Your Guide to Advertising on TikTok

TikTok is a fast-growing social media platform that your business can incorporate into its marketing strategy.

TikTok is an optimal marketing platform because it has a large, highly invested user base. For example: 

Getting Started 

TikTok is very user-friendly.

Just download the app from the app store, put your account into a business mode, and start creating content. To post, click the + button, film the video with the effects you want, and then add a description, links, hashtags, and @ people. Your video can be between 15 seconds to 3 minutes. 

The material your business will post should look slightly different than that of your other social media sites. TikTok is a casual, fun, and humorous environment. The more your content aligns with these values, the better you’ll do. Brainstorm ways your content can be funny. Bonus points if you can add something cute (such as animals or children) into your videos. Finally, try using TikToks filters and jump on some TikTok trends. 

Advertising on TikTok

Running a successful business account is wonderful advertising as is. Plus, it’s free!

However, TikTok also offers a wide variety of paid advertising methods that your business may want to take advantage of. 

  • In-Feed Ads: these ads blend with other videos in the user’s feed. Users can like, comment, and share. However, they can also scroll past. Keeping your ads entertaining to watch will increase the likelihood that people will stay and watch.
  • Brand Takeover Ads: these pop up right when users enter the app and visit a specific category. Your ad will be the only one that users see in that category for that day. They come at the hefty price of $45,050 because your ad will reach a high volume of users. They also take up the entire screen. 
    Top-View Ads: think of these as delayed brand takeover ads that don’t cover the user’s fullscreen
  • Branded hashtag ads: these ads boost UGC (user-generated content) by challenging users to make content with your product and then post with your hashtag. Other users will then see these videos. Hashtag ads can be highly effective. For example, Samsung used the branded hashtag challenge to advertise their new Galaxy A. TikTokers were challenged to post when using features of the Galaxy A phone. This resulted in lots of UGC and over 158 million views. That’s a lot of advertising!
  • Branded effects ad: these allow businesses to advertise their product by creating a filter. It helps your business take advantage of the wide popularity of filters on TikTok. Users can then use this filter and post for others to see. It again helps generate UGC.
  • Influencer Advertising: You also have the option to reach out to influencers for them to advertise your product. This method can be quite effective. People look up to various celebrities and influencers. Therefore, when an influencer mentions liking or using a certain product, it can do wonders for your business. For example, in 2014, Kim Kardashian posted a picture of herself in a waist trainer. Prior to that day, not many people even knew what a waist trainer was. Afterward, waist trainer sales skyrocketed. The bottom line, having influencers promote your business can be widely successful. Just make sure the influencer aligns with your business’s product and values. Also, be cautious of your budget. More popular influencers charge more money. 

Pair TikTok with Print Advertising!

Don’t only rely on one form of advertising!

TikTok is ideal for targeting a young, international market. To have the most effective advertising campaign, utilize various advertising modes.

For example, pair print advertising with social media advertising.

Print will attract loyal customers who trust and support your business. It is cost-effective and diverse. You can advertise using banners, flyers, or even promotional products! 

5 Ways to Reconnect To Your Audience

The last year and a half with the COVID pandemic has been highly disruptive, breaking relationships and forcing distance between people in all facets of life.

Business hasn’t been excluded from that effect.

That’s why it’s more important now to reintroduce your products and services to clients and remind them that you exist, you can help, and you’re available for them.

Remember, out of sight is out of mind; clients forget why they used a service when there’s a lack of contact and frequency. And that leaves room for your market to erode and someone else to fill the gap if they happen to be present.

5 Ways to Reconnect To Your Audience

1. Be Proactive

Part of reconnecting means being proactive and reaching out again, even without an invite.

A client will be fine with communication most of the time, noting they forgot how much they relied on your service. Use that opener to remind them how valuable your support was for their needs. Even if they don’t need an order right away, get your presence and recognition back on their radar with a simple meet and greet through direct mail or an office visit.

2. Take the Blame for the Disconnect

Blame yourself for not staying in touch instead of letting the client feel guilty.

With so much happening, the last thing anyone wants is to feel criticized for not staying in contact. Instead, carry the blame and let them feel better about the disconnect, as well as note that you’re making amends and reaching out again.

It reframes the discussion, making the client feel comfortable and noting you want their attention and communication. You want them to feel valued.

3. Reposition Your Value

Clients can begin to forget why partnerships and support relationships existed.

As clients come back into the office again, you want them to remember why they used your service in the first place. Don’t let them guess, show them and reinform again.

4. Make Sure Contact Info is Updated

Most reconnects are not about a sale; they are about re-establishing a relationship.

Ideally, you want the client to have the latest means and contact info to reach out when their need is realized, and they have to act on it. People are more prone to work with a tried and true path. Make sure they have your current information, and it’s readily available to them.

5. Remind Your Clients Why You Appreciate Them

If one of your clients generated a referral over the last year, let them know you appreciated the help and support.

By communicating your gratitude for a referral or past sales, clients will likely do business with you again and send new referrals, both activities positively affecting your bottom line.

How-To Tips for Pain-Free Print Ordering

When you’re ready to bring your creative ideas to life in print, these tips will ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible. 

Always Include High-Resolution Images

If you have specific images you want to be included in your print marketing, you need to use high-quality photos. If the images are not clear enough, they will not turn out well when printing. A few tips to keep in mind include:

  • Stay away from random images you find on the internet, as these usually do not show up clearly on the final print.
  • Use JPEG or TIFF files for your prints because these are easy and familiar file formats for the professional service.
  • Take advantage of preflight tools that can help you catch issues with your images before you submit them.

If you use high-resolution images, you place your order in the best position possible to be successful. 

Do Not Drag Logos Off of Your Website

If you are ordering branded content, you need to think carefully about where your logo comes from.

Ideally, you should use a high-resolution image or a preferable vector version of your logo. When you submit this image, try to avoid scanning your letterhead. Do not drag the logo off of your email signature or your website. Otherwise, this is not going to produce a high-quality image.

If you have questions about how to include the correct vector version of your logo, reach out to us ahead of time. 

Make Sure the Files Have Been Packaged in an Organized Way

When submitting a folder full of files to be printed, make sure they are organized clearly.

Go through the folder ahead of time, making sure you remove any old versions that should not be printed. If you include multiple versions of the same file, it will be more challenging to determine which one you want to use. 

If you have specialty fonts you want to be included, make sure you specify them. Ideally, the files you submit should already contain the fonts you want to use. This will ensure you are happy with the finished product. 

Ask Questions

When it comes to ordering professional print products, there is no such thing as a stupid question.

You need to know what you are ordering. If something is not clear to you, or if you do not understand specific jargon, make sure to ask. That way, you are not blindsided by the final product. If you think we need to know something before we start your order, make us aware. We want you to be delighted with the result.

Ready to get started? Give us a call today!

The 8 Dos and Don’ts of Branding

Your brand is often the key to growing and keeping your customer base. 

A recognizable, identifiable brand with a cohesive look and feel helps you get the attention of a potential customer and keeps the would-be one-time customer coming back for more. You want your brand to be instantly memorable, especially when it comes to print-based marketing. This is why it is essential to make sure your brand is in tip-top shape!

How do you know if your brand is on point or missing the mark? You follow these dos and don’ts of branding.

The Dos of Branding

1. Take the Time to Update Your Brand Logo

Even iconic brands like Coca-Cola revamp their logo on occasion.

The longer you have been in business, the more likely you need to update your brand logo. You want your brand to appear fresh and relevant. You don’t have to redesign your brand logo completely; just give it a revamp. 

2. Pay Particular Attention to Detail

Designing for print leaves little to no room for error.

You want to get it right the first time and avoid costly fixes down the road. Therefore, it is usually best to start with a digital design before printing the final product.  

3. Take Advantage of Print Textures

Because print-based marketing gives the consumer something they can hold, don’t forget about using print texture to enhance your brand.

Techniques like folding, embossing, or even well-placed foiling can create a unique print experience. 

4. Respect White Space

With print, sometimes less if more.

Try to leave space between the icon and the text. Try your design in black and white before adding color. You’ll see just how impactful it is or realize you need to go back to the drawing board for tweaks and adjustments.  

The Don’ts of Branding

1. Forget to Edit

Editing is often the best friend of printing and branding.

Come up with several options before settling on something final. Brands will inevitably evolve, but spending the initial investment of time on the front end will allow you to come up with a solid brand.

2. Add Too Many Fine Details for Printing

There is a time and place for intricacy when it comes to branding.

Intricate designs with multiple colors and gradients may be amazing for digital marketing platforms but will most likely get lost in translation in print. So instead, think simple but unique for print purposes by scaling back fine details.

3. Use a Wide Variety of Colors

One of the goals of print marketing is to get the customer’s attention.

While you can do this with color, too many colors may have the opposite effect. Think about the size of your print materials and use that to guide your choices of colors. 

4. Use the Wrong Font

Think about your brand. Is it bold? Demure? Classic?

Choose a font that represents the overall feel of your brand. For example, a construction company would likely never utilize a swirly font with loopy letters. Put your font choice to the test before making a final decision. Look at it in various sizes. If it doesn’t translate well to several settings, choose another font.

Creating a brand for your business doesn’t have to be an impossible task. When you keep these dos and don’ts of branding in mind, your business can be well on its way to iconic status in no time. 

Partner With a Marketing Expert

When it comes to building a successful printing brand, partnering with an experienced team of marketing experts is crucial. With years of valuable experience, we’re here to help your business shine. Contact us today to get started!

Creative Ways To Use Print Marketing to Boost Your Business 

There are many ways to increase business through marketing with print.

Although the world has experienced an unparalleled technological revolution, print media’s importance in reaching customers remains an uncontested force.

According to Forbes, print marketing is more recognizable, memorable, and decipherable to consumers than its digital counterpart.  

As old as advertising itself, print media is an invaluable resource. A host of strategies have yielded results over time; however, unique print marketing campaigns have ultimately proven the most successful. 

Utilize Social Media’s Simplistic Design

Most companies have adopted digital media into their marketing repertoire.

Customers enjoy simplistic layouts, separating information and graphics. Plus, it has become a recognizable feature of this media-minded society.  

Easy ways to incorporate digital inspiration into print marketing include (but are not limited to): 

  • Signage on or around your business
  • Business cards
  • Mailing materials
  • Promotional handouts 

Incorporate the Magic of Multiple Mediums

The Louvre famously employed a simplistic roadside billboard campaign in 2017.

It emulated the orientation, scale, and minimalism of a typical social media post that billions of users are familiar with. However, the museum also took the additional step of including non-conventional aspects to complement their high-way gallery. They set their roadside advertisements up to sync with three local radio stations. The audio component allowed drivers to hear a 30-second artist introduction. Along with attracting more visitors, the Louvre also gained international recognition for its creativity. 

There are endless undiscovered frontiers companies are exploring every day.

One of the best parts of print marketing is its versatility. Virtually anything can become a canvas to market your business. Marketing can also be seen in other lights. For example, a print media campaign does not have to include conventional forms of print advertisements.

While signage, business cards, and mailers are fantastic ways to reach customers, marketing can also be done through creative and more indirect ways. 

Printing Is the Best Marketing Route

Regardless of the methods you employ, finding the right printer to begin your next successful and innovative marketing campaign is simple.

To truly transform your business, join forces with an experienced team of print marketers. We’re here to help.

Do Your Print Marketing Materials Need an Upgrade?

There is a great deal of time, effort, and energy placed into updating your print marketing materials.

You need to cover all the relevant information in a very limited space. This means you need to fully optimize your messaging and make sure your materials attract attention.

With all this thought going into ensuring packaging and flyers and postcards are fantastic, you may be unwilling to make regular updates. Unfortunately, this can allow your message to become stale or even allow inaccurate information to be shared with customers over time. 

Time to Make a Change! 

Donna, a local florist, realized it had been more than 6-8 months since she reviewed and revised the messaging on her printed materials.

She knew it was probably time to make some tweaks. Businesses can change dramatically over time, with shifts in hours of operation, updated special offers, and more making an appearance. 

Regular reviews to ensure your messaging is still on point helps keep your marketing materials fresh and interesting for repeat customers. Plus, it ensures that any new prospects have your best offer in front of them at all times.

Donna worked with her local print shop to update her messaging, and her customers certainly noticed! She received many positive comments and new clients from an updated postcard and flyer combination that she designed and had printed locally.

Update Graphics and Colors

Has your logo evolved a bit over time?

It’s not unusual to spread out all of your marketing materials on a table and find that you have several iterations of logos or color schemes represented. Viewing your marketing materials together as a whole can add necessary cohesion to your brand. 

While you may not want to follow on-trend color schemes or make changes based on the seasons, you may want to do a quick update to your color palette. Ensuring that your brand look stays fresh and current is an important part of brand management. 

Put Your Best Offer Forward

Are you placing your very best offer in front of clients and prospects? Do you need different offers for individuals at various stages of the buying journey?

Now is a great time to look at your audience segments and see if you can fine-tune any graphics for eye appeal while meeting their unique needs.

Whether you’re looking for options to create branding materials for a new company or simply refreshing your current options, your local print shop is here for you! We work with organizations of all sizes to ensure you have access to exceptional resources to promote your brand. 

The Do’s and Don’ts for Taking Better Pictures with Your iPhone

When it comes to great print marketing, high-quality images can make all the difference.

Since most people today have a smartphone they use for taking pictures rather than a digital camera, here are five do’s and don’ts for taking better pictures with your iPhone.

DO’S

1. Do use portrait mode when capturing pictures that focus on people.

Many forget to make good use of the portrait mode when capturing a friend or family member. Portrait mode will focus on the person only and blur out the background. This mimics the effect that a professional camera reflects.

2. Do keep your “live” feature on when taking pictures of moving objects or people.

Using the “live” feature comes in handy for things or people that move quickly, for instance – a busy baby or a sports game. After the live picture is captured, you will be able to go back, edit the picture, and choose which frame you’d like to be the key photo.

3. Do make sure your camera lens is not foggy or smudged.

This is something that is commonly overlooked when pulling your phone out to take a picture. Wiping off the lens with a cloth or t-shirt will make a marvelous difference in the clarity of your picture.

4. Do use the “auto” edit wand for each picture.

It’s as easy as it sounds! Clicking that auto edit wand will do wonders on your pictures if you don’t know where to start. It’ll auto-adjust the white balance, color tone, exposure, etc.

5. Do use natural lighting for better color and clarity.

Use sunlight at every chance you get. The more natural lighting you use, the less grainy your images will look. For example, standing near a window when indoors will allow natural lighting to come into your picture.

DON’TS

1. Don’t use the front camera for anything except selfies.

The front camera on an iPhone is usually a lower megapixel than the rear-facing camera. The images taken with the front-facing camera will turn out more “grainy” than images captured with the rear-facing camera.

2. Don’t stick to the default filters that Apple provides.

There are many other filters available, especially on Lightroom and for purchase, that provide better color for your pictures.

3. Don’t expect as high of quality when using iPhone pictures at a larger scale.

iPhone has a great camera, but it can’t be compared to a $2,000+ DSLR camera. If you’re looking to enlarge a picture for a canvas or banner, it’s best to rely on the use of a professional camera rather than a smartphone.

After following these tips, your iPhone pictures will be worth more than a thousand words. And, when you’re ready to get those pictures out to the world through great print marketing, give us a call!

How to Inspire Action with Highly-Engaging Postcards

What do dentists and direct mail have in common?

New clients! Direct mail has proven to be a remarkable investment for small businesses of many kinds, especially for entrepreneurs looking to grow their client base.

Dr. Diep Truong (of Viva Dental) gave direct mail postcard marketing a try in 2011. After streamlining a process for mailer design, demographic targeting, and ROI reporting, this Indiana-based facility consistently experienced a 400% ROI on their postcard campaigns, with a 50% conversion rate of inbound calls for scheduling appointments.

As 2020 kept people closer to home, attentiveness to direct mail has grown. As a result, response rates are high, and now is the time to invest in sharp, unique direct mail campaigns! Postcards are a particularly good investment, with oversized postcards garnering one of the highest direct mail response rates.

According to recent statistics, 23.4% of consumers say they would respond to relevant postcards of interest to them (compared to 7.9% for letter-sized envelopes).

Ready to wade into the water of a new postcard campaign? Here are a few steps to success in 2021:

Take a Multi-Pronged Approach

One of the biggest trends direct mail is seeing is the consolidation of online and offline advertising.

Take a multi-pronged approach to generating leads, so your social media ads prompt curiosity, but your print ads pack some punch with greater neurological impact.  

Keep it Simple and Succinct

People are busy, and if they’re going to look at your mail, they’ll need a good reason.

Make sure your postcard leaps off the counter with unique imagery, splashy colors, a memorable catchphrase, or an unbeatable offer. And remember, when it comes to direct mail, less is more. Postcards that are sharp and straightforward will communicate much more than those packed with content.

Grab Emotions

According to one Harvard marketing study, 95% of purchasing decisions are made subconsciously.

If people’s hearts are in the driver’s seat, then direct mail should aim straight at this target. Research shows that the primary emotional appeals that prompt action are:

  • Fear
  • Greed
  • Anger
  • Guilt
  • Flattery
  • Exclusivity
  • Salvation

Experiment with Specialty Branding Features

Because postcards are so economical, there’s lots of room to add embellishments.

Try haptic coatings, embossed logos, foil-flecked accents, or even scents.  When Sunsilk co-creations wanted to snag more customers, they decided to add an experiential element to their designs. Its gorgeous lime and hot pink postcards came with a tiny shampoo sample attached and a scented trial as well: “scratch to smell the new fruity fresh fragrance of this apple-coconut shampoo!” Customers may not sniff shampoo in the store aisle, but a scented postcard is irresistible!

Specialty branding makes a stronger impression on readers as they physically interact with your marketing. So build curiosity and engagement with these fresh, creative designs.

Postcards Inspire Action

Postcards are distinct, direct, and easy to read.

50.9% of people say they find postcards useful, and direct mail as a whole is especially inspiring to young people. Because many people today are glued to their phones, millennials, in particular, say that postal mail inspires them to action much more often than email (in fact, 30% say direct mail is effective in getting them to visit a website, go to a store, or make a purchase).

When you are ready to take your postcard marketing efforts to the next level, sign up for a personal consultation with one of our mailing experts. Our work-in-progress partnership will simplify each step and position your business for maximum impact!

6 Winning Direct Mail Campaigns

Direct mail offers results that other channels just can’t match.

According to a recent study, direct mail has a response rate as high as 9%. However, there are always ways to engage your audience better and improve your mailers’ effectiveness. These methods below catch your recipents’ attention and increase the chances that they’ll read and respond to your direct mail piece. 

6 Winning Direct Mail Campaigns

1. Instill Curiosity with a Quiz

Do you worry your direct mail envelopes are going in the trash unread?

Take a page from Harvard Medical School’s playbook. In a recent mailing to woo subscribers for their Harvard Heart Letter newsletter, they put a heart health quiz on the front. The answers to the three-question quiz were inside the mailer, giving recipients a reason to open.

2. Benefits, Not Features

As marketers, it’s so easy to get caught up in promoting all the neat features of your product.

Your readers, however, don’t care about that. They care about how your product can be of benefit to them.

HelloFresh hit the mark with a February 2020 mailer that highlighted three big benefits to ordering their kits. At a glance, readers could see that the service could save them time, save them money, and offer more variety.

3. Leverage Testimonials

Research shows that a recommendation, whether from a friend or a stranger, has a lot of sway on reader opinions.

In fact, 70% of people will trust a recommendation even when it comes from someone who they don’t know. 

Florida Gulf Coast University used the power of testimonials by putting recommendations from past students right on their mailing postcard. Having names, faces, and a glowing recommendation from current students helped convince potential attendees that the school is a good choice. 

4. Use the Magic Word

No, not “please.” The powerful word that gets your mailer a second look instead of a quick trip to the recycle bin is “free.” 

A March 2020 mailer from Estee Lauder catches attention with bright coloration and a prominent offer for a free gift when people visit their counter inside Macy’s. Offering a gift is a way to get people inside your brick-and-mortar location, where there is an increased chance that they’ll take the opportunity to buy.

5. Catch the Eye with Familiar Forms and Images

When Nestle was promoting their Kit Kat Chunky bar in the UK, they used a familiar image — a Royal Mail card about an undeliverable package.

However, instead of the normal reasons for failure to deliver, recipients learn that the free chocolate bar Nestle intended to send them was “too chunky” to fit through their mail slot. The mailer served as a coupon to get a free bar to try from the store.

6. Invite Recipients to Interact with Your Mail Piece

To raise awareness for World Water Day in Belgium, the organization demonstrated the importance of water in an innovative way.

They sent a postcard that could only be read after the reader held it under running water. This tactile trick increased engagement and also got the group a viral bump on social media.

No matter what your business, it’s possible to catch readers’ eyes and attention with your direct mail pieces. Think about how to evoke your recipient’s curiosity, which can lead to engagement and conversion.

Use Every Inch for Impact with Creative Custom Envelopes

Do you want to grab attention or showcase your brand? First impressions are vital!

When it comes to reaching your clients and prospects, envelopes are the unsung hero. Envelopes act as a silent messenger, building a very personal bridge between your company and its core customers. Great packaging can enhance emotional engagement and increase response rates, and envelopes are an easy place to start.

Direct mail stats show the value of a well-designed envelope. While response rates for email or social media advertising are typically less than one percent, direct mail generates a rate closer to 4.5%. And oversized envelopes are the most productive, with a response rate around 5%, generating a whopping 37% return on investment!

While not all mail is opened, 100% of recipients will interact with your envelope. Want to put your printed real estate to work? Here are some clever ways to add panache to your envelopes:

Craft A Monogram to Match Your Return Label

Like a royal signature, monograms use two or more letters to form one symbol.

Monograms can be used as a logo itself (like the overlay of the letters “NY” to form the New York Yankees icon, or the blended letters “VW” to form the classic Volkswagen symbol). But monograms can also be used in addition to a logo, and look great as a design motif next to the return address section.

The return address is one of the first places a reader will look, so why not spruce up this corner with a graphic or a monogram motif?

Add Color with Back Panel Art

Want to send a memorable message?

Add depth and dimension with back panel art. There are so many fun ways to do this. Try full-color accents to the top triangle, write your slogan in script text across the bottom, add custom stickers as fasteners, or design your logo into the closing flap (so it looks like a wax seal).

Creative envelopes are very pleasing to the eye, so take your back panel to the next level with full-color photos, playful text art, or contemporary custom labels.

Create Mirror Images in Opposite Corners

When you want to think outside the box, don’t limit your signature to the return address section.

Instead, create a mirrored design between the top left and the bottom right corners. A brand named “Matrix” may have this name in small script font next to their return address but add a larger script “M” bleeding off the bottom right corner of the envelope. A skyscraper logo may be printed as a thumbnail in the top left corner but as a larger symmetrical reprint in the bottom right quadrant.

Try Teaser Text

When you want to entice first-time prospects, consider teaser text phrases on one or both sides of the envelope.

Teaser text should compel readers to open your envelope by promising something of value like, “Receive a Free Map Set,” “Your Recipe Booklet Enclosed,” “Just for You,” or “Your Exclusive Offer of ____ is Here!”

Nonprofit organizations use teaser text to invite prospects to be part of a greater vision. For example: “A Lasting Legacy: Connecting People to Nature Since 1920,” or “She survived war. She needs YOU to survive COVID-19.”

When you want to add impact to your marketing, the envelope is a simple place to start. Amplify your image and add confidence to your communication today!