Alphagraphics blog

Category: Communication

Print Rules the Local Marketing Domain

Marketing for small businesses is all about getting to know your local customer base. The flower shop with a 20-mile delivery radius or the bike shop that offers service to customers throughout the surrounding 10-mile areas—these are examples of businesses that have a finite customer base. Being able to recognize and appeal to that customer base is the secret to marketing success, and print marketing could play a huge role in that success. While it’s more important than ever for local businesses to optimize their online presence, there’s also tremendous advantage of presenting a physical reminder of your existence within a particular service area. Sending out EDDM postcards or handing out brochures at a community event can have a profoundly more impactful effect than emails or social media posts. With print comes presence The physicality of print marketing collateral is its biggest asset. When you hand a potential customer a business card or tack up a flyer at your local coffee shop, you’re making a statement that’s real, in more ways than one. And, when you operate a business that exists in the real world—in a local community with a defined presence—representing your physicality with print collateral is doubly effective. To make an even more impactful statement with print marketing, local businesses can even take a stance in their communities. Passing out handouts at a local festival or canvassing local businesses with brochures are ways to reinforce your presence in a physical way. Print is personable One of the biggest problems with digital marketing is how impersonal it can be. Even an email addressed to you pales in comparison to a piece of general print collateral that’s physically handed to you by a person. And, when you consider the many finishes, paper stocks and embossing options of print materials, it becomes very easy to create character with print. Any sales rep will tell you that being able to put a physical piece of paper in the hands of a prospective customer is the very best way to make a first impression. For local small businesses, this is an easy, lasting way to introduce your business and your brand to the finite number of patrons who may indulge you. The accessibility of print Finally, print is supremely accessible for brick-and-mortar businesses—not only in how it’s made, but also in how it’s deployed. You can print a banner or window signage and put it up for all to see, all without collecting a single email address or soliciting a single person. There’s a very passive philosophy to print marketing that benefits local businesses by creating exposure without the pressure of a direct solicitation. And when it comes to obtaining print marketing, there are few barriers to overcome. Print is affordable, making it easy for virtually any small business to budget. It’s also versatile—from large print signage to small handouts, business cards to brochures and beyond. And, of course, if there’s an AlphaGraphics near you, print is also incredibly easy to customize. With design and print professionals on staff, we can help you create the print collateral you need to help your local small business flourish. Stop in today or get in touch with your local AlphaGraphics to learn more about the power of print marketing for local small businesses. Read article →

Simple Marketing Automation Will Save You Time in 2017

Automation is the way of the future and in the coming years, it could determine the success or failure of many businesses. Those that adapt and streamline their automation will be able to save money, conserve resources and innovate on a better scale than those that don’t. It’s important to start thinking now about how you can start automating different facets of your business. Perhaps the easiest place to start investigating automation is through marketing. There exists a number of relatively simple tools for marketing automation that allow business owners to get a feel for the process and to instantly improve their day-to-day capabilities. Let’s take a look at a few automation tips and tricks across different marketing mediums! Email automation Chances are, your business sends emails regularly—be it a newsletter, sales email, receipt of purchase or something else. If you’re still manually sending emails, this is the first place you should think about automating. Email platforms like MailChimp, Constant Contact and others come equipped with automation scripts built in, allowing you to cut down on the effort you put into sending an email. For example, it’s possible to create a month’s worth of emails ahead of time, schedule them all and automate their dissemination throughout the month. For a more advanced automation example, consider the possibility of using variable data in emails. You can set up triggers that automatically take a customer’s name from a form submission, insert it into an email and then send that email—all without you ever having to touch it! Social media automation Businesses that can succeed on social media are businesses with brands that flourish. If you’re putting in a ton of time on social media but seeing very little in the way of returns, it’s a sign that automation might be in order. Use platforms like HootSuite or TweetDeck to schedule social posts throughout the month, so you’re not spending countless hours per day investigating newsfeeds. Through these platforms, it’s also possible to investigate what time of day your posts are best sent and what type of response or reaction they’re getting. To take things up a notch, consider using a program like IFTTT (If This, Then That) in conjunction with your social posts. This program allows you to create “recipes” for your social channels—for example, “if someone posts a picture to your Facebook wall, download that picture automatically.” Print marketing automation If you use business cards, flyers or letterhead, the opportunity for print marketing automation is within your grasp! Consider working with AlphaGraphics to open your own agOnline web-to-print portal. A print portal will allow you to automate the order and re-order of these essential products, among other printed collateral. It’s a quick, efficient, effortless way to keep your tasks in line, while maintaining a hands-off approach. Seek out automation! The above are just a few examples of how you can automate in 2017 with relative ease. Make no mistake—this is just the tip of the automation iceberg! Once you become comfortable with basic automation, start looking for other ways to streamline your various marketing prospects. Then, start investigating automation in other aspects of your business. The secret to automation is experimentation and you’ll never know if something works unless you try it! Read article →

5 Ways Good Customer Service is a Game-Changer for Your Brand

It’s something that’s been drilled into your head since your very first job: “always treat the customer with the utmost respect.” Offering quality customer service is a core tenant of most business’, and for good reason. The difference between good customer service and poor customer service can mean the difference between a sale and a lost conversion. And, more importantly, it can make or break your brand’s reputation. Just how important is the idea of good customer service? Let’s take a look at 5 game-changing scenarios where customer service plays an integral role in how your brand succeeds or fails: 1. Reputation:  Customer service is so important in terms of brand reputation that there are entire digital platforms dedicated to it! From Yelp reviews to Google recommendations, there’s no shortage of metric for evaluating customer service. Not coincidentally, this is also where new and prospective followers of your brand are going to look first. If your customer service is praised, it’s a good chance you’ll gain a positive reputation. 2. Trustworthiness:  People trust those who are nice to them. If you foster a quality relationship with your customers by providing exceptional service, they’ll trust you in other ways—including for recommendations or advice. This opens the door for healthy sales, repeat customers, meaningful interactions and sustainable business. No one is going to do business with someone they can’t trust! 3. Value:  Showcasing a high level of customer service means building the value of your brand and any products it offers. If your products are priced higher than a competitor, for example, you need to instill value in your offerings to help people equate your higher price to a great value to them. Superior customer service is a premier way to do this. If your competitors are cheaper but don’t follow your lead for customer service, their product is going to be diminished by comparison. 4. Brand advocacy:  Have you ever heard the phrase, “…and they’ll tell two more?” It’s in reference to having a positive experience with something. It holds true for great customer service, as well. If your customers receive superior treatment when interacting with your brand, they’ll tell people. When those people have that same experience, they’ll tell people. The domino effect keeps on toppling and, as each person tells two people, your brand advocates grow exponentially. 5. Employee accountability:  Encouraging your staff to offer “above and beyond” customer service creates a level of accountability within your business and helps each team member thrive. If an employee goes the extra mile, recognize their efforts and help them own that interaction. If someone is slacking or not putting in the effort, work with them one on one to help them feel more invested in their interactions. Building a culture of superior customer service means having a team that enjoys doing what they do. Exceptional customer service shows itself in many ways. It could be taking a few extra minutes to help a customer resolve their unique problem. It might mean greeting a regular client with a smile and a friendly conversation. Or, it could mean rising to the occasion to provide a solution that earns the business of an upset customer. Whatever form it takes, however, great customer service equates to all of the above benefits and beyond. Read article →

Variable Data Printing Can Improve Ask Letter Effectiveness

Fall is the gateway to winter and, by extension, the heralding force before the holiday season. If you’re part of a charitable organization, you know all too well the potential that the season of giving has when it comes to collecting donations. It’s no coincidence that fall is the prime time of year when many not-for-profit causes send out ask letters and donation solicitations! Asking for money is never easy and, in fact, for charitable organizations who solicit donations, it’s often an uphill battle to collect for your cause. Too many attempts can be off-putting, too few attempts can leave people forgetting about your efforts, and an improperly-worded ask letter can leave people soured on giving. To be truly effective in bringing in donations, you need to find a silver bullet: a single letter that inspires people to donate and feel good about doing so. A personal touch Variable data is the first step towards creating a donation solicitation that’s truly effective. Nothing will send your letter to the circular file faster than a generic tone or a “fill in the blank” quality that makes the recipient feel like you’re just after their money. Personalizing core elements of your ask letter can immediately set the tone of your plea for donations:
  • Variable printing the name of each recipient lets them know that you recognize them. “Dear sir/ma’am” or “to whom it may concern” will never be as attention-grabbing or meaningful as “Dear Mr. Smith” or “Hi, John.”
  • Use past information to generate a unique ask. Something simple such as “last year you donated $50 to our cause” or “will you match last year’s pledge of $100 this year” will let them know you remember and appreciate their past generosity.
  • Pair accomplishments with a recipient’s donation for maximum effectiveness. “We enjoyed seeing you at the Jones Park BBQ in July” or “your contribution made the South Shore Movie Night a huge success” are ways to connect further with potential pledges.
The more information you have, the more you can make it work to the fullest by incorporating it into your ask letter. Variable data printing makes it possible to customize a basic ask letter in such a way that by the time you send it out, each copy has its own personalized touch that makes it unique to the recipient. Unique identifiers It’s important to use variable data to bring your ask letter full circle. This means not only customizing a letter for each recipient, but also creating a way to reap more information and see your return on each mailing. For example:
  • Use variable data printing to print unique donation QR codes on letters. When recipients scan codes to donate, you’ll be able to track who’s donating, how much they’re pledging, how many days after the mailing they donate and more.
  • Print return envelopes for check donations that already have the recipient’s address, your address and prepaid postage on them. In doing so, you’ve removed all barriers from the donation, while also ensuring you can track who’s sending a donation back, how much, which addresses are incorrect/not up to date, etc.
Variable data printing has immense potential to raise the bar for your organization’s next ask letter or donation solicitation. Instead of sending out a basic, uniform letter and hoping for the best, consult with AlphaGraphics today to turn each letter into a unique and meaningful appeal. Read article →
November 01 / 2016

5 Ways Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Will Benefit Your Small Business

Let’s face it: small business marketing is done chiefly online these days. The Internet is its own ecosystem and learning to properly project your business’ brand within that ecosystem can lead to some amazing results—results that your newspaper ad or billboard could never even dream of achieving. As a small business owner you’ve probably heard a lot about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but maybe not as much about Search Engine Marketing (SEM). And while they’re both important to master for your business to thrive online, SEM can be particularly beneficial to budding businesses when used appropriately. Let’s take a look at 5 ways SEM can positively boost your business’ abilities and why it makes sense to spend some time learning the ins and outs of marketing through Google directly with Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads and other forms of direct advertisement. 1. Conversion tracking: Virtually everything having to do with SEM is measureable. Want to know how many people clicked on your ad? What time of day they clicked? Which of two ads was more popular? Thanks to quantifiable data, all of these questions and more can be answered. Not only does this give you insight into what works, it also allows you to change what doesn’t. And, at the end of the day, you can match up your investment to your sales conversions to see just how effective your SEM campaigns are. 2. Targeted advertising: Gone are the days of marketing to anyone who will give your ad a second glance! Thanks to SEM, targeting a specific audience is more viable than ever before. Get as granular as you need for a specific campaign or focus on a niche based on your message. The depth of control you have over an SEM campaign is astounding, which means you have the power to shape your marketing like never before. Target keywords, age, geographic location, gender, hobbies/interests and more to see if your message is reaching the right people. 3. Controlled advertising: Thanks to SEM, you’re the master of your own ad campaign. You can choose when your ad runs, what your budget is, which devices will see your ad, where your ad will run and more. This is extremely important for small businesses who need to make smart moves on a limited budget! Being able to tailor your campaign around your needs means control like never before over how your advertisement dollars are working for you. 4. Ongoing exposure: Even after your latest SEM campaign has run its course, you might still be reaping the benefits of your digital exposure. Thanks to cookies and sophisticated tracking technology, you can advertise to great effect on other platforms such as social media, with significant overlap! Users will keep seeing your ads wherever they go online, which helps boost exposure and keep the ball rolling on your marketing, even after you’ve pulled your PPC ad. Moreover, if no one clicks on your ads, you don’t pay, which means free advertising! 5. Instant exposure: Trying to shout your name out online is like shouting into the void—with so many other companies trying to do the same, you’re not likely to be heard unless you have a plan. SEM puts you front and center with your customers, to give you an opportunity to speak to them, without shouting at them. Most PPC ads are front-page on Google and targeted ads occupy prime real estate on other websites. Positioning your brand front and center means getting the best chance to appeal. As you plan your next online marketing campaign, look for SEM opportunities to maximize its effectiveness. When utilized appropriately, SEM could just be your small business’ secret weapon. Consult with an AlphaGraphics marketing professional today to learn how you can master search engine marketing! Read article →

Using Social Media in B2B Marketing

As a B2B business, do you feel left out of most social media marketing conversations? Without flashy new products to showcase or mass market appeal, it can seem like social media just doesn’t make sense in the B2B world. We have news for you: social media has matured, and it’s absolutely worth the investment for B2B companies! In the B2B world, there are three ways to strategically use social media:
  • Expand your brand’s reach
  • Engage your existing customers
  • Offer relevant expertise
  • Focusing on these three goals to leverage social media to your advantage means bolstering your business’ appeal to potential clients—even if your prospects aren’t directly active themselves on social platforms! ExpandSocial Media Social media can accomplish many things, but presumably you’re hoping to create more qualified leads. Social can be a great tool for lead generation, but only if you treat it as a long game and invest resources to create robust, regular, and relevant content. Analyze where your current customers are spending time and seeking information. You may already be interacting with them on social media without a formal strategy, and that’s a great place to start! Beef up your interactions and content creation on those platforms, and focus on quality of engagement over the quantity of social tools you’re using. Engage A big difference between B2B and B2C is the length and complexity of sales cycles. Converting a lead to a sale often requires multiple touches over time, rather than motivating an impulse purchase. This means keeping current on your social media campaigns and working to develop them over the long term. For this reason, we recommend not thinking about your social media engagement as a series of specific campaigns. Rather, think about using social platforms to build on existing conversations. How can social media tools make that relationship management easier and more robust? Expertise Since the sales cycle in B2B is longer than in B2C, you need to keep your potential customers coming back for more. Social media is an ideal medium to establish yourself as an industry thought-leader or a highly responsive resource. To showcase your expertise, establish a content management plan that makes sense for your brand. If you’re already publishing resources like whitepapers or writing a blog, social tools can expand your readership. Consider offering premium content to email subscribers or your social media followers. As you use these strategies, don’t overlook the importance of collecting data about your potential customers. Invest in a CRM tool that can sync with your social media efforts to track engagement and secure valuable contact information. While you build your social media strategy, identify what metrics you will measure. A good CRM database can document your interactions and tell you about the effectiveness of your social tactics. Does a LinkedIn follower have more value than someone who likes your Facebook page? Are your Twitter conversations leading to qualified leads? Understanding your ROI will help keep you focused in a crowded social media world. The end result to a more sophisticated social approach is a better lead pipeline. Read article →
    May 06 / 2016

    The Value of Infographics in Modern Marketing

    What’s the best way to relay a lot of facts and figures to someone quickly and concisely, without losing their attention or confusing them? The answer, is an infographic. Infographics—especially in the world of marketing—have quietly become a go-to tool for content creators for a number of reasons. Not only are they able to convey a bevy of data—including complex facts and figures—they can do so while attaching meaning to them, while also being easily digestible by a wide range of content consumers. In short, infographics are an ideal vehicle for the content they’re delivering. What exactly constitutes an infographic? Chiefly, two things: information and graphics—hence the name! And while infographics can come in a wide array of colors, shapes, sizes and other variables, it’s easy to spot one when you see it. Most infographics also have a top-down approach to relaying data: the biggest concepts are visually broken down into refined data segments, each with pictures to illustrate the data being conveyed. Ideally, at the end of the infographic, a reader should have a thorough understanding of a concept, complete with the facts to back it up! Why use an infographic? There are a number of reasons to use an infographic as opposed to other traditional means of data conveyance, but these five reasons are generally doted on as the basis for any and all infographic use: 1. They can quickly break down complex topics because they focus on identifying the chief components of a larger concept. Giving readers the big picture and then explaining it little by little—with both facts and visuals—means offering up a concise understanding. 2. They are more visually captivating than blocks of text and will hold a reader’s attention more than text. People are visually stimulated—an infographic panders to this need for stimuli while delivering relevant data. 3. Infographics can be applied virtually anywhere, in any medium. Print media, digital content and even video can all make use of an infographic and its benefits, making it one of the only forms of marketing that can transcend media streams. 4. They’re cheap to create and largely effective for this cost! Between the time spent to source data and the time spent designing the infographic, the cost of creation is marginal and the resourcefulness of a single infographic is astounding! 5. Simply put: infographics are uncomplicated. There’s nothing fluffy or superfluous about them: they delivery information in a way that virtually anyone can understand—even children! It’s all of the above traits and more than have really paved the way for infographics to become a trusted tool for any marketer and today, infographics are used to great effect across all industries. Creating a good infographic Creating a good infographic means more than just having good data to share and some graphic design competency—it means being able to pair the two in a way that’s appealing on both levels to your target audience. Good infographic communications don’t just shape themselves: they’re guided by the hand of someone who has a clear understanding of how they’ll be purposed. If you’ve got data that could easily become an infographic, it’s in your best interest to consult with an AlphaGraphics expert about how you could be transforming that data into your next marketing vehicle! Read article →
    December 18 / 2015

    Update Trade Show Materials Before Your Next Convention

    The winter season and heralding New Year are more than just precursors to a fresh start: for businesses big and small, they’re a signal that trade show season is right around the corner!   According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), roughly 13,000 annual trade show events are held in North America, with more than 10,000 of these focused on the B2B market. Trade show season for most of these major B2B industries begins in the winter season and runs through early spring, meaning it’s tremendously important to start making sure your business is prepped and ready for any and all upcoming trade show events that are looming.   Focus on presentation   The number one thing to consider when assessing and updating your trade show materials is your booth. It doesn’t matter if you occupy a basic stall or if you’re a featured attraction at a convention: if your booth materials themselves aren’t up to par, you’re going to fall flat in the impression you make.   Your booth needs to be attractive, captivating, provoking of inquiry and, above all else, memorable. Remember: the goal at any trade show is to spread awareness about your products, company or brand, and your ability to do this is going to be dictated by the impression you leave on visitors. Consider these simple materials as you update and retool your booth’s image for maximum impression:   • Table runners are a great way to create cohesion at your booth. If your branding is projected outwards via table runners, you’re going to have a better chance at getting someone to step over and sit down, where you can engage them organically.   • Be they vinyl or mesh, big or small, trade show banners are a key component for your booth because they’re the biggest and most captivating tool in your marketing arsenal. If attendees can see your signage from afar, it’s going to draw them in closer for more information.   • Floor signs can come in all shapes and sizes, but they work to do the same thing: create a stand-out message that causes attendees to stop, read and inquire. A floor sign here and there is a good investment in your trade show efforts.   Far and above just having the right materials, it pays to have materials that are up to date, in good condition and tailored with your company’s branding. Cohesion is key and when done correctly, creates a powerful presentation that’s sure to stand out among the crowds.   Smart marketing materials   The second component to a successful trade show appearance—and an equally vital one—is having marketing materials that can be purposed to drive your exposure. This means having informative, heavily branded and attention-grabbing materials on hand, including:   • Business cards are always a necessity at a trade show—you’ll be giving them out and collecting them frequently. Make sure yours are up to date with current information and designed to stand out from the inevitable stack they’ll end up in.   • Brochures and pamphlets are going to give your prospects the information they need in a branded format that is indicative of your company. Make sure your handouts are speaking well of your brand with crisp designs, up-to-date information and clear contact information.   • Signup sheets are often overlooked, but deftly important in walking away with critical information. Getting attendees to, if nothing else, sign up to receive communications with you will keep the channel open.   • Freebies may seem like a waste of money to you, but they’re a marketing tool that keeps on giving after you’ve disseminated them. People love free stuff, which will bring them flocking to your booth, and what they take away will keep your company’s name and branding in front of them long after the show has ended.   There’s no end to the marketing materials that can play a vital role in turning your trade show visit into a success. Make sure you’re pinpointing the materials you need to fuel your brand exposure and get these items in order now, before trade show season is fully upon us. Getting everything updated, printed and in hand before you start setting up shop means being one step ahead of potential competitors who might not be as well-equipped to captivate attendees. Read article →
    December 15 / 2015

    Budgeting Your Print and Signage Needs for the Year Ahead

    The secret to running a good business is planning and organization. When you’re able to plan ahead and organize your approach to the future, it bodes well for your ability to keep things running smoothly on all fronts—especially when it comes to budgeting.   With the end of the fiscal year in our sights, now is the prime time to start budgeting for 2016 and that means taking a good, long, hard look at the expenses you’re going to be faced with over the next year and taking the time to allocate funds to all of the essential components of your business. Perhaps the most important of these allocations is the money you’ll be dedicating to your marketing and branding budget.   Planning for marketing perfection   Marketing your small business shouldn’t be a fly by night approach—it needs to be something that’s well thought out and planned with specificities in mind. Budgeting and planning in advance of the upcoming year’s marketing and branding efforts is a first step in the right direction so that you’re not slinging money you don’t really have at half baked marketing ideas.   Now, it may be hard to sit down and plan out multiple campaigns a year in advance or figure out exactly how much you’re going to have to set aside to accomplish the marketing you want to in the coming year, which is why it behooves every small business owner to consult with an expert when setting up their budget.   At AlphaGraphics, we enjoy sitting down with small business owners during the early stages of budgeting, because it allows us to help our clients grow positively over the course of the coming year. In knowing your wants, needs, goals, budget and ideas, we can help you create an airtight marketing plan for the future, complete with pricing and timelines that will keep you out of the black when you’re reviewing your expenses this same time next year!   Inventory, plan and promote   Print materials and signage are going to be core components of any marketing campaign you undertake and thankfully, these components are easy to price out and quote—even a year in advance. This is why, at a minimum, it’s a great idea for you to consider the physicality’s of your marketing platform and get your ducks in a row when planning for 2016.   Where do you start? Easy! Start with what you have! Take a look at your signage inventory, your collection of printed products from the previous year and anything else you may have invested in during prior months and see if these things can be reused or repurposed for campaigns in the future. Qualifying your inventory is going to cut down on costs—even if it’s just reusing a sale sign from a past event or digging into your stock of fliers and handouts.   Once you know what you have, figure out what you need. Again, this is where an AlphaGraphics marketing professional can come in and help you to get a better handle on the future of your marketing endeavors. Whether it’s printed fliers, direct mail, promotional materials, business cards, brochures or anything else, realizing your needs during the initial planning process is going to keep you within your budget and eliminate superfluous costs that can creep up on the unplanned marketer.   Finally, once you know what you have and what you need, you’ll need to set the ball rolling on these items. Break down your marketing campaigns and attach dollar values to these things throughout the year; break down different print and sign products so you have itemized budgets; lock in pricing wherever possible to eliminate flux in your budget—all of these things and more will help you enter the new year with a better handle on what your marketing efforts and funds look like on paper.   Plan ahead and reap the rewards   When you’re running a business, it’s hard to set anything on autopilot. Luckily, if you’re proactive in your planning and take the time to sit down to look at what you’ll need in the future, you can cement a few variables early on—namely your marketing for the upcoming year and the funds you’ll need to set them in motion.   Give your local AlphaGraphics center a call today to learn more about how we can help you take the reigns of your marketing plan for 2016 and what we can do to make this all-important part of your business just a little bit easier in the coming year! Read article →
    November 23 / 2015

    Enhancing Your SEO Efforts with Strategic SEM Campaigns

    When you get into the wide world of online marketing, the importance of SEO is constantly pressed upon you. Without a good grip on what search engine optimization is and how it works, you’re bound to fall down the rankings and lose valuable face time with customers as competitors continually rank over you. But, just as important as SEO is a less talked about acronym: SEM or search engine marketing.   Any good SEO effort is bolstered with a strategic SEM campaign and if you’re not privy to what SEM is and how it works, you might be losing valuable traction to those who understand that online marketing is a two-headed beast.   Understanding SEM   Whereas SEO is the on-page optimization of your website to help it list better for relevant searches, SEM is what you’re doing off-page to enhance your presence through Google and other search engines. In a more watered down sense, SEM is paid search advertising—usually pay per click (PPC)—that shows up in search engine page results (SERPs).   SEM is a modern, digital form of soliciting people at the point of inquiry. Think of it like a salesperson at your local hardware store: if you ask them a question, they’ll give you a response that directly addresses that question. Google and other search engines are your hardware store where you can ask questions and PPC ads are your way of giving customers the response they’re looking for.   Why is SEM important?   There are a number of reasons why SEM is an integral part of any good online marketing campaign and a complement to SEO practices. Take a look at just a few reasons:   - SEM can be tailored to fit your needs, whether you’re trying to funnel leads to your website or get the word out about a new product or service. Like any form of advertisement, you’re in control of the message.   - You can gauge the intent of your prospective customers and target demographic with SEM ads, based on what people are searching for and what SERPs your ads are displayed on.   - SEM ads float straight to the top of the pile on SERPs, which means even if you’re ranking poorly for some SEO keywords, you’ll still make the front page. This can also boost your SEO efforts in helping your target demographic to relate certain keywords with your business.   - There are millions of searches each day, most of which don’t apply to you or your website. Having SEM that’s targeted and tailored means a better chance of reaching that small group of searchers who are actually trying to find you.   - You can measure SEM efforts with tangible data! Any good marketer knows that results come from refined data and tailored approaches—having SEM data to give you these hard facts means a more measured approach to marketing yourself online.   Kick your SEM efforts into gear   If you’re not engaged in SEM practices or you’re still throwing ideas at the proverbial wall to see what sticks, perhaps it’s time to take a new approach to understanding and implementing SEM. Take a step back, consult with a marketing professional and make sure your approach and goals are defined. And, if you really want to make a splash on SERPs, let AlphaGraphics help you create a campaign that’s targeted at success. Read article →