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Print Industry Marketing

Has getting new sales for your print company stalled or not grown as fast as you would like it to be?

If your answer is YES, then this article is for you.

Print Companies have primarily relied on a sales team to go out and get new business. And it worked. But today doesn’t work as well.

Some print companies rely solely on the owner and other companies have an in-house marketing person to help drive awareness to aid in new business development.

But still many print companies are struggling to get that sales lift they so badly want.

 

What I’ve observed over the past 7 years in the Print Industry is this…

  1. The economy is strong and it doesn’t take a ton of work to increase sales  —  (So if your sales are flat or going down something is up!)
  2. Sales teams are typically equipped to close project sold leads / quotes —  (The customer knows what they want and all you need to do is prove that you can do the work, give them a good price, get the quote back quickly and meet their timeline)
  3. Marketers at print companies are typically design oriented people which is great and very much needed but they are typically less savvy in marketing the business strategy that your customers are actually looking for. —  (Your customers need the items you print for them to “do something” and in most cases that is generate new revenue whether it’s directly or indirectly through some leading behavior like showing up at an event or signing up)
  4. And very few Sales or Marketing team members have deep discipline experience in the platforms and tactics on generating new leads online. —  *This statement may not sit well with some of you, but respectfully if you reflect on the things you can do and do well, is this really one of them? (at Acumen we aren’t printers and don’t claim to be, we leave that to the Pros)

 

And all of this makes sense because Schools Don’t Teach This Stuff! They don’t teach Sales, They don’t teach Lead Generation AND They don’t teach print.

 

So it’s all Doom and Gloom, Right? Wrong!

The ONE thing that would help make your Sales Team and Marketers more effective is to give them the wisdom of KNOWING WHO TO TARGET!

As an owner, executive, manager it is Your (or if you’re in Sales and Marketing, it is THEIR) responsibility to ensure that the entire company knows who your primary customers are and why they are your primary customers.

It’s not just that they need printing, packaging or fulfillment.  They need it for very specific reasons and having your team Armed with that Knowledge they will have the ability to be the Best they can be.  Without it they / you can only go so far.  It really is a limiter to success.

 

What Could You Do?

Outside of working with us on doing Digital Marketing for Print Companies (I’m smiling and winking over here) it would be a good idea to lead a handful of workshops each year on exactly what I shared above.

Let your company know who your primary customers are, why those customers choose you to do that work, why those customers need the products they have you create for them and what the outcomes your customers expect to get when using your products / services.

Doing that will positively Change Your Business!

 

Have Questions? Call Us at 866-357-7422

Or Submit your information below

 

How do you create a Marketing Plan for a Printing Company?

That is the question we here from printers and after doing more research found that a lot of print companies are asking about this online as well.  So we decided to break this down for you better than anyone else has.

 

Here are the 5 Steps to creating a Marketing Plan for a Printing Company!

  1. Define Your Target Customer (who needs / wants your service)
  2. Determine Your Budget (how much you’ll spend)
  3. Agree on Channels (where you’ll show up)
  4. Define a Theme (what you will talk about)
  5. Build the Assets & Launch! (watch the new business roll in)

 

Printing Company Marketing Plan Step 1: Define Your Target Customer

This is what everyone says… “Figure out your target customer.”. But how do you actually do that?

Many print companies will tell us, “Everyone who wants to buy print is a prospect”, of course but can you get a little more creative, come on!

Here are a few ways to do define your target customer and then some ideas on who you should / can actually target.

  • Is there an industry you sell a lot of print to? If so then make sure to consider them a primary target customer.
  • Look at the job titles of the people who buy from you. Are is there a pattern or a lot of the same job title? Consider them a customer.
  • Is there a specific product you want to sell? What industry uniquely uses that product? That’s a target customer (if you promote that product)
  • In general your safe targeting anyone in a marketing decision making position. Director of Marketing, Marketing Manager, Marketing Coordinator, etc.
  • And then you have publishers like Printing impressions that puts out a list of the top 25 Markets for print. Focus on one or more of those!  Here is the list if you haven’t seen it: https://www.piworld.com/resource/top-25-hot-markets-for-print-demand-in-2019-20/file/

 

Once you’ve made a decision here you are ready to move on to the next step.

 

Printing Company Marketing Plan Step 2: Determine Your Budget

Determining a budget is easy.

Some think it will be a huge effort and tedious, but it doesn’t have to be.

If you have a marketing budget that you’ve created each year, then you’re already done because you already do it.  If you don’t then think of any of the marketing activities you’ve done in the past year and estimate how much you spent. If that number is one you feel good about for the next year then use it, if you feel you could invest a little more then add to it.  This doesn’t have to be rocket science.

If you are planning on attending events, having a booth, traveling, etc. then you’ll probably want to put a little more thought into it, but in general as long as you have a number you’re good because you’ll just work backwards from the channel efforts into that number.

 

Got a number? Yes?!

 

Then it’s time to move on the next step, Channels.

 

Printing Company Marketing Plan Step 3: Agree on Channels

There are a ton of good places for printing companies to market, but let’s break it down to 3 primary areas.

  • Offline
  • Online
  • Email (Existing Customers)

Your offline efforts can include national or local trade shows, local events, and direct mail.

First off we’ll tell you… Don’t Do Sponsorships that only show your name and logo somewhere.  It doesn’t help!

If you are choosing to do trade shows you likely know what you are doing or are getting all the details for it, we won’t go into detail on how to choose and set up for one of those, but they can definitely be effective.

Local events are a very successful place to be.  If you’ve chosen a solid target set up at local events where those customers attend and bring printed samples of the things they will need from you relevant to them.  For example if they are packaging people bring samples of packaging! Pretty simple.

And Direct Mail is obvious and you’re all over that, no need to elaborate on our end.

 

For Online Efforts you need to optimize your website to show up in the search engines, post blogs, post to social media, run ads and send email.  Period, it’s that simple!

Here’s an article by us on how print companies can create and run successful ad campaigns  AND here is a page that talks about how to market your printing company online successfully.

 

And Email is again straightforward.  We do recommend using email as a part of your online efforts, but when we separated it out here we mean that you should be marketing to your existing customers past and present by sending emails to them. Literally the more visible you are to them the more they will buy.  The more strategic and creative you are in your email the more they’ll buy.

Here is a page on our site that talks about email marketing for print companies.

 

On to to your Theme (some call it messaging and positioning)

 

Printing Company Marketing Plan Step 4: Define a Theme

Defining a theme can be as easy as saying “I am going to market beverage printing to beverage companies” or “I am going to promote 24/7 availability OR Quick turn printing to Marketing Decision Makers”.

Or it can be complicated and focus on “Tell & Show Industry X, companies in Y geography with 100+ employee head count, job titles of Marketing Directors and VPs of Marketing how easy we make their job by doing ABC things”.

Either way you’ll do the same thing. Distribute assets to them saying and showing those things.

But putting it to paper solidifies it and creates a common idea on what your going to say!

 

Lastly build and launch.

 

Printing Company Marketing Plan Step 5: Build the Assets & Launch

This says it all.

Now you’ll just build out the assets for each of your decided on channels, targeting the people you chose, saying the the things you defined as a theme within the budget you define.

Then Launch, Go Live, Attend, etc.

 

This is Guaranteed to get you More New Business.  More Leads & More Sales!

 

 

Have Questions? Call Us at 866-357-7422

Or Submit your information below

 

 

Have you every asked the question: Who Should I Be Targeting on Facebook?

This is one of the Most Common questions we hear from print companies when it comes to Facebook.
And it’s actually a really good question!

Why Did We Put This List Together?

To be honest it’s our business to put together content & campaigns for printers like you which in many cases includes running Facebook ads to get you in front of new customers. BUT we know you’ll want to try this out.
And if you do try it using what we’ve shared here and it works (which we know it will), then we’re hoping to get a shout out from you online or at least some feedback on the results you achieved!

Who are the Targets?

We have the exact settings & targeting for you in a PDF for download but to give you a quick glimpse into what the interface and targeting will look like for you we’ve shared a snapshot below.
Facebook-Ad-Targeting-for-Print-Companies

 

Download the Facebook Targeting PDF Below

If You Have Questions on This Call Us at 314-736-4434

 

It’s true that most B2B companies aren’t doing any content marketing at all.

And of those that do, most are simply pushing out awareness focused messages that don’t convert.

We know it’s tough out there to make this a priority, but if you are currently running any content marketing or plan to do any in the near future then read on to learn how to make sure what you do gets results.

 

The Top B2B Content Marketing Ideas for 2019

  • Run LinkedIn Ads sponsoring your company page content
  • Run LinkedIn InMail Ads that email your top customer targets
  • Write blogs that are Q&A style
  • Create a price sheet and put it behind an info gate and promote it

 

We explain in more detail below.

 

Run LinkedIn Ads sponsoring your company page content

This is probably the best way to instantly get new leads in 2019.

The targeting LinkedIn provides is unmatched when it comes to B2B.

Now for this to work you’ll need to produce content that will get promoted.

We have content suggestions in our other two ideas on this list, but literally any relevant post about your company that includes a problem, solution and call to action that links back to your website is worthy of sponsoring that content.

 

The customers targeted will see your ad in their feed, click on the call to action button and convert on your website through a form or call to get more information and do business with you.

 

B2B_content_marketing_Linkedin_Sponsored_Content

 

Run LinkedIn InMail Ads that email your top customer targets

Similar to sponsored content you can target your primary customer and get in front of them very easily using LinkedIn InMail ads.

The big difference here is the ad type and how it is presented.

 

With InMail ads you as an individual (or someone on your sales team) will send an email through the LinkedIn messaging system directly to those targeted customers.

So not only does your message get to the target on LinkedIn but it also goes directly to their email address which is usually connected to their phone.

This means you’re getting in front of the buyer immediately!

 

Again you’ll need to craft a message that is compelling to the buyer, speaks to a problem you solve and the solution you have for solving that problem paired with a Call to Action that either moves them to…

  • Message you back
  • Click through to your website where they can convert there
  • Or call you directly by listing your number in the message

 

This works really well and scales your sales team in a very efficient way.

 

B2B_Content_Marketing_Ideas_LinkedIn_Inmail_Ads

 

Write blogs that are Q&A style

Without going into a deep dive on Keyword Research for B2B companies we’ll say that many of your customers are searching on Google asking questions they need answers to. So you’ll want to do keyword research to identify How they ask those questions and what terms they use when asking.

Once you have that craft a post that literally opens by asking that exact question and follow it up with your answer. Preferably the answer is something that you offer as a product or service.

 

Many B2B marketers make the mistake of sharing a lot of 3rd party content or ideas that really are good ideas, but have not compatibility with your business and would never generate new sales. 

So be sure to make it 1st party knowledge tied to what you do as a business.

 

Create a price sheet and put it behind an info gate and promote it

One of the most popular downloadable assets that we see work well for B2B companies is a price sheet.  The reason this is so popular is because so many B2B businesses don’t share their pricing.

While we understand you may not want to share your pricing like most of these companies you can at least give estimates for these customers to take a look at.

To do this you’ll need to create a page (landing page) on your website with a form that when submitted will present them with the price sheet.

 

For example…

If you are a manufacturer and sell a variety of parts upload your price list each month so your prospective customers can see costs and viola you know have a list of leads to contact.

Or if you don’t want to share exact pricing create example statements of work or groupings of products showing the prices for that SOW or the price breaks for volume purchases of a specific product line. This is still valuable as it will give the prospect a better understanding of what they can expect when working with you.

 

Regardless of if you do one or all of those B2B content marketing ideas we can Guarantee you that they will produce new leads for your company.

 

 

If You Have Questions on This Call Us at 314-736-4434

Or Submit your information below

 

While this article is very specific to Banner Printing it actually applies to every term you are looking to rank well for. So let’s set the stage…

You want to rank better in the search engines for terms related to Banner Printing right?

The question is “How do you do that?”.

 

There are two things you have to consider.

  • Traditional Keyword Research vs Strategic Keyword Research for Printing Terms
  • The search engine results mix (or distribution)

 

We explain in more detail below.

 

Traditional Keyword Research VS Strategic Keyword Research for Printing Terms

In traditional KWR the rule of thumb is to enter the name of the product / service you want to rank for into a keyword research tool and capture the term that has the highest volume with the lowest competition. Then optimize your page for that term.  This is not bad advice and does work the majority of the time.

 

BUT…

If you want to get better results you’ll do this.

Strategic Keyword Research.

To do this you have to brainstorm a little to come up with other ways that customers search for your product / service.  This could be that they call the product / service something else or they search the “fix” your product / service solves.

You just may find a term with better volume, a lower competitive saturation and better mix in the search engines. We’ll talk about the mix in a second.

 

The Banner Printing Keyword Example

Let’s say you want to rank for Banner Printing.

We also think you should rank for that.

 

When doing a keyword research task you find that Banner Printing shows up as having 9,900 searches per month with a moderate level of competitiveness.  That’s good news!

 

 

But then you think about the ways customers were asking for that service on calls.

They were saying Custom Banners quite often.

Let’s research that term.

 

You find Custom Banners returns a search volume of 14,800 searches per month and a similarly moderate level of competition.

WOW!

 

 

You do a quick check and see that Google is return similar results.

Companies like yours selling banners.

 

We suggest optimizing for the Custom Banners term!

 

The Search Engine Results Mix

We mentioned this earlier in the article that the search engine results will have a mix of elements.  These are typically ads, maps listings, natural / organic listings, Google My Business information, structured snippets and sometimes Product Listing / Shopping ads.

What we advise looking at as most important (for product / service terms like Custom Banners) is are there maps results and do the organic listings under the maps show massive national competitors or a mix of national and local competitors.

If the organic results have a bunch of big national competitors (Vistaprint, Buildasign, etc.) then you’ll need to focus on optimizing for getting into the maps listings!

If there is a good mix of local companies in the organic results you’ll be optimizing for both the maps and organic results.

 

Example of Search Engine Mix for Custom Banners

Custom_Banners_Printing_google_Search_Results

 

In summary…

If you want to rank for Banner Printing start by optimizing for Custom Banners, but also include the term Banner Printing in your page copy.

AND get yourself claimed, verified and optimized with the Google Business Listing service.

 

 

If You Have Questions on This Call Us at 314-736-4434

Or Submit your information below

 

We know you have questions because we are talking with print companies every day about their marketing and how to make it perform better.

The team wanted to invite you to Send Us Your Questions!

Here are some examples…

  • How can I get more leads from Organic Search?
  • How can I get more leads from Social Media?
  • Why aren’t my Google Ads generating a positive ROI?

 

Submit your questions below and we’ve love to get you answers.

 

Submit Your Questions using the Form Below

Or

Call Us at 314-736-4434

 

We hear this question a lot.

As a Print Company “What should I have on my website?”.

And while the question itself is a little vague the answer is actually pretty specific.

 

First thing is let’s define what your print website is meant to do.

  1. Get You Found
  2. Educate
  3. Convert

Those 3 things are the primary purpose of you site.

You can get found by optimizing your site for search so when customers look for the services & products you offer they will find you.

You obviously can educate in a number of ways such as letting the customer know who you are, what you do, how you do it differently, what you sell, new products, etc.

And most importantly converting the customer can be they submit a form on your site, placing a quote /order, call you while / after viewing the site and turning them into a new customer or additional sale.

 

So What Should Print Website Have On It?

To make this really simple, there are only a handful of things you actually need.

  1. Homepage that tells who you are, what you do, how you do it and what they should do to take the next steps overall
  2. Product / Service Pages
  3. Quote / Order Form
  4. Contact Form
  5. Conversion Points (forms & click to call links)

Obviously the site can be packed with images, video, other pages, etc. but if all you have are the 5 listed items then you’ll be good to go.

Unfortunately many print companies don’t have those 5 things.

 

The Homepage

It needs to list information about who you are as a company, an overview of what you do with clickable sections on the specific products / services and a quote & contact form / CTA (call to action).  This allows the visitor to self segment on the homepage where most traffic originates or orients from.

 

Product / Service Pages

It sounds obvious but this is where many print companies fail.  They in many cases have a single page that lists out all of the products and services, but this won’t cut it.  Have individual pages for what you sell allows you to better explain how you do it best, create a more compelling call to action for higher conversions and it can be used for posting to social media most effectively (a wide format post is linked to the wide format page, get it).

This will also get you ranked better in search.

 

Quote / Order Form

Most companies have a contact form, but fewer have a legitimate independent quote / order form (which you need).

Most understand the order form should live on it’s own when in many cases there is a transaction and payment tied to it, but the order form details are typically more robust than what you would find on a basic contact form which is why it needs to be separate.

This form can live on it’s own page or on every product / service page (we recommend every page!)

 

Contact Form

Almost everyone has one of these, but we come across a good number of print websites that DO NOT.  Those sites in many cases will have a mailto link with a general email address.  This is NOT Good!

The second thing we find that many don’t do is capture those form submissions or in some cases not send them to the right place.

There are a number of reasons why the submissions wouldn’t get to where they should, but just know that there’s a good chance your contact form is messed up.  And you’re likely not capturing the submissions in a way that would allow you to follow up with them easily in the future.

 

Conversion Points

The website needs ways for customers to connect with you, duh right.

But this is one of the most common things we find wrong with websites for printers. They don’t have even basic calls to action asking visitors of the site to do something.

  • Get a Quote
  • Contact Us With Your Question
  • Download This Case Study / Price Sheet / etc.
  • Click to Call

Bonus: Use Google Analytics and you can track all of this to see website performance!

 

Take a second to audit your own website and see if you are or are not doing the things we have listed above!

 

If you have Questions Call Us at 314-736-4434
Or Submit your information below

 

LinkedIn launched a new feature that gives you more control over your LinkedIn Company page by allowing you to add a Custom Call-to-Action Button.

Why is this important?

If you aren’t publishing content to LinkedIn or taking care of your company page then I guess it’s not for you.  BUT for those who are actually trying to generate more business online (which you should be) by using LinkedIn (which you should be!!!) it will get you more clicks through to your website.

Trust us, you Want More Clicks & Visitors to your website.

 

How do you Update the LinkedIn Company Page Button?

First you’ll need to be an Admin of your LinkedIn Company Page to do this.

Start by logging in to LinkedIn and navigate to your Company Page at linkedin.com/company/your-company-name

For example our is linkedin.com/company/Acumen-Studio

If you don’t know your company page URL then simply search for your company using the search box at the top of your screen.

 

Once on your LinkedIn Company Page you’ll need to click the Pencil Icon next to the Custom CTA Button.

Those five new CTA options are: Contact us Learn more Register Sign up Visit website

 

 

On the next screen you’ll be presented with options for placing the buttons settings.

Acumen_Studio_LinkedIn_Company_Page_Profile_Button_Settings

You have a handful of choices to pick from.

  • Contact us
  • Learn more
  • Register
  • Sign up
  • Visit website

Choose the language for the button that best fits the next step for the visitor and add in the URL for the page you’ll be sending them to.

 

Then you’re DONE!

 

If you have Questions Call Us at 314-736-4434
Or Submit your information below

 

Companies in the Print Industry are DOING NOTHING Online. Why?

This is the question everyone should be asking.

We have been asking this question of many printers in the industry and the most common answers we get back always fall into two categories.

  1. Online Marketing Doesn’t Work For Our Print Company / Print Industry Company
  2. It’s Too Expensive and Takes Too Long to Get Results

 

Online / Content Marketing Doesn’t Work for the Print Industry

Not to sound too harsh, but this is just wrong!

We work with a ton of companies in the Print Industry and it works for ALL of them.

It really comes down to doing the marketing activities online that will actually produce results for you.  Yes, this sounds a little vague but below are a few details that ensure it works.

  • As long as you ARE Targeting a specific audience it works
  • As long as you ARE Optimizing your website & Google listing for search engines it works
  • As long as your site IS Optimized for conversions it works

 

Even those details may be a little too vague, but you can read even more detail here: http://acumenstudio.com/print-industry-digital-marketing/

 

It’s Too Expensive to Market Online

I can tell you it’s much more expensive to NOT market online.

You’re missing out on tons of opportunity and the second your competitors figure this out and start doing it you’re dead in the water.  *at least until you start doing it well yourself

 

The problem really is with our Industry (Digital Marketing / Content Marketing).

There are too many marketers and agencies that say they are the “Guru” of this or the “Expert” in that, but the truth is they just know how to market themselves.

You MUST know the industry you are marketing for (Print in this case) and be good at the tactics of what you recommend (SEO, PPC, Social, Email and Analytics).

 

If you’re hiring a marketer in-house or an agency ask them these things…

  • How well do you know SEO?
    • Can you show me an example, tell me how you did it and the results you got?
  • How well do you know PPC?
    • Can you show me an example, tell me how you did it and the results you got?
  • How well do you know Social Media & Paid Social Media (LinkedIn Ads and Facebook Ads)
    • Can you show me an example, tell me how you did it and the results you got?
  • How well do you know Google Analytics?
    • How have you used Analytics to solve a marketing problem?

 

If you do these things then your online content marketing will work AND will cost less AND will get you More Leads & More Sales.

You can read more about Digital Marketing & Content Marketing for Print Companies by Clicking Here.

 

Call Us at 314-736-4434

Or Submit your information below

 

I’m going to keep this blog post pretty short so that I can stress how simple and easy this is for you to get found in the search engines more often by your customers.

Google My Business which is the hub for companies to integrate and control their presence within the Googlesphere, Google KnowledgeGraph, Search Engines, Local Search, etc. (whatever you want to call it).

If you’ve ever searched for a service, product or company and Google Maps listings came up and/or information on the right hand side of your search results then you’ve seen the results of a Google My Business Listing.  Creating this, Optimizing it and Verifying the listing will get your more visibility and more business.

 

Google My Business Listings for the Print Industry

Without going into a ton of detail here there are just a few steps to getting your company found more often in the search engines, more phone calls, website visits, leads and revenue using the Google My Business tool.

  • Search for your company in Google / Google Maps
  • Claim Your Listing / Verify Your Listing
  • Optimize Your Listing

 

Why It’s So Important to Create, Verify and Optimize Your Listing

The internet looks to a few providers of data as the authority and Google is one of them.

So ensuring your information is accurate with the King of the Internet if extremely important.

People, Other Listing Services, etc. will use this data to connect with you which will get your more business and visibility.

 

The other Massive benefit is the the majority of print industry related search terms are localized.  This means that nearly every product or service search term you want to be found for is going to show local results including Google Maps listings.

These same maps listings will allow the user to click to…

  • Visit your website
  • Call your company
  • Get directions to your physical location

 

More visibility, More Leads, More Sales!

 

You can learn more about doing this all here  https://www.google.com/business/

 

In closing we actually do this creation, optimization and verification for companies in the print industry, so if you decide to not try and do this yourself then reach out because we are REALLY GOOD at it and can make sure you get a High ROI from your listing.

 

Call Us at 314-736-4434

Or Submit your information below