Tag Archives: technology

5 Ways to Incorporate Video into Your B2B Marketing

Video is one of the most talked-about subjects in the marketing industry right now, and with good reason. Did you know that videos increase people’s understanding of a product or service by 74%?

Everyone from social media strategists and content creators to businesses and brands are all jumping aboard this trend. Why? They all understand how and why video has become such a popular mechanism to win new business and increase audience loyalty.

But despite its growing relevance, one of the questions we get most is: How do I get started with video marketing? Here, we’ve included a few tips to help make your marketing videos even more effective.

  1. Choose the right files. To ensure the quality of your video and sound are exactly where you want it, we recommend using the following: a) video file format: MP4, WMV, AVI, MOV, (Codec: MPEG-4, Divx, Xvid 720P) b) Audio output: Mono speaker c) Sound level: 75-80 dB
  2. Keep it short. Video is a great vehicle for delivering your message, if it’s done effectively. Keep your videos short (30-60 seconds) and entertaining while still delivering on substance.
  3. Don’t forget the CTA. Perhaps it’s as simple as encouraging viewers to visit your website or call a direct line. Whatever the call to action is, don’t forget it. This will help you track responses and, perhaps more importantly, determine the success of your marketing efforts.
  4. Make your messaging digestible. In addition to keeping your content brief, remember to share your messaging in short, potent bursts. Perhaps this means separating your video into “chapters” or creating a YouTube series to really hit home your product or brand. Allowing viewers to enjoy your content in bite-size pieces ensures your audience will absorb more of the information you’re delivering.
  5. Consider Video-in-Print formats. Here at Structural Graphics, we have produced hundreds of thousands of video units for some of the top Automotive, Pharmaceutical, Financial Services, Manufacturing and Entertainment brands in the world. Check out our VPA Gallery here.

Thinking Outside the Inbox: Direct Mail for the Holidays

postbox
I always get excited when I receive mail.

One glimpse of the mail carrier, donning his USPS garb, and I wait anxiously to see whether there’s anything addressed to me. But on those days when I’ve got more than bills or credit card offers stuffed in my mailbox, that childlike excitement I felt earlier all too quickly disintegrates into something else: disappointment.

There are the flat mailers that have my name incorrectly printed on them. There are the catalogs with promo codes so buried I get exhausted from flipping through before even finding them. And there are the dreaded cards and the postcards that I barely even look at before throwing away.

Sound familiar?

These pieces all have one thing in common (besides meeting my recycling bin): they’re boring. And as businesses increase their efforts to vie for your attention this holiday season, as marketers you want to be anything but. So, if you’re not currently creating (or, at the very least, brainstorming) some ways to set your direct mail apart, you’re already missing out on the opportunity to make a memorable impression.

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But don’t worry, it’s not too late to get your company or your products noticed in time for the holidays. Here, we’ve curated some of our most helpful tips on how to bring back that “wow factor” during the most magical time of the year.

      1. Go dimensional. Perhaps the easiest way to make a real impact with little-to-no-effort? Incorporate dimension. By incorporating pieces like our 3″ pop-up cube into your marketing, it’s easy to put forth your messaging in a way that takes advantage of 3D (but still ships flat).
      2. Embrace technology. For better or for worse, we live in a digital world and it’s just going to get that much more – er – digitaler. Instead of rejecting this characteristic of modern life, we say embrace it! Want your print advertising to play your jingle? Want to incorporate virtual reality or LED lights into your messaging? Make your customers feel like a kid around the holidays by sending them something shiny AND bright in the mail.
      3. Video is your friend. Did you know that videos increase people’s understanding of a product or service by 74%? In case you’ve been living under a rock, video is super trendy right now. Combine video with one of our high-impact print solutions and you’ve got a powerful marketing tool.
      4. Surprise them. If a consumer is able to predict how a promotional piece is going to look or feel before they even get their hands on it, you can almost bet that it will get lost and maybe even thrown away. Make your brand as exciting as you are – that unexpected element will not only set you apart from your competitors, but it’ll leave a lasting impression in your recipients’ minds.
      5. Think Interactive. Print plays to the human senses in ways that digital tech is hard-pressed to match. By delivering a direct mail piece that recipients can engage with, you’re not only getting their attention, but you’re strengthening your brand’s longevity, too.

Feeling inspired? Have an idea for how your business can target the next generation of purchasers? Contact us to get started.

What Is a Beacon?

beacon

Simply put, beacons are yet another tool marketers can use to reach consumers via mobile. But it doesn’t stop with marketing. Businesses in industries of all likes are employing beacon technology to work for them. Here are 6 quick applications of beacon technology before we dive deeper:


1. In retail, they can be used to share discounts or coupons with you when you enter the store.

2. They can be used in museums to alert and inform you of the closest display.

3. They can be used by airlines in airports to pull up your mobile boarding pass when you get closer to the gate.

4. Hotels can use them to replace hotel room keys.

5. Stadiums can use them to reach out to their audience and offer them seat upgrades.

6. And in the B2B world, you can expect to see these popping up at trade shows and conferences.

But… what are they?

Beacons, or iBeacon (termed by Apple), simply put, are a class of Bluetooth low energy devices.

 

bigDL-beacon copyHuh? 

A Bluetooth low energy is a wireless personal area network technology that is comparative to Bluetooth Classic, except for that it provides a reduced power consumption and cost, while maintaining a similar communication range.

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Basically, Beacon’s are the enabling technology that will alert an app when you enter a specific, Beacon-activated location.

Many industries can benefit from implementing beacons – however, let’s use retail as an example. In the fall of 2014, Macy’s implemented the retail industry’s largest beacon installation, which allows them to communicate with the shopper via mobile as they enter the store, with personalized department-level deals, discounts, recommendations and rewards.

Alright, what do these things look like?

The beacons themselves are small, Bluetooth transmitters. Apps that are installed on your iPhone listen for the signal sent out by these beacons, and respond when the phone comes into range.

beacons-what-they-are-how-they-work-and-why-apples-ibeacon-technology-is-ahead-of-the-pack copy

Here’s an infographic, courtesy of Gigaom, to help break it down even MORE:

BLE-vs-NFC-infographic[1]


The possibilities are endless. We can make it easy. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you implement beacon technology into your next project!

Death of QR Codes Is Greatly Exaggerated

Have you have fallen prey to the urban myth that QR Codes are dead? There are plenty of designers and industry pundits who think these 2D mobile barcodes clunky and out of date, but if you look at the data, the death of QR Codes couldn’t be farther from the truth. Consumers are actively using QR Codes to get coupons, access detailed product information, watch promotional videos, and take other steps that move them toward a purchase. If you’ve “moved on” from QR Codes, you’re abandoning a critical tool for building your business.

Let’s look at three facts about QR Codes that every marketer should know.

  1. QR Code scanning is on the rise.

According to ExactTarget, 34% of smartphone users in the United States have scanned a QR Code while shopping in-store (ExactTarget Mobile Behavior Report 2014). This rises to 46% of those who own tablets. This doesn’t include people scanning QR Codes on direct mail, posters, in-store displays, packaging, and magazines. In fact, when ExactTarget asked about scanning coupons or QR Codes, it found that 43% of consumers had done so.

Can we quote Mark Twain here? “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” As you watch the data, sure, the growth rate of QR Code adoption is slowing. But that’s not unusual for a maturing technology.

  1. QR Code scanning frequency is on the rise, as well.

In 2014, Scanbuy data showed 4.0 scans per person. In 2015, this rose to 4.3.  That’s growth of 7.5%.

  1. Among the most common uses for QR Codes are accessing coupons, downloading mobile apps, and accessing product information.

ExactTarget found that 56% of men and 39% of women have scanned QR Codes to gain quick access to information. Scanbuy found that when consumers are interested in a new product, 20% will scan a QR Code.

We could go on and on, but you get the point. QR Codes remain a cost-effective way to reach a high percentage of the mobile population. Here’s how to do it right:

  • Make the code highly visible on the direct mailer, in-store signage, packaging, or other channel.
  • Provide instructions on using the code, and perhaps more importantly, the value the consumer will gain from scanning it
  • Offer real, tangible on the back end.

Check out some examples of QR codes in our own clients’ print marketing campaigns.

Want to make sure your QR Code strategy is spot on? Give us a call and let one of our experts talk it through with you.

4 Marketing Trends on the Rise

Do you ever stop and wonder how our decisions are influenced?

Boy holding But why sign

 

I do, I’m a marketer after all.  These days it seems like we’re being bombarded with trends trying to get us to buy or do something.  We can’t browse our Facebook feed without being distracted by bizarre videos of the Brazilian “burning hair” treatment, the horrifying aftermath of the “Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge,” or the most recent one sweeping Instagram, “Sunburn Art.”  While we do not personally recommend any of these, we’re all about standing out.

How you market your product or idea directly impacts whether or not people will choose it.  So, to help you out, we’ve done a little research, combed thru all the weird stuff on the Internet, and came up with 4 marketing trends that are on the rise.

 


1. More Personalization

We all know the saying that goes, sometimes through gritted teeth, “the customer is always right.” It’s certainly safe to say the customer is in charge.  When asked to prioritize one capability that will be most important to marketing in the future, one-third of marketers answered: “personalization.” Nearly three-fourths (74%) of online consumers get frustrated with Web sites when content appears that has nothing to do with their interests (CMO, 2015). With all the different benefits technology can provide, personalization is more popular than ever. Targeting your products and ads directly to your customer’s specific needs is a strong marketing trend and it’s on the rise.

2. Multichannel Communications

Business icons flat vector illustration Communication
Business icons flat vector illustration Communication

Print, direct mail, URLs, social sharing, email, mobile app push, SMS… really, the possibilities are endless.  The world is your oyster when it comes to all of the ways you can communicate, and the statistics speak to its effectiveness.

  • 60% of multichannel marketers reported increases of more than 10% in revenue that are attributed to marketing programs. – Forrester (May 2012) “The Multichannel Maturity Mandate.”
  • 86% of marketing professionals agree that successfully integrating multiple channels under a single integrated marketing strategy is crucial to their long-term success. – Forrester (May 2012) “The Multichannel Maturity Mandate.”

Tip: Want to add some extra staying power to the print portion of your multichannel marketing? Use dimensional for your direct mailer.

3. Video

Unify Video Sales Aid, Structural Graphics

By 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic, according to Cisco. A study done by a company named Eyevie discovered that using videos on landing pages increased response rates by 80%, but why just use them on a screen? At Structural Graphics, we can seamlessly incorporate a video into print for a multidimensional, multi-sensory experience. See it here.

4. Print

There are a lot of comebacks being made recently. Fanny packs, Doc Martens, and my personal favorite – jelly shoes.

But that’s not all. Get ready marketers, because even in this digital age, print is making a comeback – and with a vengeance. Anything can be added to print: lights, sound, video, the list goes on. Print isn’t just paper anymore.  Also, who doesn’t love getting real, tangible, paper mail?  Direct mail marketing yields, on average, a 13-1 return on investment ratio (DMR, 2015).

Rolling Stone Chuck TV Show Insert & Kiosk, Structural Graphics

There you have it, 4 marketing trends on the rise — and you know what they say about 2, 3 and 4: two’s company, three’s a crowd and four is a party. Get the party started at www.structuralgraphics.com.

4 Marketing Needs Solved With Print

In a world constantly evolving with new ways to reach brand consumers, sometimes the best way to really get their attention is to just go back to the basics. Continue reading

What About Near Field Communication?

For the last few years print and technology have been dancing around one another, closing in on ways to take brand experiences to the next level. With smartphones taking over the consumer market, near field communication (similar to QR and AR codes) is poised to take your brand’s interactions with consumers to a whole new level. Continue reading

Oticon Glow Head

Appealing to Our Senses: Tech-Enhanced Print

What if you could support your brand outreach and engagement with creative and interactive dimensional print that takes people by surprise? Oh wait. You can. Continue reading

Promotional packaging for swim safety tech, iSwimband

Aquatic Safety Concepts, parent company of iSwimband, turned to Structural Graphics to design and produce promotional product packaging for the international launch of its new wearable swim safety detector, the iSwimband. Continue reading