Use this free toy graphic in your upcoming holiday ads!
Only available for free from November 24th, 2014 through December 1st, 2014.
Miss this free graphic? Search for it on Creative Outlet!
Are you looking for ideas to improve your social media marketing over the holiday season? A recent MarketLive survey shows social media will influence half of holiday shoppers this season! According to the survey, customers take part in several online social activities such as looking up reviews for products, searching for gift ideas and seeking product referrals from friends. Use the following tips to help start up your holiday social media campaign and watch your social media interaction soar!
Change your Twitter and Facebook cover photos to something winter or holiday themed to get people in the holiday spirit. Think of your headers as billboards to promote the information that’s most important for your business during the holiday season. Use the cover photo to direct your fans to a holiday contest, showcase your holiday products, promote seasonal deals or encourage interaction on your page.
Hashtags are a popular way to share information and discover topics on social networks. They allow us to target users interested in a specific topic, make posts easier to find and can increase overall brand awareness.
Come up with your own company hashtag to use throughout the holiday season to get people to talk about your brand in their social media posts. This can be especially helpful if you’re holding various holiday contests because you can search the hashtag to see who has entered it. Make sure to use it consistently on all your social channels. Some examples of successful holiday hashtags that companies have used are:
#MacysBelieve – This hashtag was used by Macy’s for three consecutive holiday seasons and it encouraged kids to send letters to Santa at their stores. For every letter received, one dollar was donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Macy’s used the hashtag across all of their social channels to drive awareness.
#MyKindOfHoliday- Target used this hashtag to encourage fans to share their holiday traditions on social media. Macy’s also used the hashtag to run weekly challenges on Instagram and offer last-minute shopping tips via Twitter. The campaign’s gift-giving photos and videos helped last-minute shoppers who needed a little inspiration on what to buy.
#SweaterGenerator- Coke Zero encouraged fans to design a festive sweater on their website and share with friends using this hashtag. Sharing was profitable for followers because the 100 most popular sweaters were made for their creators to use for Christmas.
According to WebbedFeet, 92% of consumers report that they trust recommendations from people they know such as friends, family and co-workers. Thus, try offering an incentive for fans who refer their friends. For example, you could host a holiday contest and give a discount code that can be used online for in-store for anyone who enters. For a chance to win a larger discount or prize, specify that users must share the contest with friends on their various social media profiles. This way, your brand will spread quickly and will be on consumers’ minds when they make holiday purchase decisions.
Everyone knows that sharing photos on social media increases engagement, but sharing authentic photos taken by your customers is even better! Ask consumers to take a picture enjoying the holiday season with your product or service. You can also ask users to use your company’s holiday hashtag. Increase engagement by offering a special prize for the best photo and give it recognition by using it as your brand’s cover photo.
Social media marketing can be a driving force behind holiday sales. It’s time to get serious and leverage your social networks to drive more holiday sales.
If you’re a designer who primarily works alone, you may find it difficult seeing eye-to-eye with another designer. However, creative collaboration is essential in enhancing your design skill. When executed successfully, collaborations can lead to something far greater than you could complete individually. Here are a few strategies to keeping your relationship with your creative counterpart civil and constructive.
Knowing what skills each of you excel in helps to figure out which responsibility will be assigned to whom. Communication is key. Sit down with your team and discuss what each party needs to do to complete the task efficiently. Talk about your creative strengths and what you need to improve on. Once you’ve figured out how to divide the work, create a list of goals for yourselves. Defining these roles can help prevent designer do-it-all’s from doing what they love to do, which is everything.
Set up meetings a few times a week to keep everybody on the same page. Present where you are at with your work to see what needs improvements. This allows everyone to feel included in the design process while providing opportunities for constructive criticism. Everyone has something unique to bring to the table and bouncing ideas off of each other can bring light to ideas that you may not have considered yourself. Be open to new viewpoints by asking questions to clarify.
Whether you’ve accepted it or not, all creatives have egos (yes, I’m looking at you). Disagreements may be inevitable, but ditching the “my way or the highway” attitude is important for moving forward in your work. If you prefer a different font over their font choice, talk it out and find a middle ground. Discussing why you think one design works better than another gets you on the same page and allows you to distance yourself from your work and view it with fresh eyes.
If you still can’t find agreement, make a decision by testing a design to see how it fares in the long run. Remember that reluctance to cooperate can lead to flawed, unworthy design work. Refusing to make necessary changes can cause your project to lose its cohesiveness if you’re both trying to go in your own direction. It’s okay to plead your case, but know when you need to swallow your pride and accept when you’re wrong, especially if the project starts to lose its unity.
The benefits are endless when collaborating as a team, and this is the best opportunity to see your work through different eyes and grow professionally. Know that no design team is perfect. Sometimes you’ll work with personalities that clash with your own, but part of collaborating is to force you to challenge each other to think in a different way. Learning the best way to work with designers unlike yourself prepares you for challenges in the future.
With all the Valentines Day ads spreading the love in February, it can be hard for other ads to compete. While most of us enjoy the warm fuzzies all this love talk brings, we also need to break it up a bit. Let’s not forget that February is also a time to celebrate American Heart Month. Break things up a bit by incorporating heart health awareness into your ads. Encourage people to take some time to love themselves this February with the following American Heart Month advertising ideas:
Gyms: Place ads that highlight free gym passes for members who wear red during the month of February. Encourage new memberships by announcing free 30-minute “heart-healthy” training sessions that focus on strengthening your heart.
Retail Stores: Pitch an “everything red” theme and get retailers to spread the word about a sale on everything red. Explain that for the month of February, customers can receive 15% off on all red items which can include garments, housewares, bedding, shoes, etc. This is also the perfect time for a co-op advertisement with the American Heart Association (AHA). Perhaps 50% of profits or proceeds of red clothing can be donated to the non-profit organization.
Grocery Stores: Grocery stores should promote heart-healthy foods by sampling them and including a recipe with each sample. Encourage the stores to advertise what days the sampling will take place.
Vet/Pet Stores: Encourage pet shops and veterinarians to educate pet owners about heart health for their pets by passing out a flyer or brochure about how to ensure a healthy heart for their pets. Include a coupon in these items for heart-worm pills.
Doctor’s Offices: New or small doctors offices in the area might be interested in placing an ad to encourage people to sign up as a new client by giving free check-ups on specific days during the month.
Jewelry Stores: Advertisers can try offering discounts on heart-shaped items, rubies and other red jewelry. This is also a great opportunity to establish a co-op relationship with the American Heart Association and donate a portion of the proceeds to them.
Turn your ads into a snowy wonderland with this free winter graphic download!
Only available for free from November 17th, 2014 through November 24th, 2014.
Miss this free graphic? Search for it on Creative Outlet!
Meet Brian Dickerson, MultiAd’s VP of product development for art and ad services. We’ve been lucky to have him for the past 17 years! He’s managed MultiAd’s Builder division which includes Creative Outlet (formerly Ad-Builder), Creator Professional and Recas.
On a day-to-day basis, I work with internal IT staff on development of features for the Creative Outlet website, our new iPad app and Creator Professional. We’re always looking for new technology that we can implement and make the products the best they can be. We’re currently developing another iPad app for the real estate market that will be the first of its kind. It will allow real estate professionals to manage their entire marketing plan from beginning to end.
This will include Keynote® presentations, Pages® templates (including sell sheets and post cards), and iMovie® templates for creating videos to submit to YouTube. The app will also include features to help with social media. We are going to provide users with cover photos for Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and Google+ that will match the rest of the marketing material templates that we are providing them. This will give them a consistent look for selling themselves and listings they have.
Outbound marketing is a more traditional and direct means of marketing that includes initiating a conversation and sending messages out to audiences. The approach can be extremely broad, such as television advertising, personal means (face-to-face meetings), or “impersonally personal” (cold-calling or blanket emails). Through each outbound method, sales leads are generated and then followed up on by sales representatives.
The main benefit of outbound marketing is that it can generate immediate results and feedback from consumers, while inbound marketing takes some time to see and measure results. You can quickly see whether your tactics are working or not, and compare cost to sales. If you send out an email to your subscribers about a sale and more people come to your business as a result, you’ll know that it’s working. If something is not working, you can take steps to improve the strategy before a lot of time and money is invested or wasted.
If you want fast results from outbound marketing, then you need to understand what the target audience wants and then deliver it to them in the right way and at the right time. Monitor your target audience’ behavior and make note of the mediums that make the most sense for your audience. For example, if your target audience is between the ages of 10 and 18, T.V. and radio ads might be a better medium to use than sending an email. Figure out what stations are popular among those age groups (& gender) and place advertisements during a high-traffic viewing/listening time. Then leave a strong impression with compelling, humorous or memorable content. Keep track of the air date and any notable increases in sales. You might even ask new customers to fill out a short survey that explains how they heard of you.
Another common outbound marketing method is email marketing. Studies show that emails are effective for most adults, including seniors 65+, 89% of whom have a personal email and use it regularly. With an enticing subject line, great content and a clear call-to-action, this can be a very effective way to get your business to stand out. Try to have a call-to-action that conveys a sense of urgency without being pushy. Check out this email from Uncommon Goods for example. This email succeeds in creating a sense of urgency because it focuses on the value of acting now without sounding pushy by asking a question.
With a little common sense and some digging, outbound marketing is still a very effective way to entice your audience and increase sales. Combine outbound and inbound marketing, and you’ll be a marketing superstar!
You’re always thankful for your customers and their business. Now is the perfect time to show them with this free thankful graphic from Creative Outlet!
Only available for free from November 10th, 2014 through November 17th, 2014.
Miss this free graphic? Search for it on Creative Outlet!
The first step to promote yourself as a freelance designer is creating a design blog with rich content that your clients could benefit from. Try to blog about topics that interest them with terms they search for. Similarly, some of the best topics you should blog about are questions your clients might ask such as “what makes a good logo?” or “how do I make a business card?”.
Actively use your social media accounts. Sharing useful links and conversing with others online can help build your following. This is also a good opportunity to promote your blog posts. Using a website like Hootsuite can schedule your social media posts with links to your blog.
With your online accounts up and running, try experimenting a bit with your followers by asking questions, sharing industry-relevant content and sharing what you’re currently working on. Social media is one of the best free marketing platforms that freelancers can use, so why not take advantage of it?
People will talk to other people about their positive and negative experiences. Nothing is more effective than a family member, friend or client personally recommending your name and services. Don’t forget to let your family and friends know what you’re doing and that you’re available for work!
If you can build an email list of willing recipients, you can update people on your design projects. You can also link to your social media, blog and/or website. Share tips, tools, digital goodies and personal stories.
1 – Commitment Day
2 – Personal Trainer Awareness Day
3 – Festival of Sleep Day
4 – Spaghetti Day
5 – Bird Day
6 – Three Kings Day
7 - International Programmers’ Day
8 – Argyle Day
10 – National Cut Your Energy Costs Day
11 – Milk Day
12 – National Clean Off Your Desk Day
16 – Nothing Day
19 – Popcorn Day
21 – Hugging Day
22 – Women’s Healthy Weight Day
22 - Celebration of Life Day
23 – National Pie Day
23 – National Handwriting Day
25 – Opposite Day
26 – Spouse’s Day
27 – Chocolate Cake Day
28- International Fun at Work Day
29 – Freethinkers’ Day
31 – Backward Day
5-11 Letter Writing Week