Web Design, Graphic Design and Printing in Winston Salem, NC – Freedom Creative Solutions

(336) 602 – 1901
427 West End Blvd
Winston-Salem, NC 27101

Google My Business: Claim Your Piece of The World’s Best Search Engine

Digital V/S Printed Marketing: Which Is Better?

Digital V/S Printed Marketing: Which Is Better?

 

Marketing in the Digital Age comes with a lot of perks. The dynamic appeal of social media, the low cost of email campaigns, and the sheer data on targeted audiences and response rates make it a golden time to widen your reach and get your message out to the world.

But in this article, Freedom Creative Solutions going to share a secret with you.
Printed Marketing will never die.

What’s wrong with digital marketing?

Digital Marketing is big right now because of how technology has changed our lives. We now get most of our information from the screen, so we may as well get most of our ads there as well. There’s nothing wrong with that.

But like anything else, there are advantages and disadvantages to digital marketing. Most prominent among these disadvantages are over-saturation and credibility. As someone reading this article online, you already know what we’re talking about. When you visit most websites, ads line the sides of the screen, play ahead of videos, and sometimes pop up right over the content you’re trying to read.

Ask yourself: what did the last ad you saw actually say?

If you can’t remember, you’re not alone. There are simply so many ads, each one louder and more colorful and more invasive than the last, that the online audience is tuning them out. It doesn’t mean they never work, obviously. It just means the response rate on them is pretty low.

Add to that an online credibility crisis. Scams, false advertising, viruses… and dare I add, Fake News? It’s everywhere. It’s hard to know who or what to trust online, simply because online anonymity makes it so easy to lie. And that makes a deal that’s “too good to be true” seem like an easy-to-spot con game.

So why printed media, then?

Again, there are disadvantages in printed marketing, not the least of which being that you won’t have the same reach as digital marketing. Material costs, shipping, and sheer practicality means you won’t have quite as wide a net to cast.

The main advantage, though, is that you connect with your audience more deeply. And that leads to higher responses and more conversions.

A study by TrueImpact, a Canadian Neuromarketing Firm, discovered that between direct mail and email, their audience was able to recall brands from a postcard more often. (75% with direct mail, 44% with digital media.) Another study by Temple University noted that paper media activated what’s known as the ventral striatum, the part of the brain that science believes controls desire, decision making and reward-related behavior. You can read about both of those studies and more at this link.

This may sound like gobbly gook, but it all boils down to the fact that people, on a subconscious level, enjoy the tactile sensation of holding paper in their hands. Even in today’s digital smorgasbord of stimulus and information, people still connect more reliably with a letter or postcard they receive in the mail than with an email or banner ad.

Even ads people discard have an advantage when printed. If you get an email you don’t want to read, two or three clicks is all it takes to not only delete the email, but to permanently add those emails into a spam filter. With a postcard, even if you don’t want it, it still takes slightly more effort to get rid of. This means longer exposure to the message, and an increased likelihood that the customer won’t try to get off the mailing list. And that increases the odds of getting repeat exposure to the same message.

What do I do with that?

Well, as a composite Print Shop and Digital Marketing Firm, our advice is to learn your way around every tool in your kit. A strong presence on Facebook and a good Email Marketing Campaign can help you immensely. But, so can postcard mailings with targeted mailing lists. If you’ve got a brick and mortar location, well-designed storefront displays can definitely bring you business. It all depends on your business and how you build your strategy.

If you want some help, Freedom Creative Solutions has some tricks to maximize both your digital and printed marketing strategies, and we’d be happy to share them with you. But we’ll tell you here: even in this high-speed digital age, printed media will never stop being valuable.

Google My Business: Claim Your Piece of The World’s Best Search Engine

Google My Business: Claim Your Piece of The World’s Best Search Engine

Let’s talk about a powerful, completely free way to vastly increase your online marketing presence!

It’s 2019, and Google has been the most popular online search engine on the planet for about 15 years.  They aren’t slowing down, either, working every day to come up with new ways to improve searches.  And, luckily for us, to make it easier for businesses to get found!  Which brings us to Google My Business!

Pull up a tab right now in your browser, open Google and search for Freedom Creative Solutions in Winston-Salem.  To the right of the search results, you’ll see a box called the Business Profile.  You can see our name, phone number, address, website link, product photos, business hours, reviews, busiest times of the day, descriptions, blog posts and much more!  We can manage every bit of it, including events, specials, and review responses!  That’s a very powerful set of tools, and that’s not even the best part!

The real benefit to being part of Google My Business is that your local search rankings will see some love!  The process of creating and maintaining a GMB Account proves that your business exists and is active.  If you think about it, it’s a pretty clever tactic to ensure that Google’s Search Engine has the right information and details about your company. There’s also been industry research on local search factors, which shows how GMB is giving companies more oompf in the local searches than almost any other single source!

And yes, all of this is still completely free!

Why wait?  Search for your business name right now and see what comes up! Most of the time, any business name search is going to turn up a box with a Google My Business Profile.  You just need to grab your own!  You might see your organization’s profile just waiting for you to claim it!  If not, so long as you have a Google Account, you can build it from scratch in about 10 minutes. Head to this link (https://www.google.com/business/) and get started!

The instructions make setting this up very easy, and Freedom Creative Solutions is happy to help you if you get stuck.  In fact, we’re going to give you a few quick suggestions right now!

First of all, be sure all your information is right. Keeping your information correct across the web is always super important, and we’d suggest making GMB the template you use on other sites and directories. (You can read more about those at this link!)  But if you’re just now building your Business Profile, you’ll have to verify your company’s information with Google.  That usually means a postcard, which can take about a week to arrive.  If you alter your GMB address, phone, or business name afterward, you’ll probably have to reverify, which is a pain.

Just as important, though: keep your profile active!  Try to log in at least once a week, just to show you’re awake and engaged!  Google allows users to suggest information updates, which you’ll need to accept or reject.  When you get reviews, good or bad, reply to each and every one of them.  It allows you to interact with your audience and stay on top of complaints.  And lastly, make posts!  GMB isn’t a social media platform, but making a post once a week has been shown to help search results.  You can also link your social media profiles into your GMB, so it’s a win-win!

If you’re interested in other ways to boost your online presence, stay tuned to this newsletter!  We’ll be talking about how to create posts next time!  You can also contact Freedom Creative Solutions at 336-602-1901 and get more strategies to improve your marketing, online and otherwise!

 

Are Vehicle Graphics Good for my Business?

transous rooter and plumbing vehicle wrap by freedom creative solutions

Are Vehicle Graphics Good for my Business?

“Wraps are the lowest cost advertising for local businesses”

Do Vehicle Graphics Work?

A recent study by the American Trucking Association (ATA) reports that a single wrap can easily generate 30,000-65,000 impressions in a single day. That’s more than 16 million impressions a year! Further, studies by 3M and the ATA have found that:

98% of consumers feel fleet graphics created a positive image for the advertising company

96% said fleet graphics had more impact than billboards or other outdoor advertising media

91% of all people notice the words and images displayed on vehicle graphics

 

Will a Vehicle Wrap Damage my Paint and Can it be Removed Clearly?
Advances in vinyl adhesives have resulted in premium wrap materials that not only conform to your vehicle and stay in place for years but that also allow clean removability with no damage to OEM (original factory) paint jobs. It is vital that the highest quality wrap vinyl is used and that care is taken to ensure the curing and lamination as well as the installation of the wrap is done properly. A vehicle wrap is not the place to cut corners. Wrap cost estimates can vary widely and that is why you should only deal with a reputable vehicle wrap company that will take the time to explain the materials and processes used to create and install your wrap. The difference between a “cheap” wrap and a quality wrap can be measured in years of durability as well as potential for damage to your vehicles paint

How Long will a Wrap Last?
A quality wrap should last 5-7 years. Horizontal sections of the wrap such as on the hood, trunk and roof will experience faster degradation than the vertical surfaces. Also, perforated window film has a rating of 2 years but usually lasts much longer. Also, how the wrap is cared for will impact the longevity. A wrap in the Arizona desert will have a shorter life expectancy than one if the milder climates of North Carolina. Honestly though, a company should consider the value in updating their wraps periodically to keep them interesting and up to date. Thus, in terms of enhancing a wraps marketing value even more, we recommend looking to change out a wrap every 3-5 years.

How Much Does a Vehicle Wrap Cost?
Of course it varies but a full wrap printed on the highest quality vinyl media and laminated to ensure years of high impact advertising, your price will most likely fall in the 10-13 per sq. ft. range. As an example, a Toyota Camry may cost from $2400 to $3000. This includes from design to finished product. Over a 7 year period, this mobile advertising billboard will cost about $1 a day or less than a cup of coffee. A flat panel truck or trailer will be less per square foot. Also, the bigger the vehicle (big truck vs compact car), the lower the square ft price.

Are there Laws Resricting Vehicle Graphics?
There are little to no restrictions on advertising on a personal or company vehicle. This is a major reason vehicle advertising has become such a marketing phenomenon in terms of rapid adoption and successful results by companies nationwide.


How Long does the Wrap Process Take?
The actual time a company’s vehicle is needed for a wrap is for the installation which is usually a one to 2 day process. The entire wrap process from conception to installed wrap generally spans 2 weeks. Freedom Creative Solutions starts with a free initial consultation regarding design and expectations of the client followed by a survey of the vehicle. This survey generally takes 1-2 hours. Once the survey is completed, an initial design idea is proposed. Once the client approves a design direction, 5-20 hours of design time are put into creating the vehicle wrap. Once the final design is approved, printing, curing, laminating and installing the wrap is generally a 5 day process.

How do I Wash my New Wrapped Vehicle?
It is recommended to hand wash your wrapped vehicle. In general, avoid power washing. Brushing windows and the use of a rear defroster will cause no damage to your window wrap. Also we recommend not using the rear wiper as the blade may damage the graphics over time.

Are Wraps only used for Advertising?
Increasingly, wraps are being used by private individuals who simply want to customize the look of their vehicle. From a simple color change to a reproduction of a favorite design, painting, etc… Carbon fiber, snake skin, gold flake…the only limit is the imagination!

Does Freedom Creative Solutions Wrap Anything other than Vehicles?
Yes. We can wrap boats, forklifts, water coolers, porta-johns, elevators, tables, file cabinets; even an entire office building…almost anything can be turned into a business building billboard!

 

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Are You Sitting on a Marketing Gold Mine?

Are You Sitting on a Marketing Gold Mine ?

Are You Sitting on a Marketing Gold Mine?


“I believe this is the single most important AND overlooked resource by businesses.”

It is a simple truth: If someone has bought something from you and was happy with the purchase, they are much more likely to buy from you again than someone you’ve never done business with. Creating and maintaining an in house list of everyone you do business with is the best marketing resource available to most businesses. 

Your marketing plan should include frequently contacting and reminding current and past customers to buy again or informing them of other offerings from your company. Of course, you can purchase targeted mailing lists from companies like ours to find new customers but don’t neglect your current clients.

 

I believe this is the single most important AND overlooked resource by businesses. This data is worth it’s weight in gold. Too many businesses let vital contact info slip through the cracks but there is absolutely no good excuse for not collecting contact information from those that already appreciate your goods or services.

How do I collect & keep up with this data?

1. How you collect data will depend on your business. If possible, when you make a sale, ask your customers to sign-up for specials. Also, provide a sign-up page for specials on your website. If you have a blog or newsletter, encourage your customers to subscribe to receive it or be notified when you post new info. Have a contact us page or request a quote page on your web site that collects data.

2. Find time to type this info into a database. Your computer probably has excel or some other database program it, but I recommend using something like Google docs if you have a Google account. Google docs and other online services offer free online spreadsheet programs. You will be able to access and update your customer database from anywhere – even your smartphone.

3. How do you set up the database? At the minimum, Your database should have separate fields for company name, first name, last name, email address, address, address 2, city, state, zip, and notes. I have created a sample database layout at this link to demonstrate what I am suggesting.

4. How can you use the database effectively? This depends on your type of business but through utilizing emails and direct mail and perhaps phone calls in a cohesive and well-planned manner can dramatically increase your bottom line.

If you need further assistance and want to learn more about marketing to your in house list or to targeted prospects, don’t hesitate to contact Freedom Creative Solutions. 336-602-1901.

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