Ep #01: Ryan Lofton | CEO

Ep #01: Ryan Lofton | CEO

We’re excited to announce a new project we’ve been working on: Off the grid with Root & Roam! Here, we’ll chat about the things we’ve been up to and what we’re excited about in the wide world of marketing. In our first episode, Rai catches up with Ryan, who just returned from the Grocery Shop conference in Las Vegas. Ryan gives a look behind the scenes, telling us what he learned, who he met, and what he’s excited about.

We’ll be back monthly to tell you more about what’s going on behind the scenes at Root & Roam.

RGB vs CMYK : What is the difference?

RGB vs CMYK : What is the difference?

RGB vs CMYK – What is the difference between RGB and CMYK? Simply put, it’s just different ways of processing colors. Painters mix paint to make the perfect color palette. Digital designers also mix colors to create palettes, photography, and more. CMYK is the process of mixing 4 basic colors, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black, to make thousands of colors and realistic images in the printing process. RGB is the process of mixing three basic colors along with light, Red, Green, and Blue. The RGB color process was invented in the digital process when we started using televisions, computers, and retina displays.

RGB is an additive color model that uses Red, Green, Blue, and light for screens and monitors. CMYK is a subtractive color model used for printing made of four colors: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. Black is the key color that provides the detail. That is where we get the K in CMYK.

Check out this graphic from our friends at Visual Pro:

rgb vs cmyk

The RGB process has made a huge splash in the design world now that we have retina displays at our fingertips that can interpret millions of colors. The technology is changing so quickly, but it is important to know the basic concept and why.

The timeline of RGB actually dates back before the electronic age and has roots in photography. But it made its debut with desktop computers in the 70’s displaying an amazing palette of 16 colors. RGB made its next splash with 24-bit monitors and then again with HTML with its 24bit color palette. Now our monitors and phones can interpret millions of colors with RGB.

What is RGB?

RGB is an acronym for Red Green Blue. Based on these three colors plus light, you can create a spectrum of colors. This color combination plus millions of tiny lights allows us to see images on digital items, such as televisions, projection systems, computers, and cell phones. RGB has advanced so rapidly with displays that we can now see millions of colors, just by applying a combination of Red, Green, and Blue.

Why should you care? Using the wrong color settings can cause your print projects to come out too dark or your website images to appear muddy and non-vibrant. RGB and CMYK are settings in most design programs that interpret the colors for us. Designers build graphics based on the end product and adjust settings to make your project perfect. If your end goal is digital, keep it RGB, but if you are looking to get something printed, you may want to change your mode to CMYK.

What is CMYK?

CMYK is a combination of 4 transparent colors; (c)yan, (m)agenta, (y)ellow, and blac(k). The K stands for “Key” – This is always black ink and helps finalize the details. This process is actually pretty awesome, and if you ever get to go to a printing press that uses CMYK plates, it’s an interesting process to watch. The printing press makes 4 plates (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black). Ink is then applied to each plate and paper runs through the press perfectly lining up to make a final image.

Check out this graphic from Printing Solutions:

cmyk or rgb for print

It doesn’t feel possible that combining those four colors would produce such a vivid image of color, but it does. Magic… science… same thing.

We use CMYK for the printing process. This is how the ink is distributed on our inkjet home printers and our large 4 color press printers. Same theory.

If the final destination of your graphic is not printed, this setting can make your color look a little muddy or not as vibrant. If it is really important that the color is exact for you, you will want to have a designer with a calibrated monitor help or do some test prints from the printer.

Hex Codes and Web Safe Color

Since not all monitors are the same, designing for the web can be tricky. Even if I use my RGB settings, things can differ based on the display type. Monitors and displays are constantly advancing also, but Hex codes are a way to keep your colors as consistent as possible. A hex code is a code of 6 letters and numbers that basically tell the monitor how to interpret the RGB color. Choosing web safe colors is still best practice to have consistency across displays, but this rule seems to have less value lately as most of the population have modern displays.

This is a good reference for web safe hex values.

One thing to note – make sure the numbers or letters are the same in each segment. This formula ensures that the color is going to be web safe. Like #CCFF00 is web safe because the numbers match up, while #CF01RR will not be as consistent across all displays.

Hex Codes still interpret color in an additive RGB format; it is simply the code telling the website how much color to display.

Color Blindness on the Web

Because not every person sees things the same, we have to make sure content is still visible for our color blind friends and coworkers. Making sure your background and type have enough contrast is a good rule of thumb. Also, making sure that you don’t use certain colors on top of each other like red and green. Color combos and fancy backgrounds can be fun, but don’t forget websites are still a tool to deliver information. Check out this really cool tool that will help you make sure your site is color friendly.

The difference between RGB and CMYK

Here are the main things to keep in mind as you prepare graphics for output. CMYK setting is for print and is made of four colors in a subtractive color model like paint. RGB is a setting that uses light and an additive color model to make vibrant colors on our digital displays.

Thanks for stopping by. The team at Root & Roam know some things about color, so if you are having trouble on a project, let Root & Roam help!

Why Rebrand

Why Rebrand

Rebranding could be the difference between reaching your company’s full potential or being left behind. Staying ahead in any niche is a constant race. To keep your brand relevant, you need to be willing to do what it takes to make it stand out to consumers. A rebrand could be the answer to your needs. At Root & Roam, we recently went through the rebranding process to better fit our clients’ needs, and we are here to share our experience with you.

What is branding?

Let’s begin with what branding isn’t. Branding is not just the look and feel of your company. Nor is it a color palette or a tagline. Your brand is what draws people to purchase from you and not your competitors, and, if done correctly, creates an emotional tether between your brand and the consumer. For example, people don’t purchase a Mercedes for the look of the brand, but rather, the status owning a Mercedes provides to them. They want to “feel” special, luxurious, different, therefore, they choose that brand over others. 

The look and feel of a brand is important, however, in that you want to stand out from your competition. As well, you want your brand to align with your products, services, and, most importantly, your vision and mission.

What is rebranding?

Rebranding is the strategy that aims at changing the perception of your brand by the consumer through a modification of your existing brand. During the rebranding process, your company’s assets are transformed (and possibly your positioning in the marketplace) into something fresh and relevant that will draw the attention of your target audience. Rebranding can be as simple as a color palette change or as extreme as a complete rehaul of your business model.

The purpose of a rebrand

Today, with so many brands competing within the same consumer space, it’s imperative that your brand stand out uniquely and sincerely. Consumers are becoming more conscious of what they consume and how brands relate to the world around them. Rebranding is a tool to remind buyers who you are and why your brand is their best choice.

Have you ever noticed when multiple fast-food brands start to have similar storefront appearances? How about when cell phone companies offer similar services? What makes one burger joint better than another? What is so special about unlimited talk and text when everyone has it? That is where the little things come in to play, such as broader cell phone coverage or a special sauce that no one else has. That is the unique identifier that consumers are drawn to and purchase from. Rebranding is the chance to present your special sauce in a new way.

The process

We understand that rebranding can be a tricky process. That is why we have broken it down into an easy-to-follow six-step process.

- 1 -

 Begin your rebrand with competitive analysis. Understanding what your competitors are doing, how they may be outperforming you, and identifying areas within the marketing landscape where you could compete will help you to define your goals.

- 2 -

Establish your goals. To ensure that you get everything you desire out of a rebrand, it is important to establish what you wish to achieve from the process. Some questions to ask include “who is your target audience?”, “Is there a new product or service to come with the rebranding?”, “Have your business values or company culture changed?”, and “What don’t you like about your current branding?”. The answers to these questions may provide a clear path to those goals. Be sure to leverage your competitive analysis when establishing goals.

- 3 -

Assign your rebranding team. You may choose to hire an agency, such as Root & Roam, or to establish an internal team for the job. The rebranding team should possess adequate market knowledge and skills to perform the rebranding tasks.

- 4 -

Develop a strategy. Before you begin putting things into action, we recommend creating a roadmap of how you plan to facilitate your rebrand. Begin with your goals and your competitive analysis findings. You will also want to establish action items during the strategy process and assign those action items to the appropriate team member.

- 5 -

Design and develop your rebrand. During the design and development process, your team should be working on their assigned tasks, including creating assets, performing website processes, and establishing a new voice. This is where your team pieces together all the ideas into a comprehensive rebrand.

- 6 -

Launch! The final step in the rebranding process is to deploy the new branding. A successful rebranding launch strategy will include everywhere your company identity can be found.

Signs that it is time to rebrand

As your business grows and competition gets more fierce, you may start to notice that your brand no longer fits your company’s narrative. Here are a few of the top signs that it is time for a rebrand.


Change in values – this may be the case if you have not established clear values in the past. A rebrand is a perfect opportunity to shed some light on the values you want your company to uphold.


A new customer base – perhaps you have outgrown your original audience, your company is switching from B2B to B2C or vice versa. When attempting to reach a new audience, your brand should appeal to that audience. What worked for the original audience will likely not work for the new audience you’re trying to target.


New products or services – perhaps your company is preparing to roll out new products or services that completely redefine the company’s current standing. Rebrand to keep your company’s messaging in line with the offerings.


Merging with another company – when merging two or more companies, you will want to design a new brand that reflects the totality of the new company.

These are just a few signs that it may be time for a rebrand. Rebranding could be necessary for many other reasons. If you feel that is may be time for a rebrand, reach out to our team. We love helping businesses figure out what is best for them.

How does rebranding benefit your business?

When major changes happen within your company and/or the market, rebranding may be beneficial to convey new ideas and maintain relevance within the industry. Rebranding can keep your company’s mission and vision relevant to the goals you wish to accomplish.

Branding can make or break a business. Without a good branding strategy, your business will be left in the dust. Our team is ready to help take your brand to the next level. Are you ready to explore the possibilities?

Owned Earned and Paid Media

Owned Earned and Paid Media

Owned, Earned, And Paid Media: The Digital Marketing Trifecta


You may have heard the terms “Owned, Earned, and Paid Media” tossed around in the past and could be concerned that they are new types of media that you must have to optimize and create a well-rounded online presence for your business. However, there’s a strong likelihood that you already have developed and are using at least a few of these types of media already!

Owned, earned, and paid media all play a strong role in your company’s SEO, and all work together to provide a clear overview of your company to a customer. Let’s dive into the differences between earned, owned, and paid media.

Owned Media


Your owned media is just that – any content or platforms your brand owns. If you have complete control over the media, you “own” it. Owned media is great because you control the entirety of the messaging and branding. The more places your brand can be found online, and the more engaged on these platforms your audience is, the better your website will rank on a search engine results page (SERP).

Examples of your owned media include:












Social media accounts

Owned media allows your brand to shine. If you have a branding kit, make sure that you’re referring to it consistently to so your messaging, brand personality, color scheme, and fonts are all on-brand. It’s important to show consistency across all of your owned platforms to increase your brand awareness.

Whether you’re working to develop all your owned media platforms or you’re continuing to grow them, now is the time to do an audit.  Make a list of all of the owned media your company has, and make sure that you’re utilizing them all to their fullest potential. This is a prime way to get seen by current and potential customers, so make sure you are putting your best foot forward and providing up-to-date and engaging for your audience. Create a plan to monitor and engage with your social media accounts. If you have a social media account you’re not currently using, consider whether or not you have the bandwidth to re-engage with this platform.

Root and Roam Tip: There are many types of owned media, but you do not have to use them all. Focus on the owned media platforms that resonate with your audience.

Earned Media


Earned media is any mention your brand has earned through work of your own. You’ve heard before that “nothing good comes easy,” and your earned media is a prime example. Over time, your earned media grows exponentially. Putting in the hard work to develop customer relationships, loyalty, and provide excellent customer service pay off for you with earned media.

Examples of earned media include:


Blog posts about your product or service others have written


Press mentions


Online reviews


Social mentions

It may feel uncomfortable, but the fastest way to gain earned media is by asking. Check in with your most loyal customers and ask them to write a review on your Google My Business page, an online business review site, or even your social media platforms. You can do this in person or through an email.

Root and Roam Tip: It may feel easier to ask a customer to leave a review in exchange for a discount or small token of appreciation. Resist this temptation. Doing so can inadvertently be considered to be bribery. Your company is great and your organic reviews will show this!

Paid Media


Your paid media is any content or brand mention you’ve paid to have. They may fall anywhere on the cost spectrum, from just a few dollars to the largest paid campaign that you could dream up.

Example of Paid Media Include:


Google search ads


Streaming ads


Google display ads


Banner ads on a website


Network display ads


Paid articles or advertorials

Your paid media is an important part of your overall marketing strategy because it expands your reach.  Paid media allows you to get your company seen by potential new customers. Targeting options allow for you to hand-select who your audience is, and there are multiple ways for you to do so. You can target your search and display paid media in many different ways, including geographic location, specific keywords or searches, demographics. You even have the option to do a retargeting ad to follow up with those who have already visited your website or Facebook page.

Your paid media also includes any ad buys that you make on any online industry publication and streaming TV or radio ad.

Root and Roam Tip: There are many places you can use paid media. The opportunities are endless. Start off simple with platforms that you know your current audience or target audience are utilizing, and do some A/B testing to see what resonates best and provides you the most conversions.

How do I combine earned, owned, and paid media?


As we talked about the differences between earned, owned, and paid media, you may be thinking “How do these all work together to give me a well-rounded digital marketing strategy?” The combinations of earned, owned, and paid media is the key. All types of media play a pivotal role in your SEO strategy but also in your overall brand strategy.

Owned and Paid Media


Some examples of owned and paid media combinations include:


Sponsored social media advertising


Boosted social media posts


Influencer partnerships

Owned and Earned


Some examples of owned and earned media include:


Testimonials on website


“As seen on..” Sections of the website


More branded searches for your business

Owned and Paid



Engagement on your owned media from influencers or social ads


Website conversions through paid advertising efforts


Increased web traffic on a dedicated landing page to capture leads through an ad

Each option of the type of media you choose, if leveraged alone, can achieve a company goal. However, when combined with another type or better yet, when all three are utilized, you’ll see much better results regardless of if you’re targeting brand awareness, lead generation, lead nurturing, or transactional opportunities. Interested in learning more about how these three types of media can improve your business, get in touch with a marketing strategist at Root & Roam!

Bringing Brands and Communities Together!

Bringing Brands and Communities Together!

The agency and the brand


Here at Root and Roam, we’ve enjoyed almost a decade of supporting one of our favorite clients, Pederson’s Natural Farms. Pederson’s was the first to create a no-sugar bacon and make it available nationally. They’ve grown to 90 employees with dozens more protein products and they continue to grow steadily. From label design to national campaigns, we’ve showcased Pederson’s across numerous channels over the years. Moreover, we have helped them increase revenue along the way.

Recently, they approached us about getting involved on a national level. Although Pederson’s has long supported local farmers and communities near their headquarters in Hamilton, Texas, they became interested in taking that helping spirit and supporting broader needs. And boy were we excited to hear that!

Broadening that giving spirit


Pederson’s is passionate about providing some of the best meat on the market. It’s something they take extremely seriously. They were the first to make a no-sugar bacon available nationally.  Since then, they’ve continued creating no-sugar added, non GMO, no nitrite or nitrate, all natural and sometimes organic, no hormones or preservatives…meat (well, you get the point)! They sell great meat. Naturally, working in an industry that provides millions of meals to fellow Americans gets you thinking, and the question arose: “What happens to the people who can’t get natural, wholesome proteins?” That question led Pederson’s to consider doing more to help feed their fellow citizens.

That’s when Root and Roam introduced Pederson’s to Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization. Feeding America works tirelessly to connect people with food and end hunger. And thus, a beautiful partnership was formed!



On April 15, 2021, Pederson’s announced its partnership with Feeding America. Pederson’s pledges to provide 1.5 million meals* to communities through their own charitable donation and the donations of Pederson’s customers through the #PedersonsPrepRally campaign.

In conjunction with this partnership, Pederson’s launched a campaign called Pederson’s Prep Rally to bring diverse communities together to celebrate our differences through people’s shared passion for food. Four influencers from diverse backgrounds were identified to help share engaging content across social platforms all while raising awareness about Feeding America. Diversity is a big part of the Prep Rally strategy.  We want to bring different communities together to share their love of food and to support those who need our help in getting quality food. Donation buttons will be on all platforms and websites leveraging the campaign. Together with Root and Roam and all of the Prep Rally influencers, Pederson’s will play an active role in helping to provide meals to those with food insecurity.

The best part about this partnership is that people who donate literally provide meals in their respective zip codes! People can give back and help support their own local communities in need.

How you can help support Feeding America


Pederson’s has provided multiple ways that you can donate to those with food insecurities and help support the great work Feeding America does. Here are just a few ways:

Join the Rally Room! The Rally Room is a membership and subscription-based way to get quarterly SWAG, exclusive deals and meat bundles of Pederson’s delicious proteins. All while donating monthly to Feeding America. It’s part of your subscription! You can find out more about the Rally Room here. https://pedersonsfarms.com/pages/prep-rally

You can also go to www.pedersonsfarms.com and donate right on the homepage! No purchase necessary.

You can also check out Pederson’s social media channels – Facebook and Instagram – weekly to find out other ways you can give to Feeding America. We’ve got you covered there!

And finally, to everyone who participates, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts! Let’s help feed America!

*$1 helps provide at least 10 meals secured by Feeding America® on behalf of local member food banks. Meal claim valid as of 7/1/20 and subject to change.

How To Create A Great Newsletter

How To Create A Great Newsletter

Newsletters are one example of email marketing, which is just a small segment of a digital marketing strategy. 

Unlike transactional email marketing (an email that is triggered when a user performs a calculated action), newsletters have (or should have) a regular cadence and should be sent to only certain segments of your overall email list. Newsletter marketing is intended to build a relationship between your brand and the lead or customer you’re targeting. 

Newsletters can contain all sorts of content, from company announcements to information about product launches. However, the ultimate goal of a newsletter is to build relationships, drive traffic to your website, roll out a new product or service, or generate or qualify leads. And you want to compel your readers to take some sort of action that benefits your brand or business. 

We’ve outlined a few tips on what makes a great newsletter and why you should send one. Keep in mind that newsletter marketing is serious business, so if you don’t have the resources to support it, consider working with a marketing agency to help you. 

In the meantime, here are a few tips to creating a newsletter with purpose that we believe your readers will enjoy. We’ve also added some Root and Roam tips for you to try. Read on!

Bring Value To Your Readers


If you’re considering creating a newsletter or want to revamp the newsletter you already have, consider these questions:


Why do I need a newsletter?


How do we measure our success?


Are we providing content the reader wants?


Do we have the resources to support the creation, distribution, and analysis of a newsletter?


Who are our readers? Do they even read newsletters?


How will we promote our newsletter?

Know your readers, and consider creating content they will be interested in, not just something to fill up their inbox. If you bring them real value, they will respond.

Remember, we all get a lot of email, so take that into consideration when you’re creating your newsletter.

Root and Roam Tip: Consider segmenting your newsletter email list and targeting content to that specific email group. Example: if you can identify your most loyal customers, consider a referral program and incentivize them to bring in new customers.



Newsletters are usually part of your overall content strategy, which is part of your digital strategy. Each element within your digital marketing strategy should work holistically to achieve your business goals.

After you’ve created your customer personas (that’s a different blog), ensure that your targeted customer wants to receive their information from a newsletter. This is important because demographic information dictates strategy, so leverage it when considering if your target audience responds well to newsletters. And include topics and themes that are tied to a bigger strategy, company goal, or objective.

Root and Roam Tip: Put your most important content at the top of your newsletter. The top of your newsletter gets the most attention from your readers.



There are dozens of newsletter platforms on the market, so it may be a challenge to choose the right one. We won’t get into details on which ones are our favorite, but here are just a few features you should look for if you’re considering distributing a newsletter.

Keep it simple – Use a platform that allows you to drag and drop or create the newsletter easily. There are plenty of platforms out there that provide a very simple newsletter template allowing you to include your own color palette, branding, and content.

Make sure it measures – Analytics are important. Make sure the newsletter platform you choose measures the effectiveness of each newsletter. Wondering what to measure? You’ll want to measure how engaged your audience was by looking at the “open rate.” This demonstrates how many people actually opened your newsletter. You’ll also want to look at the “click-through-rate” or CTR. This will show you how many people clicked through to your website or whatever platform you’re directing them to. Pay attention to your unsubscribe rate, too. If you see a high unsubscribe rate, consider creating a new newsletter strategy.

Root and Roam Tip: The average open rate for a newsletter is 15-25%, and the average CTR is 2.5%. Consider setting two types of goals: benchmark level goals (meet the industry average) and “stretch goals,” exceeding the industry average.



Your subject line may be the most important piece of content in your entire newsletter.

According to Optinmonster, 47% of people open an email based solely on the subject line, while 76% of people will report the email as spam based on the subject line.

And remember, people don’t just receive information on their desktop. Consider the right length of your subject line based on a mobile device.

Finally, it’s okay to be playful with your subject line, so if you feel emojis project the sort of message you want, use them!

Root and Roam Tip: As creative as you may want to get with your subject line, make sure it represents the content inside the newsletter.



Let’s face it, we are consuming more and more data as technology makes it simpler for us to access it. No one wants to read pages and pages of information.

You may have a lot to say, but don’t use your newsletter to tell it all. Your newsletter should focus on one or two main topics presented in engaging and fun ways. Too much content is a turn-off to your reader, and you could end up with a high open rate and a low click through rate.

Think about keeping it light and succinct. Don’t go on and on about a subject. And leverage a storytelling format. People love good stories, so tell one when you’re creating your content.

Root and Roam Tip: People love behind the scenes content. Consider showcasing how something is made or how business is conducted in your organization.



Your email list is an asset to your business; it’s something you grow, nurture, and leverage when necessary. Think of it as a garden; you put a lot of work into tending to it, it grows and grows, but you still have to tend to it in order to get it to deliver the best bounty. Your email list works the same.

Use an “opt-in” list only. Opting in to receive information from your business is vital to growing your list organically and important to your business’s reputation. There are single opt-in and double opt-in options. Double opt-in is a two-step process allowing the reader to agree twice to receiving information from your business. Although the double opt-in feature might reduce your email list, it is still the best way to ensure people really want communication from you.

Aside from wanting to grow your email list the right way, it’s also the law. The laws are in place to deter people from receiving unwanted and unsolicited information and spam.

Root and Roam Tip: Never purchase an email list. Not only could this negatively affect your brand, most newsletter platforms will freeze your account if you try uploading massive lists at one time.



Your newsletter should have purpose and tie back strategically to your overall goals and objectives. This is where your CTA plays a role in your newsletter.

The CTA should be prominently placed throughout your newsletter – meaning more than once – and be designed well for maximum visibility.

Use text that is actionable and engaging when creating your CTA. If given the choice between “Click here for more information” or “Get your discount,” which one would be more enticing?

Root and Roam Tip: Create a sense of urgency with your CTA. “Shop now – only 6 left” or “30% off today only” are great examples of CTAs that inspire you to act quickly!

Check your newsletter across digital platforms


Generation Z now makes up 27 percent of the entire US population. What does that mean to me, you may ask? Well, if you’re marketing products or services to this demographic, who grew up on mobile devices, you better ensure your newsletter looks great and functions properly on this platform. More and more people are using their mobile phones to get their information, so when creating your newsletter, be sure to check that it works across devices. Check all versions before you hit send: desktop, laptop, mobile device and tablet.

Just one bad experience with your brand on any digital platform, and you may lose that customer forever.

Root and Roam Tip: Be sure and send a “test” version of your newsletter to your colleagues and have them check it on all platforms. This will ensure your audience gets the best version of your newsletter.

Promote your newsletter!


It’s important to grow your email list, and you can only do this by promoting your awesome newsletter! Consider embedding a sign up form on your website and social media platforms. Encourage people to sign up, and perhaps tie a contest in with it.

Website pop-up windows are a great way to get people to sign up, and if you couple that with a contest, giveaway, or discount code, your sign up rate will increase.

Don’t be pushy. Let your audience feel like they are participating in something that will provide value to them.

Root and Roam Tip: Include a “share” option within your newsletter so your reader can forward your newsletter on, share it across their social media platforms, and encourage their friends, family, and social community to be a part of your newsletter.