Customized Story Filters Are Everything!

All big social media apps like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat have stories or something like it. Snapchat was the first to have stories on their platform but was later added to Instagram and Facebook. It is safe to say that stories receive a massive amount of attention and growth over the years.

Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook allow you to post pictures and videos; if you are using Instagram, you can use their boomerang feature. Story posts are only available from the next 24 hours from when the picture or video is posted. This allows your viewers to be much more immersed and up to date with your movements and progress. Snapchat also supports virtual games that you can play with your face. Yup, your face.

If you know a little of Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, you can create your own custom filters. Having your own filter allows you to expand the feel of your brand. As a business, this is a perfect opportunity to promote any new projects launches you may working up. Customized filters are also great for party’s and gatherings. Snapchat.com allows you to upload your own custom filters and tag the location you want your filters to be accessed. Check out our very own Christmas 2018 story filter above!

Think we should make a tutorial on making story filters? Comment down below and let us know!

NEVER Focus On One Social Media Platform

Knockout Power

Social media is to be used as a form of sharing with larger audiences. People keep up and follow people who they get honest value from. Chances someone shares valuable content compared to its counterpart are exponentially higher. Furthermore, your audience is likely to stick around if they know they are going to be learning something new, but most importantly, it gives you leverage.

When the day comes that you launch your product or service, your audience will find it easier to buy from you because of the value they have received over the years. Yes, that’s right, years. Nothing will come easy and it is exactly as it sounds. There is a hefty amount of work you will have to do in order to land your right hook for the knockout. Too early and you could possibly lose some of your audience.

All the colors of Content

The best kind of content you could produce is videos. We say videos because not only is it a great form to share information and build relationships. Videos can be broken down into smaller (macro) content that can be designed for posts on different social media platforms; this also leads into the question “What content should go on which platform?”

Let’s start with the biggest one, video. Full length videos need to be posted on youtube and/or both IGTV (Instagram TV). IGTV was recently launched by Instagram allowing its users to upload up to 10 minute videos with larger accounts being able to upload 1 hour long videos. Shorter clips of video and promos go on Instagram, twitter, facebook and snapchat. Twitter is a tricky one; twitters platform is optimized for problem solving and communication between supplier and consumer. This can range from reaching out to a user directly or quickly informing the public of any announcements.

Last but not least, all video forms of your content can be stripped down to just audio formats that can be uploaded to Anchor, ITunes Podcasts or services alike as podcasts. We highly recommend you guys to make video content that way if any of these other platforms mentioned above gets taken down, you will have the next best thing in line already pushing content.

The Most Important Reasons Why You Should Brand Your High Schools and Middle Schools

                Branding allows you to give your school's family an identity coupled with purpose. It clearly establishes a sense of well-being, and aligns the pursuit of your school’s mission. Branding makes it easier keeping track on field trips and extracurricular activities, and staying positive about the community you’ve worked so hard to build. It also helps you differentiate yourself from other schools and visually communicate throughout your school what your overall goal is.

                Letting us design the inside and outside, walls, floors or windows, brings a powerful sense of belonging. We’ll make sure to guide you and give you our vision of your schools potential before taking this big leap. Another added bonus to window graphics is the extra edge of security it brings to your students and staff. With schools, unfortunately becoming a more targeted place; counteract this with peace of mind by blocking unwanted eyes on the inside. When our window graphics are installed, people on the inside are able to look out but on the outside you can’t.

                As you may have known by now, the sky is the limit when it comes to branding. Our last but very important recommendation is for your school to brand on spirit wear. Does not matter if it is for sports or clubs; it is a must. Let your students and staff wear your mission proudly wherever they go.

Thermo Backpack Bag for wellness programs

Perfect for day trips, sporting events, wellness programs, seminars and much more.
Features: 80 GSM premium non-woven polypropylene backpack with insulated interior compartment with Velcro® closure, small interior utility pocket, external mesh knit pocket, 1-inch reflective stripes, black draw cords, and carrying handle.

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Custom Glitter Shirts by Ad Trends Advertising, Inc.

Custom Glitter Shirts

Add some glam to your apparel collection with these custom glitter shirts!  Whether your looking for a way to stand out in a crowd or just want to have some fun with something fun and uniqe, these shirts are the perfect solution.

Custom Glitter Shirts are great for:Custom Glitter Shirts for Schools
  • Company Events/Trade Shows
  • Employee Gifts
  • Sports teams
  • Dance and cheer teams
  • Teachers and Staff
  • Sororities
  • Salons
  • Fundraisers

Set your brand apart at your next trade show or boost your school pride by adding some sparkle to your design.  This glitter can be applied to most garments made of cotton, plolyester, or a blend of the two.   We use high quality glitter flake heat transfer vinyl.  This has a fine texture and shimmer, and is the truest representation of hued glitter.  This is a durable vinyl and the glitter flakes will not fall off in the washing machine.

Call Ad Trends Advertising, Inc. today to speak to a friendly customer service representative! 816.228.1123

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Seven Selling Mistakes that Cost You Marketing Dollars

A guest blog by Mike Montague, Certified Sales Trainer at Sandler Training Kansas City

Most businesses these days seem to take a sales or marketing approach to business development instead of a sales and marketing approach. We have found that these common mistakes in sales can cost you a lot of marketing dollars and a lot of lot revenue from potential sales. If you are looking for a better return on your marketing budget, you might try looking at your sales department
first.

1.  You don’t tightly target your prospects.

When business is slow, the temptation to tell your story to whomever will listen is great.  After all, talking to someone – anyone – is more productive than sitting at your desk waiting for a potential customer to call.  Right?

Maybe not. Be choosy about the people to whom you “tell your story.”  Use your existing customer base to identify the characteristics of your best customers.  With that information, develop a profile of your “ideal” customer.  Then, search out prospects that most closely fit the profile.  You may meet with fewer people, but you’ll close more sales. This profile should be developed with both the sales and marketing teams.

2.  You’re not sufficiently selective about the prospects with whom you meet.

Expressing an “interest” in your product or service is not a strong enough reason to schedule an appointment with a potential prospect. Find out why prospects are interested and what sparked their interests before you schedule appointments.

If prospects’ “interests” aren’t backed by recognized needs or desires for your product or service - now or in the immediate future - then there’s no compelling reasons to meet with them.  The objective of scheduling appointments is to start the selling process… not to make friends or have pleasant conversations. Use the marketing department to score the leads and nurture them until they are “sales ready”.

3. You don’t command control of prospect conversations.

When you get qualified leads from your marketing, you should prevent the conversations from meandering in several different directions, make it clear at the time you schedule appointments that the primary objective of the meetings is to determine if your product or service is appropriate to meet the prospects’ needs, and that the focal point of the conversations will be to explore and understand those needs. Buyers are more prepared and educated than ever… you don’t want to back-track, you want to help them take the next step towards a sale.

4.  You’re not properly prepared for meetings.

All too frequently, salespeople take for granted hot leads generated by the marketing department. They forget about the hard work and dollars invested into creating them, and they assume the sales or don’t prepare like they should.

Can you answer the following questions about your next prospect appointment?

  • What are the first three questions you’ll ask the prospect after you say, “Hello”?
  • What questions will you ask to create rapport and get to know the prospect?
  • What questions will you ask to explore the prospect’s need and home in on the underlying reasons for or events that precipitated the need?
  • What commitment(s) will you ask for if there is a fit between what the prospect needs and what you can provide?

If you haven’t identified and rehearsed the questions you’ll need to ask to start the meeting, explore the prospect’s requirements, qualify the opportunity, and systematically move the meeting to an appropriate conclusion, then you’re NOT prepared. Hot leads should be treated no differently than self-generated leads.

5.  You neither establish credibility nor demonstrate expertise.

When meeting with prospects, your job is to help them view their situations from different perspectives… and discover elements or aspects of their situations they didn’t previously recognize.  To accomplish that, you must not only be knowledgeable about your product or service, but also about the specific reasons people would need it, the situations that would create the need, and the consequences of not adequately or appropriately addressing the needs.

And most importantly, you can’t just tell them! Prospects can get information from your marketing, but you must be able to ask questions in such a manner as to help prospects make those “discoveries” through a conversation.  Here’s an example:

When you asked your production manager to measure the injection pressure differential between the beginning and end of the production cycle and determine to what extent it contributed to the casting inconsistencies, what did he report?

Educating your prospects through intelligent questions demonstrate your understanding of their problems and your grasp of what it takes to appropriately solve those problems. It is perhaps the single most important skill to master in modern selling.

6. You don’t ask “tough” questions.

To be valuable as a salesperson, you must be able to identify core aspects of situations, define elements at the center of controversies, uncover root causes of problems, discover carefully guarded information, and obtain rarely volunteered commitments.  You won’t be able to accomplish any of those tasks without asking tough questions. Again, websites and marketing materials can explain features and benefits, but only great salespeople can ask and answer tough questions.

And, you must be willing and able to ask those tough questions confidently and consistently, knowing that you may not like the answers you obtain, because they are essential to qualifying or disqualifying the opportunity.

7. You rush to make presentations.

Many salespeople are too eager to make presentations.  They view them as opportunities to establish the value of their products or services by demonstrating their unique aspects.  You can’t establish value, however, until you have determined which aspects, if any, are relevant to the prospects’ situations.

The real purpose of presentations is to confirm your ability to deliver the solutions prospects are predisposed to buy.  How do you know what prospects are predisposed to buy?  You determine it by having really great conversations with your prospects. Until you know what and why you are presenting, you should refrain from making presentations.

Making presentations before thoroughly qualifying opportunities will almost surely guarantee that you leave those presentations not with decisions, but only prospects’ promises to “think it over.” Don’t cool off your lead from the marketing department, instead take it from warm to HOT by discussing the prospects situations and understanding why they are considering your help.

Make the most of your marketing and sales opportunities!

In some companies, the relationship between marketing and sales can be a tenuous one. However, if both departments work together, the harmony can take your organization to the next level. Marketing can become sales enablement specialist who create and nurture leads, and then escort them over to sales at the perfect time when they need individual consulting. The sales team can relax and become closing conversation masters that bring the expertise of a trusted advisor who solves problems and removes road blocks for prospects. Both departments can work together to create and atmosphere and environment that allows the customer to buy, and enjoy doing it!

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This is a guest blog by Mike Montague, Associate and Certified Trainer at Sandler Training Kansas City. Sandler Training empowers their clients to achieve higher levels of success through innovative training courses in sales, management, and customer service for companies and individuals around the Kansas City area.

Click here to attend a complimentary sales seminar, “The Psychology Behind The Sale.”

Let Your Brand Flow!

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Mini Blaster Plunger - Let Your Brand flow!

Plunge your way into your prospects home or office!  This powerful mini plunger displaces more than six cups of water with each plunge.  It is ideal for unclogging sinks, toilets and drains.  You know what they say...big things come in small packages and this Mini Blaster Plunger is no exception.

These branded plungers are great for homes and RV’s!

 

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Contact a friendly salesperson at Ad Trends Advertising, Inc. for more information 816.228.1123.

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What Your Content Says – And What it Says About You (part 1)

contentLast week we talked about backlinks and how important they are to your site, and this week we are going to be talking about your onsite content. Some of you SEO pros out there might think I discussed these backwards – the onsite is more important than the backlinks. This I know, but there is a method to my madness. Let me explain:

Backlinking is a process that can take a long time to finish – some may say that it’s never done – while onsite optimization is something you want to do while you’re building your site. So the onsite should be completed first. That, young sir, is correct. However, when you’re building your site you want to make sure that you are putting the right content for your site up. So this isn’t something that you want to go about “all willy-nilly”. You want to make sure that you hire a professional to write the content, or if you feel like you’re able to handle it, make sure that you’re putting quality information on your site.

This week, we’ll talk about the basics:

The content on your site – on every page – should in some way talk to the main point of the page. If you are a plumber and you are talking about sink installation, every sentence should in some way go back to that keyword – sink. Keyword? That’s right, you want to make sure that you have designated a “focus keyword”for the page and build your content from there. From the focus keyword, you’re going to build off several other keywords that should be in content somewhere:
- Sink installation
- Installing a sink
- Sink maintenance
- Etc.
On-Site-content
These keywords being found in the content along with having to do with the focus keyword will help search engines find your page above other plumbers’ pages that talk about sink installation. Simple right?

Well, you have to make sure that you have around 300 words per page and you cannot just put the word “sink” in the content 100 times and say you’re done. Those smart guys at Google have figured that out. So, what do you do? You have to create good content so that it makes sense to the reader and has the keyword in there once about every 15 words or so – about a 5% occurrence. Seem a little complicated?

Not to worry – here at AdTrends Advertising Inc we have professional SEO Copywriters and SEO professionals to make every one of your pages be found easily and make your site start ranking!

Next week’s blog is going to go a little more in depth about onsite content, and talk a little more about keywords (my favorite!).

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How Mobile Are You?

computers and mobile phoneI don’t mean how well can you move about in the world, I mean is your website set up for mobile browsing? Or, to put it another way – when somebody goes to your website on their mobile device (smartphone, tablet, or reader), how easily are they able to go through your site?

A quick little fact; by 2014, mobile internet usage will overtake desktop internet usage. For some of you that might not sound right. But think of it like this; when you are on the couch at night watching television and a commercial or a fact comes up that you want to research really quickly. Do you get up from your couch and look it up on your computer in the other room, or do you pull out your phone and look it up? If you’re like most people, you whip out your phone or tablet and look it up real quick. Most people only use their desktop computers for working or if they are doing something major – but for the most part they are using their mobile devices.

So the question remains; how mobile are you?
future_search1
Creating a mobile website is not a monumental task, but it can take quite a bit of work if you don’t know what you’re doing. Though, this work is well worth it if done right. A few more quick little facts: 75% of mobile users use their mobile device for shopping, 95% of mobile users use their devices for local search, 9 out of 10 mobile searches result in a purchase or visit. There are several more facts that I can tell you, but I think you get the idea. Putting your website onto a mobile platform is a very lucrative move for your business.

One of the biggest rules in business is that you have to adapt to survive – so the change is on the horizon, are you ready to adapt? Contact Ad Trends Advertising today to talk with one of our sales reps about how mobile marketing can work for you.

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Backlinks and Your Ranking – What Does it Mean?

For any of you out there that have a business and a website for that business there is always the lingering question; “How can I get my website to be shown on the first page of search engines?” The answer, is simple; SEO and Backlinking. The application, however, is a little more complex. links

If you don’t know what the term SEO is, it stands for (S)earch (E)ngine (O)ptimization, meaning optimizing your place (or rank) on search engines like Google, Yahoo!, Bing, Ask, Aol, Dogpile, etc. So in order for your customers to see you quickly when they search for something you do (promotional products in Kansas City, for example) your website needs to be “optimized” in order to show up above your competitors. Before getting too far ahead, let me state that this will be one part of several upcoming blogs discussing SEO.

The question still remains; “How do I get my site to rank higher than my competition?” One of the major factors that help SEO rankings is something we call “backlinks”. If you have never heard of this before, don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Backlinks (sometimes known as incoming links, inlinks, or inbound links) are any links that are directed to your webpage or blog. So what does that mean? Anytime another webpage or blog-page has a link on their page that is directed back to your site, you have a backlink. Why are backlinks so important? Simply put, they are a “checker” for search engines to know that your site or blog is relevant, has fresh content, and is an actual site (not a spammer site). How many backlinks is a good number to have? Great question: thousands! The more links you can get, the better. Unlike cookies or cake, the more you have the better for you they are. How long does getting thousands of backlinks take? Again simply put, a long time. Trying to obtain as many links to your website as humanly possible is a very long and arduous process and trying to get them without the proper knowledge will frustrate and confuse many people attempting it. So the number of links to your site is the only thing that matters? I wish. But along with having as many links as possible, you want to make sure that the links are QUALITY backlinks. And the trick of good SEO work is finding those quality backlinks for your industry and website. seo-hosting

Hope that last line didn’t damper this post. But don’t fret about your site too much – if you aren’t on the first page ranking or your site is low on backlinks, we are here to help; we have SEO professionals here that can get your site ranked!

Next part we’ll talk about is how important your on-page content is – what your website says and what that says about you.

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