Even if your business is small, you shouldn’t discount custom printing as a powerful branding tool; more than three-fourths (76%) of small businesses say that ideally, their marketing strategy would combine both digital and print communication strategies. And if you’re looking to brand your business while getting the most bang for your buck, banner printing services deserve your consideration. Vinyl banners are highly customizable, with commercial printing companies generally letting you choose your own size, color and design, allowing you to get the look you want for less than standard fixed signs.
Vinyl banners are also appropriate for many situations, and can be moved from place to place and easily hung both inside and outside due to their light weight. Here are three situations in which you might consider using a vinyl banner, and why:
- Corporate Events or Exhibitions
When your business attends busy trade shows or hiring fairs, a well-branded booth can draw higher-end clients or more qualified applicants to your table. While a hanging banner across the front of your table might be effective for those who are quite close, the crowds can obscure something displayed at waist level. Instead, consider vertical pop-up banners that sit on either side of your display. And since such pop-up banners are easily packed away and stored, you’ll be able to use them at event after event.
- Campaigns or Temporary Sales
If you’re working on a specific campaign or one-time sales, other types of large-scale print media may be too expensive to justify the investment. Vinyl banners, however, can give you a sleek and professional look at a low cost, making them a good choice even if you don’t intend to reuse them time and time again. They also hold up well to outdoor conditions; if your locale is particularly windy, you might consider custom printing your banners on vinyl mesh, rather than standard vinyl.
- Special or Formal Social Events
Large vinyl photo backdrops can be used to give any event some red-carpet glamour — even if you’re on a tight budget. Depending on the tenor of the event, you can go for a classic step and repeat banner branded with your logo, or you can mix it up with a more whimsical themed design. Either way, your brand will get attention every time the photos are shared (and there’s nothing more popular now than sharing photos).
How do you use custom printing to give your brand a boost in visibility? Share your ideas in the comments.
The “four P’s” of marketing (product, price, place and promotion) have influenced campaign after campaign for years, and they’re certainly still relevant. But if you’re trying to make relatable and effective print marketing materials, then the four P’s of branding might actually be more useful to you. Here’s how you can think about incorporating your company’s purpose, promise, personality and platform into print marketing:
It doesn’t matter whether you’re making a teeny-tiny postcard or a giant banner; the hardest part of print marketing is often editing down everything you have to say into a concise statement that will mean something to the reader. Clearly defining your business’ purpose — a one-sentence explanation of why your business exists — can help you do that. Even if the statement itself doesn’t make it onto the final product, you should compare every element you’re considering against your purpose. If they don’t fit together, then your marketing materials aren’t reflecting your company the way they should.
Your promise is what you can offer to your customers, and is essentially another way of thinking about your unique selling proposition. You have to be able to highlight not only what it is that you offer, but what you offer that other companies can’t. You might sell widgets, but what makes them different from your competitor’s widgets? Keep in mind when making promises that consumers aren’t as forgiving with companies as they are with politicians — once you make promises, you must expect to keep them.
Brands have personalities, just like people do, and you want your brand to appeal to people on an emotional level. Are you easygoing and likeable? Are you edgy and forward-thinking? Are you professional and traditional? Are you quirky and fun? Research what your target market prefers, and then project it. When it comes to print marketing, one of the strongest ways to convey personality is through choices of colors, fonts, graphics and images. That’s why it’s so important to work with a qualified graphic designer or marketer who has a solid understanding of how design choices affect people’s psychology. Especially if you’re creating marketing materials designed to draw in passers-by, you’ll have only a few seconds to make an impression.
This is where the technical details come in. The physical distribution of your purpose, promise and personality matter, and that means choosing a top-quality commercial printing company that can ensure that the print product you end up with reflects the quality and care you offer your customers. For small businesses, a digital printing company will probably be best; digital printing generally allows for lower minimum quantities than offset printing, has a quicker turnaround, is more accurate, and has fewer variations because ink and water don’t have to be manually balanced throughout the run. Digital printing is also the most affordable way to print customized materials such as direct mailers and letters. But no matter what printing techniques you choose, the final product should be representative of your brand.
How else can brands increase the effectiveness of their print marketing materials? Discuss in the comments.
Digital marketing may get more attention these days, but print marketing is still an important part of promoting businesses of all sizes. More than three quarters — 76% — of small businesses say that ideally, their marketing strategy would incorporate both digital and print communication. Because print marketing has been around for a while, there’s quite a bit of evidence of what works. For example, 84% of Americans will remember a company’s name if they receive a branded promotional gift bearing that company’s logo. There’s also evidence of what doesn’t work for print marketing. If you’re planning a print campaign, keep in mind these five mistakes that can cost your business big time:
Not Defining a Specific Target Market
The biggest mistake people make in marketing, across the board, is failing to define their target market and research that audience. You might hope that everyone will want to buy your product or become a client, but when it comes to getting a return on your advertising dollars, specificity is key. When it comes to types of advertising that are given directly to people, rather than simply displayed (think direct mailers, as opposed to banners or online ads), then brainstorming and researching in advance become even more important cost-wise.
Not Creating a Consistent Campaign
No matter what your goal is with a specific print marketing campaign, each and every aspect of a marketing plan must be consistent with your brand image. People’s eyes like consistency because it then takes less work for their brains to make the connections between what they’re seeing and what they’ve seen in the past; being recognizable is an important part of marketing your company as a whole.
Not Investing in Quality Materials
If your print materials look cheap, your company looks cheap. This is one reason why using a commercial printing company that can offer you high-quality products is so important; commercial printing services can create materials you could never match on your company’s office printer. Also keep in mind that digital commercial printing opens up options for unique applications, including special paper, specialty finishes, alternate printing surfaces or unusual sizing, so you may want to investigate using a digital printing company.
Not Remembering Repeat Customers
Typically, 80% of a company’s business comes from repeat customers. So while a direct mail marketing campaign or outdoor banners designed to bring in new customers are part of a good marketing plan, you shouldn’t forget to build loyalty among your existing customers with custom promotional gifts and similar tactics.
Not Doing Sufficient Editing
There are two elements to the editing that should occur on all print marketing materials. The first has to do with volume; you should scrutinize each individual aspect of promotional materials and decide whether it’s contributing to the overall message. The less prospective customers’ brains need to process, the better. And second, proofreading is an absolutely essential part of creating printed materials. The time to read carefully is before 10,000 copies have been printed.
Have you ever worked on a print marketing campaign? Share what went well and what you wish you could change in the comments.
When companies are looking to refresh their image, they often turn to the Internet first. But the reality is that quality commercial printing is still one of the strongest ways to build brand awareness and draw in new customers. If you feel your business is languishing, consider one of these three strategies — or a combination of all three — to give it a boost:
- Think Bigger
If you want to create a bold new campaign that sets you apart from your competitors, wide format printing (also called large format printing) is one way to make your printed materials stand out. Wide format printing might take the form of advertising banners — vinyl banners are a popular choice because they’re lightweight, durable, and easy to hang and rehang indoors or outdoors — barricade or building wraps, even vehicle wraps.There are a few specific design concerns to keep in mind when you’re anticipating wide format printing of a project (you can look at past entries in this blog for some easy-to-follow tips), but in general the idea is simple: Grab people’s attention and then share a simple impression or message they’ll remember long after they walk or drive past.
- Give ‘Em What They Want
One basic marketing principle that always rings true, even when inelegantly stated, is that people love free stuff. If you’re looking to build brand awareness, then promotional gifts are a solid strategy. Research shows that 84% of Americans who receive a gift bearing a company’s logo are able to recall the company’s name later.Print companies offer a wide variety of materials that can be branded as gifts. Think calendars, bookmarks, water bottles, coffee mugs and other useful items that people will carry with them in their daily lives. Not only might they consider becoming regular customers of your company, they’ll spread your brand as they simply go about their daily routines while using your gift.
- Try Some Classics
Don’t be so focused on keeping up with the times that you eschew older strategies that have been proven to work, such as direct mailers. In contrast to large ads, this is a focused strategy designed to hone in on your target audience and persuade them to give your company a shot.Direct mailers have been around for a long time, but modern printing methods have made them much easier to design and affordable to print. Digital printing companies can offer the most cost-effective ways to customize these marketing materials, since each one will need a unique name, address and code.
Which of these strategies appeals to you the most? Wide format printing projects? More focused efforts such as direct mailers? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Large format printing offers businesses some great options when it comes to outdoor advertising sure to stop passers-by in their tracks. You might want to start with advertising banners; these vinyl banners are lightweight, easily hung inside or outside, and reusable. They’re also highly customizable in terms of graphics, colors and sizes. If an advertising banner is too blasé for your company’s strategy, you can go for high impact with barricade or building wraps. These have a relatively low cost per square foot when compared to their advertising value, and can even reduce air and moisture infiltration into your building.
But designing for large format printing can be tricky no matter what the project is, especially if you lack significant design experience. The best option, if your company has the budget for it, is to work with a professional graphic designer who has a background in designing for commercial printing companies. But if you’re small enough that you need to keep your design process in-house, make sure you at least avoid these three common mistakes:
- Readability Problems:
In general, you should add an inch of height to your type size for every 10 feet of distance between the ad and your intended audience (10 inches is ideal for 100 feet, and so forth). Typography can add visual interest to your design, so you shouldn’t stick to Comic Sans. But some fonts can be extremely difficult to read at distances, even if appropriately sized. Whatever it is that you’re trying to convey (whether that’s professionalism or whimsy), you’ll probably want to find the simplest possible font that has the qualities you’re looking for. After all, what good is a large format sign if no one can read it? Also make sure that you don’t have too much text and that multiple lines of text have plenty of space between them.
- Poor Color Choices:
When it comes to large format printing, impact is the ultimate goal. That means that sticking to high-contrast, easy-to-achieve colors can be better in the long run than going through every single Pantone shade for the perfect robin’s-egg blue. Some research shows that yellow and blue have the highest impact of any color combination. In most cases, you’ll want to stick to two or three colors.
- Low Image Quality:
Even the best large format printing services can’t perform miracles; if you’re trying to use a 3×5 image blown up for a 15-foot banner, you’re going to run into some trouble. Take some time to educate yourself on DPI and check with your print company about image resolution before finalizing your design. You should also use a vector-based design program if possible to ensure all your graphic elements are scalable.
Do you have any other tips for designing for large format printing? Add them or ask questions in the comments.