Ted Talks

Our 3 Favorite TED Talks You Must See

By | Business Strategy, Food For Thought, Friendly Advice, Marketing, Networking, Social Media, Trends

TED Talks are a big part of the Printing Solutions culture. They’re a great way to educate ourselves on specific topics without added bias, opinions, or unnecessary influence.

We go to TED talks for inspiration, education, and as an entertainment resource. Every so often, someone on the team will find a useful TED talk and share it with the entire team. Read More

Before and After the Creative Process: See the Life Cycle of a Branding Project

Before and After the Creative Process: See the Life Cycle of a Branding Project

By | Brand, Business Strategy, Design, Food For Thought, Friendly Advice, Logo, Marketing, Print Marketing Advice, Printing Trends, Social Media

Here at Printing Solutions, we love helping businesses refine and share their brand through print. Our branding package is a popular choice among business owners who are looking for a little guidance in how to put their company out there and want us to work our magic. Read More

Branding Package

How Can a Branding Package Help My Business?

By | Brand, Design, Logo, Marketing, Print Marketing Advice, Social Media

In today’s competitive economy, nothing hurts a business more than weakness or lack of clarity in their brand. But most business owners struggle to really nail down a clear brand identity, instead leaving their business cards, brochures, and social media channels with an inconsistent look.

If this sounds familiar, a branding package from Printing Solutions could be a great step in creating your business’s identity. We sat down with our Director of Marketing Kristyn Dingman to learn how it works. Read More

Brand Inconsistency

4 Ways You May be Creating Inconsistency With Your Brand

By | Brand, Business Cards, Business Strategy, Social Media

When you spend thousands of dollars to develop and strengthen a brand that you believe in, the last thing you want to do is dilute the power of that branding with inconsistencies. Yet as time goes on, we continue to see businesses make this mistake. They are engaged, often unintentionally, in detracting from their brand by failing to stay consistent. Read More

Design Trends

Five Design Trends to Look Out for in 2015

By | Business Strategy, Design, Print Marketing Advice, SEO Marketing, Social Media

A new year gives us all new energy and a boost in our desire to take things to the next level. We find ourselves ready to take on new challenges in an effort to increase business and grow like we never have before.

Related: 2015 Trend: Metal Business Cards.

Part of that growth involves paying close attention to what is going on around us and watching for the trends that can so easily make 2015 a great year or a not so great year. We hope to draw your attention to 5 specific design trends we see coming for 2015 and hope it helps you as you move forward with your marketing.

1. Getting Tight With Your Customers

Your customers and clients are providing more information to you than they ever have before. It’s time to take what they are telling you and incorporate it in your message. There is a greater expectation that you will to talk to your customers on a personal level more, meaning more direct messages, specific focus on the products they want, and flexibility to offer choices.

2. Move Away From Templates

The jig is up! Everyone can see right through your template these days. In 2015, marketing design will go away from the slightly altered template and into a much more customized feel. This will include colors, typeset, and grid patterns.

3. Typography

Watch for large type to continue to be used and become more popular in 2015. This will go hand in hand with the shift toward full screen background images or videos that is already hotter than ever. Large fonts enable designers to add personality and style, while making bolder, concise statements.

4. Simplicity is King

Simplifying website design to allow a more user-friendly experience is a big reason why keeping things simple will continue to be a trend in 2015. As companies strive to make their websites mobile-friendly, their print design will follow suit. It’s no secret that simplicity is always a good choice, but it will play a bigger role this year than it has in years past.

Related:Best Colors to Use in Marketing.

5. Flat Design

There is still some debate about who gets credit for the trend of “flat design.” While some say Apple’s iOS 7 really pushed the idea along, others argue that Microsoft had already made a step in the direction long before. Regardless of who wins that debate, flat design is here to stay. Look for the disappearance of shadow, beveled edges, and gradients in 2015.

Of course design trends do change quickly these days and it can be difficult to stay ahead of the curve. These are 5 design trends that we think will be around through the end of 2015 and beyond. They are also the design trends we can help you put to work for you when you are ready. Call Printing Solutions at 480-596-6300 to learn more about how we can help you design marketing material that is consistent for 2015.

Twitter

Top 7 Ways to Generate Leads on Twitter you Must Know

By | Business Strategy, Friendly Advice, Social Media

Twitter has become a major source of new potential online business as it gives your company the opportunity to interact with consumers directly. When attempting to generate leads on Twitter, your tweets must differentiate from the norm. With a few small tweaks, you can transform your tweets into leads. It is simply a matter of knowing what the tweaks are and how to implement them.

One: Keep Hashtags to a Minimum

Hashtags are excellent when accessing conversation for a specific topic. However, this will often distract the potential user for clicking on the link. Therefore, keep them to a minimum so the audience can remain focused.

Two: Measure Performance on Each Tweet

Like with all other marketing campaigns, it is critical to measure performance. The best data to review are engagement rates, cost per engagement and clicks to measure the success of your tweets.

Three: Quickly Follow-up on Leads

One of the most important tips is to always follow-up on leads quickly. If you let the lead sit for too long, they will go somewhere else for the products and services they need.

Four: Segment the Audience when Creating Twitter Advertisements

When creating advertisements, segment your audience with relevant content to keywords, geography, gender and their interests. This specific targets potential leads and increases their interest.

Five: Space out the Link and Image

When using an image in a tweet, do not place it immediately after the link as it will become masked. Instead, leave spaces between the image and link so each can be viewed separately.

Six: Supplement Organic Reach with Paid Tweets

It is always a best practice to implement a balance of paid and organic tweets. The balance can be determined when you evaluate your goals. Use the paid tweets to supplement your organic reach.

Seven: Treat Lead Generating Tweets Differently

The best lead generating tweets have several characteristics in common including, they are short, clear, provide one link and deliver interesting copy. Try not to use hashtags, mentions or post multiple links as the audience will lose interest.

Twitter has become another source of lead generation for many companies across the globe. By considering these seven tips when posting tweets about your product or service, you will have much more success than the competition.

 

Print Button

Top 10 Green Printing Processes

By | Friendly Advice, Print Marketing Advice, Social Media

Although there is no official standard to determine green printing processes, an environmentally-minded printer should utilize the most eco-friendly paper; reduce waste ink, solvents and toxic chemicals and be willing to use natural inks such as soy and other vegetable inks. There are many different types of green printing processes; the following is a list of the top 10:

  • Vegetable Oil-Based Inks- The greenest types of printing processes use vegetable oil-based inks which consist of renewable resources like linseed, cottonseed, China wood oil and tung. Since these are natural elements, the waste inks can be easily recycled and reformed into new inks.

Related: Best Colors to Use in Marketing.

  • Soy Inks- Similar to vegetable oil-based inks, soy inks do not contain volatile chemicals so they are gentle on the environment and can still produce high-quality and bright images. Best of all, this type of ink is recyclable and can be reused in other inks.
  • Process Chlorine Free (PCF) Paper- PCF papers are those that have been bleached with only natural compounds and are 100. Although some chlorine may remain from other recycled papers, this reduction in chemicals is much easier on the environment.
  • Recycled Paper- Recycled paper is best used with all printing processes to reduce the number of trees required for print runs.
  • Duplex Printing- Duplex printing, printing double-sided, is an excellent method of reducing the amount of paper used during a print run. Although it may take more time to duplex print, you can save money on paper and also limit the number of trees that are being cut down to be manufactured into paper.
  • Font Selection for Printing- Surprisingly, the font you select will play a significant role in the environmental sustainability of your printing process. Specific fonts require more ink than others and, therefore, cost more to manufacture. The more ink you use, the more you will need quicker and the more chemicals will be created.
  • Screen Printing- Historically, the inks used in screen printing contained more solvents than other printing processes. However, more screen printers have been using UV inks which can be cured under a UV lamp. This gives the advantage of eliminating solvents from the direct printing process.
  • Water-based Aqueous Printing- The most environmentally friendly type of coating during the printing process is water-based aqueous coatings. Similar to other types of coatings, these provide a protective layer and are recyclable.
  • Biopolymer Printing- When printing on plastics, biopolymers are the best option as their material makeup consists of manufactured plastics that use corn and other types of vegetables.
  • Digital Printing- Due to its plate-free technology, digital printing ink sits on the top layer of the substrate and creates significantly less waste. Since there are no plates, this process is fast and manufactures aesthetically-pleasing prints.

Related: 7 Tips for Highly Effective Marketing Material. 

If you need help with any of your printing needs give us a call at 480-596-6300 and we can provide you with the proper consultation on green products and processes that we use here at Printing Solutions.

Marketing Material

7 Tips for Highly Effective Marketing Material

By | Business Strategy, SEO Marketing, Social Media

Go ahead and try to grow your business without the right marketing material…just try it! Our bet is that you won’t get very far. There’s a good reason that solid marketing materials have been used by successful businesses for hundreds of years. It works!

We live in the digital age when the focus is on internet marketing and content. In our rush to stay ahead of the curve, we sometimes fail to look back at what is actually working and what is historically proven to work. This includes good marketing material.

Related: Best Colors to Use in Marketing 

However, it’s not enough to just have a brochure highlighting your services or a business card that was designed in the 1980’s. It takes a bit of strategy and ingenuity to successfully use marketing material.

Here are 7 tips for developing highly effective marketing material:

1. Keep it Simple

As excited and proud as you might be about the services and products offered through your business, it is better not to list every single detail. Remember that people have short attention spans and they want to be able to get the gist of the business in a short glance.

2. Stay Consistent

You can’t argue with the hundreds of studies and reports that shows the importance of consistency in your message and branding. All marketing material should have the same general feel and tone. This includes color schemes, language and artwork.

3. Use Printed Material

Yes, your online presence is definitely important, but it should not be the reason for letting your printed collateral grow outdated. Printed material still plays a crucial role in the marketing of your business. Your printed marketing strategy should compliment and work in conjunction with your online marketing strategy, which includes staying consistent (see point 2 above).

4. The Right People for the Right Job

Let designers design and writers write. There is a good reason why they do what they do. Trust their instincts and give them your support. You’ll end up with marketing material that really works.

5. Images are Hot

It is true that pictures speak a thousand words and that doesn’t change when it comes to marketing material. Spend the time to find the right images that convey the right message. People, including your prospective customers, relate to pictures so give them good ones.

6.  Have a Point

Every bit of marketing material should have some sort of call to action or clear next step. Guide your prospect to that action by first, grabbing their attention, second, informing them, and third, inviting them to move forward. They won’t buy if you don’t ask!

7.  Don’t Chase – Attract

No one likes being chased, including you! Be sure to give your prospects something to look at that draws them in naturally. Take the time to develop clever and attractive marketing material that helps to set the tone of your brand.

Related: 3 Tips for Creating a Prefect Brochure 

Creating, producing and printing excellent marketing material is what we do here at Printing

Solutions. If you have more questions about developing a strong marketing material strategy, give us a call at 480-596-6300.

Call Tracking

How to Use Call Tracking to Optimize your Print Marketing

By | Signs, Social Media

The marketing resources that are available today are much more complicated and diversified than years past. The majority of companies utilize numerous marketing methods to generate online leads and conversions. This leaves the question as to which platforms are most effective at providing the best returns on investment. With most businesses using many analytics tools to track performance, most cannot provide an entire overview as to how successful your marketing efforts have been.

Related: Why Your Print and Internet Marketing Need to be Working Together.

Therefore, if you are not using call tracking, you are passing a major opportunity to generate a wealth of data that can improve overall marketing efforts. By utilizing call tracking metrics, you can amass critical information about phone leads as part of your campaign. As a result, you can optimize your marketing channels to receive the best return on marketing dollars spent.

Best Call Tracking Marketing Channels

Call tracking can gather phone lead information retrieved from almost every aspect of a marketing campaign including:

  • Billboard marketing
  • Direct mail marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing campaigns
  • Print marketing
  • Television marketing
  • Web marketing

For the most accurate performance tracking results, you want to utilize different call tracking numbers for each platform.

Identifying Performance Issues with Call Tracking Metrics

Call tracking metrics can tell you the percentage of leads that each sales team member converts into sales. This data is critical to determine which team members need additional training, who to send the most calls to and to evaluate team member performance for dismissals, promotions and raises. Also, it can provide insight into the performance of PPC campaigns. Determining that one PPC keyword grouping has acquired a higher conversion percentage than another, you can invest more resources in the better performing group. It can also help to identify if adjustments must be made for the campaign.

Related: Design a Print Strategy Around your Website Analytics

Call tracking metrics are an extremely critical resource for any company’s print marketing campaigns as they can help to identify successes and failures, thus allowing you to put more resources into the better performing campaigns. With so many different marketing tools available, call tracking is not as utilized as it should be. This resource should be part of every company’s marketing strategy.