3 Creative Ways to Add Value to Your Signage

Thanks to advancements in large format printing, creative signage solutions are more affordable than ever. Here are three trendy ways you can spice up your company’s space with eye-catching signs and large graphics:

Valuable Signage

  1. Go Green
    In many sectors, industry standards dictate certain environmental regulations about waste and materials. Environmentally friendly inks and materials can help you meet your standards and reduce your overall waste. Also, according to Nielsen, two out of three consumers are willing to pay more for products and services that come from companies committed to making a positive social environmental impact. Win-win!
  2. Explore New Surfaces
    Digital printing technology makes it possible to print on – or affix to – nearly any surface for a custom look that fits your brand’s standards in look and feel. Consider a mural for your lobby, floor graphics or even wraps around pillars and posts. A simple change can transform your work space from average to inspiring.
  3. Add Texture
    When it comes to signage that travels with you to trade shows or events, textured backdrops and graphical drapes are two sure bets that can draw foot traffic to your booth. They can even help define a space for your product demos on a busy trade show floor.

Talk to the sign pros at your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail to learn more about your signage options and how they can fit into your budget.

Tips for Conducting an Informative Brand Audit

Performing a brand audit enables you to evaluate what your current marketing and communications strategies are (or are not) saying about your brand and provides a qualitative assessment of your brand identity’s overall strength and consistency.

Marketers surveyed by Demand Metric Research Plus said branding inconsistencies result in market confusion (71 percent), damage credibility (56 percent) and make it harder to compete (30 percent).

Brand audits provide the proper intel needed to set a blueprint for the future. Here are some tips for conducting a brand audit that is both informative and focused:

Know your standards. A well-defined set of brand guidelines is crucial for maintaining a cohesive brand identity. When reviewing print and online branding materials, keep a checklist to evaluate proper logo usage, preferred fonts and other stylistic requirements.

Read for tone and messaging. Make sure the verbiage used in your brand communications is up to date and properly reflects the overall direction of the brand.

Prioritize your revisions. As you conduct the audit, be sure to note any branding inconsistencies. Prioritize corrections before creating new pieces.

Embrace technology. Centralizing control with an online ordering system prevents satellite offices from going “rogue” with unapproved materials, ensures proper branding, and saves time and money. For businesses or organizations with multiple locations, a web-to-print or online ordering system is an easy way to oversee adherence to brand standards.

Keep it seamless across all channels. Integrated, multi-channel marketing campaigns are most successful when a brand’s print and digital identity are consistent with one another. Websites, email templates and social properties should always reflect your offline branding, and vice versa with printed brand materials.

Need help conducting your branding audit to ensure your marketing materials are aligned with your brand standards? Contact your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail today.

5 Marketing Books to Add to Your Reading List

Whether you’re looking to establish a new content strategy, spice up your branding, earn new customers or simply find some inspiration, there’s no shortage of expertise on the shelf. Here are five of our favorite books:
Five Books for Your Reading List

The One Hour Content Plan: The Solopreneur’s Guide to a Year’s Worth of Blog Post Ideas in 60 Minutes and Creating Content That Hooks and Sells: Looking to populate your blog or website with original content that stands out? This is a must-read to create a solid content foundation that highlights the products or services your brand offers.

Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team: If you’ve ever felt like your brand could use a refresh but you’re not sure where to begin, pick up this book. You’ll glean leadership lessons for your whole team with takeaways that will enhance your brand for years to come.

Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing and Advertising: Ryan Holiday takes lessons from Facebook, Dropbox, Airbnb and Twitter for his guide to replacing stale marketing lessons with tools that are testable, trackable and scalable.

The 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money and Stand Out from the Crowd: More than 500 readers have given this book a five-star review for its strategies to start following a reliable, brief plan for rapid business growth. It’s easy to see why.

Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade: Social psychologist Robert Cialdini digs deep into effective persuasion. This is a great tool for communicators looking to bring an edge to their strategies and grab attention in powerful ways.

Contact your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail today for help in planning, designing, executing your marketing campaigns so you get the best return on your investment.

How to Make Your Business Card a Real Keeper

Though advances in technology are constantly redefining the ways in which we do business, one conventional business practice has stood the test of time: the business card.

Allegra Business Card

Printed business cards provide a tangible, personalized element to relationship-building that digital alternatives cannot. And, when tailored to reflect your brand’s image, business cards serve as important marketing collateral for creating a positive, long-lasting first impression.

According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, 72 percent of professionals say they judge companies based upon the quality of their employees’ business card. The driving force ensuring your business card reflects both you and your organization well? A strong design.

Here are some tips for creating a brand-building business card that is sure to leave a good impression:

Make it colorful.
In the same survey, 78 percent of respondents said a color business card is more memorable than a standard, white card. Align your color palette and graphics with your brand standards to help ensure a seamless brand experience at every touchpoint.

Choose an unusual material.
Although card stock is both cost-effective and practical, virtually any paper and a wide variety of finishes can be used for business cards – textured or smooth, glossy or matte. However, if you’re truly set on setting your brand apart, choose a lightweight wood or plastic sheath.

Investing a little more should pay off: Nearly four out of 10 survey takers said they would choose not to do business with someone if they have a “cheap looking” business card.

Keep it consistent.
The look and feel of your brand and all your promotional materials are likely to evolve over time. Have a plan to do a brand audit annually to weed out the materials that are outdated in information and appearance. Your schedule of design revisions just might start with your business cards.

Looking for a bolder business card design that speaks volumes about your brand? Allegra’s team of business branding experts can help create the perfect design. Contact your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail today.

3 Reasons to Add Video to Your Marketing Mix

YouTube says it has more than a billion users — almost one-third of all people on the internet — and each day they watch hundreds of millions of hours of video generating billions of views. Many marketers have seized the opportunities the popularity of video presents.

Video MarketingAccording to the State of Video Marketing 2017 report by Wyzowl, 63 percent of businesses are using video as a marketing tool, and out of those, 82 percent feel video is an important part of their marketing strategy.

Not making the most of your visual content? Here are three reasons why you might want to consider video:

  1. Increased reach. Wordstream estimates that videos on social media generate 1,200 percent more shares than text and images combined. Brainstorm ideas for interesting ways to present targeted messaging during four distinct buying stages: awareness, interest, decision and action. For example, at the decision stage, customer testimonials or “about us” videos that show your team’s expertise help to personalizes your brand.
  2. Better retention. According to Invisia, viewers retain 95 percent of a message when they watch it in a video. With smartphones, tablets and quality webcams, nearly everyone in your organization can be a video content creator. And, capturing a variety of perspectives may offer new angles to storytelling that you hadn’t anticipated.
  3. Long-lasting. Video content can also be used as blog articles, slide decks, interactive web experiences and more. All these things could alternately be turned into video.Looking to take the first step to add video to your marketing strategy? Contact your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail today for assistance.

Three Ways Promotional Products Can Elevate Your Direct Mail Campaigns

Direct mail is an effective way to stand out from the digital noise and reach your key audiences. One tactic to increase your direct mail response rate is to make your mail more appealing by giving it shape, compared to a typical flat mail that people receive every day.

Three Ways Promotional Products Can Elevate Your Direct Mail Campaigns

According to a 2017 Data & Marketing Association report, a dimensional mailer can outperform a flat mailing by up to 300 percent, and at 5.49 percent, has the highest response rate of any direct response medium. Already a strong performer, your direct mail can benefit from an added lift with the inclusion of promotional products.

Here are three key considerations when integrating promotional products into your direct mail campaign:

  1. Keep it useful. Pick a product that is useful, making it more likely the recipient will hold on to it. A Global Impressions study from Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) shows that eight out of 10 consumers rank usefulness as the most important attribute of an advertising specialty.
  2. Make it memorable. ASI reports that 85 percent of consumers remember the advertiser giving them a promotional product. Include your logo on the product and brief contact information, like a website or phone number.
  3. Save your budget. Promo products have a lower cost-per-impression (less than a cent) than TV advertising, national magazine advertising and newspaper ads, and are comparable to radio and internet advertising, says ASI.

The message is clear: For your next targeted direct mail campaign, say “not this time” to plain envelopes, and try a box or tube. They can be customized and printed with a key message or theme.

Looking for ways to lift your direct mail marketing and drive greater interest and response? Contact your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail for assistance.

Business-to-business Influencer Marketing 101

Between the increasingly competitive business-to-business (B2B) marketing space and a growing skepticism of traditional advertising, many small business marketers are beginning to turn to influencer marketing as an alternative way to build relationships.

Business-to-business Influencer Marketing 101

Traditionally more of a business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing tactic, influencer marketing has gained appeal as an effective B2B marketing strategy. By targeting the right industry influencers for your products or services, your brand generates word-of-mouth referrals from credible voices that your audience knows and trusts.

Research shows that 91 percent of B2B buyers trust word-of-mouth marketing when making their buying decisions. To incorporate influencers into your current B2B marketing strategy, it takes some planning and a clear understanding of who your audience turns to for information.

Here are a few ways to work with influencers:

  1. Collaborate on content. Collaborate with credible industry voices and outlets when creating your content, such as blogs, white papers, reports and more. Partner with research firms, leverage local business partnerships and seek leading industry experts to co-create and/or cross promote. Be sure to link back-and-forth for SEO juice.
  2. Invite local thought leaders to present on a webinar or at a lunch-and-learn event. You’ll attract a larger audience due to the guest presenter’s cross-promotion efforts, and you’ll also strengthen your business’ authority in the sector.Webinars and events are also perfect avenues for collecting email addresses for lead nurturing. Niche influencers such as local business and policy leaders, industry authors, motivational speakers, area business partners and local nonprofit leaders are great to invite as guests.
  3. Forge connections with influential media personalities. One of the best ways to start forming organic relationships with your key audiences is to amplify your brand’s story through traditional media. Connect with local news personalities to tell your brand’s narrative in way that catches their interest.
  4. Get social. The first step to creating connections with niche social media influencers is to see who your current customers and prospects are already following. Then, start following and engaging with those accounts and social media influencers as well.

Interested in learning more about how to incorporate influencers into your B2B marketing strategy? Contact your local Allegra Marketing Print Mail today.