejudice Project at the University of Minnesota, said Cream of Wheat founder Emery Mapes designed the packaging with a former slave he called “Rastus” after the characters depicted in the Uncle Remus books of African American folk tales, first published in 1880.

According to a December 2000 essay by David Pilgrim, professor of sociology at Ferris State University, Mapes, a former printer, found the image of a black chef among his old printing blocks. This logo was used until the 1920s, when Mapes paid a Chicago waiter $5 to pose as the new chef.

“The image of this unknown man has appeared, with only slight modifications, on Cream of Wheat boxes for almost 90 years,” Pilgrim wrote.

B&G Foods did not respond to interview requests.

The Cream of Wheat chef is arguably the most enduring example of the Uncle Tom stereotype in marketing. The pervasive caricature hails from the 1852 novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, as The Smithsonian writes: “The stereotype of Uncle Tom is innately submissive, obedient and in constant desire of white approval.”

In his essay, Pilgrim writes that the Tom caricature, like Mammy, was born in antebellum America in defense of slavery.

“How could slavery be wrong, argued its proponents, if black servants, males (Toms) and females (Mammies), were contented and loyal?” Pilgrim wrote.

And it’s this imagery—in which Pilgrim notes “the toothy, well-dressed black chef happily serves breakfast to a nation”—that Cream of Wheat has used for 127 years.

Uncle Ben

brands and slavery

According to Uncle Ben’s, the name “Uncle Ben” was adopted in 1946. That’s four years after Forrest Mars—son of Frank Mars, founder of the food conglomerate that bears their name—acquired the rights to an easy-to-cook rice initially called Converted Brand Rice.

“Who is Uncle Ben? Actually, he was two people!” according to the brand’s website. “The name comes from a black Texan farmer—known as Uncle Ben—who grew rice so well, people compared Converted Brand Rice to his standard of excellence. The proud and dignified gentleman on our boxes, who has come to personify the brand, was a beloved Chicago chef and waiter named Frank Brown.”

In his paper, Racial Etiquette: The Racial Customs and Rules of Racial Behaviour in Jim Crow America, Ronald L. F. Davis, a professor at California State University, Northridge, noted that black men were called “Boy,” “Uncle,” and “Old Man” to denote inferiority during the Jim Crow era, a period of segregation and discrimination following the Civil War that lasted roughly until the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Beyond the brand name, the New York Times said the depiction of Uncle Ben with a bow tie was “evocative of servants and Pullman porters,” the African-American men—many of them former slaves—who served white passengers on railroad sleeping cars from the 1860s to the 1960s.

Sara Schulte, external communications manager for Uncle Ben’s parent company Mars Food North America, declined Adweek’s request for an interview.

Source: Ad Week