• A Little Info About Pantone Colors

    On: August 5, 2019
    In: Uncategorized
    Views: 88
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    One of the biggest challenges for designers and clients is colors. Monitors may be calibrated differently, and color ranges are different on screen compared to on paper. And even on paper, there may be a difference in how a color will appear from one printer to another. In printed media, that is solved by the use of a standardized system of colors called Pantone® colors.

    Pantone® colors or Pantone Matching System (PMS) colors are specially mixed colors that are designed to print consistently no matter which print house you use. There are over a thousand specially mixed colors to choose from and even include metallic and fluorescent colors. A designer or agency will usually have access to a swatch book in order to select the right colors in designing your logo, or your company may already have specific Pantone colors used for their branding.

    You can request a sample of a Pantone swatch that is being used in your project so that you can see in person what the color looks like. The benefit to the Pantone color system is what you see in the swatch book will be what you see in the final printing.

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  • How to have a successful video campaign

    On: July 1, 2019
    In: Uncategorized
    Views: 118
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    If you haven’t already, you should consider adding a video component to your marketing campaign.  The video can have multiple uses ~ website, social media, digital advertising and presentations. Marketers who used video last year saw an 81% increase in sales and a 54% boost in brand awareness!  According to a recent study from e-Marketer, brands are projected to spend over $53 billion on video ads by 2023. But before you incorporate video into your marketing mix, you need to keep the following in mind to ensure your video campaign is set up for success.

    The fifteen second video
    We know that today’s consumers have short attention spans and it continues to get worse.   Facebook users spend approximately 1.7 seconds looking at mobile content and 2.5 seconds looking at content on their desktop.  People are constantly switching back and forth online. This is the reason you need to keep your videos short. Real short!  Facebook studies have shown that videos under 15 seconds have a higher conversion rate.  Focus on one thing at a time and make them fun and informative to watch.  It is better to have several mini videos than one long one.

    Test and test again
    If you are unsure about adding a video to your mix, it may be a good idea to test video against other ad types you are currently doing to determine what resonates best with your audience. There’s only one way to know whether video is working and that’s by testing it out on your digital campaigns.

    Determine what you are measuring
    Before starting your video campaign, you need to have a clear set of goals in mind to easily measure the impact of your efforts.  Your goals may include brand awareness, engagement, or response.  For example, if your goal is to improve brand awareness, you should be viewing number of clicks, impressions, view-through rates and average engagement. It is important that you do your due diligence and think about the results you want before launching your video ad campaigns.

    Content and research taken from GIULIANNO LOPEZ, CONTENT MARKETING MANAGER, ADROLL

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  • Tactics for a highly successful direct mail campaign

    On: June 7, 2019
    In: Uncategorized
    Views: 124
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    Direct mail is not dead!   Including a traditional direct mail campaign into your marketing strategy can still be highly effective.   In fact, with more people opting to receive their bills via email the amount of mail has decreased making your direct mailer less likely to get lost in the pile.

    How can you make sure your direct mailer stands out in the crowd?   Here are some tactics:

    • Get Personal – when you take an individualized approach, potential customers feel like you really know them and understand their needs. Consider tailoring a specific offer toward a product or service that is most relevant to them.   Take the time to break down your direct mail list into niches and you will supercharge your efforts.   You will need to send out the direct mailer at least three times to reach your target audience.
    • Get Creative – the advantage of a direct mail piece is that it can be kept and referenced. Make sure your mailer includes all the information needed to get prospects to make the decision you want.  Images should be clear and attractive to draw attention.  Include testimonials to show why you are the clear choice over competitors.  Concentrate your message on how your brand will benefit the customer in terms of value, convenience and quality.
    • Have a call to action- make your call to action compelling, clear and concise. To draw attention to the call to action, put the message in a sidebar or postscript that is offset from the main body of your content.
    • Integration – integrate your direct mail strategy with other marketing efforts. Align your direct mail efforts with your emails, digital ads and social media promotions to build synergy.
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  • Don’t use these phrases when writing online content

    On: May 2, 2019
    In: Uncategorized
    Views: 717
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    When you are writing for online, your goal is simple and easy copy to understand.  Forget about the fluff and gain readers. Here are some “fluffs” to avoid:

    • Believe and/or Think –subjective words that indicate doubt, replace with know
    • Always and/or Never –seldom 100% true, use many or rarely instead
    • Often – be specific on how frequently something happens
    • Stuff – not only is this term unprofessional it is not specific enough
    • It and thing– both are non-descript, replace with the specific word you are referencing
    • Really or a lot –Omit this word and replace with a more accurate descriptor
    • Got – replace with obtained, received or earned, it just sounds better

    In addition to above, drop these words from your copy and your sentence will still have meaning (in order, just, that, then, completely, entirely, so, as a matter of fact, the thing is, absolutely, anyway, when it comes to).  Strive to improve your writing and use action verbs, less adjectives and omit overused phrases that don’t add to the meaning of your content.

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  • Why a business can’t (and shouldn’t) be everything for everybody

    On: April 1, 2019
    In: Uncategorized
    Views: 180
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    If you want to build your business around a brand that will serve everyone, you will always fall short.  It is impossible to offer something that everyone will want and need all the time and even more impossible to please everyone.   Businesses make the mistake of wanting to offer too much in an attempt to gain more business.  What happens?  You run the risk of weakening your business proposition and brand promise by going too broad.

    A better approach is to become the expert in your chosen field and be the best at one or two things.  Pick your target customers that need your skills and are most likely to appreciate them.   The audience may be smaller, but your return on investment will be greater.

    Once you have determined your specific expertise for a specific customer base, always strive to evolve and improve your offering.   This will keep customer engaged and repeat purchases thus growing loyalty to your business.    Your goal is to understand what matters most to your current customers and what problems you solve for them to showcase your brand and value.

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  • How to choose the right social media marketing channel for your business

    On: March 7, 2019
    In: Uncategorized
    Views: 207
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    The growth of the internet has really altered the way businesses can market themselves. Before choosing a marketing channel it is important to ask yourself some key questions to find the right fit.

    Determine which target market you want to reach and how your service or product will benefit them. The key is to use marketing channels to build relationships with these prospective customers.

    It is important to note that different social media channels will produce different results. Here is an overview:

    Facebook
    This is by far the biggest social media channel, and can be thought of as the “social” home for your business. Creating a business page for your company is a must, but remember that it needs to be updated on a regular basis with not only promotional information, but engaging and interesting content as well. Also, be aware that this platform does need a considerable amount of human and financial resources (advertising)

    Twitter
    Twitter is full of people with things to say, and you can listen! Twitter is meant for people you actually want to communicate with. You may think the 140 character count (or the amount of words you can tweet) is limited, but when used correctly, you can reap the rewards. Twitter is also a great way to connect with your customers. If you have an unsatisfied customer you will hear them on Twitter, and this is your chance to excel at customer service.

    Pinterest
    If you want to reach women 25-45, and you have a visual product, this may be the social channel for you. If your business is image heavy –a photography studio, retail shop or an ecommerce site – then Pinterest for business makes sense. Once someone pins the image, the web address associated with that pin can serve to draw in new customers.

    Instagram
    Instagram is a photo-sharing program. What makes Instagram different from other photo-sharing programs is that it’s a free app which can be downloaded onto iPhones and some Samsung and Android devices. Instagram is great for products, pictures of staff and developments within your business, and using this social media channel can add the ‘we’re just human’ factor to your business. The majority of users are female between the ages of 18-35.

    LinkedIn
    LinkedIn is the largest social media network for business people and professionals but most small business owners still don’t have it on their marketing radar. Business owners are now realizing the value of this site and the opportunities to build relationships and sales leads. Approach this social media channel more seriously and assume that the users will want serious, professional and informative information. You can share content, find answers, post and view jobs, make business contacts, and establish yourself as industry experts.

    YouTube
    This social media channel is the most popular video oriented site with over 100 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute. YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google, so having content here that is optimized to be found by someone looking for your product, service, or niche can boost your Search Engine Optimization) ranking. Also, videos are 50x more likely to appear on the first page of search results as part of the blended results that Google now shows.

    If your business can visually show how their services, products and employees are different from all the rest out there, this social media channel is a winner. Note the costs and human resources involved in producing good, valuable videos before signing your business up.

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  • Digital Marketing Predictions for 2019

    On: February 7, 2019
    In: Uncategorized
    Views: 259
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    Are you wondering what’s in store for the digital marketing industry this year?  Here are 4 predictions from Kent Lewis, founder of Anvil Media:

    • Video will continue to be king. Personalized video will start replacing chat, mail and phone calls as ways brands communicate with their customers.  Video will also be used to create thank you, support and messages to customers.
    • Increased brand transparency and purpose will be driven by Generation Z as they age and their buying power grows. Companies need to think about their brand’s story and how to connect with this new consumer group. As voice search becoming more prevalent, this trend will affect Google search with a new campaign type.
    • SEO to be replaced by Answer Engine and Research Engine optimization. Websites will have to think about the best way to optimize to answer questions, allow for research or convert from search engine results pages directly.
    • Amazon becoming more of a search engine. This fact will create increased importance on SEO for product pages and promoted products that match a customers’ search query.
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  • The Advantage of Working with One Agency for all your Marketing Needs

    On: January 10, 2019
    In: Uncategorized
    Views: 281
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    Having a successful campaign is the result of having a team of marketing professionals that work under the same agency.  Since the market down turn in 2007, there has been a misperception from clients that they can save costs by outsourcing their media and creative to different firms.  However, what ultimately happens is a breakdown in coordination, lack of communication and eventually results for the client.

    Here are the advantages of using one marketing firm:

    Collaboration – when you have the media and creative teams working together they have a much better understanding of not only what is needed and when but what is possible so everyone is starting on the same page with the same goals for the client.

    Efficiency – working with one firm is more efficient especially when you have last minute changes or needs. The client doesn’t have to coordinate with two different companies and worry about everything coming together.

    Interdependence – when the creative and media departments are under the same roof, you receive one seamless, integrated and effective team that can give your marketing the attention it deserves!

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  • Marketing Trends for 2019

    On: December 1, 2018
    In: Uncategorized
    Views: 287
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    What will happen next year in the world of marketing?  Marketing is always changing and the better equipped you are to manage those changes the better your results.   Here are some trends to be aware of:

    • Ads need to be more relevant and valuable to the consumer. This is the reason more dollars are going to be invested in content marketing and influencer marketing.  The 4 most trusted sources of advertising are: people you know, branded sites, editorial sites and reviews.
    • Consider using integrated campaigns and creative distribution tactics that focus on ways to engage audience members that your competitors may not be considering. Traditional media is not dead.
    • Consumers expect that companies will communicate with them in the ways they like. That is why it is important that you know your customer’s communication preferences.  Analysts are predicting that 50% of online searches will be made through voice search by 2020.
    • Use automation marketing with care. It can still cover the basic tasks, but it is important that you add a personal touch or offer direct help to your customer when possible.  You still can’t beat that personal interaction with a customer.

    These are just a few examples of trends to look out for in the year ahead.  Remember that there is no magic bullet to build a marketing strategy but these tips can help you achieve your marketing goal.

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  • Developing a Marketing Plan for a Small Business

    On: November 1, 2018
    In: Uncategorized
    Views: 384
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    Many companies underspend on their marketing efforts when they view marketing as whatever is left over from operational costs or overspend when they do not define their target market. One of the best ways to ensure your marketing budget is being well invested is to create a comprehensive marketing strategy and plan.

    A marketing plan should include defining your target marketing, defining your position against competitors in your market and tactics to reach your target market and differentiate yourself from the competition.

    Here are the 6 steps:

    1. Figure out your sales funnel including tracking results through the revenue cycle from prospect to customer. Review website traffic, leads and sales so you have something to measure.
    2. Operational costs – how much cost in time and labor to deliver contacts? Do you have the staff to handle internally or can you hire an agency?  The costs may be higher, but the results can justify the additional expenditure.
    3. Determine business goals – what are the objectives per quarter and year
    4. Treat marketing dollars as an investment ~something that will bring you a quantifiable return over time.
    5. Where are you at in your business growth – you are either in growth mode or planning mode
    6. Understand current and future trends. A marketing budget should include traditional market approaches as well as the emerging social media market.  Don’t always react to the latest and greatest marketing idea without research.
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