Alphagraphics blog

Category: eCommerce

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 →

Making the Most of a Web-to-Print Portal: How to Maximize Your Business’ Marketing Efficiency

Any opportunity to streamline a business’ efficiency and processes is an opportunity worth exploring. Most often, these opportunities involve using new technologies and resources to either cut down on the time spent doing a task or reducing the number of steps involved. And, when the opportunity to do both arises, there’s no question that it’s going to translate into major successes for the business in general. A Web-to-Print portal is a superb example of one such opportunity and something that virtually any business can utilize when it comes to streamlining productivity and efficiency. An online print portal gives businesses the ability to:
  • Streamline the print materials ordering processAlphaGraphics Web to Print AGOnline
  • Reduce mistakes involved with ordering materials
  • Preserve digital records of materials ordering
  • Broaden access to critical printed materials
The benefits of a web-to-print portal continue to expound when you look at all of the critical situations they can improve. Take a look at some of the proven, key applications for a print portal that might help to improve the efficiency of your business below. Perfect for multiple locations Because a Web-to-Print portal involves decentralized ordering—anyone with Internet access can use it, from anywhere in the world—there’s no need to convolute the process of ordering materials across multiple locations. What’s more, because the same portal can be used in an inter-organizational capacity, the business itself can rely on centralized approval and billing! And with the option to implement approval procedures for headquarters to authorize orders before they’re processed, locations are able to reap the benefits of autonomy without lacking in accountability. Perfect for remote employees Again, thanks to the widely accessible, decentralized nature of a Web-to-Print portal, employees on-the-go or those working from remote locations are able to benefit. Remote employees can easily order their own business cards and branded materials without having to navigate through home office processes and procedures, and materials can be shipped directly to their location to facilitate seamless productivity. Perfect for sales team autonomy Bureaucracy can be a productivity killer in businesses—the more steps in the chain of command, the more opportunity for error and the longer it’s going to take to accomplish anything. Rather than running a materials order up the flagpole and hoping it gets a sign-off from a higher-up, you can create autonomy in your sales department through a Web-to-Print portal. Create login credentials for specific employees and delegate ordering to them to create accountability and remove the numerous barriers of waiting for a request to go through the chain of command. Perfect for standardized documents Standardized documentation is a critical factor in many day-to-day work environments across a wide variety of industries including medical, legal, insurance, education, non-profit and more. From forms to packet information, brochures to internal documents, a Web-to-Print portal streamlines the ordering process for repetitive print orders, to give you peace of mind that these oft-used documents are just a few clicks away. It’s a rare opportunity to dramatically improve an entire business process, to both save time and money. Web-to-Print portals offer this opportunity and many others to help businesses utilize digital technology to get the printed materials they need to succeed.   Because a Web-to-Print portal involves decentralized ordering—anyone with Internet access can use it, from anywhere in the world—there’s no need to convolute the process of ordering materials across multiple locations. What’s more, because the same portal can be used in an inter-organizational capacity, the business itself can rely on centralized approval and billing! And with the option to implement approval procedures for headquarters to authorize orders before they’re processed, locations are able to reap the benefits of autonomy without lacking in accountability. Perfect for remote employees Again, thanks to the widely accessible, decentralized nature of a Web-to-Print portal, employees on-the-go or those working from remote locations are able to benefit. Remote employees can easily order their own business cards and branded materials without having to navigate through home office processes and procedures, and materials can be shipped directly to their location to facilitate seamless productivity. Perfect for sales team autonomy Bureaucracy can be a productivity killer in businesses—the more steps in the chain of command, the more opportunity for error and the longer it’s going to take to accomplish anything. Rather than running a materials order up the flagpole and hoping it gets a sign-off from a higher-up, you can create autonomy in your sales department through a Web-to-Print portal. Create login credentials for specific employees and delegate ordering to them to create accountability and remove the numerous barriers of waiting for a request to go through the chain of command. Perfect for standardized documents Standardized documentation is a critical factor in many day-to-day work environments across a wide variety of industries including medical, legal, insurance, education, non-profit and more. From forms to packet information, brochures to internal documents, a Web-to-Print portal streamlines the ordering process for repetitive print orders, to give you peace of mind that these oft-used documents are just a few clicks away. It’s a rare opportunity to dramatically improve an entire business process, to both save time and money. Web-to-Print portals offer this opportunity and many others to help businesses utilize digital technology to get the printed materials they need to succeed. Read article →
March 22 / 2016

Why Should You Be Utilizing a Web-to-Print Portal for Ordering Printed Collateral?

Does your small business or organization require branded products or marketing materials that are ordered and printed consistently? If so, ask yourself: are you reaping the benefits of a Web-to-Print portal to manage and process these orders?   What is a Web-to-Print portal? A Web-to-Print portal is a convenient and streamlined way to get the printed collateral you need, without having to worry about managing individual orders or keeping track of order documentation. It works like this. Your printer sets up a website that has all of your frequently-ordered materials on it: business cards, brochures, sales sheets, flyers, stationary, forms and whatever else you might use on a regular basis. This is your portal—it’s the place where you’ll come to order materials when you’ve run out. It can even be updated and changed regularly as you add or discontinue materials!   How Does it Work? The function of a Web-to-Print portal is simple: you select the materials you need, submit the order, and your request will be forwarded directly to your printer! Your company or organization is billed based on your agreement with the printer, but in the meantime, your order for materials is being fulfilled in real time, so you have the items you need to be most effective on the job. Best of all, the portal is going to serve as an organizational tool for your orders and documentation. No more flipping through binders of purchase orders to see when you last ordered business cards or trying to track down proof of an order for your department head to sign off on!   The Many Benefits of a Web-to-Print Portal A Web-to-Print portal is the pinnacle of efficiency when it comes to ordering printed products. With just a few clicks of the mouse and mere minutes on the clock you can effectively put in an order for everything you need, to be processed quickly by your printer. Moreover, your portal is going to have any and all information you might need before you order: quantities per pack, pricing, turnaround time and other intricate details such as what the stock of the material itself. In this way, you can determine exactly what you need as you order, preventing mistakes that end up costing money. The sheer compartmentalized nature of a Web-to-Print portal is also going to dramatically improve order organization. The portal will have everything from order histories to order documentation and more, all digitized and cataloged to make your life easier! This is the ultimate time-saver when it comes to pulling up specific orders or quality checking your documentation against problems. Finally, let’s not discount simplicity. Ordering printed materials through a Web-to-Print portal is going to be so easy that just about anyone can do it without fail. If your office manager is out sick or you’re delegating the task to someone else, you can have peace of mind that an order is going to be properly placed thanks to the ease of use associated with the portal.   Setting Up a Web-to-Print Portal If your business or organization isn’t already using a Web-to-Print portal to streamline the ordering of printed products, now is the time to start! Contact your local AlphaGraphics today to quickly set up a branded portal that you can begin using in just days! Then, have peace of mind when you place orders through your new portal, knowing that we’ll take care of the rest. Read article →
February 05 / 2016