- We’re fully SEO-optimized! Now, customers searching for a wide range of print, marketing and signage services will be directed to our new website, where they can easily explore our capabilities.
- Our website now features responsive design, which enables customers to browse on any device with optimal results. From desktops to smartphones, tablets and beyond, we welcome customers across all modes of tech!
- We’ve opened the lines of communication! Customers can now contact us directly through our website to get quotes and information about their unique print and marketing projects.
- agOnline is now live through our website, which enables recurring customers to order materials and manage their print products remotely, from any location at any time. We’ve made collaborating with your local AlphaGraphics even easier!
Category: Social Media Marketing
The old saying is, “practice what you preach.” It’s a good reminder to take your own advice and be mindful of the wisdom you’re dispensing to others. For all of us here at AlphaGraphics, it means paying attention to the marketing advice we give our customers—to make sure we’re helping them achieve new levels of success. In the ultimate gesture of taking our own advice, AlphaGraphics is pleased to announce our brand-new website! We’ve taken all of the advice, counsel, wisdom and disclaimers we’ve dispensed over the years to heart, building our brand-new web presence around the best practices we use to help our very own customers succeed. We invite you to take a look at https://www.alphagraphics.com/! What’s new? You might be wondering what we’ve done to our website to fully transform it into what you see today. The answer is, frankly, a lot! The AlphaGraphics team has gone right to the core, to give our website a complete makeover from the ground up. Here are a few of the highlights:
You probably already have a personal LinkedIn page that showcases your talents and experience, shouldn't you give your business the same advantage? LinkedIn can be a great place to showcase your products and services as well as connect with business owners and other professionals with similar interests. It can also be a great place to market your business B2B but, we'll get into that later. Creating Your LinkedIn Company Page To start out, you will need to create your business listing from scratch (LinkedIn has improved this process drastically in the past few years). First off, login to your LinkedIn account using your personal credentials. Once you are logged in, you will look up to the top right corner of your screen and select the circle that says "work" with 9 small squares as the icon. Click this icon. Scroll down the menu to the option that says "Create A Company Page" and select this option. You will then be prompted to set up your company page. Create your page by entering your company name.
- Please use the name you use for your business listed in Portal
- Check your URL and make sure that it lists like: alphagraphics-salt-lake-city-ut
- City separated with dashes and state abbreviation added to the end.
For any small business, being able to reach out to your community and generate local business is the single biggest tenant of your success or failure. Simply put: if you’re not attracting local customers, you won’t be a local business for long! Marketing locally is much different from marketing nationally or indiscriminately. For one, your geographic focus is smaller, which means your pool of potential customers is more defined. This has pros and cons alike: you’re able to make more of an impression with more of an opportunity, however your chances for success are limited. In other words, marketing right the first time is imperative. Take a look at 6 tips on how to market effectively to your local region and how AlphaGraphics can help better position you for local success: 1. Speak to people: National advertisers are so big that there’s no expectation for them to know your name. Local advertisers, however, are dealing with their own local communities—which means you better be addressing your neighbor by name! In cases of direct mail solicitations or targeted local advertising, AlphaGraphics can help you leverage variable data printing to ensure your local customers are being addressed by name. 2. Print local: Local business begets local customers in a wide range of different capacities. By partnering with your local AlphaGraphics for print products, you’re keeping your local economy thriving and showing your potential customers you’re invested in your community. Likewise, you’ll be forming a network of local businesses that support one another. 3. Local SEO: More than just print products, AlphaGraphics also offers digital marketing and design services. Building your website through AlphaGraphics also means getting local SEO expertise to help boost your profile within your service area. Through local SEO, you’ll get better online exposure when applicable customers search for you, driving business to your storefront organically. 4. Banners and large-print: Nothing stands out quite like a banner or window sign. Foot traffic is higher in local areas because the people who live there tend to walk where possible. Having large signage for these pedestrians helps to market your business to passersby. AlphaGraphics can also help you design large-format signage befitting to your unique needs, to attract local business. 5. Business cards: If you’re an engaged member of your community, networking is probably a big part of your life. And, the king of networking resources is the time-tested business card. Having a beautiful, informative business card that you can hand off to another local business member could mean the difference between your next sale or partnership. AlphaGraphics is here to help you create business cards that legitimize your business in the eyes of your networking community. 6. Quick-print, on-demand: Marketing opportunities can come from anywhere. Maybe you’re sponsoring the local softball team? Hosting a blood drive with the local Red Cross? Contributing to a local 5k fun run? No matter the opportunity, a local AlphaGraphics can provide a wide range of print products to ensure you’re fully capitalizing on that opportunity. From flyers to apparel, large-format signage to promotional items and beyond, we help your business get the word out locally. Make sure you’re giving your local business the best shot at success by partnering with your local AlphaGraphics. We’ll help you get the print products you need, so you can continue doing what you do best: serving the local customers responsible for your success. Read article →
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 →
Many small businesses are already familiar with the beast of burden that is SEO. You’ve been told time and again by marketing gurus and other professionals that SEO is critical to business success in the Internet Age. Telling you again doesn’t make it any less true, however breaking it down and simplifying it might make it a little more understandable for the common business owner! On a macro level, the overall concept of SEO can be split into two distinct, yet equally critical focuses: on-page and off-page SEO. Understanding both sides of this same coin offers great insight into some of the core tenants of SEO and how they all come together to boost your business’ success. On-page SEO Think of on-page SEO like looking at the outside world through the windows of your home—you’re inside, and everything else is outside. Everything involved with on-page SEO is done right at home: on your website. Some examples include:
- Optimizing your website’s text to contain relevant keywords that people might be searching for in search engines.
- Having markups in your website’s code that tells search engine bots how to behave when they’re on your website.
- Managing meta-data so that external websites pulling information are met with properly formatted, accurate datasets.
- Sending out a press release about your business, with links back to your website.
- Guest blogging on an industry website, to share your brand’s expertise.
- Re-selling products on Amazon or hosting videos on YouTube.
These days, social media is everywhere. It’s not just Facebook and Twitter, either—it’s Snapchat and LinkedIn and Instagram and many more! Look around on the Internet and virtually everyone says your business needs a social media presence to stay relevant. Certainly many companies have used social media to engage customers successfully. But does that mean you should do it too? Here are some pros and cons for small businesses who might be thinking about expanding their social media presence: Shows corporate responsibility Social media is an ideal way to show your customers that you care about the community. Any time your employees are involved in volunteering or otherwise engaging the community, you can share that with current and potential customers. Optimizing localization of social media is key to having an impact. You can create content that is intimately linked to your locale to show that you’re more than just a business. Develop a stronger brand image By being present in customers’ everyday lives, you have an opportunity to show them what makes your company stand apart from the competition. Emphasize the unique products and solutions you offer and leverage these intricacies to build your brand. Through social media, your store can become known for offering professional services and products of the highest caliber—not just because you say so, but because current and former customers say so publically as well. Engage in two-way communication Never before has it been easier to talk directly to customers and potential customers. Responding to individual customer concerns on social media demonstrates that you’re doing your best to put the customer first. Remember that customers have no problem with complaining on social media. Having a public forum for complaints is bad enough, but handling a customer complaint poorly could damage your reputation. Ensure that you handle every criticism—no matter how ridiculous—with respect. Integrate into today’s communication Customers, especially millennials, expect your company to have a social media presence. It’s how customers learn your story. For better or worse, social media is the way people interact with the world now. Those who don’t embrace it risk being left behind, however those who embrace it poorly could actively be doing damage to their business’ reputation. Requires clear goals and metrics One of the biggest problems with marketing through social media is that it’s time-consuming. You need to find out how best to reach your customers and keep close track of how engagement efforts are proceeding. Without clear objectives for what you want social media to do—such as an increase in sales in certain sectors or engaging customers of a specific demographic—you risk wasting your precious time. Before you start building a social media presence, ask yourself if it’s something you should be doing or if it’s a task best left for someone else. Consider the power that comes with a good social media presence and the damage that can come from a poorly maintained one. And, above all, make sure you’re thinking critically about everything you do when it comes to social media, since this is the most transparent vehicle for your company to build a brand with. The bottom line is that if you’re going to embrace social media, you need a comprehensive strategy. You should look to enhance the brand while meeting specific goals for your own shop. Ultimately, each small business will have to decide if social media is right for them. Read article →
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!
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.
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?
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 →
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 →
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 →
If you own a website, you’re probably familiar with the term SEO—and rightfully so. SEO makes the digital world go round and if you know what it is and how to capitalize on it, your website will reap the benefits: namely more visitors, better leads and a higher rank on major search engines like Google. The problem is that unless you’re a website wizard, you probably have little knowledge of what actually goes into a good SEO approach. Don’t feel bad—many small business and first-time website owners are lost in the sear of industry jargon, niche practices and tailored approaches that SEO generally is associated with. The good news is, however, that SEO needn’t be as complicated as people make it out to be—especially if you’re a local small business owner who’s just looking to capture honest leads. The basics First things first: what is SEO? Search engine optimization is the practice of addressing the content on your website so that it’s more relevant to people who might be searching for businesses like yours. Simply put: SEO means showcasing your expertise and capabilities in a way that’s easy for people to understand. A good example can be found on an automotive repair shop’s website. Not every mechanic does the same thing: some are routine maintenance shops, others offer auto body repair, still more offer niche services like paint or transmission rebuilding, and so on. When people look online for an auto shop that fits their needs, they’re looking for a website that will give them all of the information they need, up front and clearly explained—what a shop does do, doesn’t do, why a customer should pick them and any other relevant information. The concept of SEO is as simple as that! The practice of manipulating SEO and zeroing in on factors that will exemplify it is a bit more challenging, as you’ll see. The methods and practices Now, telling people what you’re all about is a great foray into the world of proper SEO, but knowing how to get your name in Google’s mouth is a bit harder. It comes down to a myriad of variables, but in the case of on-page SEO—content that’s directly on your website—the approach is all about keywords, phrases, locations and links. * Keywords are words or phrases that Google picks out as relevant to what people are searching for. As an example, if you’re an auto repair shop that specializes in transmission rebuilds, having iterations of “transmission rebuilding,” “transmission shop,” or any other similar keywords in your content lets Google and customers know about your specialty. Because of this, when people search Google for transmission shops, you’re more likely to come up because you’re a recognized source for that service. * Location has become hugely important in proper SEO practice—especially for location-based businesses with brick and mortar shops. Ideally, if you serve a specific area—such as Olathe, KS—you’re going to want to make sure you’re showing up in Google searches in that area. It does you no good if people halfway across the country are seeing results for your business, which has a defined service area! Attaching cities, counties and states to your keywords or on your website is a great way to let Google know where your service area is. * Links are also an essential part of SEO because they’re what ties the Internet together. Having links on your page to other websites and having other websites link to your pages means strengthening the web that is the Internet—just make sure the links are relevant and make sense! * The world of SEO is infinitely more complicated than what’s laid out above, but the concepts are simple enough for anyone to grasp: write good content, make sure to define your business and make sure you’re connecting the right dots! Take a look at your website and ask yourself if it’s telling people everything they need to know—if it’s not, take steps to make it more relevant to your audience’s interests. If you’re still looking to improve, contact the SEO experts at AlphaGraphics and start seeing just how important good SEO is and what benefits it can have for you. Read article →