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How to Keep Up with Current Business Trends

It is important to experiment with marketing and branding in the business world to monitor your public outreach. Trying new things is a risk your company needs to take to find the sweet spot you need to capture your customers’ attention. While this may seem like a big uncertainty, with an educated and interested approach, your company’s bravery will pay off in the end.

Marketing research is a positive thing. By creating new pathways, keywords, and trends, your business will tap into current and cutting edge marketing fads. Don’t stray from the fray, if there is a business trend that is working, try it out! It is popular for a reason. It is your job to find out why.

Google analytics is a great way to monitor your business’s success with new ways of reaching customers. Instead of trying a handful of new approaches at once, focus on your direction for an extended period of time. Not only will your customers see your marketing strategy as level headed and calculated, but you will be able to see immediately through analytics what words, avenues, and strategies are working best.

How should you reach your followers? This helpful article mentions a few popular trends: tell stories through pictures, connect directly with your fans, and create a distinct identity for your brand. Think about what your weak points might be, listen to your customers’ comments and criticisms, and always be willing to change and improve.

For more business advice and inspiration, contact us at Ajalon Print, Web, & Design. Our blog addresses numerous topics to help your company grow and expand with skills and ideas.

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Master Your SEO with High Quality Content

Google has updated its algorithms repeated over the last few years, messing with the rules and regulations of ranking with SEO. The search engine optimization process has changed dramatically, beginning with cut-and-paste keyword heavy articles with little or no content. Now, a  more complex system of creating content is in place. Although this seems more difficult, which it certainly is, the outcome is greater for businesses who deserve a pat on the back for the hard work they do.

SEO rockets you up to the top of search engines based on your website’s inner workings. The heart and soul of your page is truly content. What the articles, blurbs, and how-tos have to say will make or break your visibility to the consumer world. So what should you do to tickle Google pink and get the boost you need to make front page?

Lock your website down tight. That means check every link, every HTML code, the speed at which it loads, and double check the sites that host your content. The first thing you want is for Google to be able to find you. Broken links and slow speeds will not be alluring for the algorithms to bump you to the top of the list.

Make sure your content has keywords without relying on them. Don’t pick obscure vocabulary or alternative phrasing. Think about what your customers are looking up. Build your articles around the most successful phrases and don’t stop. Keep your articles constant and current. Generating new material is key to get a good SEO rating.

Write well and write with dignity. People can tell when an article has been banged out at the end of the day. Blogs need to be “share worthy” and make their rounds organically. If you have nothing interesting or new to say, then get help creating new pieces to share. SEO highly relies on organic success.

Don’t give up, keep writing. SEO can seem like a mystery, but in fact it’s just that the rules have been changed, and definitely for the better. Perhaps you can’t cheat as much by loading up a blog with useless gibberish molded out of keywords, but now customers can reach honest businesses that are interested in offering excellent service.

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Negative Press: How to Deal with a Bad Review

There’s nothing worse than a bad review for your business..or is there? You can turn almost any bad review into a good experience with only a little fancy footwork from your end. The opportunity to right a wrong is great for a reputation boost, but the question is, how do you deal with  a negative review?

Address it immediately. Go out of your way to find out what people are saying about you. Be active on social media and check your sites frequently. Creating and maintaining your sites makes is easy for customers to reach out to you, and you want to make communication as easy as possible. Once you get a negative comment, don’t wait until next week! Get back to the person ASAP and ask how they would like you to right the wrong. Also, you can come up with immediate and creative ways to redeem yourself. Order free and expedited shipping, replace a broken product, suggest a gift certificate.

Don’t solve all the problems in public. If a conversation is getting out of hand or lengthy, don’t hold your other fans hostage. Business shouldn’t be a soap opera, so take the conversation offline or through email. If you can satisfy a customer, that’s wonderful. You shouldn’t have to make a big to-do about a situation just for publicity.

Know when to let it go. Sometimes people are just wrong. You don’t have control over everyone and sometimes you’re fighting a losing battle. If someone is being a stickler just to make some noise, ignore them. Leave the negative comment up and let your customers decide for themselves. Anyway, it’s a little eerie if you can’t find one bad review. It usually signals to other potential customers that you’re removing all bad reviews.

Have you had bad reviews with your business? Share with us your experiences and how you dealt with the problem, we’d love to hear! For more blogs on running a company and managing your online business, find our articles here.

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Business Etiquette on Your Social Media Profiles

Your business is everyone’s business. You’ve made your services public and you want people to stop and look. It’s what makes a business survive! But how do you get the publicity and hold consumers’ interests while also maintaining seamless etiquette and an ability to please all?

The first thing to remember is that you won’t make everyone happy. In fact, the majority of your success online will revolve around this fact. Existing online as a business is like making statement after bold statement and it is important to think before you speak. While in-person interactions have their own code, so does social media. It is crucial that you make moves that you won’t have to edit or remove from online. Make confident statements and stand by them.

This will, or course, not be able to please everyone. Not only are there people out there who won’t agree with your company and its policies on a personal and foundational level, but there are people who are looking to start trouble no matter what. It is best to be prepared for these people and to react with kindness and consideration. Address the situation if you feel like it, but don’t waste your breathe if it is a lost cause.

The more important situations to approach are those where your customer reacts honestly and genuinely to your online persona. Did you make a mistake? Did you say something wrong? Hash out the problem and respond publicly with an apology if necessary.

Managing social platforms isn’t all about the bad. In fact, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how many people you’ll reach who will be uplifting, fun, helpful, and positive. Publicly thank these people and generate content to keep these relationships sustained.

For more support creating or maintaining social media, contact us at Ajalon Print, Web, & Social Media and we’ll be happy to help!

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Specialty Products for Your Business

What does a specialty product mean for your business? It depends on what your company’s foundational goods and services are and to what extent you normally go to connect and serve your customers. A good questions to ask yourself is, “What fills the negative space?” Figure out what your customers aren’t getting from you and offer that missing piece as a specialty product for your preferred clientele.

If you are a business that serves the public in social services, or perhaps you manage a calendar for a performing arts facility, then what you’re not offering is a keepsake. This can be something small, a token of gratitude. Perhaps offer a book of playbills from the most successful and beloved shows that have passed through your theater. Or try a writing pad and a pen with your business’s name to remind your customers that you appreciate them and say thank you.

Does your business serve food? Try selling a bib with the company’s logo! Sell mugs, order frequent customer cards for discounts, or an item that perfectly symbolizes your services. Maybe you are famous for your fresh baked pie served after every meal. Sell pie slice trinkets for your restaurant’s audience.

Maybe your company does it all. If you’re providing goods and services, then try reaching out online. Allow your customers to connect with you through Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook. Feature your audience’s photographs and reviews and publicly thank all those involved.

There are so many ways to offer a “specialty product.” Just remember to ask, what is special to your business. For help printing, managing social networks, or creating more ideas, contact us at Ajalon Print, Web, & Social Media and we’ll be happy to assist!

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Be Active: Keep Updated with Social Media

There are millions of people online using social media every day. With so many active users generating content on a minute to minute basis, it’s easy to get lost in the fray. It is important as a business to insert your voice into the many and stand out, not just with content but with consistency. While there may seem to be a lot of fanfare, many times a user is posting infrequently and it’s your job to be an authority on your niche and master at your craft.

To be able to gauge how much is enough, you need to understand the social media sites themselves. Different venues have a draw on different audiences. Create a plan of action and distribute your attention and efforts intelligently. This helpful infographic lays out the most basic information to help you plan your active relationship with the online world.

Good luck and enjoy reaching your customers! For more help, contact us at Ajalon Print, Web, & Social Media for more ways to stay connected.

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Create Your Own Video Content to Boost Business

Video is an important tool to incorporate into your business. This beneficial marketing trick is a great way for you to connect with your customers and offer special and personalized information that is engaging and creative. Video requires a certain kind of creativity and the effort made to produce that kind of advertisement catches people’s attention. The time and energy spent making a video for your business is worth every second.

An easy topic for your video is an “explainer” film. A short piece discussing how to put together a product, use it, or why is should be employed is a tactic that engages a customer instantly. People are visual creatures and showing how to interact with a product or service may drastically change their level of interest in your merchandise for the better.

Other ways of using video marketing is to conduct interviews, create tutorials, make behind-the-scenes movies, or create a small series of movies that addresses similar topics. A creative team of animators can be utilized to create visuals. A boss, employee, or talented friend can act as a spokesperson for your business. Just make sure the visual and audio components are easy to enjoy and not abrasive.

It’s undeniable, small businesses need to use videos to aid in their marketing successes. This new avenue of advertisement is exciting and creative and you’ll be pleased to see what kind of content you can come up with. Don’t be shy, and smile for the camera!

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Watch the Clock: When to Use Twitter

Twitter is becoming the number one social media site, hands down. With Facebook declining in popularity and in visibility for smaller businesses who can’t afford ads, Twitter is the ideal platform to share your business’s products and services. No matter how perfect your Tweet content is for the business, you can’t get anywhere without timing your posts perfectly. If you miss the optimum window to connect with your audience, your Tweet will die off after about 18 minutes. Being active is crucial, but be active when it counts the most.

Ask yourself: when do I check my social media? The answer is usually on my commute to and from work, and on the weekends. You’re not checking your Facebook at 10AM during a meeting (or at least you shouldn’t be). People are more likely to check their phones on the train, on their lunch break, and on Saturday and Sunday between plans. Cater to those time slots.

Using a scheduling tool is going to be your best way to reach your clients. You don’t want to be posting on your time off! Use an online scheduling tool to share videos, pictures, links, and text to a variety of social media sites.  By planning out these posts to air at a later date and time, the information will be more accessible to the consumers you wont to reach at the right time.

Need help creating content or scheduling your posts? Contact us at Ajalon Print, Web, & Social Media and we can work with you to keep your business trucking along nicely

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Social Media Etiquette: The Common Sense That Isn’t Common

It’s no mistake that the internet is flooded with articles on professional etiquette. Doesn’t everybody know online etiquette? Isn’t in common sense? Well, if you’ve ever been stuck in traffic or stood in line at the store, you’ll know how surprising it is to find that most people just don’t know how to treat each other kindly or considerately. It’s the same online!

There’s a lack of understanding between people of how to communicate, and without the physical or vocal cues that might establish a tone of seriousness, maintaining a respectful online presence can be surprisingly difficult. Writing and reacting as a business is extremely tedious and etiquette needs to be managed and mastered.

Remember, you aren’t really you online, you’re The Business. The professional persona you take on in your social media presence is going to react very differently to situations that you would in your personal life. Perhaps you have a client that you just don’t like. Unless this person is a threat to the success of your business, you’re going to have to let it go and serve them as much as you can. Be considerate to people’s needs and requests. Make yourself available and work with people.

 

You have to make sure that you can provide a safe environment for your customers and accommodate their needs. Are you running in to frustrating problems and aggravating customers? Bring in a second, or third, or tenth social media manager. Stepping away from the situation and letting someone else handle the problem can be a life saver. Customers want to see you solve problems and right wrongs.

Keep a consistent voice. Feeling good today? Write a lot of posts! When you feel tired and unenthusiastic tomorrow, you’ll be able to take a break from creating articles that will contradict your business’s voice. Be excited about your brand. Be positive, always. Even when fixing problems, find an outlook that will produce an outcome that will leave you and your customers feeling satisfied. Don’t let personal problems drag you down.

Practice saying, “I’m wrong and I’m sorry.” Everybody makes mistakes, even businesses. Think admitting defeat will make you weak? Think again. Admitting you’re wrong is essential to growth within the company. It is also good to let your customers know that you are open to discussion and willing to change something wrong within the system. This is a mature approach to business and relationships that will create a level of trust between you and your customers that is essential to the success of your business.

Stay focused and write with intent. Keep your customers in mind and understand that you have to be clear, direct, and friendly while managing your online presence. It may seem like common sense, but it’s important to act on it, not just acknowledge it.

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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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