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. 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.

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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