Alphagraphics blog

Archive: September 2015

Five Tips for Crafting Relevant, Engaging Marketing Messages

Any advertising professional will tell you that crafting an optimal message is about more than just stringing together some words or pictures and kicking a product out to the masses. More often than not even the best marketing messages fall flat, sometimes for the smallest of reasons, leaving entire marketing teams to head back to the drawing board.   If you’re a small business, creating relevant, engaging marketing messages might sound impossible as you don’t have an entire marketing department to fulfill your needs; it’s just you and your knowledge doing all of the work. But, while it might seem like an uphill battle, understand that being a small business doesn’t put you at any less of an advantage when it comes to understanding what goes into creating a good message.   Take a look at five things you can always fall back on when you’re brainstorming your next advertising campaign and why taking into account these five tips can pay off:   1 - Emphasize seasonal messages: You may or may not realize it, but the seasons have significant sway over the world of marketing and advertising. Certain products become available or emphasized during certain seasons; different tones and feelings are characterized by the time of year; and, most importantly, consumer mindsets shift with the seasons. Understanding and wielding seasonal power for the benefit of your marketing message is absolutely going to turn favor and give you a better chance at landing a message that’s effective.   2 - Evoke emotion: There’s nothing more ineffective than an advertising message that makes a person feel nothing! If someone feels nothing when they intake your message, they’ll have no motivation to act, meaning you’ve lost them right from the get-go. Instead, make sure your messages evoke some kind of emotion! Make a person laugh, pluck at their heartstrings or even make them angry—whatever it takes to provoke emotion and inspire action!   3 - Be transparent: We’ve all seen those advertisements that are too good to be true, that usually end up being a scam in the end, right? They’re not just annoying—they’re a great way to lose customers. People don’t like being tricked or taken advantage of: they prefer to be spoken to with a straightforward message and honestly. With this in mind, tailor your messages to be honest in their appeal—no asterisks with hidden messages or sneakily-worded jargon that tricks people. Your audience will appreciate transparency and know you for being honest, which will lead them to pay attention to what you have to say now and in the future. On the flip side of this, remember that it’s okay to talk things up and embellish a little—so long as the message is clearly understood and everyone has the same expectations!   4 - Showcase value: Benefits-driven content is the key here and it’s truly the cornerstone of any successful marketing message. People want to know what they’re getting and they need to fully appreciate the value of what you have to offer them. Whether you’re selling a product, advertising a service, offering a membership or creating awareness, the chief takeaway from your message for every customer should be the value.   5 - Talk the talk: Know how to talk to your customers! This can never be overstated. Knowing how to talk to your customers means knowing how to relate to them, which ultimately leads to better communication and a more engaged audience. This means using the right vocabulary, embracing the right values, speaking to the right “person,” showing the right images and communicating the right benefits. It may seem like a tall order, but if you know your audience and what it has to offer people, bridging the gap to create effective marketing messages becomes a whole lot easier than you might think.   Keep these five tips in mind the next time you’re sitting at a blank computer screen trying to come up with the next feel good marketing hit of the summer! Embracing as many of these tips as you can means raising the bar for your success when it comes to pushing out messaging that’s truly effective. Read article →

The Power of a Good Sign and How It Can Boost Your Business

When you think about the complexity of a business—from the physicality of the brand itself to the operational aspects that keep it running—it can be easy to overlook single components in favor of seeing the big picture. And while big picture prospects might be ideal to look at, it bodes well to remember that single business attributes can play a tremendous role in how that big picture is shaped.   Take business signage for example. Could a simple sign really be the chief driver of business, the identity of your brand or the selling point for potential customers? Absolutely! Take a look below at the power a good sign can wield and how having the right sign could allow your business access to this type of clout.   A few facts on signage   First things first: what’s the purpose of a sign? To bring in customers? To create brand awareness? To let potential customers know you exist?   If you said “all of the above,” you’re right: a good sign is a multipurpose tool that your business can and should use to its advantage. Take a look at some key pieces of data in regards to the different functions of a good sign, as compiled by signs.org:   - A good sign has been proven to attract up to 50 percent of a new startup’s initial customers. - Roughly 35 percent of customers report that seeing a sign has alerted them to the existence of a business without any prior knowledge of that company. - Customers living within five miles of your business will likely see your sign an average of 50-60x per month. - The impressions made by one sign are equivalent to 24 full-page newspaper advertisements made annually.   The remarkable statistics keep going. In the end, the message is this: a business with good signage is going to see impressive returns on their investment in that sign, whether it be in the form of quality advertising, cohesive branding or persuasive allure.   A case study in signage success   Statistics are all well and fine when it comes to proving a point, but what really convinces people is an example they can relate to. And, when it comes to making an example of signage that has dramatically impacted the growth and perception of a business, there’s absolutely no substitute for a closer look at the iconic Golden Arches of McDonalds.   No matter what country you travel to, what language you speak or what your understanding of the business world may be, everyone understands immediately what the Golden Arches mean: they stand for Big Macs, French fries, chicken nuggets, coffee and more—everything McDonalds is selling and everything their brand revolves around. Today, the Golden Arches are widely considered the most recognized brand symbol in the world.   What does having the biggest and best signage get you? In the case of McDonalds, the Golden Arches are responsible for pulling in more than $21 billion each year—more than the entire economy of Vermont! All in all, the value of the Golden Arches rings in at around $85 billion, making it more than just the most valuable fast food brand by a wide margin, but one of the most valuable brands regardless of industry!   Now, it’s fair to say that McDonalds has done a lot more than just put up Golden Arches to achieve the success that it has—but it is fair to say that the brand’s iconic sign is largely responsible for its continued notoriety. Think of it this way: would you pull into a drive through at an unmarked building if you were craving a hamburger or would you keep your eyes peeled for those Golden Arches?   Harnessing the power of good signage   Signs come in all shapes and sizes—what makes a good sign effective is its appeal to the customers you’re trying to garner. Make sure your sign speaks to your target audience, that it communicates your business’ values, that it’s proper and professional, and that it’s clearly recognized. Paying attention to your sign—even if it is only one part of your overall business—means setting a foundation for growth that can be traced back to good signage.   If you’re designing a new sign from scratch, take the time to get it right and put in the effort to make sure it’s a sign that you can be proud of. If you already have a sign proudly hanging over your entryway, go outside and take a look at it—would you shop at your store based solely on the signage? Evaluating this singular component of your brand could have ramifications that transform your business for the better. Read article →
September 15 / 2015