Archive for February, 2016

The Best Printed Marketing Materials of 2015

With so much emphasis on the Internet, many businesses wonder if they should even bother with print advertising. However, while you definitely need a presence online, you shouldn’t cut out printed marketing materials. These are still an effective way to get the word out there and draw locals into your business. Here are three of the best printed marketing materials of 2015.

Postcards

One of the best ways to get the attention of potential or current customers is by sending them a postcard. A postcard is inexpensive to print up and mail, yet consumers love them. 70 percent of Americans find direct mail advertising more personal than online ads, and 56 percent of all postcards mailed are read by the individual who receives them. You will not see anywhere close to that kind of percentage when you send emails. And best of all, one study found that the average business will yield $12.57 in sales for every dollar they spent on direct mailers, making this a highly effective advertising technique.

Business Cards

Business cards have long been one of the more popular ways to promote yourself and your business. But in this technological age, business cards are just as important as ever. Instead of just including your business name, personal name, address and phone number, you can also include digital information on the card. This includes your website, social media sites and even QR codes people can scan with their phone to learn more about your business. In-person networking will help you reach people. But using a business card will help them learn more about what your business has to offer and increase the chance that they will follow-up with you.

Large Format Prints

Trade shows can bring in business quickly. These are great ways to market your business to potential customers and retailers. However, when you go to trade shows, your printed marketing materials can make or break you. Large format prints help set you apart from others. People walk through these shows quickly and don’t stop to read much, so you need to have eye-catching material that propely displays what your business is about. You also want to create brand recognition, so make sure your company name and logo are prominently displayed.

While the Internet has change the marketing game, it has not killed or done away with print materials. These materials still play a prominent role in attracting new customers and retaining old ones. In 2015, postcards, business cards and large format prints were three of the best printed marketing materials.

 

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Target Audience Is Everyone: How to Mobilize Your Content

Have you ever been sitting in front of a computer and then checked your email on your phone? This trend of accessing more and more information on our phones does not appear to be going away anytime soon. We’ll give you a few tips for scaling your content so you’re able to keep up with the growing demand.

Getting Your Message Across

There is still power in the art of long content. However, it’s really difficult to read long content on a mobile screen (and often even on a computer.) The strain on our eyes and short attention spans makes it difficult for even the most talented writer or designer. If you’re trying to design your site on the premise that a large percentage of people will be accessing your pages as mobile content, you’ll need to focus on somehow getting people interested in an extremely short amount of time. For example, Flipboard is a popular news site that allows you to easily ‘flip’ between headlines and then click on ones that catch your eye. This is an extremely effective use of mobile content. You might have to employ video (which can be tricky if someone is in a public place), infographics like a chart/visual timeline or a quick bullet list of valuable information.

To Scale

Your site will need to scale correctly for every kind of mobile phone. This is not only important to reach your target audience, but Google will penalize you if your site is not up to par by docking your search engine rank (so you’re less likely to show up on the first page of search results.) When you do QA for your website, you’ll need to test every link, function and photo to ensure that everything is easy to navigate and use.

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Developing a Multi-Channel Marketing Strategy

Marketing means being creative, which you need to be because of the amount of competition. Your business has to not only meet the needs of your consumers now, but also try to anticipate what they may want tomorrow. The more avenues or channels you can take to branch out and reach more customers, the more likely you will become a success.

New Perspectives

The moment someone tells you to think outside the box, they’ve lost credibility. It’s an overused phrase that means nothing anymore. To really see something in a new way, you have to be willing to come up with practically unlimited ideas. Most of those ideas will in and of themselves go nowhere, but they may lead you to your winning strategy. Where are your customers? What are they doing? Are they on their phones? Are they mostly in the office? Do they watch television? Internet advertising, email lists, commercials, billboards and social media are all potential channels you can use to create an effective marketing campaign. The key here is to use the limited resources (time, advertising dollars) available to you so you can impress and retain your customers.

Working Smarter

Your customers probably have at least a few things in common, and that’s what you really need to focus on when it comes to marketing: what ties them together. If you work for a hardware store, and the common thread is the love of finishing a chore well. The campaign needs to focus on this from every angle. Maybe you run a photo contest on social media for ‘Best DIY Project’ while your newspaper ads show the pride on someone’s face because they didn’t have to call a so-called professional for help. Use different channels to promote the same message.

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The Importance of Testing With Email Marketing

Email is free and, when used correctly, an effective way to communicate news and information with your customers. The downside of this service is that it’s easy to overlook with the infinite amount of other companies hoping to do the same thing. To save yourself from the Unsubscribe button or being marked as Spam, you’ll need to test campaigns to determine your best line of defense against an often hard-to-impress consumer base.

The Number of Your List

A larger number is better for more data, but use what you have effectively wherever you start. If you’re confident about an idea, then test at about 60% or so of your list to cross-compare. If you’re not as sure, then test a small portion. Ensure that you’re not just testing a select type of client (e.g., only your wealthier ones), so that you know what the overall response will be. You can of course test certain tiers though if you’re offering a select service that they’re more likely to take advantage of. For example, maybe you offer half your high income clients an exclusive offer by using an infographic, and you offer the same offer through standard text to them. You can quickly see how many sign up based on how you present it.

What You Test

Every business varies, so if your numbers are low try working on the major points to address. Maybe you’re losing people with a too standard greeting like ‘Dear Valued Customer.’ Maybe your images look grainy or your subject line doesn’t stand out. Use software designed specifically to help you do A/B testing, so you can better track the results. Whether you want to sell something or persuade someone to sign up, there are different tactics so experiment, test and find out.

 

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Incorporating Videos Into Your Everyday Marketing (benefits)

One of the lesser utilized methods of marketing, including video into your everyday marketing, can drastically improve your interactions while also helping to boost and drive sales. No matter what industry you’re involved in, there is an array of ways in which you can incorporate videos into your marketing in order to boost your overall profitability. With that said, the following is an overview of the benefits of incorporating video into your marketing methodology.

Potentially Viral Marketing Tools

The first, and most important way in which including videos into your marketing can help your company is by potentially going viral. This is due to the fact that people tend to watch and share videos more than other forms of media. This makes it possible for a video or caption advertising your company or services, to become viral as well. What’s more, there is no need to create these videos yourself. You can simply share a funny or informative video on a subject closely related to your brand, and add in some copy about your company in the caption area. That way, everyone who watches and shares your video will also view information about your company and/or services.

Improve Overall Interaction with Customers

In keeping with that notion, using videos also helps to boost conversation amongst your customers as well as interaction with your company as a whole. By posting videos, this leaves room for your clients to express their opinions in the comments. The more comments you receive, the more likely a post is to go viral and spark increased interest within your customer base.

Overall, incorporating video is a great way to boost traffic and drive sales. Just be sure to select/ create videos that are pertinent to your industry and always leave your information on each post.

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Printing Trends For 2016

As with everything else, time changes the way we live and evolve and that goes for the print industry as well.  The way we used print 20 years ago is significantly different than the way we use it today and the way we will use it in the future.  The key is to watch for emerging trends and to get on board early in the game so you are the first one doing something different as that’s what will get your customers’ attention.    So let’s take a look at some of the emerging print trends for the upcoming year.

Use A Multimedia Approach

With everything going digital these days, you need to make sure your print marketing includes a multimedia approach.  Your print and digital ads should work together and complement each other.  If your ads are appealing enough, you will be able to prompt your audience to engage with you by requesting more information, clicking on your social media links or your QR codes to give them immediate access to what they want, which in turn could result in more revenue.

Packaging Print Advertising Is Gaining Popularity

Think about how many sets of eyes see a product’s packaging from order or purchase to final delivery.  So why not make your packaging more intelligent by showing the world what you have to offer and why you are their best option.  Catchy slogans, coupons, special offers and prizes etc. are all great ways to expand your reach, especially when it comes to how easy it is when using custom packaging.

Go Green

Traditionally, the print industry is seen as being not so environmentally friendly.  However, times have changed and consumers should be made aware of how often paper products are recycled and how reforestation has turned the tables on deforestation.  By implementing green initiatives, you will give your company a more favorable reputation while building your brand.

Other Trends To Watch

  • Digital infrastructure
  • Digital print technology via increased print speeds
  • The growth of digital color production
  • Variable data printing
  • Printed QR codes with links
  • 3D printing
  • Barcode label printing
  • Receipt printing
  • Web-to-print

The Bottom Line

Print is not dead, never was, never will be.  That means if you are not jumping on emerging print trends as they happen, you will be left behind with your competition picking up the slack.

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