Blog
03/15/2018

There is always the danger when you’re posting material on social media that it will be missed by your target audience. Consider the newsfeeds on Facebook as an example. The user can log into their account and all of the latest information should be right there on their newsfeed. But what if you posted four hours ago and their newsfeed is packed with updates from their friends and relatives who all appear to be having a great day at work? Chances are, they don’t get to see your post.

Knowing the best time to post on social media is not that easy because there are so many factors to take into consideration. Think about your audience. How old is your target audience? If you aim your products at teenagers then later afternoon evenings, and weekends are probably the best time to post – during the day on weekdays they are at school and you could easily miss them. Think about the time zone that they live in too. Then consider the type of social media they are using. Are you aiming your services at young professionals? LinkedIn is the type of social media site that professionals will use mainly during the working day as they often post information related to their business.

To determine the best time of day to post, use the same content but post it several times. Check the traffic for the site at regular intervals and you will soon be able to see which of the posts has been seen by the most people.

You should also make sure that you check out the competition. See what time of the day they’re posting content, and watch out for comments on their posts, so you can see when people are responding. It may be that you find it more beneficial to post online when your competition is out of the office, such as on Sundays.

The important thing to remember is that things change and in the modern world they change very quickly. Even when you find a system that works for you it is essential that you check regularly to make sure that the same patterns are being used.

Similar factors should be taken into consideration when emailing people. However, this offers you more flexibility as emails will simply stay in a person’s inbox until they are ready to read them, but some people are less likely to read old emails. This is why it can be a good idea to do this during the working day when most people check their emails regularly. If you are replying to emails sent to you by customers then the general rule is to respond as quickly as possible with a full answer if you can. Customers appreciate a rapid response and are therefore more likely to take notice of email and social media postings.

Optimum times for social media and emails will be different for every business, which is why it is so important to do the research. This is something that may take a little time but will definitely pay dividends.

These days anybody can find out almost anything simply by enlisting the help of Google. If you want to know more about a company or brand the information is always there at your fingertips and you really need to consider this when you are planning your marketing strategy. There is no point promoting your latest product as the cheapest on the market if people can find out in a matter of seconds that it is actually one of the most expensive. This means that your marketing strategy needs to be transparent.

Honesty pays

Firms that have opted for transparency in their marketing tend to attract more customers because customers trust them more. And this in turn means that customers will be prepared to pay more. A good example of this is a restaurant that has a good reputation. People might know that it is a little more expensive than its rival across the street but are happy to pay the higher price for a good quality product.

When should you be transparent?

It is important to consider the overall customer experience when you are deciding on how transparent you should be. Consider two offers from different companies. The first company is offering a free item on every order if the customer spends over $100. The second company has the same offer. However, the first company has chosen to hide the detail of the minimum $100 spend in the small print while the second company makes this detail stand out in the advertisement. Which company would you trust more? It is the same offer with the same restrictions, but you might be less inclined to trust a company that isn’t clear on all the details.

Admitting shortcomings

There are going to be times when you won’t want to be transparent, but there are occasions when it can pay off. Some organizations may be concerned that admitting to a fault will damage their business in the long term, but there are some examples that show that drawing attention to shortcomings can be beneficial.  A well-known pizza brand used poor reviews in an advertising campaign to demonstrate how they had improved. Showing that you can face up to faults and then take steps to put them right helps to build consumer trust.

One of the reasons that consumers are drawn to transparency is that it is not something that is seen very often. Some businesses claim to be transparent but then do not back up the claims with the right actions. Consider the old adage ‘show not tell’. Consumers will be more inclined to trust your marketing strategy if they can see that you are being transparent than if you simply tell them that you are. This is something that requires more effort but it is worth putting that time and energy in because it will pay dividends in the long term.

If you want to maximize business in 2018, then your marketing strategy has to be a priority. While it isn’t always recommended to follow every marketing trend there is, there are a few that you should definitely consider to boost your organization’s profile next year.

Personalization

The ability to offer a unique customer experience is going to be a very important part of any marketing strategy. This is something that needs to be tailored to the requirements of the individual and has been shown to be far better than a standard marketing campaign that treats all customers the same. It is thought that personalizing calls to action can see an improvement in conversion rates of more than 40%.

Mobile first

Search engines are now paying more attention to mobile sites and this means that you should too. More and more people are using their smartphones to search for what they want online so creating a positive mobile user experience is essential. A survey has shown that people are around 60% less likely to buy from a brand if their mobile site is not user-friendly.

Video marketing

This is something that is not just a trend. Every year video marketing is growing in popularity. People who view video are more likely to make a purchase than those who do not. The potential with video is huge, from basic instruction videos to targeted video ads. It is strongly felt that marketing experts and brands who are not investing in video marketing are missing a strong opportunity for promotion.

Native advertising

Native ads are a type of ad that blend in really well with existing content. Most people who see them will not even realize that they are ads. These are non-disruptive, so appear to fit in very well with the rest of the content on the site. People have a tendency to block pop-up ads and banner ads, which can be irritating and have a negative impact on the user experience so this form of advertising is a much more user-friendly option.

 Geotargeting and geofencing

Geotargeting is an instant form of marketing and uses the user location to target the advertising. This is done through an app, via a website or text or even just an online ad. As a smaller part of this, geofencing will aim advertising at those who are within a specific area. This is something that businesses based in specific locations can benefit from, helping them to build a strong relationship with their customer base and make it easier to expand that customer base.

Taking notice of what is happening in the marketing world is essential if you want to be able to take advantage of it. Many of the different trends mentioned here has the potential to change the way that you do business and help you to expand sales, meeting higher and higher targets as 2018 progresses.

10/26/2017

The reality of commercial embroidery is such that digitized logos will often work perfectly in a test environment but when it comes to production the wheels will fall off the bus and edits will be required.  Take a look at the image below.

The top sample is straight off a sample machine.  The bottom logo is from an embroiderers production machine.  The registration issues shown in the bottom sample are clear.  The problem becomes, “how do I fix this?” (more…)

Welcome To Cora’s Corner, where every month I am going to help you with

your artwork issues. This month I would like to discuss why trade shows are necessary to attend when you are considering artwork issues and requirements.

I just attended the SGIA Trade Show in New Orleans. It’s the largest printing industry trade show event in North America. All printing disciplines are represented there. It’s a great show to get a glimpse of the future of the printing industries. It’s also a great show to see what you can do to expand your business or better utilize what you have already. How printing is done is rapidly changing. That means how artwork is created and processed is rapidly changing too. What you can offer your customer depends on how up to date you stay with what is happening in the printing/decorating industry. There are new software, tools, materials and equipment to run your business and produce products for you customers. (more…)

Figuring out what it is that people are looking for online is important when you’re building a business, so you need to acquire a little expertise in this field in order to keep your content relevant. That might sound like a lengthy, expensive and laborious process, but all it takes is a little research and the right applications. Take a look at a few of these and see which ones can help to keep your content relevant to today’s market.

Buzzsumo

This is just one tool that will help you to create your entire content marketing strategy, helping you to find relevant keywords and guidance with planning your content marketing strategy. When you type in a search query, the system will give you a list of articles that relate to your topic and which have been searched by others. You can use filters to narrow down the results. You can select the most popular publications that relate to your industry and filter articles from rival sites. This tool will also help you to monitor your marketing campaigns to see how successful they are.  There is a free trial but for all the features you will need to take out a subscription. (more…)

I think one of the biggest areas of confusion in the Apparel Decorating Industry is a clear definition of what Vector Art really is and how it is used to print on apparel.  Unfortunately Vector Art is a term that has been commoditized the way Kleenex is used to describe all brands of facial tissue.   Unfortunately vector art is a discipline on to itself and many times consumers will request a piece of art be “vectorized” when the process of recreating a piece of art in vector format is entirely inappropriate.

This conversation could easily get very technical but the point is not to numb you into submission with fancy terms and lofty jargon. Rather it is to try an help you better understand what can and cannot be done with vector art.

To go further let’s discuss the image below. This is very typical of art Qdigitizing will receive with instructions that go something like this, “Please vectorize this image so I can print on t-shirts.”

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09/26/2017

Welcome To Cora’s Corner, where every month I am going to help you with your artwork issues. This month I would like to discuss doing custom work.

Custom means to create unique artwork that fits a specific customer’s needs.

In a recent report done by Research and Markets Research Store they stated, “custom t-shirt printing market is expected to witness significant growth with increasing disposable income, shifting trends towards fashionable apparels particularly in developing nations is expected to drive the demand for custom printed t-shirts. In addition, advancement in print-ing technology to print t-shirt with multiple color and design is also driving the growth of Custom Unisex T-shirt Printing market globally.”

They also stated, “Based on printing technologies, custom t-shirt printing market is classified into screen printing, digital printing and plot printing. Screen printing is a conventional technique used for t-shirt printing across the world and accounted for the largest revenue share. Screen printing technique is expected to maintain its dominating position through the forecast period 2016 – 2023. The growth of custom t-shirt printing market is strongly influenced by adoption of digital printing technology. Introduction of low priced solutions and advancement in inkjet heads that enables the use of variety of inks from different suppliers are expected to increase the adoption of this printing technique for custom t-shirt print-ing. Digital printing technique is also expected to benefit from immensely changing fashion trends which demands shorter production cycles and high quality prints. Digital printing technology is positioned to witness fastest growth in the next six years with rising awareness about benefits of this technology and advancement in inkjet technology.”

However, it doesn’t mean you have to start from scratch. (more…)

Good customer service doesn’t mean just looking after the happy customers – occasionally you are going to get a bad review but with careful handling this does not have to translate into a negative impact on your business. Keep the following tips in mind when handling unhappy customers on social media.

Listen

When a customer is unhappy they want to feel as though somebody is taking their concerns seriously. If possible, try to monitor mentions of your company, brand, and any hashtags you use so that you don’t miss any negativity. Then you need to ensure you have noted the specific concerns so that you can address these in your response.

Timely response

On social media, people notice just how quickly you respond to negative feedback. While it isn’t always possible to answer instantly, having a target time in place is a good idea. Larger companies can often have a member of staff continually monitoring feedback so that replies can be arranged quickly, but for smaller companies this isn’t always possible. Ensure that your opening hours are displayed on your Facebook page and other important social media accounts, so that those who do leave negative feedback when you aren’t around won’t expect an immediate answer. During opening hours, unfortunately, taking more than a couple of hours to respond is seen as being dismissive and studies show that most members of the public expect you to reply within an hour. (more…)

Welcome To Cora’s Corner, where every month I am going to help you with

your artwork issues. This month I would like to discuss things to consider while designing and printing your garments.

DESIGNING

Tips that are especially important to keep in mind when designing for t-shirts. Some of them are more or less unique to this type of design and thus easy to overlook.

Let’s get going.

1. Who is your intended audience?

This obviously only applies if you are designing for a client rather than yourself. Yet surprisingly, even experienced designers often confuse the two situations, especially when something like clothing, which depends much on personal taste, is concerned. Think about who the intended wearer is, and what they would go for.

2. Image size.

That is the size of your design, but with more of an emphasis on how that size relates to its surroundings: in this case, a t-shirt to be worn. Your level of detail, or even your shape, might look cool on a computer screen, but weird when reduced (or inflated, as the case may be) to fit the standard screen printing platen. The best thing to do is print out your design periodically and actually hold it up against your own body, to make sure everything looks right. (more…)