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 Take note of anything out-of-date, discolored or worn out.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and elegant way to enhance your interior décor is wall-mounting framed art, photography, inspirational quotations and historical documents.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.

Using Direct Mail? Here are the Best Spots to Place Your Offer

Most of us carry mini computers in our pockets, and the move to digital has consumed every industry. But don’t be fooled into thinking that print has lost value.

direct mail

A Content Marketing Institute
study says that audiences are more engaged than ever before with marketing messages, thanks to an integrated approach to information dissemination that many brands use. This marketing integration serves direct mail well, and
research shows that brands are increasingly using direct mail and print marketing to cut through the digital clutter.

With a range of formats, interesting folds and eye-catching cuts, direct marketing pros are easily able to match their page space requirements for simple and complex messaging.

The placement of your actual offer and call-to-action is important to ensure its seen. Here are some of the top spots where readers are most likely to see your offer and take the desired action. Improved response rates open doors for continued nurturing and engagement . . . and greater sales.

Outer envelope
Make every inch count, including space on the outer envelope. A strong offer can be made in just a few words on a #10 business-size envelope, and the mailing panel on a self-mailer also offers prime real estate. For the latter, be careful to avoid interfering with addressing which will impact the mailability.

Opening paragraph
If you’re sending a letter, include your offer in the opening paragraph; readers may skim. With other formats, headlines and subheads can be used to reinforce your pitch.


Last sentence

Finish the mailing piece with a direct call-to-action, repeating your offer. Readers should have no questions about what you want them to do and how they can proceed.


P.S.

Many readers simply scan and skip to the close. Use a P.S. to reach these readers, and reinforce messaging for the rest who will benefit from a reminder.

Lift note or insert
Typically, a lift note or insert is a small flyer inserted within the direct mail piece that can further encourage the reader and simplify your offer in one clear statement. Pair this with eye-catching graphics for inspiring action.

If you’re interested in learning how an integrated marketing campaign featuring direct mail can amplify your marketing programs,
contact Allegra today.

The Key to Successful Web Marketing: Take it One Step at a Time

The importance businesses place on web marketing is growing daily; according to marketing giant
Hubspot, 61 percent of marketers say that improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority.

web marketing

With complicated, multi-pronged initiatives across your website, local listings and social media, it’s easy for busy small business owners looking to grow their web marketing strategy to feel completely overwhelmed. The key? Just take it one step at a time.

Here are a few ways you can overcome the obstacles of limited time and resources to bring this big job down to size.

Website

If improving your search engine rankings is a priority for you, you’re right on. A
study by online ad resource WordStream shows that 72 percent of consumers who did a local web search visited a store within five miles, a clear indication that small businesses should have a robust web presence.

Because
78 percent of local-mobile searches result in offline purchases, it’s essential to ensure your site is up to scratch. Quality content such as case studies, customer profiles, optimized images with relevant image titles and alt-tags, videos and infographics are all viewed favorably by Google and can improve your search ranking.

Local Listings

All your listings on major sites (Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Angie’s List, etc.) and local directories should be up-to-date with accurate and consistent phone numbers, hours of operation, email addresses, URLs and any other relevant contact information.

Claim your listing on Google My Business, as it helps with organic search, specifically increasing visibility through Google Maps and Google+. And be sure that all of your entries are stylistically identical, meaning that if your address is 123 Main Street, it’s written like this in every instance, rather than 123 Main St. in some spots. Search engines recognize consistency.

Social Media

Social Media Examiner’s
2016 Social Media Marketing Industry Report showcases a direct relationship between how long marketers have been using social media and their weekly time commitment.

From this study, we can glean that habits form over time on social media as people increasingly see its value. Of those with less than one year’s experience, 54 percent spend five or fewer hours per week. Of those who have been active for two years or longer, 64 percent spend six hours or more a week on social media activities.

What can we learn from this? It takes time to build a following on one or multiple channels, so start small. According to the
Content Marketing Institute, B2B marketers rated LinkedIn as most effective, while B2C marketers prefer Facebook. Pick your channel of choice and start by investing an hour a day posting. Have some fun with it . . . and measure the results.

Need a hand updating your website or online strategy?
We can help!

The Importance of Competitive Differentiation in Small Business Marketing

In a recent
blog post recapping Allegra’s “Find Your X Factor,” a hard-hitting webinar showcasing strategic ways for small business owners to distinguish their companies to drive leads and loyalty, I shared six tactics to break through the noise with an effective cross-channel marketing strategy.

Kate Dunn, the award-winning, cross-channel marketing influencer and Director of Keypoint Intelligence for InfoTrends, led the webinar.

In today’s discussion, let’s dive deeper into one of the hot topics Kate presented to webinar attendees: the importance of competitive differentiation in small business marketing strategies.

Below are several considerations for successfully incorporating brand differentiators into your small business marketing strategy:

Your differentiation must be clear.

A differentiator is a characteristic about your business or brand that separates it from key competitors and offers a perceived advantage in the eyes of your target audience. As a small business marketer, you’re likely able to pinpoint what makes your brand stand out, but is it clear to your customers?

competitive differentiation

Once you’ve clearly defined your business’ competitive differentiators, it’s important to position them within your brand’s key messaging strategy to ensure they are communicated and marketed in the most effective manner.

Your differentiation should be easy to articulate.

In her presentation, Kate referenced a key finding from
SiriusDecisions, a leading B2B research and advisory firm, revealing that “an inability to articulate unique value is the number one reason that sales reps don’t achieve their quotas.”

Once you clearly define your points of differentiation, be sure everyone in your organization can easily speak about it. It’s crucial that the brand differentiators are uncomplicated and concise. Likewise, it’s especially important to train your sales team to effectively communicate your competitive differentiators with prospects.


Understand that value proposition isn’t always a competitive differentiator.

According to a customer experience
survey by the Corporate Executive Board Company, only 14 percent of buyers perceive enough meaningful difference between brands’ business value to be willing to pay extra for that difference. Consequently, it’s essential that your operations and customer service match your company’s intended differentiators. In turn, to market the value proposition of your business’ product or service to customers, you must take the time to truly know your customers and what they value in your business.

In a crowded marketplace, a strong competitive differentiation can set you apart and garner more interest, but it’s important to ensure that all aspects of the company live up to this promise.

Interested in advancing your small business’ marketing strategy by using your brand differentiation to gain a competitive edge? Check out the recording of Allegra’s “Finding Your X Factor”
webinar to gain valuable insights, and be sure to contact your local
Allegra.