marketing tips Archive

Exactly How To Generate Good Leads

In the days prior to the Internet, lead generation largely consisted of printed direct mailing materials sent to subscribed or collected customers. Following up mostly meant cold-calling possible leads and sometimes writing follow-up letters. While these offline tactics are still used, you now also need to go where your customers are: social media and similar online platforms.

Lead generation still has the same overall marketing goals of capturing customer interest in your products or services and enticing them to make purchases. Due to the rise of social media, you now have a comprehensive set of digital tools to develop a solid base of repeat customers. Today’s buyers no longer rely solely on professional marketers to tell them why they should buy from one seller over another. Customers became more sophisticated at finding their own evaluative criteria through online searches, product reviews and recommendations from other buyers.

The abundance of information available to your customers has created a new challenge for you as a marketer and business owner: you need to cut through the rest of the noise and grab their attention with what appeals to their core values and priorities. Trade show exhibits are still some of the best means of accomplishing this objective, and incorporating social media into your trade show display will increase your number of interested leads as well as the percentage that converts into repeat customers.

Potential leads are the most likely to become interested in your products or services when you actively make them a part of your trade show exhibit through social media posting during the show. Positive posts can be some of the best possible advertising for your company as your visitors’ friends and followers will become curious to find out more. Some ideas for using social media for trade show lead generation include:

  • Adding QR codes to your printed marketing materials. Your customers can scan them for added video content or similar that gives them even more details about your products and services.
  • Offering incentives to your booth visitors for liking your company Facebook page, following you on Twitter or on any of your other social sites. Examples could be entries to raffle prize drawings or digital coupon codes for a percentage off their next purchase.
  • Encouraging your booth visitors to post photos of your sample products or videos of your product demonstrations to Instagram or similar. Offer them incentives for tagging your company page as well.
  • Assigning your booth employees to periodically live-tweet or post from the trade show floor, telling your followers your booth’s exact location, your upcoming live demos and anything else going on in real time.

These tactics have been shown to have an impact on increasing your business’s online social clout, which is also an essential part of your online visibility. The higher your visibility during and after a trade show, the better your chances of catching the attention of leads who could convert into later sales.

Continuing interaction with your followers is another vital part of converting leads into repeat buyers. Soon after the trade show, look at all the posts and tweets your potential customers have made about their experience at your trade show exhibit. Thank those who have made positive comments and address any negative feedback in a diplomatic, professional manner. This approach indicates that you’re listening to their concerns and preferences.

Lead generation at your next trade show involves both online and offline approaches, along with a more personalized customer approach. Consistency, persistence and small adjustments to your approach over time will help to bring you the conversion rates that match or exceed your goals.

Promote College And University Events With Banners

Creating a welcoming atmosphere for current and prospective students around campus is important when looking to effectively market your college or university and any special programs or events your institution may be holding. Printed signage for your institution can personalize your campus and leave a lasting impression on alumni and students visiting for an open-house.

By using banners and flags, you can showcase a “welcome” message or announcements regarding special activities. These affordable free-standing advertising displays can dress up your university’s grounds without exceeding the marketing budget allotted by the school’s administration.

Outdoor signage can catch the attention of visitors the second they pull into your school’s parking lot. Large fabric displays can proudly showcase your university’s logo or your national ranking among other colleges in the area. Small poster stands can direct traffic for a special event your school is hosting like an alumni weekend or annual fundraiser.

Table banners are a great solution for quick and easy advertising at a front desk, college fair booth or special event sign-up table. Retractable banners can be placed inside the buildings, directing visitors to the registration offices, dorms, cafeteria or auditoriums. Feather flags placed at the entrance or near an outside welcome booth will grab attention and focus from visitors as they come in.

Whether you want to include professional and fun signage inside the classroom or broadcast recreational activities and programs for students on campus, banners will give your university or college the attention it deserves.

How to Promote Charity and Non Profit Events

Charity events can raise money for a good cause. Many non-profit organizations rely on fundraising events to be able to continue to serve the community, and promoting these functions can make or break the event. Success is based on how many people attend the charity event and donate to the cause. This is why getting the word out about the upcoming event is crucial.

Affordable printed signage can broadcast your upcoming charity event without costing your organization more than the allotted funds you have available to you.

Non-profit groups usually are forced to operate on a tight budget because the organizations rely on donations to pay for day-to-day operations, as well as events. Promoting an upcoming charity event your group is holding for the holidays doesn’t have to deplete the available funds you have to work with.

Cheap printed banners, flags and pull up stands can effectively gain attention for your fast-approaching event, or simply raise awareness for your organization and cause, for an incredibly low price. Budget-friendly signage options include: vinyl banners, table top displays, feather and teardrop banners, retractable banners, X-frame banners, and telescopic banners.

Vinyl and mesh banners can be customized to the size of your choice, showcased indoors or outdoors and are often the most cost-effective signage options. For free-standing displays that will promote your charity, try an affordable X-frame banner stand or a retractable banner stand. These economical indoor banner stands are easy to set up and also easy on your wallet. In terms of outdoor banners to gain attention for your upcoming function from the public, try a feather flag or a teardrop banner. The options for affordable signage for your cause are endless.

When And How To Contact Gathered Leads

Basically, a “lead” is defined as an individual who is likely to be interested in your products or services based on certain predefined demographic traits. The process of lead generation is to identify and capture the interest of these potential buyers through several different promotional methods. Lead generation methods often include online and offline advertising, unique incentives and trade show promotions.

So, after exhibiting at a trade show, presenting your business and products and gathering those potential leads, the next step is how to follow up with each lead effectively.

  • Leads follow up

    Contacting leads is a matter of the right timing and the right communication channels. You want to strive for a reasonable waiting period before following up with new potential customers. You also want to plan the means of contacting them, whether by phone, email newsletter or social media message.

  • Timing is everything

    The ideal time for contacting new sales leads depends on a few factors, but the general rule is that sooner is always better. Mass email newsletters are great tools for sales leads that have opted to receive further information about your products or services. Using email marketing software, you can prepare your newsletter ahead of time, add your new lead contacts and designate a later time for them to be sent to leads automatically.

  • Be persistent

    The main objective is to turn those gathered leads into buyers, and the key is persistence without crossing the line into spamming. So, even if some of your newly generated leads are not initially interested, keep them updated periodically with industry information they are likely to find useful. This tactic will keep your company name fresh in their minds, and it will increase the chances of their contacting you for a purchase in the future.

  • Getting feedback from customers

    Once your generated sales leads have become buyers, your next goal is to exceed their expectations. Establishing yourself as an expert in your field will lead to repeat customers coming to you for these answers. You can also use this part of customer relations to demonstrate how your products or services add value in terms of buyer needs and wants. It’s a great approach to bring in more positive feedback and word-of-mouth recommendations from your growing loyal customer base.

Once you have a list of promising sales leads, the next crucial steps involve building solid relationships and demonstrating how your business adds more value. Planning, persistence and timing are also essential components of contacting new sales leads and converting them to eventual purchasers.

Designing Your Banner Stand: Creative Tips

Banner displays with eye-catching graphics can be an excellent way to promote your business or organization at any event, expo or conference. Here are a few tips for creating an eye pleasing and unique display to catch your visitors’ eyes:

Tip #1

It’s imperative that you’ll make the most of your banner stand design. You need a display that will stand out from the rest. You need to immediately connect with your audience on a level that will keep them interested. So, be sure to employ the following design advices:

  • Place your primary information above-the-fold (top 1/3 of your display)
  • Match your banner stand to the theme of your display
  • Use bold and contrasting colors
  • Use sharp, clear graphics that promote your message
  • Avoid offering more information than necessary
  • Keep things simple, don’t clutter your design

Tip #2

Not all banner stands are the same, and not all of them serve the same purpose. Some are designed as table top displays, some are large or double-sided, and some offer scrolling mechanism so you can include a larger message. By knowing the type of space you’ll be located in, you can choose the exact banner stand that will coordinate with your display space.

Tip #3

When designing your banner stand, choose a message that you can use repeatedly. Don’t choose something specific to one event or trade show. Make a design that will be versatile enough to travel with you from one event to the next.

Now that you have a few basic ideas, it’ll be a lot easier to design your next banner at the most suitable way.


How to Create an Unforgettable Trade Show Booth

Exhibiting at a trade show mean you’ll have to compete for visitors’ attention against other exhibitors. In most cases, memorable exhibit booths are those that have a personal touch that is both unique and matches the theme of your booth. You can do it easily and without spending your entire budget on it. Check out these following ideas to create an unforgettable booth that will attract a crowd and stand out above your competitors.

  • Start by creating a welcoming and comfortable surroundings. Attendees spend endless hours walking around all day, visiting hundreds of booths. This can be quite exhausting, so why not offer them a comfortable place to sit, or a refreshing beverage?

  • Also, add a desirable aroma to your booth, something that just can’t be ignored. If attendees smell an enchanting aroma, they’ll sure come to visit your booth. This can be anything from fresh coffee, popcorn, baked pastry or even vanilla scented candles.

  • Bright and bold colors are also great attention grabbers. You don’t want to blend in with the furniture or the background, you want to stand out, right? It’s time to use surprising, bold colors that will be seen from afar, like yellow, red, orange or hot pink. Whatever colors you choose, be sure they work with the colors of your logo and company colors for a more harmonic look.

Keep those ideas in mind when you plan your next booth design and you’ll be on your way to a successful, memorable booth.

How To Choose The Right Giveaway For Your Next Event

Trade show exhibitors often wonder which giveaway will draw lots of visitors to their booth. Choosing the right promotional item for your target audience can be pretty tricky and should be thought about carefully. The right giveaway should reflect your business, your booth, and your budget.

The answer to which giveaway is the right one relies on a few in-depth questions. Much like the 5 W’s in journalism, ask yourself these questions:

  • Who is attending the event – identify your target audience, their interests, their background, their average age, demographics, and so on.
  • What are your goals from this event – generating leads, increasing brand awareness, introducing a new product, etc.
  • Where are you giving away those items – is it outside or indoors? Is it a festival or an industry trade show?
  • Why are you giving something away? It should be useful in some way, whether it’s a sample product or a customized tote bag to carry all the brochures and media kits.
  • When do you plan to give the items away – goes for time of year as well as specific hour of the day. If you give a tote bag for instance, give it at the beginning of the day, but not too early, to give people a chance to collect a few items – they’ll appreciate it a lot more.

Another way to help you decide on the right giveaway is to look for hot trends. These can be in your specific industry, or just hot in general – like large memory flash drives, microfiber screen cleaners, smartphone cases, thermo bottles, portable mobile chargers, and even t-shirts, that might be old school but still very useful.

Even generic giveaways might work well for exhibitors. If you don’t have a new sample to give, and your budget can’t afford technological items like flash drives or chargers, then you can always go for some old tricks that work: pens with your logo, hats, t-shirts, magnets, keychains, etc. These items might get thrown away eventually, but they can be used for a short period and stick in your prospects memory for a while.

Summer Is Here! What Are Your Outdoor Advertising Options?

The summer is here, and more and more events take place outside in the open air. This is a great opportunity to advertise your business, where lots of people can see your advertisement and drop by your business. Vinyl banners, flags, tents and posters are just a few possibilities for eye-catching outdoor advertisements.

Exhibiting at trade shows, festivals and local outdoor events will also help to get your marketing messages to a large amount of people. To get the most out of outdoor events, check out the following advertising options:

outdoor community festival

Vinyl banners are one of the most durable advertising options, as they can withstand harsh weather conditions such as rain and wind, and even resist fading from intense sunlight. They can be displayed in indoor or outdoor areas and come in different sizes. You can hang them at your storefront or office building exterior, and you can display them at an outdoor expo or local community event.

Feather flags will surely garner lots of attention for your company or upcoming event at any outdoor venue. These banners are ideal for trade show booth exhibits, college and university events, and any outdoor event where a lot of people passes by. Feather flags are great solutions to catch the attention of every passerby, thanks to their fluttery and vibrant features.

Teardrop banners are another great solution for outdoor advertising. The weatherproof polyester fabric banner is very durable and can endure outside weather conditions without smudging or fading. You can easily feature your services or broadcast a new product on the dye sublimated fabric banner. This state-of-the-art printing technique produces vibrant colors that will make your message clear and visible to everyone.

A double-sided retractable banner stand features two full-color printed banners and a sturdy base to conveniently display your message at any outdoor venue. It includes a user-friendly retractable frame design in a heavy-duty stand that is able to endure outside weather conditions. These features make the double-sided banner a great choice for summer festivals, outdoor events and even sidewalk marketing.

With this range of outdoor advertising solutions you can choose the product that suits you best, or even combine a few of them for a complete advertising package and display your business and services to as many potential clients as possible.

Great Graphics and Printing Tips For Banner Design

As far as banner design goes, you can go wild with colors or choose solid designs. It’s all up to you, your business and your goals. But there are a few tips though, that can help you turn your design into reality, especially a few helpful graphic programs.

graphic designer at work

Adobe Illustrator for example, lets you make vector designs. Vector designs have no resolution, so you can stretch or compress it without any graininess or distortion. If you’re hiring a professional designer for your banner, or you have professional software, this is a great tool to work with. Adobe Photoshop is another good one, but it doesn’t have all the widgets and additions like the Illustrator.

Adobe InDesign is also a helpful tool, you’ll just need to save your file as a printable PDS. It’s not as good as Illustrator for banners as you’ll have to make the design smaller than you want the banner to be.

Size is also an important aspect – if you have a two-inch by four-inch design at 600DPI (dots per inch), you’ll think that’s mega-high res. However, your banner is going to become two feet by four feet when it’s printed, so the DPI will fall drastically.

Your small file means that its 1,200 pixels wide by 2,400 pixels high. If you’re putting those 2,400 pixels into a space of four feet, you’re down to 50DPI, which isn’t quite so impressive. Ensure your file is set up to the full print size.

The resolution of the image is important as well. You need, for vinyl, fabric or retractable banners, to set your art at 100DPI before you send it to print. Most professional printers use a multi-pass method that passes the fabric under the printer as many as six times.

100DPI might not sound too great, but being passed under the print head a few times covers up any low-res imperfections and works just great at banner scale. If it’s a trade show banner, which is usually made of finer material, use 300DPI, as the smoother surface lets more details come through.

You should keep your banner design file so that you can edit it later. When you send your file to the printers, you need to save your design in a particular format. For vector files, save it as an EPS or a PDF, and for Photoshop, save as a JPG.

Outdoor And Indoor Advertising – What Are The Differences

Participating in a community event or expo can be a great way for your business to mingle in the local community and to generate new customer base. When you are about to plan your event display and promotions, keep in mind that indoor and outdoor events have different considerations. Certain types of banners, table displays and even booth set-up plans work better in one setting versus the other.

sample presentation

Outdoor Events

Outdoor events are a lot spacier than indoor events, but on the other hand, you need to protect your exhibit from the sun, rain, wind and other nature elements. A tent can be a good addition as your table displays will be protected from unexpected rain. Vinyl banners are the best options for outdoor events since their material stands up to water, strong winds or fading from intense sunlight.

Depending on the time of year, you should tailor your promotional items to match the event. In the summer, useful giveaways can be hats or baseball caps, T-shirts, sunscreen or even water spray bottles for cooling off. When exhibiting in cooler weather, you can hand out umbrellas, scarfs or gloves. Each of these gifts should be printed or stamped with your company logo.

Indoor Events

When you set up a booth inside an exhibit hall you have the chance to reach a large number of potential customers, but you also have some space restrictions. The competition can also be tougher if you are exhibiting alongside many other businesses in the same indoor venue.

Indoor events don’t need to regard nature elements, so you have the option of using scrolling banners to catch visitors’ attention, and you can also get creative with lighting for your display booth. Since electrical outlets are generally more accessible indoors, you have some more freedom to add booth lights without the added tasks of setting up extension cords for them.

Choosing the right promotional items can also help the success of your indoor exhibit. Some good promotional items can include flash drives, notebooks, phone covers or tablet computer cases with your company logo embossed on them. People use these items many times each day so they will see your business name each time they use the item.

Planning each of these elements for your exhibit takes some investment and attention to detail, but staging both outdoor and indoor events will help you increase your customer base over time.