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Create a Killer Social Media Marketing Campaign with Hootsuite!

With so many social media outlets available to businesses, it can be a full time job staying as active as you need to be. With peak user hours for Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn and other platforms scattered throughout the day and week, sometimes it’s necessary to plan ahead.

That’s where Hootsuite comes in.

set up a social media marketing campaign with HootsuiteHootsuite is the ideal website for managing a multitude of different social media platforms in one place. With the ability to manage multiple companies or clients within a single user account, you can schedule posts hours, weeks or months in advance. This easy to use program can help you post to the appropriate networks at peak hours without having to log in during all hours of the day and night. This also allows you to plan and schedule a killer marketing plan for the current month and beyond in a single afternoon. Better yet, if your marketing plan changes or if you release a new product or want to advertise a big sale, you can change your posting schedule quickly and easily.

Whether you’re interested in using Hootsuite as a way of organizing your social medial marketing plan, posting outside of your normal 9-5 workday or planning ahead for pending vacations or business conferences, you can find solace in the easy-to-use qualities that this website has to offer. Need assistance with Hootsuite? We’re here to help! We use Hootsuite to post to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ and can train you to use it quickly and easily. Contact us today with any questions, comments!

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Promote Your Business – Custom Banners and More!

Advertising is crucial when trying to promote or expand your business. In order to bring in new customers, you need to insure that you are making your brand visible using different forms of media. With the world becoming more technologically driven every day, big and small companies alike are turning to social media as a way of advertising. However, in doing so, they are neglecting classic print advertising.

fabric options for advertising banner and adhesives.

Banners are among the forgotten. This traditional form of advertising is still around for a reason; it works! Whether you are sponsoring a school sports team, promoting a fundraiser, setting up a booth at a farmer’s market or local fair, this is an inexpensive option for any business or organization. In addition to banners, you also have the option to make your ads mobile by printing custom vehicle magnets and window decals. Interested in indoor options? Anti-slip floor graphics might just be what your looking for.

forms of advertising banners and adhesives

Are your interested in creating an advertising campaign using banners, window decals, floor graphics, or vehicle magnets? Contact us today to get a quote and see how we can help. If you’re interested in promotional items to go along with your new signage, click here to see all that we have to offer!

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Client Focus: Hill Family Estate

Hill Family Estate is a local, family run winery out of Yountville, California. For seven years and counting, we have had the opportunity to create some stunning products for this local, Northern California business. Check out some of the items we’ve printed for Hill Family Estate and learn a little more about this Napa Valley gem.

gold-foil-stamped-wine-club-sheets

The Hill family chose to go all out when printing this beauty for their wine club. This 2-ply, letterpress and gold foil printed information card was paired with a gold foil stamped, black metallic envelope.

Hill Family Estate was started by Doug Hill, a long-time grower for some of Napa’s finest wine producers. He was inspired to open a winery of his own as a way of giving his family the opportunity to work together–and they do.

offset business printing brochure of the Hill Family

I love this picture of the family that they chose to include in their brochure. You can pick one of these up on your next visit to their Washington Street tasting room.

Doug has continued to work in the vineyards, cultivating the flavorful grapes they now use in their own wines. Darci, Doug’s wife, is often found at the family’s store-front tasting room on Washington Street with their dog Jack. Ryan, their son, runs the sales division, helping to distribute Hill Family wines to select retailers, while Carly is helping to expand their brand in Southern California, where she lives and works.

Digital rack card for tomatoville 2015

This is one of the newest items, hot off the press. This is one of many rack cards created for Tomatoville 2015 and many other Hill Family Estate events.

We look forward to many more years of working with the Hill family and helping to make Doug’s vision a reality – “a way to share his love of the valley, of farming and of wine with his children and wine lovers everywhere.”

offset printed wine club forms hill family

These offset-printed wine club forms were created for the Hill Family Estate tasting room.

Tasting room is open daily from 10am to 6pm (except on major holidays). Tastings are available with no appointment at the bar for $20.00/guest.
To schedule a table tasting, please call 707-944-9580.

Hill Family Estate

6512 Washington Street

Yountville, CA 94599

hill family estate printing foil and offset

From offset printed brochures to foil stamped envelopes, we can print it all.

Interested in having us print for you or your company? Contact us today for a quote!

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3 Tools to Keep You Motivated as a Business Owner

Owning and running your own business can be exhausting and sometimes it’s easy to get uninspired by the work you do. I recently read a blog by Nadine Nicholson where she discusses three tools to keep you motivated in your business and her ideas really resonated with me. So much so that I thought I would share her advice in hopes that it would do the same for you.

got motivation? neon post it notes

1. Write Three Morning Pages

According to Julia Cameron, Morning Pages are “three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning.” This is a great tool that you can use to help clear your mind for the day to come.

2. Walking Meetings

A walking meeting is a mid-day walk with yourself. The idea might seem silly, but walking not only gets your blood flowing and wakes you up, but it also helps allow your mind to process. The combination of fresh air and movement assists in putting things into perspective. This is especially helpful when you’ve hit a road block in your business or are having a hard time coming up with a solution to a problem.

3. Positive Focus

This is an exercises that you do at the end of your workday. It’s easy to dwell on all the things you didn’t get done, because as a business owner, your job is never done. However, it’s very important to remind yourself of all that you accomplished, no matter how small. That’s what this exercise is about. When your day is over, write down your achievements for the day and why each of them is important. Lastly, write down the next step for each item. This is a great way to create an action plan for the next day and to keep you on track.

Give these three tools a try and see if they make a difference in keeping you focused and motivated in your business. As an owner, it’s important to remember that you are the driving force behind you company and your confidence in your business is crucial in keeping your employees on track and working hard.

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Best New Social Media Sites for Businesses in 2015

With the success of social media sites like Facebook worth a whooping $200 billion, everyone and their grandmother is trying to create the new “it” platform. Every day new apps are released but few are successful enough to gain mainstream attention.

According to Forbes, there are 15 social media sites to look out for in 2015. These site rage in target demographic and only a few may end up living up to their hype, but here are two platforms that I think will play a biggest role in relation to business marketing.

Business person with doodle fly to chase her goal in future 2015

Unmetric –  This platform is definitely a good one to look out for and use if you are focused on analytic’s. Unmetric allows you to analyze your marketing efforts by seeing which of your campaigns resonates with consumers and how they compare to those of your competitors.

Kenshoo Social – This platform was created with marketing in mind. Kenshoo Social allows its users to create targeted social media campaigns and manage them in one place. This platform analyzes data, metrics and algorithms to measure performance, find your target audience, and budget you social media marketing dollars.

Take a look at what these sites have to offer and let us know if you think they will benefit your company. Already using one or both of these site? Share your experience in the comment section below.

Interested in expanding your social media reach? Contact us today to see how we can help! 

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To Blog, or Not to Blog? That is the Question!

Blogging Can Drive Traffic to Your Website!

Writing a blog is not just a great way to advertise specials, answer common questions, share your expertise and detail the services you provide. It’s also a great way to keep your website in Googles good graces. If you’re looking to make your way to the top of the search results, one way to get there is by constantly adding new content to your site. An easy and effective way to do that is to blog.

What is a blog? 

A blog is an area on your website where you can publish content related to the products you sell or the industry you’re in. If you’re a real estate agent, you could use your blog to display homes you have on the market, discuses the housing crisis or advise people on how to increase the value of their home prior to placing it on the market.

to blog ot not to blog shakespeare

A quick overview:

It is best if you pick a specific topic for each post and keep it around 500 words. By keeping the text somewhat brief, you’re more likely to keep the readers interest and less likely to overwhelm them or have them click off your site. It’s also a great idea to incorporate images into your blog. Not only do photographs and infographic catch peoples eye, they can also be a great way of bringing people to your site in the first place. By naming and tagging your images correctly, you can increase traffic though sources like Google Image Search or Pinterest.

If you have any questions about writing a business blog, please do not hesitate to ask us.

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Invitations for Business Events

In business, first impressions are everything. So it’s important to choose the proper invitation, as it can set the tone for your entire event. Whether your company is hosting a golf tournament, business gala, awards dinner, retirement party, or the corporate retreat, the invitation is your guest’s first glimpse of the festivities that await them. The goal at Invitations by Ajalon, our invitation printing division, is to insure that your event stationery is customized to fit the theme and feel of your celebration.

Looking for something formal and sophisticated? What about modern or themed? All of our high quality, 100% customizable, eco-friendly motifs can be altered to suit your needs. If you’re in the market for a one-of-a-kind design, our graphic designers are on hand to create an exclusive look just for you! Invitations can be printed using digital, letterpress or foil and with over 150 paper options and a multitude of inks to choose from, it’s easy to create a unique and memorable card.

company anniversary invitation in foil business event invitation in foil pocket folder

This silver foil map pocket folder was custom designed for True North Productions 10th anniversary.

letterpress business anniversary party invitation

We were honored to get an opportunity to help Lifting Gear Hire with their 25th anniversary invitation. The green pocket folder paired perfectly with the color of their business logo.

gold foil stamp event invitation with foil belly band

Kaiser Permanente sure can throw a party. This gold foil stamped version of our Hima design was a great pick for their Bollywood-themed Awards Dinner.

art-deco-invitation-business-event

The Chicago design was a great choice for Unlimited Systems roaring 20’s themed Great Gatsby Garden Gala.

To view more examples of Invitations by Ajalons work, visit the Business Events page of the Invitations by Ajalon website.  Interested in placing an order for your upcoming wine club event, corporate retreat or party? Contact us today for a quote and to get started.

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Client Focus: Big Eleven Vineyard

One last hurrah for Big Eleven!

big-eleven-vineyard-last-hurrah-wine-labelFor nearly a decade we have been lucky enough to work with the always clever and funny folks over at Big Eleven Vineyard. The husband and wife duo of Jim and Dotty Walters have been cranking out small-case Zinfandel and Zin blends for 30 years. After all this time, this jovial pair is putting away the wine press and picking up the corkscrew. We wish this lovely couple a wonderful retirement. It’s been a pleasure working with you for all these years.

Time for a walk down memory lane..

For a snapshot of our long printing partnership, here are a few of our favorite labels:

2007 buddi blen zin wine label

Do you love your dog? Do you love him enough to print him on your wine label? Clearly the folks at Big Eleven Vineyards do!

funny 2008 zinfandel healdsburg wine label

Life is too short not to have a little fun when times are tough. Pre-Recession Zin anyone?

funny political zin wine label

This patriotic label is full of political humor and is sure to get a laugh “regardless of party affiliation.”

big 11 vineyards 2013 zin wine label

This one is definitely a favorite. Experiencing a bad growing season? Not all is lost. If your “Big Eleven” that just means it’s time to BB&S (Beg, Borrow and Steal).

Big eleven vinette hilarious red wine label

The mother of all red wines, huh? This is a prime example of humor from this creative and witty duo.

All of us here at Ajalon wish Dotty and Jim a happy retirement. Here’s hoping your creative labeling has inspired a few more comedic winemakers out there. Our printers are ready and waiting.

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The Importance of Proofing Before Printing

The importance of Proofing!

Proofing is often the most overlooked or taken for granted step in the printing process. This is unfortunate since it is, without doubt, the most important step of printing. It is estimated that over 90% of all reprints are caused by inadequate proofing. Any time an electronic file is opened, there is a chance of errors occurring and it is critical that every round of proofs is treated with the same care and respect as the first.

At Ajalon Print, Web & Social Media we offer two levels of proofing to help assure that no errors make it to press – the soft and hard proof.

The soft proof is made up of a low resolution PDF file. It’s critical to carefully PRINT, READ and CHECK GRAPHICS on your entire document, because at this point you can make edits and changes to your project with little or no cost to you.

The hard proof is typically made up of two proofs: One is a low resolution digitally printed mockup or “dummy” of your project that is trimmed to size and folded or bound to reflect the physical dimensions and placement of your final product. The other is a high resolution digitally-printed color match print that is rough trimmed to show bleeds, margins and is a very good representation of the color that you can expect off the press.

Every job that Ajalon Printing produces is accompanied by a soft proof. After any revisions or corrections, a new soft proof is provided and we require approval prior to printing to ensure that all corrections were made and that no additional errors are present.

Hard proofs are encouraged, but not required. We offer hard proofs with every job at a reasonable cost. After the hard proofs, changes can still be done with very little cost if the changes can be approved with soft proofs.

Some questions to ask yourself about your proofs are:

Remember, printers provide proofs for several reasons, but one of the most important of these is to ensure that nothing has gone wrong during the processing of your electronic files. It is critical that you review these proofs and confirm that all is as expected so that together, we can produce high quality, error free printing at an affordable price with no surprises. Or more importantly, no surprises in the delivered product!

Are you ready to get the process started? Send us your print ready file or contact us today with any questions or for a free quote.

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Are Your Documents Print-Ready?

File Submission Guidelines

Are you looking to have a design or image printed for personal or professional use? Here at Ajalon, we are happy to print our clients one-of-a-kind artwork. However, when submitting your own designs for printing, there are a few guidelines that need to be followed in order to insure that it’s print-ready.

By checking your work with the guidelines below, prior to submission, you can insure a smoother printing process and a quicker turn around time. If you are unsure of how to go about making your documents or images ready for print, we have graphic designers on staff that can make the required alterations to your files. Our graphic design work is billed hourly.

Acceptable Document Formats

PDF (saved in Press Quality export format)

Illustrator (all fonts must be outlined and graphics embedded)

InDesign (all fonts must be converted to outlines and linked files included)

While we can work with web image formats such as .jpg, we cannot guarantee quality image results due to low resolution and file compression.

If you send us a file from Microsoft Word or similar personal-use program that does not create print-ready files, we may have to modify the file to meet print specifications. File edits and modifications are billed at our current hourly graphic design rate.

Monograms, Graphics and Images We prefer vector art files saved in either .pdf, .eps or .ai formats, and raster image files saved in .tif format at 300 dpi or greater. While we can work with web image formats such as .jpg, we cannot guarantee quality image results due to low resolution and file compression.

Letterpress Ink Colors All elements printing in spot colors must be defined as the exact Pantone solid uncoated color numbers at 100% value (no tints or transparency). Elements printing in black must be defined as 100% black (no tints or transparency).

Bleeds Define bleeds at 1/8″ (.125″) bleed on all sides and output with crop marks.

Line Widths For letterpress art, line widths must be at least .25 point.

Additional Notes Please contact us if you have questions about acceptable file formats and specifications.

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