The Costs of Giving up on Offline Marketing

With the rise of digital, brands are faced with a dilemma of whether or not to pursue their traditional, offline efforts in parallel with their essential online game? So much emphasis has been put on the world wide web that some of the older, extremely efficient strategies have been abandoned out of sheer fear that you’ll lose business if you don’t invest enough in the digital aspect of your marketing.

But the truth is, there would be no online had it not been for the offline, and when a business knows how to integrate them to work together, it can grow beyond those that only opt for one or the other. And no, offline marketing is not on its deathbed, on the contrary, this is a time of an offline renaissance that will help brands become more memorable and creative with their customer outreach than ever before.

Networking contacts

If you want your name to reverberate in the halls of an international conference where all the tech gurus cluster, then you should become a sponsor of such massive events and make your brand become a part of the story. Supporting like-minded individuals gives you exposure to the right audience, elevates your reputation and allows you a foot in the door that would otherwise remain closed.

Joining regular conferences, seminars and other events that are specific to your business can also serve as an entrance to a new clientele or partnership waiting to happen. But what do you need with you to make your brand remembered? A business card, of course. Carrying those is still an essential part of networking in Europe, but the rest of the world still cherishes this tradition as well. Craft such branded business cards that they’ll have to take another look.

Branding done right

People crave anything palpable, tangible and relatable in this day and age, especially because we’re so perpetually overwhelmed by the online noise and chatter that we yearn for something real. When all your digital imagery and language are spotless, people still need something to make your brand more personal. And what could better serve the purpose than branded merchandise, or branded gift cards?

If you make an effort to give people what they need or like, such as pens, t-shirts, notepads or flash drives with your logo, they are bound to remember you, make a connection with your brand and are much more likely to give your product/service a go. That’s why branded printing in Sydney is still a flourishing marketing approach that allows your customers to create a more personal connection to the brand. The physical products representing your brand are at least as important as your online presentation (freebies included), so making an effort will be worth your while to make your marketing truly omnichannel.

Offline content matters

Newspapers and magazines are not only popular in the waiting rooms of every dental office, but they are still one of the main sources of information and entertainment for the majority of the world. They are an experience in and of itself, one that is still sought-after despite the search engine frenzy that drives your online sales.

But it’s not just advertising in newspapers that’s still very powerful for reaching the right customer polls. Rest assured that publishing an article in a printed paper will also be an invaluable way to get in front of as many eyes as possible, although tracking it may be a tougher nut to crack. Financially speaking, it’s not such a pricey endeavor, but it can lead to plenty of exposure to your brand.

Pick up the phone

Gone are the days when cold calls were the main and sometimes only source of attaining new customers, but this somewhat aged technique is still an important part of the modern-day marketing chase. In fact, such conversations, when done properly, are appreciated by the customer, since most of the touchpoints for brands and customers involve digital and faceless interaction, that they are now eager for more up-close and personal communication.

Be mindful of the intricacies of cold-calling, however, since choosing the wrong approach can backfire gloriously. You need to be sure that your audience will enjoy this particular strategy. Is your language focused on what they need, and how they might benefit from the conversation? Is it timed not to interrupt their lunch and family time? All of these details matter in the eyes of the modern customer, since we’re all pressed for time.

Knowledge-sharing face to face

The most valuable form of a “freebie” that you can give to your customers is organizing a workshop or a lecture that will help them overcome some of their issues without imposing yourself as the solution.

Giving actual value in the form of knowledge and information means that you truly care for your potential customers, and the fact that you moved away from the digital realm only gives you a chance to follow their reactions, improve your attitude and presentation, and establish a more meaningful connection with your audience.

Guest Author, Raul Harman, s a B.Sc. in Innovative entrepreneurship and has a lot to say about innovations in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing.  While he’s not enjoying travel, football and great food, you can find him on Technivorz.com.

5 Pro Tips To Update Your Business Printed Materials

Companies who focus ideally on both print and digital marketing create better business opportunities as compared to the ones who do not incorporate both measures for their advertisements. Since the inception of digital media, people had begun to renounce the fact that print media is an effective tool for advertising. However, over the time, printed materials have undergone various changes and upgrades which has aided in their comeback in the industry as an even stronger and significant tool. If you are willing to take your business a step ahead with the best in class printed materials, here is a list of points which will help you achieve that without a fail.

Interaction is the key

One of the basic elements which will make your printed materials better than ever is increasing its interaction level. The more interactive your material is, the easier it will be for your target audience to relate to it and consider it. Provide information in a manner that they should be persuaded to take a thorough look at your printed material. Keep it engaging and conversive for desired results.

Present yourself good visually

The better visuals you create for approaching your customers. The easier it will be for you to reach them and increase your sales. There are greater chances that only a small part of the target and potential audience will read your printed materials but this percentage increases significantly if your improve your visuals. Everything which seems appealing is sold easily so focus on the visual presentation your printed material.

Increase brand information

Another way of improvising your printed material is by increasing the content of valid information. A study shows that majority of readers leave the content before reaching the part where the company has provided information about them. Increasing brand information will provide you with better chances of being noticed by the customer.

Personalize it

A factor of personalization shows that you have put in efforts to approach the audience. Personalization is not just a factor of digital marketing, in fact, it can do wonders when incorporated in printed materials as well. Make use of variable printing which helps in personalising and easy segmentation of ads. Customising and personalising an ad can be a complex procedure but the more your efforts are visible, the higher returns you are ought to achieve. 

Improve your designs

It is important to understand the benefits of ideal designing for your brand in your printed materials as it can provide you significantly great benefits. If the design on your material seems to be professional and polished, there are higher chances that your customer will stay on it. Your best bet is to hire a professional print designer for attracting the customers. Contact Manchester printers as they might be helpful in this respect.

Use both for a greater good

As mentioned earlier, single handedly digital or print marketing cannot give you the benefits which they both together can provide for you. Allow your print materials to increase your online and the same way let your online marketing be beneficial for the print materials. Work them together in order to maintain dynamic motion.

With the above mentioned points, any brand will be able to make the most of their printed materials and get acknowledged by their potential and loyal customers. Let your brighter side shine with the best of your print advertising. Spread the information by sharing this article with your friends.

Guest author,  Andrew Smith, is the Director of Andrew Smith Print Ltd and has 35 years of experience in providing business print solutions, to help small and big enterprises enrich their marketing campaigns.​

Breathe New Life Into Your Business – Consider A Rebrand

Making the decision to rebrand your business is not a step to be taken lightly, however most companies at some stage will undergo rebranding. Rebranding if carried out carefully can update the image of a company, keeping it current and fresh. Of course rebranding should not occur frequently as this would cause confusion and mistrust amongst consumers.

There are many reasons why a company decides to rebrand, perhaps the company has launched a completely new range of products, they may have merged with another company or they may want to simply stay on trend, in line with their competitors.

Before deciding on a total rebrand, look carefully at what you would like to achieve. It is possible that only parts of your brand needs updating or maybe a few tweaks here and there would suffice.

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What steps should be taken for a successful rebrand?

Focus

For your rebrand to be a success you really need to focus on what your brand is all about and who your target market is. Carry out market research by asking for opinions on possible logos and colours. Describe your brand in words and see if the images and designs you have chosen communicate the same message.

Design

Once you have a clear idea of what your brand is aiming to say, it’s time to start designing. Don’t be afraid to be bold, as you will want your brand to stand out over your competitors. If you take part in trade shows your tradeshow displays  need to make maximum impact and a strong recognisable logo will help you achieve this.

There are experts available to hire, who will help you create the perfect brand, you may feel that this is an expensive option, but having good branding is crucial to business success. Ensure you stay in the loop when outsourcing branding to ensure your vision is effectively communicated and created.

Careful consideration should be taken when deciding on fonts and typography in your logo and promotional material. Often a brand can be recognised simply by its typography – think Coca Cola!

Launch

Once you have integrated your rebrand across all literature, websites and media platforms it is time to launch your rebrand. This is a process very similar to the one when you launched your business in the first place. The main exception to launching a rebrand in comparison to a new brand, is that you will want to keep your existing customers, as well as attract new ones.

It is important to ensure your existing customers are aware of your rebrand and why you are doing it, they will want to feel confident in your business. Keep customers informed throughout the process and answer any queries accordingly. Your customers are valuable assets in attracting new customers both during the rebranding process and after your launch.

To conclude rebranding can breathe fresh life into your business, but it should be done with focus and planning. Try to avoid confusion and place emphasis on keeping existing customers on board. Your logo and brand is your identity within the market place, so it is crucial to get it right.

Battle of the Marketing Strategies: Promotional Products vs. Traditional Advertising

Traditional forms of marketing have been around for a long period of time. As times changed, so have the methods of marketing, with digital marketing taking over the market. Now another new form of marketing that is gaining popularity is marketing using promotional products. 

Promotional giveaways through social media or at conferences are bringing in impressive business and thus are proving to be a better form of marketing than the traditional forms of marketing. Promotional items usually focus on your brand and do not distract the focus of customers. On top of that, it displays the brand logo and name clearly, etching its memory in the mind of your customers.

  • WHICH IS A BETTER INVESTMENT: PROMOTIONAL PRODUCTS OR TRADITIONAL ADVERTISEMENT?

One of the most powerful terms in marketing is the ROI or Return On Investment. The modern age of communications is making the traditional forms of marketing something of a bygone era. Brands can now get associated with their customers first hand, which cannot be possible through traditional forms of marketing. Here are some pointers, which prove that promotional products are much better than traditional advertisement:

  1. Budget:

It does not matter how big your business is, but one thing common for all businesses is the budget. The budget will dictate in what type of marketing option you are considering to invest. Even if you are a huge business or brand, would it not be a good idea to invest less in advertisement and more in other sectors?

This would be possible with promotional products, as investment in promotional merchandise is much less than a minimal traditional advertisement. If your business is a start-up or a small one, then promotional items will definitely be the better marketing strategy.

  1. Length of Exposure:

Any advertisement, whether on a billboard or television and even the radio can hold the clients attention for a few minutes at the most. A promotional item, on the other hand will be able to hold the attention of your clients till the time they continue to use the merchandise and even after that.

Promotional products are usually daily use items that people will not throw away easily. As they continue using the merchandise with your brand logo and name, it will stay in their mind. It will also reach a larger group of people, as colleagues, friends and family get to see the promotional product and feel inclined to become associated with your brand.

It is basically a portable billboard that carries your brand name wherever it goes. This will offer continued exposure for your brand, which would not have been possible with traditional forms of marketing.

  1. Smaller, but Efficient Reach:

Using promotional items as part of your marketing strategy might not be able to reach a larger audience, as is the case for traditional marketing forms. Promotional items will, however, help you reach out to an audience that is interested in your brand and not the general mass who do not connect with the brand. This ultimately helps enhance the ROI, which can bring in monetary benefits for the business.

A traditional advertisement does not offer a face to face connection with the brand, which may alienate some customer towards the brand, whereas for promotional products the customers get a face to face interaction with you and your brand. This also plays an important role in targeting and achieving customer conversion as well as retention.

  • IS PROMOTIONAL MERCHANDISE TRULY WORTH YOUR RESOURCES AS AN EFFICIENT MARKETING STRATEGY?

As a business owner, you must have a simple goal: To let your brand reach millions.

This can be possible with all forms of marketing, but then come the other factors that help you take the decision like cost. Promotional products are of high quality, but do not cost too heavy on your pockets unlike traditional marketing.

Apart from that, promotional merchandise has a huge impact on a targeted audience, which converts into better ROI. Thus, investing in promotional items as your marketing strategy is definitely a brilliant and better idea. 

Author Bio : Jason possesses wealth of experience in the promotional merchandise industry as well as expertise to handle various aspects of the merchandising process, right from conceptualising branded merchandise to integrating them on global supply chains.

How to Rebrand your Brand

Your brand is the first and foremost image of your product, and the perception of your company in the mind of everyone in your surrounding, be it your customers, investors or your competitors. It is implied that the brand image holds great value. However, this reputation is extremely fringe, and there is nothing more disastrous than the brand image is tarnished and caught in a controversy in this world of digital media.

It takes years to build a brand image and seconds to destroy it. Although, even if you find yourself in such turmoil, there are ways in which you can revive your brand and re-establish its image. So here are a few ways that you must consider while you are rebranding:

  1. Plan ahead – Planning everywhere is one of the most essential things in any aspect. If you have planned ahead of the effect of any such misfortune, it won’t be that damaging. You should prepare a backup strategy beforehand in order to cope with the ill effects of any such thing that happens. Once such event has occurred, you can imply the plan that you have made and refurbish the brand image gradually.
  2. Acknowledge the issue – The very first step that you are supposed to do after an unfortunate event is to take ownership of the event and acknowledge it publicly. If it was a mistake that you made, then you must issue an apology in order to state that there was a mistake and by issuing this apology we are accepting the responsibility for the error. This will lay a basic trust foundation for your rebuilding process.
  3. Let the dust settle – You must realize that once your mistake has turned up, it will be spoken upon a lot, and today’s social media sites are famous for making a huge mess of a smaller matter. Do not lose your calm. Just wait for some time and let the controversy mellow down a bit. Once people are done talking about it only then try to intervene, else the situation might turn even worse for the brand.
  4. Identify your allies – Even in the event of your brand image being spoilt, there will be a particular section of your customers, and some of your business partners, etc. who will stay along with you. Recognize these well-wishers and ask for their further help, as they will be one of those links which will spread positivity for your company using their means. Thank them and reward them suitably.
  5. Start the rebuilding process – You need to assure your customers that you care about them. Seek sympathy by telling your customers that mistakes do happen and that you are trying your level best to re-adjust for the error that occurred. You must deploy various strategies and tactics that will enable you to regain the lost trust. You can hire rebranding consultants as they are experienced in their field and will help you fare through.
  6. Share your progress – Once you are on the road to rebuilding your brand and you are engaging all sorts of strategies and tactics to regain that lost trust, a better idea would be to share your actions and corrective measures affluently. This way people will realize that you are working hard to gain back your reputation. They will be ready and more acceptable to the fact of giving you a second chance, which is all that you need.

Rebuilding your brand after a PR disaster is not an easy task to perform. You must have a positive mind throughout the process, and you must make sure that you will not lose hope and your patience. Slowly with time, you will see your brand is regaining its image and is flourishing, with your reputation rebuilding again.

Author Bio: Neil Quiddington is the Managing Director of Simplify Branding, a reputed branding agency in the UK. Neil is passionate about turning small and big businesses into successful brands, through innovative strategies and unswerving hard-work.​

How to Make your Small Business Instagram-Worthy

Since 2010, Instagram has allowed users to share their photos and videos. They can connect the Instagram account to other social media, use hashtags and geotags to enhance the visibility, as well as Stories feature since 2016. Therefore, you can imagine how difficult it is for individuals and businesses to decide which social network is perfect for marketing. However, Instagram is special because it uses visual engagement to attract and gain followers.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use it, just that you need to adjust your strategy. Over time, business world recognized its potential and now it finds it to be a great opportunity to reach the target audience. With statistics like 700 million monthly users, Instagram has quickly taken its rightful among Facebook and Twitter. With that in mind, here is some advice how to run a successful Instagram profile for a small business.

1.    Build a business profile

First, your business needs a proper profile. This means that you have to create a one concentrated on your business completely, like the name, category, short description using keywords, add website and location. This will be enough information for Instagram users to know who you are and what you do. You have only 150 characters to present yourself, so use them wisely.

2.    Display brand personality

Even though you’re a business entity, you still need a brand personality to attract the followers and get them to know you better. This is not hard. It’s all about the message you send about yourself like being funny or serious. This is the feature you will have to use all the time in your communication with your audience on all social media platforms and your website.

3.    Use aesthetics

Aesthetic in your posts will set the visual standard and must be in line with the brand personality. This means that you have to choose a colour palette that you will use. A photo planning apps can help you with this, like Planoly. This app is will keep your visual elements in check and will help you see how your images look one close to another before you publish them on Instagram.

4.    Don’t leave out location and hashtags

Hashtags and geotags are important if you want to reach a wider audience. Every post must include them, no exception since they will put you in the spotlight. They will help Instagram users find you and follow you. You can use custom hashtags which will authenticate your business and help with contests and giveaways.

Geotags are important for the local followers. For example, if you’re a restaurant, the local followers will have the chance to see your profile and visit you in person.

5.    Dedicate to visual quality

Since Instagram is all about the visual elements, you should use only the high-quality image and videos. It’s all about the lighting and clarity. You can choose one place which is perfect for taking photos or hire a professional photographer which can be pricey. Quality includes everything that is important for creating excellent photography, and that means creativity as well. Moreover, images and videos are perfect for the promotion of your brand personality and presenting yourself.

6.    Post diverse content

Posting the same content will bore your followers and chase them away. That’s why it is important to diversify your content to be interesting. Use photos and videos alternately, ask customers to send you their content, and publish it with your own. Write something funny, meaningful or informative, and you can even present your employees through your posts.

7.    Communicate with customers

Communication with the customers is one of the backbones of business dealings today. If you start answering their questions, noting their reactions publicly and acknowledging them, you will create loyal followers and customers. For example, you can place HD Booths on your premises. This way your customers can take a picture, so you can post it on your Instagram profile tagging them and writing something about them.

8.    Present your product

Don’t forget that you are working on growing your business and find as many customers as you can who will choose your product. However, the audience doesn’t like when you try to sell them something directly, so allow yourself to be creative. Allow them to try your new product through giveaways and offer discount codes from time to time.

Don’t forget to use calls-to-action on Instagram too with “learn more”, “comment to enter the contest” or “check the link in our bio”. This will help you get to marketing goals while still having fun.

Finally

Instagram is a different but less burdening platform to promote your business. It will be as fun for you as for your followers and can be a significant boost in your marketing campaign. Use all these recommendations here and you’ll reach your customers and gain a loyal following in no time.

 

Bio: Nina is a digital nomad, yoga aficionado and a travel enthusiast. She’s passionate about learning new things and sharing meaningful ideas. If you wanna see what she’s up to you can find her on twitter