Printwear

Recognized Supplier Guide ‘18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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50 || P RI N T W E A R O C T O B E R 2 01 8 HOW TO W e are all digital consu mers in this day and age. Most of us use the internet daily, take in and process infor- mation via the web, and buy stuff without setting foot in a physical store. And I' m willing to bet our interests cause us to behave si milarly, too. When we both co me across co m modities, products, media, and infor mation that are relevant to us, our curiosity gets the best of us, and what do we do? We want to kno w more. What else do we do? We ock to the sources, in uencers, and experts that give us what we want. And what do s mart, thriving businesses do? They beat their audience to the punch. They give the m what they want without their custo mers having to dig too deep for it. What do you already kno w about your custo mers? What sparks their interest? In addition to the prod- ucts you sell the m, ho w else do they spend their ti me? Converse is a great exa mple of a brand that's in tune with their au- dience and understands what their custo mers do besides spend money on shoes: Converse lovers listen to music. At this point, I've lost count of ho w many ti mes I've clicked on a Facebook post sponsored by Converse because the brand cre - atively involved music artists I care about in its ads and videos. This week, I subscribed to a mar - keting magazine (and found myself signing up for their weekly e mails) because they published a useful planning checklist on their website that resonated with my needs. I initially found my way to their website because I was searching the in- ternet for tools to help i mprove my co mpa- ny's marketing depart ment. I didn't kno w I needed that checklist until I sa w it, but once I glanced at it, I kne w I'd be co ming back for more help- ful infor mation. What makes these brands stand out and inspire me to engage with the m? It's the ways they approach content marketing. They give me what I want up front, so I give the m what they want, which in these cases include my attention, contact infor - mation, money, and ti me. The Content Marketing Institute differ - entiates "content marketing" fro m tradi- tional product marketing as so mething cus- to mers "can't get so me where else." Instead of focusing marketing efforts around sales collateral and other product-speci c info, content marketing e mphasizes educational articles, e-books, videos, entertain ment, and webinars that ans wer big custo mer questions that might not get ans wered fro m a sales sheet or product instructions. Establishing your brand as a veri able and con dent source of enlightening and relevant infor mation is not only crucial, it's mandatory if you want your business to succeed in a highly-co mpetitive industry where you are pushing the sa me products and services as your co mpetition. Pouring your energy into creating sales sheets, sending out a couple of pro mo e mails every quarter, and posting haphazardly on social media for the sake of getting your info out in a different way may get you so me bites fro m potential custo mers. But if you aren't co m municating that you care about your audience and the infor mation they crave, then why should they care about you? When you present your co mpany as a dependable, credible wealth of kno wledge within your industry and when you provide helpful resources that matter to prospective custo m- ers, you've effectively leveraged your- self above other co mpetitors that may offer the sa me products and services you do. You're more likely to reach and get discovered by the right folks that are interested in your business, making it easier to gain their loyalty and trust, which will help strengthen your brand, harvest an interested and engaged audience, and, even- tually, increase your pro ts. Chelsea Borg mann the product marketing spe- cialist and co m munications copywriter for Coastal Business Supplies. Borg mann enjoys multi-tasking and taking the lead on new projects as they arise, but she pri marily spends her ti me researching, or- ganizing, and creating engaging marketing con- tent that focuses on success in the personaliza- tion industry. She has called Coastal her ho me since July 2017 and joined the tea m with 5+ years of experience working in the digital marketing and social media elds. Borg mann possesses a bachelor's degree in journalis m with an e mphasis in magazine writing and multi-cultural studies fro m Mizzou. Boost Your B Y CH E L S E A BO R G M A N N Digital Marketing Efforts

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