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Back-to-School Targeting Ideas

Even if small businesses aren’t selling school supplies or clothing, there are plenty of ways to attract back-to-school shoppers to their products and services with targeted back-to-school ads. According to Forbes, back-to-school spending is the second biggest consumer spending event for retailers behind the winter holidays. Try pitching these back-to-school targeted ideas to help businesses take advantage of one of the biggest retail seasons of the year:

Targeting Ideas

  • Restaurants can offer discounts to college students and teachers during the first month of school
  • Hair salons and barber shops can offer discounted back-to-school cuts and hair services
  • Tutors can promote early registration
  • Photographers can offer back-to-school discounted sessions
  • Local book stores can offer discounts on popular novels

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When targeting back-to-school shoppers, reaching them at a specific time is important. Suggest that businesses advertise in July and August when people are thinking about back-to-school preparation most.

Good Deals

Recommend that businesses give  customers what they want – big discounts. They can advertise contests with big rewards and other discounts in the local newspapers as well as social media. Businesses should consider offering free shipping and other back-to-school bundles to help increase sales.

Here’s a slideshow from BizBash that shows how companies are doing back-to-school marketing right.

5 Compelling Headlines

The most important part of writing an ad or an article is the headline. If the content is a cake, than the headline is the icing. You could have a delicious and rich cake but if the icing is white and runny, it might not get eaten. You could have excellent content or great design but if the headline is mediocre, you won’t capture the attention of your audience. Here’s what David Ogilvy has to say about headlines:

“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar. “

With your focus being primarily on the title, you’ll want to ask the question, “will this headline make me want to read on?” There are 5 compelling headlines that grab attention:

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1. The Question Headline

Ask a question that the reader would be curious to find out the answer.

  • Do you make these common mistakes?
  • Are you having trouble making healthy meal options?

 

2. The Direct Headline

The direct headline is straightforward and highlights the main point of what you’re trying to convey.

  • 30% off summer dresses
  • Free drink with purchase of entree
  • Come in Friday nights to see live bands

 

3. The Reason Why Headline

This headline highlights the benefits of your product or service immediately. The copy will usually have a list of features and benefits.

  • 10 reasons why you should bike to work
  • 20 things you need to take on a beach vacation
  • Tips for road trip safety

 

4. The How-To Headline

This headline suggests that the content will answer your question on how to use the product or service.

  • How to clean your entire house with one product
  • How to lose 10 pounds in 10 days

5. The Command Headline

This is a bold headline that tells the reader what they should do. Use strong verbs in this headline.

  • Join our mailing list to receive free coupons
  • Make the switch from summer to school
  • Stop wasting time and money with baking, try our pre-made cookies

 

1 Minute Workshop- Photo Edging

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Creative photo edging using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop with this 1 minute workshop.

Add interest to photographic images with artistic edges that you can customize to the exact shape of your image…

Step 1

Place a photo of your choice into a new Illustrator file. Draw a shape over the area of the photo where you want the focus to be with the pencil or the pen tool. Assign the shape no fill and a stroke color with a weight that is easy for you to see.

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Step 2

With the shape selected, click on the Brush tool. Choose from one of the many brushes available in the Brush Libraries. This example uses the Chalk-Scribble brush from the Artistic_ChalkCharcoalPencil library (#1). Make the edge as thick as you want by assigning it a stroke weight (#2).

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Step 3

Still working in Illustrator, assign the shape the same fill color as the stroke. With the shape selected, click on Expand Appearance under the Object Menu.

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Step 4

Next, Option-click on the Add to shape area button in the Pathfinder palette. All the pieces of the shape and edges should combine. Delete the placed photograph and save the shape template you have just created as an eps file.

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Step 5

Open the photograph in Photoshop and Place the shape template you just saved where it should be. The shape will now be on a layer of its own. Select that layer, go to the Edit Menu and click Clear. The shape layer should still be selected but free of any pixels.

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Step 6

Now go to the Select Menu and click on Inverse. Return to the Edit Menu, go to Fill and use whatever color you want as the background shade. In this example, white is used. Now you should see the photo framed within your shape.

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Step 7

The final step is to eliminate the layer so the image can be saved as an eps file. Go to the Layers palette and choose Flatten Image. You may want to use the Crop tool to make the file size smaller.

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Here is the completed image. You can create endless effects by drawing unusual shapes and assigning any one of the many brush styles offered in Illustrator. The line weight assigned to the brush stroke will also greatly change the look of the edge. Taking time to experiment with creating unusual edges on photos is sure to get your designs more attention.

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Facebook Ads vs. Promoted Posts: Which is Better?

Facebook may be one of the best ways to promote and advertise your business. There are two major ways to use Facebook for social media advertising: Facebook ads and promoted posts. Let’s observe the two options and figure out which is best for what you’re trying to achieve:

Facebook Ads vs. Promoted Posts

Facebook allows you to place paid advertisements which are displayed to your target audience. Before you even create an ad, you can customize it by answering what kind of results you want from your ad.

When customizing the ad, you can narrow down your audience by using demographics such as age, gender and location. You can even choose specific interests such as whether you want them to reach people who like certain things such as ‘painting’ or ‘women’s shoes’ which Facebook then uses to estimate the size of your target audience.  

The number of individuals to whom the ad is actually served depends on your budget and unfortunately, there is no guarantee that anyone will click on your ads.

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Pros:

  • See which versions of your ads work best
  • Extremely well targeted
  • You can use the targeting options to show your ads to only the people you want to reach
  • Facebook makes it easy to set up. No heavy coding or designing required

Cons:

  • There is no guarantee that people will click on your ads. Just because they have the option, doesn’t mean they will do it
  • Some users may see the ads as spam and not click on them

 

Promoted Posts

Unlike Facebook Ads, there is only a lifetime budget option and this can be as cheap as $5. However, a lower budget means less people are likely to see it. Once you promote a post, the post will be labeled as a ‘sponsored post’ and your audience will be only the people who already like your page and their friends. You can’t expand your audience too much and can’t pick and choose demographics and interests with promoted posts. 

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Pros:

  • Budget friendly
  • Easier to spot in a news feed
  • Increases engagement from followers

Cons:

  • Smaller reach means less impact
  • The only people who will see the ad is your followers and their friends
  • It will cost more to reach more followers

 

So now that we’ve compared Facebook ads vs. promoted posts, which one is better? It depends on what your main goal is. To increase awareness among many users, you might want to consider Facebook ads. If you’re promoting something like a sale or event, promoted posts might be better for you.

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The Basics of Image Types

Are you confused on what image size, type or color mode to choose when making and downloading images?  Read this article to get a refresher of the basics of image types!

Raster vs. Vector

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Image from Google

Raster images are made of a set of pixels where each pixel is assigned a color value which makes raster images resolution dependent. Thus, if you change the size of the raster image, the pixels can shrink or stretch resulting in a blurry image. Use raster images for websites, icons, banner images, and any other design intended for electronic use. You can use Adobe Photoshop to create raster images.

Vector images are made up of points, lines and curves. The  image can be scaled up or down in size without losing quality. Logos and other print work should be designed as vector images in Adobe Illustrator or other design programs. 

CMYK vs. RGB

cmyk_vs_rgbCMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black which are the four colors of ink used to print. This is the standard color mode for printed documents such as brochures, flyers, newspapers and others.

RGB is the color mode for computer monitors and electronic displays. Images on websites and electronic newsletters should be RGB images.

PPI vs. DPI

PPI is “pixels per inch” and refers to the square pixels per inch in the image. If you resize an image to make it bigger, the number of pixels increases and the quality is lowered. The ideal size for printing quality images is 300 PPI. There’s a good explanation here.

DPI stands for “dots per inch” and is typically used in traditional printing techniques.  DPI uses patterns of dots instead of pixels to render photographic images on a printed page. Generally speaking, the higher the DPI, the better the quality. 

 

MultiAd Employee Adds Creative Spunk to Office

John Ingles Chalkboard

An empty chalkboard glared at John Ingles in the distance for almost five months before he took action against it.

John took a few pieces of chalk and transformed an empty canvas into a showcase for him and his co-workers. The creative innovation put a halt to the previous plans of painting over the chalkboard and adds a sense of flavor to the work place.

Unsure of what to draw, John started with a few lines that eventually turned into a shape which led to a picture. The end result, an enlarged pineapple close to the door with the phrase “Be Creative !”. Since then, others have stepped up to join in on the newest craze sweeping the office.

Art is nothing new to John. The pineapple is one of the latest art pieces he considers “fun art” and only adds to his creative portfolio.

John first became a developer after graduating high school in 1986 and later went on to major in graphic design at Illinois Central College. He’s worked in graphic design and illustration for close to a decade before moving on to motion graphics and interactive media. Now, he spends his office hours programming JAVA scripts. 

Off the clock, John puts his creative thoughts into a sketchpad for fun. He’s created amazing works of art that he proudly displays.

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John credits his motivation and inspiration to an old friend, Doug Haffner. Doug introduced John to a group of artists called the WalldogsThe Walldogs are an international group of mural artists and sign painters. John was attracted to the group because their members offered so many creative lessons for John to learn while also educating others on his own creative
habits.

This past February, John spent time with artists across the globe as part of a Walldog meeting in a relaxing and interactive experience.

John helped add a little spice to the workplace atmosphere. Whether you are a professional artist or a stick-figure amateur, you are strongly encouraged to contribute to the chalkboard.

MultiAd would like to thank John Ingles for his creative spunk!