4 Ways to Use Keywords to Build Your Brand

If you’re new to digital marketing and have been looking at ways to help build your company’s online presence, chances are you’ve come across the term SEO in your research. SEO stands for search engine optimization. Among other tactics, it’s how the use of certain words, or keywords, can help search engines find you and deliver your website in search returns to people who are seeking information.

build your brand

Think of your own online search behavior. What words do you type in the search bar when looking for a specific product or service? Keywords straddle the line between general industry information and narrower brand information.

Here are four places that you can use your keywords to optimize your search marketing, helping people to find your website organically as opposed to via web advertising.

Blog posts
According to eMarketer,
60 percent of marketers create at least one piece of content per day intended for promotion, SEO or other forms of digital and print marketing. If you don’t have one already, the time is now to create a blog to share your existing content.

Enrich each post with your target keywords. SEO best practices from the
Content Marketing Institute indicate that keywords should ideally appear two or three times in each post. However, readability should always be prioritized over keyword placements.

Social media posts
It’s not only long-form posts and lengthy content that provide an opportunity for keyword usage. If it fits naturally in your social media content, try using your keywords in a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram post. And, make sure that you have at least one keyword phrase in each account’s bio.

Photo captions
When you’re adding photos to your website, make sure you add a caption below the photo. Include keywords relevant to the photo, the page and your company.

YouTube captions
If you have a YouTube channel,
Search Engine Watch recommends writing long video descriptions that are keyword rich. Google owns YouTube, so they automatically prioritize YouTube videos in page ranking. Search engines rely heavily on text surrounding a video to understand its topic, and they rank it accordingly.

Contact Allegra today. We can play a key role in designing, executing and analyzing your digital marketing campaign so you can get the most mileage out of every word.

3 Ways to Build the Perfect List for Your Next Direct Mail Campaign

In today’s digital world, the physicality of direct mail can help amplify your marketing strategy to break through the clutter and drive action. In fact, according to the
Online Marketing Institute, direct mail yields the highest conversion rates for both B2B and B2C campaigns in terms of response rates.

direct mail campaign

When it comes to direct mail marketing, a campaign is only as good as the audience it reaches which comes down to the quality of the mailing list itself. Here are some key considerations for building a mailing list that drives leads, engagement and retention:

1. Analyze your existing data.
Successful marketers collect customer and prospect names, email and physical addresses via trade show registrations, social media responses, contest entry forms, white paper downloads, product warranty cards, e-newsletters subscriptions and other simple sign-up forms. Start building your organic mailing list by tapping into that information and tracking purchase behavior.

2. Rent a targeted mailing list.
Today’s small and mid-sized business marketer can easily and affordably leverage the power of highly-targeted data to reach a very specific audience. Using one of the premier list sources, there are 25,000 B2B buyer lists and more than 38,000 B2C lists, many highly targeted by demographic and lifestyle characteristics.

3. Harness the power of mailing list segmentation.
When it comes to customers, one list does not fit all. Segment your house list to enable your messaging to be more relevant and meaningful. With variable data printing capabilities from your print marketing provider, you can personalize text and images by individuals or groups to improve response rates.

Planning your next direct mail campaign?
Allegra can help you source a new list and manage your house data file. For one-stop convenience, we can also design, print and mail.

4 Benefits of Facebook Live that Can Enhance Your Digital Marketing Plan

Since its debut in January 2016, Facebook Live – the service that allows users to live-stream video directly from their mobile devices to their friends and page followers – has infiltrated every user’s timeline and changed the way the world views live news. In fact,
Facebook says that one in every five videos is a live broadcast.

digital marketing plan

It’s only natural that the benefits of this service would extend to brands and businesses. Now more than ever, brands of all sizes and with a wide range of social media budgets are taking advantage of Facebook Live’s unique ability to captivate audiences with timely content.

Let’s look at some of the marketing benefits of Facebook Live for businesses and organizations:

Provides unique content
Consumers are inundated with messaging at all hours of the day and night, so it’s more important than ever to stand out from the crowd with compelling content. A
Livestream report discovered that 81 percent of internet users said they watched more live streamed content in 2016 than the year prior. Bottom line? Your audience is already there, so use social media innovations to push new content.

Is cost-efficient
Smaller businesses and organizations may not have large budgets for social media marketing. Facebook Live is a great way to add quality video content without breaking the bank! With little more than your phone, you can create decent video. However, don’t let the low-budget appeal diminish content quality; you’re still looking to create something people want to watch. For under $50, you can purchase a tripod to stabilize your phone, a set of lapel microphones that will improve sound quality and a handheld light.

Connects to your audience
Facebook Live sessions can take place in many different formats. Some of the most effective ways to connect are with Q&A sessions, a behind-the-scenes look at your organization or service, or by giving an insider’s view of an event. You gain real-time analytics with likes, comments and reactions. Take advantage of this open channel of communication with your customers, and respond directly in the live feed! This personal connection is a great way to endear yourself to your audience and help them put a face and voice to your brand.

Take advantage of Facebook’s push to Live
Most compelling of all, Facebook is prioritizing and promoting live video. This means that when you go live, anyone who likes your Facebook page will see your video at the top of their feed. They may even receive a notification on their phones that you are live. Facebook’s large investment into its Live space helps to even the playing field for small companies, giving you Facebook’s enormous advertising power for free.

Need a hand conceptualizing Facebook Live into your business or organization’s digital marketing plan?
We can help!

Fall in Love with Promotional Products

Fall is the perfect time for small business marketers to make a bold move that leaves lasting impressions on current and potential customers ahead of the busy year-end holiday season.

promotional products

One of the most effective and cost-efficient ways to increase your brand’s awareness is with promotional products. According to a recent Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI)
study, the cost per impression of promotional product marketing is lower than that of television, magazine and newspaper advertising.

Take full advantage of the seasonable opportunities this autumn by adding these trending promotional products to your marketing mix:

Logoed Long-sleeved T-shirts
Data from ASI shows that 88 percent of consumers report remembering the advertiser who gave them a logoed shirt or hat. When you’re looking for an affordable and effective way to make a lasting impression this fall, tailor your branded apparel strategy to the change of season and temperatures experienced in many geographies. Long-sleeved shirts and fleece pullovers are warmly welcomed.

Travel Coffee Mugs
Whether it’s used for coffee, hot cocoa or tea, a quality hot beverage travel mug is a necessity for brisk autumn days. Not to mention, is there anything better sipping on a pumpkin spice latte in the fall? Both practical and reusable, logoed travel coffee mugs are a popular promotional gift or giveaway year-round and are sure to help keep your current and potential customers warm.

Branded Stadium Blankets
Fall marks the return of football season. An essential component to enjoying those Friday night lights? Staying warm. Boost your brand’s visibility by bundling up customers in a branded blanket to keep them cozy and reminded of you.

Need some inspiration for jazzing up your business’ promotional marketing mix this fall?
Allegra’s team of seasoned multi-channel marketing experts can assist you in choosing the perfect promotional items that are guaranteed to leave a positive lasting impression.

The Ripple Effect: How to be An Everyday Innovator

When it comes to developing fresh approaches that lead to significant growth and powerful transformation, many leaders of businesses and nonprofits struggle with out-of-the-box thinking.

everyday innovator

In fact, research shows that
98 percent of adults don’t consider themselves creative and 80 percent of Americans report feeling an increasing amount of pressure to be productive rather than creative at work. This difficulty that business leaders have to both find the creativity inside them and set aside the time to be creative was the focus of Allegra’s most recent
webinar.

During the online presentation, Allegra hosted noted author Josh Linkner, a two-time New York Times bestseller, founder of four tech companies, and co-founder of
Detroit Venture Partners. A celebrated innovator, Linkner shared tangible strategies on how business and nonprofit leaders can harness creativity in everyday situations and tasks to drive meaningful results.

To help you inject creativity into your business or organization, Linkner shared five key innovation principles during Allegra’s “
The Ripple Effect: How To Be An Everyday Innovator” webinar.

Get curious
Challenge the underlying assumptions of your business or organization by asking questions such as “why,” “why not” or “what if?” Curiosity leads the charge when it comes to assessing the viability of your current processes and protocol, which can lead to nontraditional approaches and successes.

Crave what’s next
As a business leader, it’s important to first shed the past so you can focus forward. You won’t achieve long-term success by sticking to the status quo. Lean into change and utilize forward thinking.

Defy tradition
Rather than focusing on aspects that you can’t control in your business, channel your creative thinking toward factors that you can. Don’t rely on traditions to move your business ahead. Instead, ask yourself “what can I flip?” By doing a “judo flip” on challenges, processes and traditions, you’re much more likely to have a breakthrough that leads to a stronger outcome.

Get scrappy
As small business and nonprofit leaders, it’s easy to resist steps toward innovation when you’re in a resource-constrained environment. Don’t wait for external resources or support to move forward. Get scrappy and find ways to make changes without capital or resources.

Adapt fast
Innovation doesn’t always have to be big and bold. Respond and react quickly, and flip tragedy into triumph as adjustments are needed in your business or nonprofit. By breaking big ideas or problems into tiny experiments, you’ll be able to learn and adapt quickly.

Is your business or organization stuck in the mundane? Are you repeating the same marketing strategies day in and day out? We can help you challenge the norm by pushing the boundaries of innovation. Check out the recording of
Allegra’s “Ripple Effect” webinar and
contact Allegra to get started.

4 Tips for Creating Engaging B2B Content

Intentional or not, most businesses and organizations create an enormous amount of content every day. With more web writing, blogs, emails, case studies and the like, the risk of favoring quantity over quality grows.

b2b content

Content should be engaging, educational and/or actionable to your key audience. Here are four reminders for your content producers:

1. Share data.
According to a recent content preference
report, 76% of B2B buyers said more data, research and benchmark reports would improve the content quality from B2B vendors.


2. Consistency is key.

All content, printed and online, should flow seamlessly in a way that allows readers to distinguish your brand simply through its look and messaging. A consistent flow of content managed with a content calendar is a best practice that keeps you aware of the channels that are activated and when.

3. Repurpose original content.
Repurposed content increases social reach, boosts SEO, reinforces key messages and helps you gain authority in your industry. Try turning a webinar into a YouTube video tutorial, transforming old blog posts into comprehensive guides, packaging blog posts as email newsletters and mining key statistics for compelling Twitter graphics.

4. Focus on your audience, not your brand.
The purpose of effective content is to provide valuable, relevant content to build a relationship with your audience. Your messaging should bridge the gap between what companies want to talk about and what audiences want to know.

LEARNING OPPORTUNITY: Discover how to harness your creativity to drive everyday innovations in your organization.
Sign up now for our free marketing webinar, “The Ripple Effect: How to be an Everyday Innovator,” on Aug. 30 at 1 p.m. (ET). It features Josh Linkner, five-time tech entrepreneur, New York Times bestselling author and keynote speaker on innovation, creativity and leadership.

Need assistance with creating or distributing your valuable B2B content through print and digital channels?
Let us know; we can help.

3 Easy Ways to Enhance Your Email Marketing Results

According to
Forrester, email marketing is the most direct way to reach and interact with your audience – even more so than social channels, like Facebook. The
study says that people are twice as likely to sign up for your email list as they are to interact with you on Facebook.

email marketing
Like any marketing channel, email marketing follows a “test, measure, refine” improvement process that helps marketers reach their goals. Let’s look at four simple ways to enhance your email marketing results.

Clean up your list.
Before removing anyone from your list who hasn’t been opening your emails, try to directly re-engage. A subject line such as “We Miss You,” coupled with a special offer to encourage interaction, can go a long way toward increasing your open rate. However, if you see multiple consecutive deployments go unopened or a lot of bounces, you should remove these addresses from your list.

Dedicate time to split testing.
Choose a small portion of your total list, and try some A/B testing. Send half of your list one email version while the other half gets a different email. Pick one variable (e.g., the subject line, body content, image or offer), and send the version to the whole group that gets the most opens or clicks.

This sort of testing helps to identify and refine your messaging by determining the information that’s most relevant. Try testing at different times of day and week to further impact open rates.

Choose a multi-channel strategy.
Though email is a fast, affordable and efficient marketing channel, it’s best used as part of an integrated marketing approach. According to the
Direct Marketing Association’s 2016 Response Rate Report, 44 percent of marketers used three or more channels for their marketing. These channels are often email marketing, social media and direct mail.

Contact Allegra today for assistance with setting up a multi-channel marketing campaign for your business or organization.

Step Up Your Swag to Build Brand Awareness

For building brand awareness, one of the most effective tools is logoed promotional products. According to a
2016 study by the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), approximately 87 percent of marketers credit promotional products with helping them to reach marketing goals.

build brand awareness

In today’s multi-channel landscape, what can brands do to get their best ROI out of this proven advertising tactic?

Here are some tips to put a new spin on the promotional merchandise in your marketing mix:

Higher tech, higher impact
When connectivity rules, logoed tech accessories are fun and functional for all. Consider branded USB drives, smartphone coasters or stylus pens as giveaways at your next event.

Packable, practical promos
A recent blog
post from ProForma shared that logoed merchandise such as bags, backpacks and totes are favorites among consumers. Prized for their practicality, bags and totes are often used for travel and errand-running, leading to wider exposure and reach. For the environmentally conscious, logoed canvas shopping bags or eco-friendly materials are appreciated and remembered.

Health is wealth
Logoed fitness and wellness items such as infusers, blender bottles, yoga mats and towels and ear buds resonate well with most audiences. Not to mention, this type of logoed merchandise serves as the perfect employee incentive and is a great internal marketing tool for workplace wellness initiatives.

Balance promotion and purpose
With so many choices, picking the best logoed promo products can get tricky. Shop with purpose. Give event attendees and targeted audiences something that they’ll be able to use. Research continues to show that people appreciate usefulness most.

Finding the right promotional products to build brand awareness can be time-consuming. Let us lend a hand. The promotional merchandise pros at
Allegra can help you make a lasting impression; always on time and on budget.

6 Ways to Use High-Impact Printing to Stand Out

The tactile nature of print media is one of the most important ways that it stands out from digital. In fact, the
Content Marketing Institute says that audiences are more engaged than ever with print marketing, with an influx of brands using direct mail and print marketing to cut through the digital clutter.

high-impact printing

One of print communications’ most compelling benefits is its ability to engage multiple senses. But have you ever considered the message that the paper itself is sending? Here are eight ways to use high-impact printing to enhance marketing, draw attention to your call-to-action, and stand out from the competition.

  1. Match texture to content.
  2. Think about how you want your printed pieces to be perceived. High-quality cardstock communicates something different than lightweight paper. Try to find textures in your content, products or stories that you can emulate through paper. For example, you can choose a texture that mimics a weave of fabric or a raw roughness that may match a more masculine product category.

  3. Add some sparkle.
  4. Consider using foil to catch the light and attention of your audience. Or, a variance in ink opacity can achieve an unusual effect depending on the direction from which the paper is held and viewed. These types of treatments are especially nice for special event invitations and new product launches.

  5. Show your shape with die cuts.
  6. Unusual shapes in printed materials can create interest and underscore your brand’s specialty. For instance, if you sell window treatments, accentuate a graphic of a window by using a die cut in the shape of your product.

  7. Use a creative fold.
  8. A unique fold – letter, accordion, gate, engineering, cross, double-parallel, baronial – can help organize your message and ensure that your piece fits in the correct envelope or folder – plus, it’s just plain fun to open!

  9. Try a pop-out image.
  10. Pop-out images that are revealed to the reader when unfolding a piece can add unexpected interest and drama.

  11. Wrap it up.
  12. Envelopes are influential to the success of a direct mail campaign. Looking to enhance your response rates? Test! Use your typical envelope as your control and send it to half of your mailing list. The alternate version of your mailing envelope could be different paper, color versus your standard white, or have different placement for the call-to-action. Measure which performs better and continue to tweak over time.

Whether you are creating direct mail campaigns, brochures, publications, event invitations, newsletters or business cards, you can cut through the clutter and increase engagement with high-impact printing techniques, specialty papers and folds. If you need help developing a campaign that can help you stand out against the competition,
reach out to us. We look forward to hearing from you.

7 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Store Signage

Signage can be responsible for half of your customers, says the
International Sign Association. Signs can attract new customers, brand your business and drive impulse sales.

Here are seven ways to make the most out of your signage while saving time and preserving your budget:

Look at what you’ve got with fresh eyes.

It’s only natural to become familiar with your surroundings. Take the opportunity to look around at your facility with fresh eyes; put yourself in the shoes of a new client or customer. Take note of anything out-of-date, discolored or worn out. You may also be missing an opportunity to illuminate an existing sign or freshen up what is often the first visual impression of your company.

Put your space to work with custom graphics.

Make the most of every square foot of informational, promotional or decorative space in your location. The latest solutions in graphics prove that you’re no longer limited to walls, windows and doors. You can now take advantage of graphics for floors and even printed ceiling tiles.

store signage
Attract new customers with easy-on car magnets.

Smaller businesses or organizations without a permanent vehicle or fleet for deliveries or service calls can benefit from a car-top or door-side magnet signs. These are an ideal way to put your marketing in motion and are easily removed when trucks or vans do double-duty for personal use.

Spruce up your décor with wall-mounted posters.

An inexpensive and elegant way to enhance your interior décor is wall-mounting framed art, photography, inspirational quotations and historical documents. Safety rules, schedules and HR notices that are posted for employees can also get a facelift with a clean-looking frame mounted to the wall.

Try perforated window graphics.

A creative twist on an old favorite, perforated graphics present a promotional message when viewed from one side, such as the outside of a door or window, and a clear view when seen from the other. One-way vinyl graphics replicating frosted glass or displaying a design or scene also add privacy to office or conference room windows.


Grab attention with big, bold banners.

The versatility of a colorful, custom banner or fabric sign can’t be beat. It can be equally useful indoors or out, for a one-time appearance or to reuse time and time again. Today’s oversized printing lets you go big, while materials including fabric, paper and vinyl help you match your banner to a budget of any size.

Save big with lamination.

Protect and preserve your frequently used documents with lamination. This could apply to restaurant menus, instruction sheets, schedules, name badges and even larger-sized posters. Water-resistant lamination will improve their appearance, and reduce the cost of reprinting.

From custom design to installation,
talk to our signage professionals about how to make a greater impact on your customer base with creative solutions.