Action Over Aesthetic

Lightning Fast Attention

In today’s day and age, we are constantly switching our attention in the matter of seconds. Attention is becoming more and more important as time passes by. Next time you’re on your phone or computer, step back and notice how fast you switch between apps, websites or posts.

Looks Aren't Everything

Beauty helps a little when it comes to collecting a following but really only truly plays at most a max 20%, leaving 80% to what, why and how efficiently you do what you do. You must nail down why you’re in business and your ability to 100% before you even start to consider the way your logo or presence will look like.

Trust to Satisfaction

People buy from those whom they trust the most. Sure they may like the way company A is presented online but if they’re known for missing due dates or simply not having quality products,  they will choose to go with company B regardless of their aesthetic because their mission statement is easily understood and kept up with.

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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USB Car Charger

Click here for a great promotional product idea:
USB Car Charger

Help your clients recharge easily during their busy day.
Everyone has a cell phone, pda or music player that needs recharging.
Everyone drives their car.
Everyone wants a car charger.
Your clients and potential clients will see your logo everyday with your USB Car Charger.
Perfect give away to get your brand noticed.

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March Madness Builds Morale

Did you know that even if you don’t shoot hoops or follow collegiate basketball, the friendly competition that typically surrounds March Madness can be a morale-booster and bring out team spirit in the workplace.

According to Melissa Doster, Gwinnett OfficeTeam branch manager for Robert Half International, “Many employees are taking on heavier workloads, so non-monetary benefits such as March Madness activities have an especially important role right now in keeping workers motivated in their positions.”

1. The NCAA basketball tournament is an opportunity for workers to bond as they talk about scores and root for their favorite schools.

2. Employers can hold viewing parties during a brown bag lunch or potluck meal.
3. Sponsor informal competition by encouraging employees to wear their favorite team’s apparel or decorate their workspaces in celebration with awards for the best team spirit.
4. If you’re interested in holding March Madness activities in your office, run the concept by your manager or the committee/individual who normally organizes social activities.

5. According to an OfficeTeam survey conducted in 2011, 57 percent of managers said group events tied to the playoffs are okay in moderation.
6. The same survey reported that 11 percent of managers welcome group events.
7. However, 32 percent felt NCAA basketball tournament activities shouldn’t be allowed in the workplace.
8. Only 20 percent of employees said they are distracted from work by major sports competitions.
9. Interestingly, in a separate 2010 survey, 41 percent of managers felt the college basketball playoffs have a positive effect on employee morale.
10. In fact, 22 percent believed the festivities actually increase workers’ output.
Checkout this week's featured product: Basketball Stress Ball (pictured above):
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Ad Trends Advertising Inc. Continues the Trend of Giving

Helping with more than a handful of our District events, Ad Trends Advertising, Inc. has made quite an impact in our learning community. This fall, the BSSD Cares program was launched to benefit families in the Blue Springs Community who have students in need of aid. The program was introduced at the business partners’ breakfast on September 24, 2010 and is heavily supported by Ad Trends. T-shirts designed specifically for the BSSD Cares program were given out to local businesses who attended. Ad Trends donated 150 shirts and will contribute $1.00 back into the BSSD Cares fund with any additional shirts that are purchased through the website The last Friday of every month is District Day, when businesses are encouraged to wear these shirts to support our students.

Partner Highlight – Mark Cromwell

Mark Cromwell, President of Ad Trends Advertising, Inc., a local business in Blue Springs, MO, has been a partner with the Blue Springs School District for 10 years. When asked about his motivation, Mark states: “All my children attended Blue Springs schools. They received a superior education and participated in many of the programs their schools and the School District offered. Blue Springs is a wonderful place to raise a family and I believe the School District is a large part of it. I wanted to give back to the School District that gave my family so much.”

Featured in the Partner Profile Newsletter produced by Blue Springs School District

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Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Email Marketing

Email marketing has grown tremendously over the years and it can benefit your business substantially. As with any type of marketing, email marketing takes a great deal of time and effort to insure it is working effectively.

There are many types of email marketing such as sending out periodical newsletters/ezines, sending out promotional emails and product updates, tutorials, etc.

Regardless of which type of email marketing you utilize, one important thing you must do is continually evaluate the effectiveness of your email marketing campaign. Do not let your email marketing go stale. You need to keep it alive, fresh and energized.

Below are 10 ways you can help energize your email marketing campaign:

Fresh and Helpful Content – Always be sure to include good, solid content. Check the content to make sure it is reliable. You want to make sure you are providing true, helpful information for your mailing list. Offer good resources, tools, tips and other content that will actually help your subscribers. This will help in building the foundation of the essential trust relationship between you and your mailing list members.

Make it Personal – Making your email more personal will help build trust and your reputation. You need to connect with your list and by making your emails more personal, warm and friendly, you will accomplish this task.

Grab Their Interest with Your Subject Line – Grabbing the readers’ interest with the subject line can make all the difference as to whether they open the email or just delete it. Keep the subject line short and to the point. Use words that will pique the readers curiosity and make them want to know more. Use power and/or action words such as new, innovative, secret, reveal, etc.

Which email would you open?
How to Increase sales or
New, Innovative Sales Strategy Revealed…

Be Available for Your Readers – There is nothing worse than emailing questions to a company about their products/services and waiting days or longer to get an answer. Make it a point to answer questions and concerns as soon as possible. Be as helpful and responsive as possible. You will be amazed at the difference this will make in your business.

Be Consistent – I know some people that will send out an email here and an email there – sometimes with months in between. This will never bring you any results. Send out your emails on a regular basis using the same design, layout and format each time. Keep them neat, clean and free from a lot of clutter. You want your readers to become familiar with your mailings.

Add New Features – Always be thinking of new features to add to your mailings to keep it fresh and alive. Add a Q&A section or do interviews with your readers. Give your readers a weekly challenge to accomplish to help them obtain their goals.Publish success stories. The possibilities are endless!

Offer Subscriber Only Specials – Let your subscribers know they are appreciated by offering them deals and specials that you would not offer anyone else. Give them an extra percentage off the price or give them a free gift in your mailings. Doing little things like this can go a long way for your business.

Get Your Mailing List Involved – Encourage them to email you with ideas, suggestions and feedback. Let them know you are willing to consider all their suggestions. Ask them if you can use their feedback. Post their questions with the answers to help all your readers. Make them feel like they make a difference because THEY DO!

Contests and Competitions – Hold contests and competitions for your subscribers and offer prizes. For example: Each week in my newsletter I have a trivia challenge for free advertising and a movie quote contest for a free e-book. They are a lot of fun and my subscribers let me know how much they enjoy it.

Offer Referral Incentives – Let your mailing list members know that if they refer people to your mailing list, they will be rewarded. Have contests on who can get the most referrals for a grand prize.

Business owners who successfully implement an email marketing campaign are likely to gain a huge advantage over those who don’t. But you must keep your email marketing fresh, alive, consistent and reliable. Keeping in contact with your mailing list members and providing them with useful, helpful information and resources will help build a solid foundation of trust with which to grow your business!

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Business Promotional Products Make Money

In the age of Internet advertising and social networking, it may surprise many business leaders to learn that one of the most powerful marketing tools are often perceived as toys. The power hitter in reference:  business promotional products!

Promotional products are the pens that feature a company name on the side, the coffee mugs that showcase a firm’s logo or the branded polo shirts at a golf tournament. Statistically speaking, one in every four people is likely to have one of these items on their desk at work or in their kitchen at home.

These advertising specialty products are often seen as benign trinkets, viewed as silly toys or maligned as ineffective gimmicks. A closer examination of this $18.1 billion (with a “b”) industry reveals promotional items are in fact highly productive marketing mediums if used properly.

Aside from their perceived image, promotional products are one of the essential “M’s” in the business development equation. Platinum Rainmakers, a leads-matching service for entre-preneurs, notes that if a company has a clear, viable mission and message that resonates with their targeted prospect but lacks the marketing and merchandising effort to connect both with their end user, then the selling effort is destined to fail. Promotional products are the surprising superstar that enables organizations (start-up to Fortune 500) to effectively take their mission and message to the world. And does so in a way that is memorable, affordable, customizable, flexible and amazingly successful.

A 2009 study of the advertising purchasing habits of end buyers, ranked promotional products as their top advertising choice over mainstream media including television, newspaper and internet. (Source: t Louisiana State University and Glenrich Business Studies.)

A second study, “Effectiveness Of Promotional Products As An Advertising Medium” conducted by MarketTools, Inc. evaluated the action, reaction and relationship of products and their recipients. The study found that:

  • 94 percent could recall a promotional product they had received in the past two years
  • 89 percent could also recall the advertiser
  • 83 percent reported that they liked receiving promotional products
  • 48 percent would like to receive promotional products more often
  • 69 percent generally keep the promotional product

 “The MarketTools study,” notes Steve Slagle, president of Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), “validates what we communicate every day about our industry: Business promotional products are the only media that consistently shows staggering results in end user recall and reaction.

Specifically, the study found that 80 percent of the study participants could clearly identify the type of promotional product; 74 percent could recall the company/brand, the product/service and the message advertised.” “Further,” adds Slagle, “when consumers were asked which particular action they took after viewing and/or receiving the promotional product, the study revealed that consumers made a purchase (20.9 percent) more often than after viewing a print ad (13.4 percent), TV commercial (7.1 percent) or online ad (4.6 percent).”

Just as a superior recipe can be an epicurean flop in the hands of an inept cook, business promotional products can be ineffective in the hands of marketers that lack the knowledge to optimize their value. Working with a seasoned industry professional can ensure the selection of the best product and the best campaign strategy that will produce results that can be substantive and exciting.

A recent campaign conducted by Erich Fischer, national Creative Technology guru, is a perfect example. His client was struggling with the diminishing traffic at their public workshops, down to as few as few as five attendees signed up for the last event. By incorporating PPAI type tactics (a tube mailer with a simple promotional item inside), the same client sold out (filled every seating space) at their next workshop.

Misunderstood and underestimated, business owners and marketers mustn’t be so obsessed with the flash of social networking or the sex appeal of Internet-based advertising that they forget the tremendous power of promotional product-based marketing tools. Promotional products, often perceived as just toys, are in fact power tools loaded with desired advertising clout.

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Top 10 Reasons You Need A Professional Logo

  1. Make a Good Impression. Before a customer walks in they have developed a first impression of your company by what your logo says about your business.
  2. Attract New Customers. An effective, memorable logo can inspire customers to do business with you or remember you when the time is right.
  3. Stand out from Competitors. Flip through the phone book and you’ll see a myriad of forgettable companies. Differentiating yourself from competitors with a logo is critical to winning over potential customers.
  4. Keep Loyal Customers. Don’t let competitors tempt away your best customers. If your brand and your logo are solid, your customers will be less likely to try the new guy around the corner.
  5. Build Trust with Professionalism. A professional logo will tell customers you’re good at what you do. A sloppy, boring or poorly executed logo conveys lack of ability and know-how.
  6. Tell Customers Who You Are. Every company has an emphasis, specialty or distinct quality that separates it from other businesses. The right logo will help customers decide if your company is right for them.
  7. Provide a Visual Association. Logos are the visual representation of a company’s brand—that is, their services, products and image in the customer’s mind. No logo means there’s nothing to help customers think of your business.
  8. Back Up Your Business. Most companies work hard to provide the best products or services in their industry, and a good logo can reinforce your efforts.
  9. Help People Remember You. Along with standing out, a professional logo will make it easier for customers to think of you when they have a need.

  10. Build Employee Morale. Employees who are proud of their company and their image will work harder, talk about the company more and help build a positive company image.
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