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The Guide to Online Marketing for Label Printers

When it comes to the label printing industry, it has become harder than ever for companies to stand out as different from the competition.

Label printers can say that they are the leader in their industry or they have a product that no one else can offer, but in many cases, that may not be true.

It’s Harder Than Ever to Stand Out

A big reason for that is is many companies are now buying the same equipment, paper, inks, plate material and anything else that’s needed for the printing process. As a result, one’s capabilities may no longer be unique from the competitor down the street.

In order to stand out as different and to capture the attention of prospects and customers, label printers need to work on finding a way to promote their services better than their competition.

The Benefits of Online Marketing

Right now, one of the best ways to do that in that industry is by effectively using online marketing.

Call it what you want — Online Brand Enhancement, Online Marketing, Brand Awareness, etc. . . . In the end, it’s marketing!

Even if the channels may be newer, it still comes down to fundamentals — your business will thrive if you effectively market your company, products, and services.

Content and Resources to Help You Grow

Over the next several months leading up to Label Expo, I’ll be posting on a weekly or bi-weekly basis on different ways that Label Printers can build their business with online marketing.

I’ll be writing on different topics such as social media, mobile marketing, social network ad’s and more. If you are a label printer, I truly believe that you will benefit from the content that we are going to share!

So, keep an eye out every week for the The Guide to Online Marketing for Label Printers!

Coupling QR Codes with Personalized URLs

John Foley, Jr. --- CEO of interlinkONE and Grow SociallyThis summer, the USPS is holding another mobile barcode discount program. In order to qualify for the discount, companies must either point the QR Code on their direct mail piece to a mobile commerce site or to a personalized mobile landing page.

Below I discuss the 2nd option — integrating PURLs and QR Codes. I hope you find this material helpful!

P.S. If you are interested in taking advantage of the USPS Mobile Barcode Discount program, please contact our team today!

 

Integrating QR Codes and Personalized URLs

QR codes offer a number of benefits for marketers. One of the most important is the ability to tie together the print, mobile and Web channels to increase the response rates on multichannel marketing efforts.

Since QR codes make it easy for people to jump from print to the Web, this intelligent tool can add to the success of your personalized URL (PURL) campaigns, too.

QR codes have the ability to lower the barriers often surrounding customer response which, in turn, leads to an increase in overall campaign response rate.

Here are several benefits that can be easily achieved by coupling QR codes with PURLs to boost the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns:

Providing one-to-one communication

PURLs can be embedded right into QR codes, so when a customer or prospect scans the code she is taken directly to her personalized landing page.

Once a recipient is at that personalized page, you have the opportunity to engage her and have a one-on-one dialogue.

Making it easy to respond

QR codes make PURLs portable. They allow the recipient to access each individual PURL without the need to sit in front of a computer.

Because people are on the go, and many carry their phones with them at all times, this portability is ideal in increasing the response rate.

Additionally, QR codes eliminate the need for a recipient to type what may be a rather lengthy PURL into her Web browser.

By simply pressing one button on their smartphone, your prospect or customer is automatically directed to her own personalized Web site. This eliminates the chance of typos and decreases the amount of effort required by the recipient to access the information.

Tracking and measuring

Every marketer knows there is nothing more important than being able to measure the success of a campaign.

PURLs provide the ability to track which recipients visit their personalized page and, depending on the level of the PURL, gather additional contact information about each individual.

Similarly, various software programs have been developed that will also record the amount of scans per day, what time those scans took place, the location of the scans, and the type of device being used to scan the code.

Together, QR codes and PURLs can provide a more complete picture of which recipients express interest and which leads are the hottest.

QR codes will only enhance the value PURLs already bring to campaigns, becoming a logical extension of the PURLs you may already be implementing. Use them to fill the gap that other cross-marketing tools cannot.

Ready to learn more about how you can benefit from integrating QR Codes and Personalized URLs? Get started today!

Free White Paper: Marketing Tips for Associations

Free White Paper from Grow Socially: Online and Mobile Marketing Success Tips for Your AssociationThroughout my career, I have always enjoyed working with associations. Associations have similar objectives as other businesses that we work with (increase awareness, generate leads, build customer loyalty), but they also often face unique circumstances (Board-related management, limited resources, multiple priorities, etc.). With that being said, I am happy

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to announce the release of a new White Paper that was written specifically for associations that are looking for ways to improve their marketing efforts! Within the White Paper, “Online and Mobile Marketing Success Tips for Your Association“, readers will find a number of strategies, tools, technologies, and tips that will help them to reach their business objectives. Best of all, the White Paper is absolutely free! To receive your copy, simply fill out this form today >>  

Free White Paper: Marketing Tips for Associations

Throughout my career, I have always enjoyed working with associations. Associations have similar objectives as other businesses that we work with (increase awareness, generate leads, build customer loyalty), but they also often face unique circumstances (Board-related management, limited resources, multiple priorities, etc.). With that being said, I am happy to announce the release of a new White Paper that was written specifically for associations

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that are looking for ways to improve their marketing efforts! Within the White Paper, “Online and Mobile Marketing Success Tips for Your Association“, readers will find a number of strategies, tools, technologies, and tips that will help them to reach their business objectives. Best of all, the White Paper is absolutely free! To receive your copy, simply fill out this form today >>  

Is Social Media Generating Leads for You?

I love social media. I love using it for personal and professional reasons.

On a daily basis, certainly enjoy seeing how it is helping our business! I see the traffic that it drives to our websites, I see the ways that it enables us to engage with customers and prospects, and I see the leads that it generates for our sales team.

However, I have a question for you. It’s in the video below!

If social media is not helping you to generate leads and achieve other business objectives, then I’d like to encourage you to join me on the NAPL/NPES Executive Briefings Road Show!

I, along with a few other speakers, will be traveling to 4 cities on 4 different dates to provide printers with strategies, tools, and tips that can help them to succeed!

Register today for the Executive Briefing

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that’s closest to you!

Learn more at either the NAPL or NPES websites today.

 

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Looking for Help with your Social Media Efforts?

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actually achieve business objectives?

Is it helping you to increase awareness & mentions about your brand? Is it helping you to generate leads or close sales? Is it helping you to provide support to your customers?

If not, I”d love to help you out! In fact, that”s why I created the other side of our business, Grow Socially.

We provide a wide-range of online marketing services. This includes everything from strategic development, consulting, social media execution & measurement, website design, SEO help, and more!

I”d love for you to learn exactly what we can do to help you grow your business.

Simply take a brief moment to request a demo today from Grow Socially.

I promise – you”ll like what you have to hear!

Tools for Succeeding with Inbound Marketing

Today, I’d like to chat about some of the specific tools and techniques that you can use to succeed with your inbound marketing efforts.

Your Blog

When you set inbound marketing into motion, you will soon find it is a strategy that thrives on consistency.  The most powerful tool in your arsenal is the Blog on your company’s website. You control how much information you disseminate, what information you provide and how often you distribute that information. Ideally, your blog will consist of multiple short (but not too short) articles on relevant topics that set you up as an authority in your field.

The goal is two-fold:

  • You get readers who learn to seek you out for your expertise.
  • You get others to link to your material…thereby bringing more readers who will learn to seek you out for your expertise.

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an integral part of inbound marketing. You don’t have to become an expert in SEO yourself, but you do need to know what the right keywords are and how to use them effectively. The goal is to increase your search rank. You want to be on that first page of Google and bing results when internet users search for your keywords.

The great thing about SEO is that it is something that can be tweaked and worked on to help your visibility. Over time, you will be able to determine what your effective keywords are – what words are bringing visitors to your site. And you will be able to track links leading to your site.

You can also track links from within your site. Perhaps your current blog post has a hyperlink to an older post on related material. Instead of using a direct link, you can use a tool that will allow you to shorten the link and also see the traffic reports on that url. For example, we use ilnk.me and get a special shortened url. Later we can obtain the information on how often the link was clicked, the highest traffic times and so on. Remember, information is power and you want that information to know what is working and what is not.

Social Networking Platforms

A bit overwhelmed by all the social media platforms out there? Start with two. Perhaps it’s Twitter and Facebook. Maybe it’s LinkedIn and YouTube. But start with two and build from there.

Don’t assume more is better.

You should only have as many social media profiles as you can manage to maintain. And while your main goal with social media may be to promote your brand and distribute content, don’t forget that these platforms are interactive. They invite a conversation with the internet visitor. That’s something you never want to lose sight of.

The Online Marketing Audit

Yes, you’ve got a business to run. But even if you use tools to automate as much content as possible, you should schedule regular “check ups” on each platform to make sure there isn’t a question or comment lingering.

Also, the technology behind online marketing can change quite frequently and at a faster pace than traditional media.

Thus, having an online marketing audit conducted regularly may help alert you to new features that you should be taking advantage of to promote your business.

Integrating Inbound Marketing into Your Sales Process

The reality is – visitors are not customers. It’s up to you to turn them into your customers.

As you integrate the SEO aspect with the content and the social media visibility, you will find that you will get those visitors.

In order to turn them into customers, you need to cultivate them into leads. Content can also play a big role in that! Your company should have a stash of content in hand that can support the Sales team at each step in the buying cycle.

Whether you are trying to convert a visitor into an inquiry, an inquiry into a lead, or a lead into a sale, you will need specific content to help move people through each step.

By doing that, you will be working to ensure that your inbound marketing efforts prove to be a success!

 

Starting Your Inbound Marketing Strategy

Inbound marketing is a popular topic in the worlds of business and communications today… but for good reason: an effective inbound marketing strategy can truly help your organization grow!

Today, I’d like to discuss a bit about how to move forward with building and executing an inbound marketing strategy.

At the Core is Your Website

You already know that the internet is a terrific playing field. It’s the great leveler in that any business can have a web presence and in many cases the internet reader would never know whether a business is a mom and pop shop or a million dollar company in a penthouse suite downtown.  Any business can and should have a good-looking, easy to navigate website that appeals to its target market. This website becomes the base for your inbound marketing strategy.

Reaching Your Audience

Of course, you need to decide how you will provide information to your target market. Blogging or regular article posts should be a given. If you don’t have a blogging platform built into your website, you should have that added. Then you can schedule your posts. Will they be weekly? Daily? You want consistency and timeliness. So you should establish a schedule that you know you can keep.

Creating Content

Then you need to create a list of blog topics. What kind of information do you want to provide? Think about what is relevant to your target market. What will they want to read? What will establish you as the expert?

Not a writer? Not to worry. You have several options. Look to someone within your company or perhaps a trusted colleague. You can also look into ghostwriters to write the content for you. You want someone to write for your company with a voice that fits. Not everyone is a wordsmith. And that’s okay. An outsider can write in your voice and your posts will still be relevant and authentic.

It’s tempting to buy a bunch of articles that are touted to be laden with key words and optimized for the search engines. But these articles can be found all over the net. And you’ll lose your authenticity if the internet reader figures out that your information is not yours.

The Multi-Channel Marketing Approach

Start thinking about how you can provide information that utilizes other mediums. How about some audio files that are chock full of tips? Or what about getting a guest spot on an internet radio show? An audio question and answer session can be provided as a downloadable link on your website or posted on your social media profiles. (Learn more about inbound marketing tools and techniques such as social media platforms here.)

Humanize Your Brand

Don’t forget that amidst all this information dissemination, you need to portray your business personality. It’s okay to have a post that isn’t all business. Want to post a shout out to a customer? Do it. Want to whip up a quick video clip showing a couple minutes of your employees hard at work? These sorts of things make you only that much more real to your target market. And it can give you a definite edge. So as you implement your inbound marketing plans, don’t forget to show your target market a bit of personality here and there.

 

Marketing Tips for Printers from Kelley Holmes

As many of you know, I am quite passionate about helping printers grow their business by improving their own marketing efforts.

In fact, I wrote a book that is full of ideas, campaigns, plans, templates, and other inspiration!

Of course, I also recognize that there are a lot of other great folks in the industry that are sharing great advice for printers.

 Advice from Kelley Holmes

I came across the video below from Kelley Holmes of Cygnus Business Media the other day. If you have a few free moments, it’s absolutely worth watching!

Action Items for Printers

In the video, Kelley highlights a number of important steps that printers can take to succeed at marketing themselves. A few of these include:

  • Thinking like a publisher — recognize what your audience wants, when they want it, and at what time.
  • Focus on creating relevant and inspiring content
  • Use a multi-channel approach!

I absolutely agree with those steps!

I thought this video was very helpful and I hope that you do too!

Inbound Marketing Lowdown

Every business dreams of those “easy” sales. The sales where customers virtually fall into your lap. Don’t we all want to find that customer who nods at everything we say, knowing that we are the experts and the best solution to their needs? The reality is you likely work hard for every customer you get to that point of the sale. But what if that hard work really involved laying the ground work so that over time, those customers really do fall into your lap?

With inbound marketing, you can lay that groundwork to establish your business as a resource, as a wealth of information and the right solution to your target market’s needs. And while it takes some work, it does not require the outlay of cash that many other marketing strategies take, such as massive ad campaigns.

In traditional marketing, you send your message out to the masses. And hopefully, it gets to your target market and that target market responds. With inbound marketing, you are still sending a message out, but it’s less intrusive and much more authentic. Think about it: when you go to a party, do you want to seek out all the cool kids and chat them up, hoping they will like you? Or would you like to be the cool kid and have everyone come to you?

Attracting Leads to Your Business

By providing relevant and interesting content, you become the cool kid. Your target market wants to get to know you. They want to read your articles. They want to download your audio tips. They want to watch your video clips. As you develop your content and make it accessible in various formats, you get your name and expertise in front of your target market in various ways.

Or course, you do have to make sure your content is optimized for the search engines. You want your informational pieces to be found via free searches. This doesn’t mean you stuff your content with fluff and keywords over and over again. In fact, doing so will turn a potential customer off. You have to find the right balance between using those keywords while providing relevant and readable information.

How Social Media Fits In

Inbound marketing also embraces the use of social media to get noticed. You should be sharing your information across multiple platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and so on. Your target market

isn’t going to be hanging out in one place. They’re laughing at the latest tweet. Checking out the most recent status update. Sharing that video clip. By establishing your business identity via several social media platforms, you get the chance to seize the interest of many more potential customers, and continue to establish your business as a resource. Another benefit is the ability to interact with those in your target market on a more personal level. Social media invites dialogue and interaction. By being responsive as well as proactive with your information dissemination, you are becoming the friendly resource that your target market wants to work with.

Inbound marketing isn’t for the lazy business. It takes time. It takes knowledge. It takes dedication. You need to provide good, quality content. You need to be search engine friendly and keyword wise. And you need to establish your business identity across multiple social media platforms. But in the long run, inbound marketing can take your business sales to a whole other level.