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Letterpress V Digital: Which is Right for You?

The options seem endless when you’re tackling a print job for your business. Maybe you need new business cards, a flier for an event you’re hosting, or a catalog your company needs to display your new line of products. You’re facing numerous paper quality options, ink color decisions, and even styles of printing. How do you decide what is right for you?

Each business project requires a unique look. Depending on the quantity of the order and the occasion for your printing needs, different styles will appeal to you on an individual basis. Letterpress is an old-school way of printing that has recently reemerged as a specialty service coveted for its beautiful aesthetic. Digital is efficient and fast, with a cost much lower than its opponent and an ability to print colors from the CMYK ink spectrum. So which printing process is right for you?

Digital is a wonderful option for many projects. Consistency in image quality and color is unbeatable. Proofing a job can be easy, and you can run tests at no cost to double check the project before you go to press. Smaller jobs are more cost efficient, however. Since the until price remains the same, larger jobs can become very pricey. Content is unlimited, since computer-generated images and photographs can be altered and placed on any project.

Letterpress is ultimately the more elegant option. The final product is textured, three dimensional, and unforgettable. This is not a biased opinion-across the board, letterpress menus, business cards, and pamphlets are mesmerizing and unique. The process of creating letterpress goods involves a lot of set up and break-down, so the individual unit price goes down the more the order number goes up.

The types of paper and materials available for letterpress are vast, but the consistency of the quality isn’t reliable. Ink colors, depth of impressions, and turnaround rates are erratic. Letterpress also has limited aesthetic options. Most presses can only use existing typeface, and complex shapes aren’t often implemented due to the difficulty in making a plate using unusual shapes.

The facts have been stated. Digital is more affordable, more flexible, and more common. Letterpress is more memorable, more limited, and more elegant. What are you willing to choose for your next important business print job. The choice is yours.

For both digital and letterpress printing jobs, contact Ajalon Print, Web, & Social Media. We can help you decide what option will satisfy your needs.

 

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Sharing is Caring: Why You Should Include Share Buttons on Your Site

History has proven that humans need to share to survive. From food to feelings, humans communicate and connect with others in order to maintain sanity and physical health. Our culture, evolved into a technology-ruled society with numerous ways to express one’s self nonverbally, is in constant need of interactions between people to exist. Share buttons are the modern way of communicating ideas, stories, and events that should be used by companies and individuals alike.

Share buttons are icons located on a business’s website, as well as on each picture, blog post, and social media status related to that entity. By displaying the Share icons, customers, other businesses, friends, and readers can share anything from your web address to your featured photo to your Monday morning Twitter post with a whole new circle of friends, relatives, and business affiliates. The easier it is for your customers to repost your content, the higher rate of exposure you’ll get among newer potential clients.

It is important to be engaged in as many social media sites as you can manage. Many of the modern sites have the ability to link up for easy sharing among your own media, like Instagram and Twitter. It is beneficial to share between your own social profiles to reach customers who might gravitate to one platform more than another. App accoutrements may be transferable to desktop social sites for alternative viewing and consuming. Vine videos can be shared on Facebook for larger viewing and easier access at home.

Make sure that every social site you have includes the social media site badges for your whole entourage of social platforms. Your webpage should have a section at the top full of the noticeable share buttons, not only to aid customers in linking your site to others but also to remind them where to find you elsewhere. And don’t forget to link up your website’s pictures with buttons for pinning on Pinterest and tweeting on Twitter.

For any help with adding Share buttons and managing your posting schedule, contact Ajalon Print, Web, & Social Media for deals on media management.

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Manifesting Current Tends in Marketing and Customer Interests

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. This isn’t just a proverb that both The Godfather’s Michael Corleone and military strategist Sun Tze speak of, but also a very helpful approach for business marketing. Current trends are important to understand and the best way to get a foothold on the popular fads of topics, discussions, products, services, and public affairs is to pay close attention to your competitors.

If you’re going to monitor your opponents’ work (which you should!), don’t forget to learn from what you see. Sure, you’ll see the bad things, the things your company would never do, but see the positive and successful tactics your competitors are utilizing and appreciate the innovativeness. Holding a grudge or viewing other businesses with distain won’t get you anywhere. Learning from others’ mistakes and successes is the best way to avoid unnecessary growing pains during your company’s development.

Pay attention to the media. Research topics your business would like to address and see what search results turn up. Don’t just focus on your line of advertisement. Even if you mainly produce written content, look to videos, photographs, and audio. What are these companies producing and why does it work? What could you do better? What would be worth investing your time into? Look into the time, effort, and payoff and weigh the details.

Think outside of the normal standards for your business’s usual marketing process. Look to other businesses from vastly different markets to get unusual and popular methods of advertising. Current trends are engaging, captivating, and memorable. What markets and businesses struck you as remarkable?

Don’t be afraid to learn from your competitors and build from that foundation. The important thing is to remain unique, interesting, and genuine. Strive to do things better tan the other businesses in the market, and don’t be afraid to try something new. Who knows, the next big trend might be sparked by you.

Contact us at Ajalon Print, Web, & Social Media for questions, comments, and more inspiration to get your business marketing strategy off the ground.

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Creating Content with an Interested Audience in Mind

Engaging business customers through your blog is a huge and often daunting chore. It is a difficult enough task to maintain a posting schedule and create new content day after day. The need for quantity can often compromise quality. A simple writing project can balloon into a stressful and unmanageable situation. How do you reach your customers with fresh and conversational writing?

The best, and possibly strangest, advice is to go down the rabbit hole. Pick a topic rooted close to the heart of your business’s beliefs and with that in mind, wander a bit. Entertain tangents that shoot off of your initial idea. Research the history behind your services and follow other writers and creators in the field. Find out what makes them tick, what inspires them.

Engaging blogs do not have to be different versions of the same thing. Your customers do not have a one track mind with one focus of inspiration and interests, so neither should your blog. Be complimentary to your readers and offer a wide variety of topics to discuss.

Reaching out to your customers is another way to create content. Business is a two way street and it is crucial to hear what your readers and shoppers want. By initiating a dialog between you and your customers and genuinely listening, you can tap into a great source of ideas for your future blog posts.

Whichever avenue you decide to take, the hardest and most important step of the process is the first.: getting started. Once you’ve taken down a few notes and started piece the rest of the article will follow.

Contact us at Ajalon Print, Web, & Social Media for questions, comments, and more inspiration to get your business blog and customer outreach started.

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Enhance Your SEO Ranking by Being an Active User

It is very important to manage the SEO ranking for your business’s online presence. Google, the world’s number one search engine, has created software bots that comb the internet for search results tailored for each individual search. Now, more than ever, Google is powered by its knowledge of customers’ locations, past searches, and favorite YouTube videos. Search engines are capable of honing search results to cater to each user and will scan an entire business’s blog and social sites for content and variety.

The best way to master your SEO destiny is to become an active and avid user of social media sites. Time management will be crucial for you to benefit from being a card carrying member of Social Media, but with a little practice, writing posts on a fixed schedule will become second nature. Often, because of the vastness of online social sites and the demanding round-the-clock calendar of postings, the job may need to be split up between many employees. No matter how you decide to run your operation, it is very important to be consistent and dedicated.

Being an active user means doing your research. Target your market and find out what times of day your customers are online. Often, targeting an age group will be helpful in finding out what days and times to post and which platforms to focus on. Scheduling posts can be helpful but it is important to maintain a real-time posting schedule as well in order to stay up to date and conversational with your clients.

Posting often in many different venues will keep you current and fresh with the Google search technology. Creating original content and sharing information will broaden your reach to many different searches and your exposure to future clients will be great.

Feeling stuck? Overwhelmed by the amount of time your SEO management will take out of your day? If you feel that you need assistance with your business, contact us at Ajalon Print, Web, & Social Media and we will set up tools for you to tackle your business’s schedule.

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Client Focus: Eye Candy Chocolatier

Eye Candy Chocolatier is a business that embodies the very spirit of Sonoma County in California. Combining skills from very different walks of life, Eye Candy‘s owner focuses on local, fresh and sustainable goods to fuel two companies and bring joy to everyone she encounters.

Sonja Schluter, a local ophthalmologist, decided that along with with her hard work in the health field, she would start a business creating and selling fine chocolates. Previously trained in the culinary arts in Vancouver and Chicago, Schluter is extremely knowledgeable in the art of crafting a fine piece of chocolate. Butter and cream are sourced locally and only the finest fruits, teas, and liqueurs are what make up Eye Candy‘s incredible treats. Schluter, being a generous and world-conscious person, donates a portion of the proceeds to the Glaucoma Research Foundation.

The chocolate truffle business is a growing and changing project for Schluter. As her ideas evolve and her truffles’ flavors enhance, her small company gets a little make over. With a recently updated name and logo (previously Eye Candy Truffles), a new website needed to be built.

Here at Ajalon Print, Web, & Social Media, we created a web page for Schluter that is just the beginning of a wonderful, fully interactive and informative site for Eye Candy Chocolatier. Schluter wanted to redo her whole business’s image and start fresh with new photographs, information, and truffle profiles. Her goal was to create a web page that held down a web address with her business’s name while she did detailed work behind-the-scenes to expand her online presence.

This first stage of her website is wonderful. She included her business’s background, the story of her chocolates’ integrity and high quality, and makes it easy for clients to contact her with comments, questions, and orders. The page is a work in progress, but her intentions were clear and the final product she received for her site’s welcome page exceeds her standards.

Look out for more Eye Candy Chocolatier updates and check in with us at Ajalon for any web design you might need for your own business.

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Endless Summer: Life’s a Beach When You Network with Customers

Running a business is overwhelming and sometimes your priorities will get lost. Your focus may be split up into many different trajectories and your booming success might turn into a floundering failure. What could possibly throw off your A-game like that? Ignoring your customers and not placing them first is a fatal mistake.

You need to cater to your customers openly and honestly through direct communication. Although it seems like you are doing that by fine tuning your products and services, spending too much time tinkering in the proverbial shed tightening the proverbial cogs can turn deaf ears to your customers’ true opinions. You need to bring your customers into the equation and listen to their comments, questions, criticisms and suggestions.

Customers aren’t always right, perhaps not individually, but the voice of many can move you along to find a common thread of requests expressed by the masses. In order to truly find your stride and make changes in your business, networking with customers will give you a clear path to hone your skills in product creation and customer service.

Networking with your clients is very valuable. Learn what businesses they frequent outside of yours. Listen to what services they desire, whether or not you can provide those. Listen to them about family visiting, friends coming in to town, events in their lives, where they work. Be friendly and ask your customers to brings the important people in their lives in to meet you and see your shop. Partner with businesses in the neighborhood to support the lifestyles of your customers and community. Networking means caring, listening, and sharing. Give back to your customers and let them know you care.

Which ways will you network in, and out, of your market? We’d love to hear your business strategy to reach out to your customers. Need help? Ajalon Print, Web, & Social Media can assist you during your outreach efforts. Contact us today and we can get to work immediately.

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How to Throw a Contest for Your Business on Social Media

If your business is trying to engage a large number of people, and quickly, there is no better way to do so than with a contest. Social media is a great platform on which to do so and can seriously boost your exposure online. There are many different sites and apps to choose from where you can host your competition and each one lends a different quality that will shape the length of time and manner of each contest.

Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter are the best contest-friendly sites that you can rely on. While Facebook is still wildly successful as far as customer traffic goes, there are so many rules and regulations for throwing a contest that your safest bet is to simply promote your contest there without running it through the site.

Contests are great because they engage the customer’s creativity and reach out to them during the weekend and off-hours. Office days are 9-5 but customers are forever. Life does not stop when the whistle blows, in fact, it’s during the evening and weekends when your ideal focus group is active online.

Ideally, your business’s social media coordinator will have access to your networks during the weekend, but if that isn’t possible, plan to host a contest that will take place during Saturday and Sunday events. Ask people to tag pictures and videos they took during the weekend for a contest of your design. Ask that customers check in places that they would normally frequent during their off hours, so they will keep your company in mind and interact with you on their own.

Use a contest management tool to help keep track of your customers’ engagement. With any luck,  you’ll get more than a handful of people taking part in your contest. However, that makes it tricky to keep things in order so you’ll do best with help from an outside source. Not only will a contest management site keep track of the participants but will generate either a random winner or help you customize your preferences to help you pick a finalist.

How will you run a contest? Will you ask for original content from your customers? What will the prize be at the finish line? Which media platforms will you focus on? We can’t wait to find out.

Contact us at Ajalon Print, Web, & Design for questions, comments, or help designing a contest for you.

 

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Using Hootsuite to Your Advantage

A flourishing business comes only from a strong connection with the customer base. Companies need to be in engaged, active dialog with the audience they want to keep as a constant and growing relationship. This calls for constant interaction through social media websites. Even with a team of people working to manage social media interactions and posts, information needs to be organized with a schedule. Such consistent posting need to be maintained, and sometimes ideal posting times (Pinterest clicks and visits peak from 8PM to 1AM) can’t be utilized for business exposure unless a scheduling tool is used.

Hootsuite is an ideal website and app to use while managing multiple social networking sites. Whether scheduling time sensitive-posts, binge organizing, or planning to be out of the office on a work day, you can find solace in the easy-to-use qualities that this website has to offer.

There are many different networks that Hootsuite can manage. Mainly, Facebook, LinkedIN, Google+, and Twitter are the sites that can be accessed. Photos and links may be uploaded and any amount of text can be inserted into the proposed post. If you want to post the same article on multiple streams, you are welcome to do so and it takes hardly any effort at all.

Using Hootsuite will make your business presence more reliable and accessible to your client base. The tools available are essential to use the social network platforms to their fullest extent without straining yourself and your business to keep up with consumers’ constant interactions.

Need assistance with Hootsuite? We can help! We use Hootsuite every day and are able to train you to use it quickly and easily. Contact us here for questions, comments, and classes!

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Finding Harmony Between a Business Name and a Business Look

A business’s success is created, nurtured, and maintained by a variety of factors, but the initial spark of progress begins with a name. The title and tagline of a company will make or break an initial customer interaction. A name can’t be successful across the board, but considering culture, modern day marketing, and audience will significantly shape and determine your company’s business name.

There are many basic tips to aid in your decision making. What are your services and what do you want to communicate? Are you catering to active outdoors-oriented men and women? Does your business provide childcare services? Is your target audience involved in roller derby? Ask yourself who your ideal customers are and go from there.

Avoid cliches. Not only are cliches alienating and pandering, but since they are cliches, i.e. overused and stereotypical, rest assured that you will run across several businesses sharing the same title. Make your name easy to read and easy to say. If it takes too much time to process, then the name is a failure.

An important thing to remember is to have fun. You’re naming a business! The naming stage should be inspiring and allow branding and service ideas to unfold with ease. Once the name is nailed down, then logo creation can happen, store fronts searched for, and webpages built. The title is the beginning and can lead to very important decision making.

Your business’s look will most likely be guided by the company name. Colors, shapes, and tones will spark from your title, and branding will be easier. Slogans and voices behind the products and services will intimate an overall aesthetic that will set you apart and reach your audience successfully.

It is important to do your research, weigh the pros and cons with your favorite title ideas, and get feedback. A hired professional graphic designer will assist in your creation of a web, logo, and brand design. Just don’t be shy. You need to be bold and passionate about your business to make it work.

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