Fashion week invites

10 Most Innovative Fashion Week Invitations

Fashion Week is a global phenomenon heralded by the metropolitan capitals of New York, London, Milan, and Paris. Though the most major shows and presentations focus on trends for the upcoming Autumn/Winter and Spring/Summer, special lines including resort, pre-fall, and capsule collections pop up in the interim across cities all over the globe.

 

While fashions are certainly the main focus, designers are coming up with increasingly innovative ways to anticipate the unveiling of their work with cleverly designed invitations. As new innovations in printing technologies continue to develop, these cutting edge designs are proving that the printing medium is long but dead.
Not to be overshadowed by apparel and accessories alone, here’s a look at 10 of the most innovative Fashion Week invitations from recent seasons past:

 

Downtown NYC darling Charlotte Ronson disobeyed the cardinal rule of dieting pre-Fashion Week fiestas by delivering her S/S 2015 invites with a special edition pizza, the “Ronsonrita,” delivered by Italian eatery Asellina.

Downtown NYC darling Charlotte Ronson disobeyed the cardinal rule of dieting pre-Fashion Week fiestas by delivering her S/S 2015 invites with a special edition pizza, the “Ronsonrita,” delivered by Italian eatery Asellina. (Source: Asellina)

Burberry Prorsum’s S/S 2014 invitation featured a laser-cut popup of some of London’s most iconic sites, giving heed to the patriotism of one of Britain’s most iconic fashion houses. (Source: WWD)

Burberry Prorsum’s S/S 2014 invitation featured a laser-cut popup of some of London’s most iconic sites, giving heed to the patriotism of one of Britain’s most iconic fashion houses. (Source: WWD)

Leave it to over the top septuagenarian Betsey Johnson to shake up her invitation game, literally, by filling prescription bottles with details on her S/S 2014 show with mints. (Bonus points go to Betsey for continuing to do a show-closing cartwheel on the runway season after season.) (Source: WWD)

Leave it to over the top septuagenarian Betsey Johnson to shake up her invitation game, literally, by filling prescription bottles with details on her S/S 2014 show with mints.
(Source: WWD)

Edgy streetwear brand KYE offered a frisbee as the invite for their S/S 2015 presentation, bringing their recurrent hand motif to life, as is originally offered by their creatively styled logo. (Source: Refinery29)

Edgy streetwear brand KYE offered a frisbee as the invite for their S/S 2015 presentation, bringing their recurrent hand motif to life, as is originally offered by their creatively styled logo.
(Source: Refinery29)

Fashion mainstay Kenneth Cole blended creativity and utility with his S/S 2014 reflective mirror invitation, allowing stylistas to check on their hair and makeup in the midst of the madness between the shows. (Source: Pinterest)

Fashion mainstay Kenneth Cole blended creativity and utility with his S/S 2014 reflective mirror invitation, allowing stylistas to check on their hair and makeup in the midst of the madness between the shows.
(Source: Pinterest)

French shoe design house Roger Vivier included a series of multi-layered laser-cut images of Parisian landmarks to set the tone for its A/W 2012 presentation. (Source: Elements Magazine)

French shoe design house Roger Vivier included a series of multi-layered laser-cut images of Parisian landmarks to set the tone for its A/W 2012 presentation.
(Source: Elements Magazine)

Korean men’s streetwear line General Idea both warmed the hands and won the hearts of their S/S 2012 show attendees by printing their invites on disposable handwarmers. (Source: Pinterest)

Korean men’s streetwear line General Idea both warmed the hands and won the hearts of their S/S 2012 show attendees by printing their invites on disposable handwarmers.
(Source: Pinterest)

Barcelona-based streetwear line Desigual is known for its showstopping prints and intense geometric designs, an aesthetic that goes without saying in their A/W 2014 origami heart memos. (Source: Cargo Collective)

Barcelona-based streetwear line Desigual is known for its showstopping prints and intense geometric designs, an aesthetic that goes without saying in their A/W 2014 origami heart memos.
(Source: Cargo Collective)

The S/S 2014 invite from Chinese designer Masha Ma reflected her signature minimalist aesthetic with clean lines and stark white debossed lettering. (Source: Wallpaper)

The S/S 2014 invite from Chinese designer Masha Ma reflected her signature minimalist aesthetic with clean lines and stark white debossed lettering.
(Source: Wallpaper)

 

As fashion design continues to evolve with the collections presented each new season, graphic designers and printers alike are gaining exposure by showcasing the multifarious abilities of their joint ventures. Trends like laser-cut stenciling and folds on creases are able to be produced at faster rates with increased efficiency, offering high quality design with more effective workflows.

 

Business Card Tips: Make Yours The Right Way

Business cards play a major role in first impressions, especially in the business world.  We’ve been in print for a long time, so we’ve got our own list of tips and tricks to share. These business card tips aren’t intended to build the whole card for you–don’t worry, theres still room for creativity on your part–but they are intended to make creating your business card a lot easier. Covering everything from the paper stock to the amount of tolerable white space, the following will act as a foundation for your cards.

1) Quality Paper Stock Only

Paper Stocks

 

The paper stock that you use illustrates your commitment to quality. A card that bends and feels flimsy isn’t going to let you put your best foot forward. You don’t have to settle for cheap cardstock; using a thick, quality stock doesn’t necessarily mean it will cost an arm and a leg. For instance, Day2Day Printing offers 16pt. cardstock at affordable prices with its all it’s business cards. Trust us when we say that making the effort to choose the right paper will pay off.

 

 

 

2) Include a Catchy Slogan

Don’t take yourself too seriously unless you are in a super conservative industry. Use a catchy, perhaps funny slogan on the card. Make sure that it’s short and memorable, people love humor; well, most people.

                                                                                                         3) Have Fun with Your Logo

Day2Day Printing Logo

 

If you don’t have a logo already, we encourage you to design one or have one designed for you. If you want to get creative, consider playing with the logo and putting it on the back of the card. Perhaps shrink it down or create an abstract of the logo, as long as it’s still recognizable. Adding touches of bright color (when appropriate) help bring out the logo even more.

 

4) Color, Yes Color

Colors (PMS)

 

Yes, use color. Black and white cards just don’t create the same type of impact as cards with color. Don’t get too carried away just yet tho. This doesn’t mean that you have to go over the top with colors. People need a place to focus their eyes and also they need to be able to see the contact info. Stick with one particular color scheme, warm colors with warm and cool colors with cool. Also, if you just want to add a bit of color but want to keep things simple, consider using dark navy blue instead of black ink for the text.

 

 

5) Use up All of Your Space

This last tip is pretty straight forward. If you can, you might want to consider using the back of the business card. One of the main reasons you would leave it blank is if you plan to write personal notes on the business cards. Otherwise, add an interesting graphic, photograph or design. This is a great spot for that logo!

Silk + Foil Business Cards

Silk Laminated Foil Business Cards: Go Above The Standard

Sometimes the standard just doesn’t cut it. Sometimes you require something more. At Day2Day Printing we are well aware of this and have kept the idea in mind while preparing our new site. With the launch this past week, we have decided to offer our clients that “something more”—Foil Stamped Silk Business Cards.

Silk Laminated Foil Stamped Business Cards

Silk Lam + Silver Foil

 

 

Silk lamination provides a smooth elegant feel to the cards, while foiling gives off a shine that’s hard to ignore. Notice how on the image to the left, the designer put foil stamping to good use by emphasizing a vital piece of information–his phone number.

 

 

 

 

Silk Laminated Foil Stamped Business Cards

Silk Lam + Gold Foil

 

 

Why invest so much into a business card you may ask? The answer is simple. Handing out cards like these shows that you care about presentation and makes a great first impression with new contacts. Attention to detail is big in any business, and implies a sense of professionalism. The image to the right showcases gold foil and how such a  finishing can add a vividness and sense of elegance to the simplest design elements.

 

 

 

Business Cards in Holder

 

 

Not only does handing out a quality business card look good, but it also provides you with benefits that you may not even think about consciously. When things are organized, clean, high in quality, a sense of trustworthiness is subconsciously associated. There’s no doubt that handing out a high quality business card is effective in getting someone to trust and remember you. Trust us when we say: “A little customization goes a long way”.

 

Source: Sean Winters http://bit.ly/1yJu8Ra

Magazines and Marketing: A Vital Connection

With the online world seeming to increase in importance in the lives of many, marketing gurus tend to overlook tried-and-true forms of publicity–like placing ads in magazines. As we all know, print is a medium that is still alive and well. Although online publications do have their place, magazine presses are still rolling and marketing teams should take note of this fact.

Benefits of Advertising in Magazines

Print magazines have several benefits for advertisers that other forms of media cannot offer. A few of the more notable benefits include:

  • Targeted audience. Magazines are specialty publications that cater to specific audiences. Whether targeted at teenage girls, golf enthusiasts, foodies, or any other group, chances are there is a publication reaching a target audience that perfectly suits your business. Advertising in such a magazine is an efficient way to ensure you reach the people who are already inclined to show an interest in your products and services.
  • Wide distribution. Magazine subscriptions reach people across the country, are oftentimes shared between multiple people, and reach more than just subscribers in places like the doctor’s office waiting room.
  • Long-lasting reach. Most people save and reread or repurpose old magazines, which means your advertisement will be seen again and again.
  • Print ads are more highly respected. Readers are wary of clicking on ads online due to the chance of a virus infecting their computer or other such mishaps. However, print ads pose no such threat. Plus, the mere fact that your ad is printed on glossy paper makes your product seem far more legitimate. Magazine ads, especially full page spreads, are far less irritating and more visually appealing than advertisements that clutter online media.

How to Maximize Your Magazine Marketing

Whether or not you already advertise in magazines, the following tips are important to keep in mind when designing and placing your ad. Like in other areas of marketing, there is no perfect formula for your campaign, though there certainly are right and wrong ways to go about advertising your product.

These tips will help your strategy be more effective, no matter what your product is.

  • Advertise in appropriate publications. The moral of the story is not that advertising in any magazine is good; you need to place your ads in the right magazines to see results. Each magazine has a target audience and a mission statement, so dig around to find publications that cater to your own target audience.
  • Use headlines and sub-headlines appropriately. Headlines are meant to grab the reader’s attention while sub-headlines should give them more information. With only a quick scan, readers should be able to know your business’s name and what you are selling.
  • Resolve to use only high resolution. Nothing looks tackier than a pixelated image, and any publication worth its salt will not run an ad that is not sufficiently high in resolution. Your ad should have at least 300 DPI (dots per inch)–regardless of the size the final print of the ad will be.
  • Use images to enhance the ad, not hide it. If your ad is heavily image-based, you will have to be cautious about your work blending in with the rest of the magazine. Striking images or other effects are great for catching a reader’s attention, but make sure your choices are tasteful, align with the style of the magazine, and make it clear what you are selling.
  • Test your ad in print before publication. Most designers know that you should make a professional-level print of an ad for final review before submitting it. Seeing the ad in print will give you an idea of how it looks in the three dimensional world and it will be easier to get feedback from others regarding the effectiveness of the ad on paper.
  • Right is better than left. Psychological studies have shown that people tend to prefer options that are on their right as opposed to their left. Take advantage of this human peculiarity and make sure that the important information – like the business’s name and call to action – are aligned to the right. If you have the option to be printed on a right-hand page, this is an added bonus.
  • Proofread your ad. This should go without saying that proofreading is essential; nothing destroys your credibility like a grammatical error. If you can’t pay attention to formalities in your advertisements, readers will doubt that you pay attention to quality in other aspects of business as well.

Advertising in magazines is a great marketing strategy that should not be overlooked in the digital age. Print is not dead, and neither are print advertisements.

Author: Incase
Source: http://bit.ly/1BrBn2l

7 Smart Tradeshow Tips for Startups

As a startup company the path to trade show success may be clouded with the anxiety and pressure to succeed. However, the foreignness of a trade show shouldn’t thwart your desire to attend. Vast opportunities for financial gain and network connections are present. The following are 7 smart trade show tips will put you on the right path for victory.

  1. Plan Ahead

Trade shows are events that require meticulous planning, thought, and organization. To plan the first thing you need to do is set a reasonable budget that accounts for all related costs. The next thing you need to do is create measureable goals to prevent lackadaisical attitudes at the trade show. An example of a simple numerical goal is to increase sales on your featured product. However, one non-numerical goal that all startups should have is to develop and grow brand awareness. Lastly, sketch an outline of what your table should look like and ensure you have all of those materials beforehand and packed to take to the show.

  1. Get noticed
Author: Sergey Galyonkin  Source: http://bit.ly/13TRh88

Author: Sergey Galyonkin
Source: http://bit.ly/13TRh88

The trade show environment is an extremely competitive one, and to succeed getting noticed is key. If the trade show allows you to pick your own table, get there early, and choose the location you think will have the most foot traffic. High traffic areas will be near the entrance, main walkways, and even the trails to the bathroom. Next you need to astatically excite, try using colorful balloons, monitors, or even play some catchy music to draw people to your table. Once people are at your table they will need a reason to stay engaged. If it is within your budget, hand out swag that is relevant to your brand. If swag isn’t an option create an interactive attraction that will electrify people and create buzz about your table throughout the trade show.

  1. Approachability and attitude
Author: Philippines Outsourcing Corporation Source: http://bit.ly/17dSJ7N

Author: Philippines Outsourcing Corporation
Source: http://bit.ly/17dSJ7N

Your table looks superb, the materials you brought are exciting and informative, but the people manning your table appear unapproachable. Think of these people as tools, which if used effectively can propel your startup to success. We get that you are nervous, but this is the time to put on your “friendly” face. To help relieve the nerves, develop a list of opening lines to attract and help you interact with anyone who comes up to your table. Questions could be thought provoking, direct, or something even more conversational to break the barrier and help you connect.

  1. Establish professional connections

This is an ideal time to network and make professional connections. During the event you will be overwhelmed at the number of people you talk to. A helpful trick is after you finish talking to a person take a moment to write down a summary of what you talked about and who they are on the back on their business card. After the event dedicate time to connect with each person on LinkedIn. In addition to connecting with the people who came to your table dedicate time to network with your competition at their exhibits.

  1. Professional materials

Having a professional trade show exhibit sends a distinct message that you intend to be a serious competitor. Companies like The Trade Group specialize in delivering a wide variety of exhibit options for any budget. The sheer size of banner stands makes them essential tools, because they are so large the eye is drawn right to them and people instantly know the name of the company and any other information displayed there. Another exhibit element that can increase the professional look of your table is tabletop displays, which vary in size and design and can really energize your exhibit.

  1. Using social media
Author: Sean MacEntee Source: http://bit.ly/1wdTKSV

Author: Sean MacEntee
Source: http://bit.ly/1wdTKSV

Incorporating social media into your trade show affairs is a savvy way to raise brand awareness and generate sales. Before the trade show begins do some research and see if the show has an official hashtag. Let your followers know you will be at this trade show and with the hashtag let others know who you are. During the trade show post a picture of your table and entice people to check it out. Another strategy is to create your own brand relevant hashtag for the event and encourage people to take pictures at your table and share it digitally. You can motivate people by creating a promotion only those who share will get or by saying one random participant will win swag. To continue engaging customers after the trade show write down all the questions you were asked during the show and write a blog post afterwards answering those questions for all to see.

  1. Follow up

At the trade show you did a great job connecting with people, now you have to maintain and grow that relationship. During the event invite people to connect by leaving their email address, and after the trade show add all of the email addresses to your newsletter distribution list. In addition inspire people to connect with your business on social media. Now you have connections with all these people don’t be lazy! Email and thank them for coming to your booth, continue generating exciting social media posts, and distribute a timely newsletter.

As a startup your first few trade shows can come with a major financial learning curve. However, if you follow these 7 smart trade show tips you can efficiently display your products and optimize financial gain.

Marketing Options

Market Your Business: Unplugged

Everyone’s pushing online marketing today — and with good reason, since being seen online is a crucial part of any effective marketing strategy today. There’s just one problem with this online focus: unless it’s paired with other offline strategies, it’s not as effective as it could be. See, here’s the thing: sometimes in the name of search marketing, email marketing, social media and the like, companies lose sight of offline marketing opportunities that can be just as effective, particularly locally. Does this sound familiar to you? Is your company all about online marketing but neglecting offline methods? Are you effectively tapping into the market right in your area, or are you missing out?

Whether or not you’re already utilizing offline marketing strategies, here are some key ways to consider promoting your business off the Web. To get the word out about your company and draw new clients, here are some ideas to try:

Hand Out Business Cards

Sure, they seem old school, but business cards are still useful for this: they give you a fast and easy way to hand out your contact info. Ways you can use business cards are only limited by your imagination: leave one with a tip at a restaurant, stick them on community bulletin boards or give one to someone any time your profession comes up in conversation. Pick an eye-catching design that stands out in order to make the most of this marketing tool.

Attend and Speak at Events

Whether it’s at a trade show or a local business networking event, meeting more people in your community can be a powerful way to build business relationships. Likewise, speaking publicly is a great way to address a new audience and gain authority in your field.

Partner with Other Companies

Find sister companies in your area that agree with your company philosophy and/or supplement what you do. If you’re a fitness center targeting health-conscious professionals, you could partner with a juice bar down the street. If you’re an accounting firm working with small-business owners, partner with a marketing business in your town. Finding other companies you can direct clients to and that will direct their clients to you expands both of your businesses.

Hold Events

Make your events informative, fun or otherwise beneficial for attendees and encourage them to bring their friends. Local events can be great for building community with your client base, not to mention great for bringing in referrals.

Use Promotional Products

Give your prospects branded promotional products, and you leave them with a positive impression of your business — not to mention an easy way to remember you every time they use that item. To be most effective, promotional products should be legitimately useful (think shirts, bags, USB cords and drinkware), attractive and branded with your logo/name front and center.

Use Direct Mail

Target a certain demographic through good old snail mail, whether that means coupons for your home décor shop to new homeowners or newsletters about your daycare to families with small children.

Sponsor a Local Team

Become a recognized name in the community by sponsoring a local sports team like a little league baseball team or an adolescent football team. When you sponsor the team, you often get to put your logo on the team’s jerseys and/or in signage at games.

Contribute to a Fundraiser

The next time there’s a fundraiser for a local school or nonprofit, donate a gift certificate for some of your products or services as a reward. Not only does this build goodwill in the community, but it also can expose your business to new prospects as they look up your business to learn what they could win.

Offer a Local Discount

Whether you give 10 percent off to all college students or a buy-one-get-one-free option for members of the armed forces, when you offer a discount to some local group, you can bet word will spread.

Practice Guerrilla Marketing

Guerrilla marketing, also known as unconventional marketing, is all about using outside-the-box ways to promote your company. So beyond the specific ideas already outlined in this post, think bigger and bolder to identify other, nontraditional ways. Think flash mobs and publicity stunts. Imagine scavenger hunts and undercover marketing. The name of the game with guerrilla marketing is creativity, so get together with your team and brainstorm like the sky’s the limit.

Do the ideas listed above get your mental wheels turning? There’s never been a better time to start boosting business than right now — so begin implementing some of these ideas as soon as you can! With a little creativity and strategy, you can build an offline marketing strategy to complement your online efforts powerfully and effectively.

Nurturing Sales Funnel

Nurturing the Sales Funnel Using Social Media

 

Imagine you live in a world where you can show everyone exactly who you are; dropping the cheesy sales-speak and turning relative strangers into loyal advocates.

Businesses are dropping the weird tricks and letting their hair down. And it’s happening through the evolving frontier of social media. Play your chess pieces right, and you can win not just a customer’s loyalty, but gain an unlikely army of promoters for your business in the process.

As for the traditional set-it-and-forget-it advertisements, you can kiss that goodbye. Statistics show that 14% of people trust ads. In fact, the vast majority is checking reviews and ratings before they even think to click the “Buy It Now” button. Feeling a little pressure? You’re not alone. Forbes Michael Fertik spoke about this challenge when saying:

“For many small businesses, social media feels like a never-ending party where attendance alone is insufficient – one must make a Big, Continuous Splash.”

But with the right strategy, even the most socially challenged businesses can make their foray into the social ocean of potential consumers.

The first step starts with awareness and interest. Seeing the trends that exist online, you can carve out a tidy niche for yourself simply by creating engaging content and responding to what people are saying online. Be careful with your content, however. Fertik speaks about establishing a level of consistency as “social users start out strong and then peter out when the demands become overwhelming.”

Nurturing a social media sales funnel is a tricky process that needs tender loving care, consistency and passion. It can be an arduous challenge, but those who can jump in the water swim to golden waves of profit and promotion. As Seth Godin noted:

“You can use social media to turn strangers into friends, friends into customers, and customers into salespeople.”

You can’t pay for respect on these tough social media streets, but you can get started in the right direction by checking out this priceless infographic on nurturing the social media sales funnel.

Beginners Guide to Infographics

The Beginner’s Guide to Designing Infographics

Maybe you’ve noticed, the type of content that gets shared by businesses has changed. It’s all about the visuals. Pictures, graphics, videos, whatever it is it better be interesting and it better be shareable. Few things are as shareable and have as much potential to drive traffic to your site as an infographic. But before you hop aboard the infographic train, you need to know that there are a vast amount of infographics out there. Your infographic needs to be majestic.

Erm, what exactly is an infographic? Simply put, infographics are images that visually represent information. They break down complex data into easily digestible pieces that are appealing to a wide audiences.Hopefully, your infographic is so interesting/shocking/funny/relatable that people will feel compelled to share it, spreading your brand far and wide (great for both brand awareness and SEO!). No matter what niche you’re in, there is always a way to make a generally appealing infographic.

Exhibit A: Here’s an infographic created by a tax services company on the history of food trucks. Is anyone interested in taxes? No. How about food trucks? Who isn’t! See what they did there? They took a tangentially related topic, food truck taxes, and made a widely appealing infographic that people are actually interested in.

History of Food Trucks
History of Food Trucks Infographic by Liberty Tax

That’s interesting and all, but why should I spend my time and energy on shareable digital images? Sure, infographics are fun for audiences to look at, but, from a business standpoint, are they effective? The basic answer is: Yes. In fact, businesses who utilize infographics in their marketing strategies see a 12% growth in web traffic over those that don’t. Why? As described in this handy infographic about infographics, infographics are successful because they:

• Educate and inform their target market about their brand.

• Appeal to the 90% of the brain that is designed to process visual information.

• Increase search visibility.

What is an Infographic?
Created by Customer Magnetism.

You sold me. So, what makes a majestic infographic? Data and design are both absolutely critical for success. For an infographic to be successful, it should include:

• Accurate data from reliable sources. If you can procure your own data from a survey or other study, great. If not, using a dependable source is critical (think government surveys, think tank reports, data released by large corporations, etc.).

• A clean design that combines easy-to-read text and a combination of bold and muted colors.

• Data that appeals to your target market and is relevant to your niche.

• An easy to follow flow – start with the basic, wider information and funnel it down to the details as you go.

• White space. Your infographic shouldn’t be so crowded with information that viewers are overwhelmed and immediately click away.

The example below, by a company specializing in caring wildlife control products shares in-depth information relating to the exotic pet trade. It presents data and statistics that matter to individuals interested in a manner that’s easy to read and comprehend. The use of white space adds to its effectiveness. Watch and learn. But what about my business? Is anyone really interested in sharing content about flux capacitors? (Answer: yes. Always)

Perhaps you’re unsure of whether infographics would be right for your business. The simple, basic truth is that any business can find an idea for a highly sharable infographic in their niche. Take a look at how a car parts dealer used their infographic. The infographic doesn’t focus on car parts, but cars in general. By focusing on the most and least ticketed cars, it becomes relevant to every person that drives a car, not just those that care enough about their car to seek out specialty replacement parts.

Please include attribution to https://blog.cjponyparts.com/ with this graphic.

The Most and Least Ticketed Types, Makes, and Colors of Cars

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So how do I come up with these intriguing, widely-appealing topics? The key to a successful infographic is relevancy. For an infographic to be interesting enough to motivate your target audience to share it across the web, it must be relevant. This means that in order to develop an infographic topic, you should:

• Consider the interests of your audience. What matters to them?

• Think about your business. What products and services do you provide? How can these be influential in creating a useful graphic?

• What information could you easily collect data on? For an infographic to be successful, accurate data is critical. What news sources and industry leaders do you pay attention to or monitor? How can you impart this information to your target market?

• Chances are, you’ve positioned yourself as an expert in one area or another. What questions do your customers regularly ask you? The more complex answers could make excellent infographics.

• What’s happening in your industry? If there’s a news topic that could use some explaining or something you’ve heard discussions about lately, use it!

I’m done with my infographic! What was that you said about sharing it? Infographics exist to be shared. The more majestic your infographic, the more it is begging to be spread far and wide across the interwebs. Try these some of these tactics:

• Share the infographic on your website and blog. You want to drive traffic and to create a permanent home for your new creation.

• Post links and previews to your infographic on your social media pages. This allows you to get in front of your fans and followers in real time.

• Ask your followers to share your infographic and make it easy to do so. Be sure that social share buttons are available on your brand’s website.

• Don’t forget your email lists. Your email lists and social media followers may be different groups.

• Make sure your infographic is branded with your company logo; you want your infographic to be shared elsewhere, but you don’t want to lose credit for its creation.

Creating an infographic doesn’t have to be a long, confusing process with unknown results. If you pay attention to this comprehensive guide, you’ll have your very own majestic infographic in no time.

Customer Service

Customer Service: How has it changed in the Digital Age?

Customer service remains to be a top priority among companies regardless of how technologically savvy the firm is. Customers are the lifeblood of any business. As such, delighting them is one way of ensuring that they will come back and continue doing business with you. Let’s take a look at how customer service had changed at this Digital Age.

 

Why digital matters

Before we can map out the changes, it would be advisable to discuss the importance of digital channels. Primarily, the advent of these channels dramatically changed the way consumers are searching for products and services and communicating with the companies.

According to John Joseph, co-founder of DataGravity, a data solutions provider, we are living in an age wherein everyone is constantly connected to one another. Technology provides modern firms the capability of corresponding with customers in a more efficient manner.

Thereby, digital channels help in further bridging the gap between the customers and companies. These channels now represent a paradigm shift in making customers 100% satisfied.

 

What are the changes

1) Customer support

Assistance given to the prospects and customers is limited with manuals, marketing materials and phone and email conversations. In lieu with phone conversations, customers are passed on from one person to another before it reaches the manager. That was before.

Customer Support

Today, there are how-to’s, video demos, buying guides, etc. Some companies offer an interactive experience before the prospect makes an informed decision. In some instances, a customer can post a question on the brand’s Facebook page and receive a response in real-time. No more waiting on long queues in front of customer service booths.

2) Customer feedback

Firms usually disseminate customer survey form and hope for a high response rate. Some firms simply put the form atop the reception table for customers to pick one and answer while there are early adopters that cold call and email blast previous customers. Given the long process, in time the survey results are generated and analyzed, these results would not be as relevant as they would be earlier in the process.

Customer Survey

Presently, soliciting feedback at the point of experience is possible. Publishing reviews – good or bad – is also real-time due to the availability and accessibility of mobile devices. In fact, customers can share their experiences with the brand almost instantly. Further, customers now find an ideal venue to complain about a product or service. On the part of the companies, they are given the opportunity to respond and solve the issue at the fastest time possible. Polls and surveys can be easily administered online, leading to forming real and qualitative insights from the customers.

3) Customer relationship

Relationships are built, and it almost always took several months and transactions to earn a loyal customer. Unfortunately, the relationships built tend to be ‘segmented’ wherein companies contact them again for purely promotional purposes.

 

Nowadays, brand advocacy is easier now that connecting with the customers on a consistent basis is possible. Engagement at the individual level is much more appropriate in gaining insights regarding what the customers really need and want. With this, modern firms can now offer personalized value at all touch points even without a face-to-face interaction.

Customer Relationship

Customer service is non-negotiable more so today where firms are engaged in a form of digital channel. Most of the aspects of customer service improved especially in terms of cadence and style of interacting with the customers. However, going digital is not an excuse to abandon the traditional customer service channels. There should be a right service mix between traditional and digital customer service provision.

 

Digital Marketing Article

How to Engage in the Digital Age – Digital Marketing

 

If engaging clients and prospects through social media isn’t part of your overall marketing strategy, it should be. Social media represents a proven method for communicating with a target audience, building a loyal base of followers and generating leads. When businesses actively engage clients on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+ and other social media platforms, they’re not only increasing the opportunity to make sales, they’re strengthening brand awareness — the gold standard in marketing today.

Here are suggestions for successful digital age engagement:

Listen and learn

Do you know what your target audience thinks about you? About your industry and competitors? Such valuable information can be found on a variety of social media channels, where people comment all the time, both about your business and your industry. If you’re not doing so already, be sure to regularly check your business Facebook page and see what people are talking about. You can also set up a keyword/hashtag-monitoring stream to stay current on consumer sentiments on Twitter.

Get a conversation going

Of course, listening is only part of the interactive nature of social media. You can always kick-start a conversation by asking questions online — open-ended questions related to your business (and, when possible, tied in to current cultural events).

You’re also in a position to answer questions people pose online, thus demonstrating your willingness to engage with prospective clients on the social media channels where they “live.”  People respond favorably to a business that promptly answers specific or industry-related questions.
The same principle applies to negative feedback. Occasionally, someone will post a comment critical of your product or service. Rather than going overboard with a defensive reply, think of this as a chance to build some goodwill.

“Customers will criticize and complain,” notes Andrew Pressault of Hootsuite. “Every comment and complaint represents a great opportunity, though — an opportunity to fix the problem, and do it publicly. Or, at the very least, show empathy.”

Make it easy to follow your business

Your various social media profiles should be prominently displayed on all of your communications and websites, from email newsletters to your “About Us” page. This makes it easy for clients and prospects to “like” or follow you. It’s also a great way for them to share your content with their own social networks.

Another tip: When responding to a blog post or client comments, be sure to include a link to your site at the end of your reply. Someone who likes what you have to say — or has a new interest in your product or service — can easily click on the link and go where you want them to go.

Offer content of value

It should be clear by now that social media is not the venue for blatant advertising or self-promotion. Instead, follow the 80/20 rule, making 80 percent of your content relevant and useful to your target audience, and 20 percent reflecting your key marketing message.

Content of value includes “how-to” posts, commentary on industry trends, “5 Ways to …” articles — whatever helps improve the lives of users. Not only does this generate goodwill in the social media realm, it helps build your reputation as an industry thought-leader.

“Posts that are rich in content reflect well on your company and have a higher probability of being shared on the social networks of your users,” notes Colton Matheson, SEO & SEM Coordinator at the University of Utah. “This can help increase your referrals and strengthen your online business profile.”

Share content from others and engage with influencers

Social media etiquette doesn’t preclude mentioning other businesses (and competitors) on occasion. When you come across valuable content from other sources, don’t hesitate to share it with your network. People appreciate getting useful information and will remember whom it came from.

Also, look for industry influencers and work on developing a relationship with them online. Such a relationship can open up a completely new audience for your business. Aligning your brand with respected voices in your field can help establish social proof and build brand awareness.

How do you engage with influencers? “For instance,” says marketing specialist Matthew Collis, “you can share some of their posts you like, answer any questions they post to the community, and closely monitor their social channels so you can see which subjects and issues matter to them, and then engage with them about those things.”

Don’t neglect email marketing

Email marketing is still a productive method for engaging with prospects and clients. It’s cost-effective and generally has a stronger response rate than direct mail. And it’s a great method for pinpointing your ideal demographic. When inviting people to subscribe to your email newsletter, you can (depending on the questions you ask) learn a lot about their age, what part of the country they live in, their unique interests, etc. — which helps refine your message to best meet their needs.

Traditional marketing remains a useful tool for businesses, but the results pale against the vast potential for client and prospect engagement in the digital age.