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.

Does a cluttered desk really lead to a cluttered mind?

Neatniks will argue that a tidy and orderly work area is absolutely essential to doing effective work. Messier people, on the other hand, will argue that there is a “method to the madness” and that clutter does not necessarily translate to disorganization.

You may be comfortable with some papers or books piling up on your desk, but it is important to recognize when a chaotic workspace begins to hinder your work productivity.
Does it take you 20 minutes to locate the report you need for a colleague? Do you have a hard time focusing on the task at hand because of the mess around you? If so, it might be time for a little spring cleaning to clear your desk and your mind.

Work Productivity Through Organization

1. Start with the papers.

The flurry of papers that descends on your desk every day can be challenging at best, seemingly impossible at worst, to tame. Begin with this spring cleaning task because it is usually the most difficult, and everything else will be easy by comparison.

Divide your papers into piles according to category, then file them in a way that you will be able to find and access them easily. This can be as simple as clearly labeling file folders and keeping them in a rack on your desk or as intricate as color-coding and alphabetizing folders in a large filing cabinet—use whatever system works for you, just as long as every paper has a home. Ask for help from an organizationally gifted colleague if you are having trouble getting started. If you maintain this system, you will notice a positive change in your work productivity.

2. Find a place for everything.

Are you familiar with the saying, “A place for everything, and everything in its place”? Many times, a messy workspace is created when you simply don’t know where to put your possessions. Look closely at your desk and its drawers and identify the items that always seem to be in the way and have nowhere to go. Now think of a solution you can implement to improve your organization. For example, if you have a habit of pasting Post-It reminders all over your desk and then losing track of them, consider putting them up on a bulletin board instead. If you have a drawer full of loose paperclips, pens and highlighters, buy a segmented drawer organizer to make it easier to find what you need.

3. Get your hands on cleaning products.

When was the last time you actually wiped down your desktop or computer? A lot of dust and grime has probably accumulated since then, so finish your spring cleaning with a thorough dusting. Clean the desktop with a damp rag and a little spray cleaner; tackle the computer screen and keyboard with electronic wipes and a can of air duster.

Do you find that having a tidy workspace improves your work productivity? Do you have any plans to do a desk spring cleaning?

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Free Email Marketing For Life!

Check out this unprecedented offer: FREE email marketing up to 550 contacts!

Customer feedback tools, email marketing & surveys in one easy to use package!

This powerful solution includes email marketing, survey tools, and a customer testimonials feature for your website. You will be able to easily connect with your customers, cut costs, communicate quickly, announce upcoming events, and help your company go green.

  • Boost sales, track results, and grow your business instantly.
  • Stay in contact with customers and encourage repeat business.
  • Quickly send great looking surveys, emails, and promotions.
  • Use customer surveys to gauge your Customer Satisfaction Index.
  • Manage all your reviews and testimonials on the website.
  • Create a RatePoint Business Profile Page within your Facebook Business Page, requests reviews on Facebook & Twitter, and post reviews and email marketing links to social networks.

Click here to start Email Marketing for Free!

If you need help getting started, or need a professional design for your company, call us today at 816.228.1123!

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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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Imprinted Water Bottles On Sale Now!

Imprinted Water Bottle For Only $4.99 Each!

  • 28 ounce capacity aluminum sports bottle
  • High quality aluminum construction
  • Leak resistant cap with flip open straw
  • Carrying handle doubles as a carabineer to easily attach to your bag
  • Available in Six unique brushed aluminum colors
  • BPA Free

Minimum 72 pieces. Limited time only pricing. Set up charges, shipping, and other charges may apply.

Call Jeff Meyer today for an exact quote on these imprinted water bottles on sale - 816.228.1123!

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Recession Marketing

In the past the beauty industry has proven to be recession proof, but there is no question that the recent economical crisis has left salon and spa owners across the country feeling a lot of pressure. Here are a few tips to help you focus on what you can and should do during this time for your salon or spa:

Use This Time To Re-evaluate

Be assured that the economic crisis we are facing will come to an end. And when it does, you have two choices. You can choose to come out as a stronger business with an edge over your competitors or complacently continue on the same path as before. Your choice depends directly on the actions you take now. Like all businesses, salon and spa owners who choose to use their time wisely in the face of adversity are and will continue to be the institutions that are the “ones to watch”, the “trend?setters” and the ones who “set the standard of excellence for others to follow.” With less clients coming through the doors of your salon or spa, your newly?found time should be looked at as an opportunity to revisit areas of your business that have been neglected. Time well spent now will solidify your foundation for the future and guarantee you are better equipped to know how to thrive when faced with the next economical hardship.

Conduct a Financial Analysis

Your first “investment” should be to revisit your finances. Often times during a recession, owners ask themselves, “How can I generate more revenue?” When the economy is not able to support sales via your clients, cutting costs alone can be the solution you need until the economy stabilizes. Some questions to ask yourself when doing a financial analysis of your business include:

  • How can I increase my ROI (Return on Investment)?
  • What are my current expenses?
  • Where can I decrease costs without compromising quality?
  • Do I have effective budgets in place?
  • When was the last time I did a competitive analysis of my supply vendors?
  • Is the cost of payroll too high and is my current pay structure effective?
  • Are my employees effectively meeting their sales goals and being held accountable?

The answers to all of these questions are no surprise to a salon or spa owner who runs a successful business. If you don’t know the answers to all of these questions off the top of your head, it is an indication that you need to grow in order to help your business survive. Overcoming an economical hardship does not take a miracle, only a proper plan that is followed on a daily basis and re?evaluated periodically to update it as needed. Analyzing your past financial records will give you the best indication of if you are gaining prosperity, breaking even or heading for a loss. Know where you stand at all times. A financial analysis is the most valuable investment you can make and now is the time to do it.

Marketing Solutions and Team Execution

When sales are down, the first instinct of many business owners is to invest in a marketing campaign. The intention is to offer an enticing discount that will generate a large volume of clients to make up for a lack of revenue. This may be a good solution, but if business is slow due to a crumbling economy, you have to be strategic in your selection and execution of the right marketing promotion (see my other article). Some important questions to ask your self when planning a marketing campaign to generate business on a tight budget include:

  • What is my target market and what method of advertising will best reach that demographic?
  • Is the cost of this marketing campaign higher than the expected rate of return?
  • Is my offer enticing enough to bring in the volume of clients I need and can I afford such an enticing discount?

These questions, among others, are critical to ask yourself before launching any marketing campaign and the answers will determine what type of campaign, if any, you choose. Radio advertisements and direct mail pieces often reach the largest volume of potential clients while less formal SMS campaigns could be more cost effective and allow you to target your customers more effectively. Be strategic with everything from the length of time and dates you run your promotion to having a plan in place on how to retain these coupon-savvy clients when they do come into your salon or spa.

Schedule a mandatory staff meeting to inform your team about all details of the current promotion. The meeting should emphasize that it will be the goal of each employee to rebook the clients they receive from this promotion and therefore retain the new client. After all, having the clients come back is the goal. A well?informed staff demonstrate intelligence, good communication and is key to making a positive lasting impression on a new client. Set up an incentive program for the team member who rebooks the most clients during the duration of the promotion. Remember, your team is feeling the crunch of the economy too and a little incentive can make a world of difference. If you don’t opt to use a monetary reward, schedule your highest re?booking producer a day of salon services with a complimentary lunch.

If you haven’t put your marketing system in place yet, now might the time to invest in one.

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Custom Imprinted Promotional Mugs – $2.99 Each

Promotional Mugs On Sale For A Limited Time Only...

The Saturn Tumbler is only $2.99 each!

Quality presentation for a low price! Check out these custom imprinted promotional mugs on sale now to stay top of mind with your clients. These imprinted mugs are stylish and convey a quality message at an affordable price.
This 12 oz. dual wall mug with stainless steel band is constructed with high impact plastic liner and plastic outer shell. FDA compliant material. Topped off with a twist-off lid with flip top closure. BPA Free.
Comes with a black non-woven drawstring pouch.

96 - $3.14 or 576 - $2.99 each!

Call Ad Trends Advertising and ask for John Groves to take advantage of this limited time offer on custom imprinted promotional mugs at 816-228-1123!

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