Alphagraphics blog

Category: Presentation

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

Signs, Posters and Banners: the Large Format Print Trifecta

Large format printing has been a cornerstone of business since the inception of public advertising. The phrase “the bigger the better” tends to ring true when it comes to large format print advertising. Often size is a precursor to attention, meaning when something is big enough to see, it’s likely going to attract an audience. But size isn’t the only factor that makes large format printed products like signs, posters and banners effective. When crafted with the right application and audience in mind, this trifecta of advertising staples is enough to create commotion in your marketing campaign. What makes the three work so well together? And how can they fill different niches when deployed? Here are the roles they’re destined to play in any successful campaign: Signs What comes to mind when you think of a sign? Chances are, it’s the idyllic piece of advertising that defines the business associated with it—the big red Target Bullseye, the block letters and the mermaid on every Starbucks store cup, the apple outline that graces every Apple Store, etc. Signs are an essential piece of branding that help form the foundation of your business image. Whether you’re projecting a symbol, your company name, a brief message or some other hook, the purpose of a sign is simple: to make your business memorable. Your sign could very well be the first thing a customer sees, whether it’s displayed in huge channel letters across a building or it’s hanging in the window of your shop. Make it something they will remember and you’ll have a sign that does its job. Posters Posters are your attention-grabber, your “here’s what’s happening” message and your way to tell customers, clients and the general public what’s important for them to know. When people look at a poster, they’re expecting to learn something that entices them and they expect to be pleased with what they read. If they’re not enticed or excited, a poster is just another piece of clutter in their crowded field of vision. To this end, it’s best to make the most of your limited opportunity by creating a poster that has it all: an eye-catching approach, a worthwhile statement and a takeaway that will leave people thinking. Whether it’s “50% off of Sale Products!” or “Coming This Sunday: Your Favorite Band on a Local Stage,” a poster is going to be your most comprehensive weapon in the war of information communication, so use it wisely. Banners We like to picture banners as sprawling messages that are unrolled at trade shows or hung up in the event of a sale. And while these types of applications may be correct, it’s important to realize that the size of a banner isn’t the only thing that makes it different from signs and posters. Banners serve a vital role in expanding your marketing message and are best used when you’ve got something BIG to say! Calling attention to your company at a trade show, announcing the arrival of a new product in your store, celebrating a grand opening or something similar definitely merits a banner, and your efforts will be rewarded by the attention it’ll attract. People have trained their brains to look for the message a banner displays, so make sure they don’t have to work too hard to see what you’ve got to say! It’s plain to see that while each is a pure compliment of the others, signs, posters and banners individually serve a vital, distinguishable role in your ability to advertise to the masses. Whether it’s indoors or outdoors, targeted or open for any demographic to see, having large format print as a facet of your advertising is the first step towards a game-winning marketing approach that simply can’t be ignored! Read article →
April 28 / 2015
Author admin
Comments No Comments

Consistency is Key in Branding

Think about a big brand—any big brand. What comes to mind about that brand? Is it the products that it offers? How about the slogan that it stands behind? What about the visual images that it advertises and markets? Chances are, it’s going to be all three, but more so the third option: the visual images that are associated with that brand.   Visual images are tremendously powerful in the world of marketing, advertising and branding, simply because they hold the most power over an audience. Whether it’s a picture in a magazine or a web banner advertisement, the visuals that we collect and store in our minds about a company are supremely important in how we come to view and understand that brand. That’s what makes consistency so important!   Go back to your mental image of a brand and start thinking about all the different images that you’ve seen and collected for that brand—advertisements, signage, packaging, etc. What do you notice about the visual materials that you’ve seen over the years? Could it be that everything seems to fit together seamlessly, like it’s all part of one big image?   This is exactly the idea that brand builders are going for: everything you see in regards to a brand is just part of the bigger picture; just pieces of the puzzle that help you paint the whole picture in your mind.   Keeping it constant   There are certain elements of brand building that help a brand to remain consistent over time. Things like color, tone, object visuals and more all blend together to form concepts: concepts that are repeated across different brand campaigns. Let’s look at a hugely popular example: Apple’s iPod commercials.   We’ve all seen Apple’s iPod commercials, filled with silhouettes of people dancing, with the only color representing their attached iPods. The music is upbeat, the style of the silhouettes are hip and trendy, and every commercial is structured pretty much the same. In effect, you know exactly what brand is providing you with the commercial, no matter if you’ve seen it a million times or you’re looking at a brand new version of the campaign.   Because Apple elected to keep its branding the same across each of its iPod campaign commercials, it helped to form a schema in the mind of consumers, effectively eliminating their need to struggle to recognize a brand and instead, allowing them to make the connection instantly! Apple eliminated the middleman: the process of learning about a brand over and over again.   Mastering recognition   Apple isn’t the only brand who has figured out that brand recognition is the key to an improved brand perception: just about every company worth its salt has begun to look for new ways to decrease the time it takes to process a branding message and increase the impact that that message has once it’s internalized.   But, mastering brand recognition isn’t something that’s achieved overnight: it can take years and years, depending on the variables you’re using—namely the visuals that you’re working with. People need to truly internalize what you’re showing them before they’re going to make both conscious and unconscious connections regarding your brand. Once your target demographic learns the markers that define your brand, they’ll be more apt to employ them when signals point towards your brand and its messages.   And it all starts with visual messages. Because pictures and images are one of the first and strongest things we recall about a brand, building the recognition you want starts with easily internalized images. Logos, lettering, color schemes and products are all ideal ways to create cognizance about your brand in repetition—and, put them all together and you’ve got a recipe for campaigns that points to a bigger picture!   Leave nothing out   Consistency can be one of the biggest and most valuable assets that your brand has and it’s truly a feature that will separate you from other brands that are less equipped to make a lasting impression on your target audience. But, consistency can only be achieved fully if you commit to it on a full-scale branding level: this means everything from your business cards to national advertisements.   Because branding is a multi-level effort, the consistency of branding must also be realized on many levels. When it is, everything that your business produces will be instantly recognizable as unique to you—whether it’s an official memo on company branded letterhead or a full marketing campaign that perfectly ties together. Read article →
November 19 / 2014

The Key Components of a Successful Marketing Campaign

Targeting: Your Audience Your product or service is most likely going to be purchased or used by a definable audience with characteristics that make them more likely to purchase or use your products or services. Identifying exactly what these characteristics are, seeking new leads that match these characteristics and performing some basic research will help you determine how to engage these users and persuade them to become customers. You can even “reverse engineer” user characteristics from a list of existing customers. (more…) Read article →

Prepping for a Presentation?

PowerPoint is that amazing and incredible tool that helps all of us create engaging and professional presentations. It’s also a tool we often see misused. Here are a few simple rules you can follow next time you’re creating a presentation to avoid the “death by PowerPoint” scenario. Rule #1 - You are the presentation (not your slides) If the presentation materials distract the audience from what you are saying, then make some adjustments so the focus stays on you. (more…) Read article →
November 22 / 2011
Author Shannon Winzeler
Comments No Comments