Welcome to our Marketing & Design Blog! You'll find industry news, marketing tips, and information about new projects we're working on. For even more tips, info, and news, click on the icons below and you'll find a plethora of tips, tricks and news on Chicago Graphic Design, Chicago Web Design and Chicago Internet Marketing. Enjoy your time here because we have lots to share!

A New Year, A New You

December 31, 2012

Here at our office we've all been feeling extremely inspired at the start of this new year. Along with each new year comes the opportunity to present yourself in a brand new light or take on those projects you have been putting off. If Madonna can reinvent herself a million times, then why can't you and your business do the same? Reinvention is just a few steps away depending on what projects you want to focus on. Not sure where to put your focus for 2013? Here are a few of our suggestions on reinventing your brand for the new year

Blog Syndication Services SEO

So you've written the most amazing blog post in the world. You feel proud! You've done your research, used big words, make yourself look like the expert you are. You hit publish. And it just sits there. Nobody knows it exists. It's time to start marketing your content.

You've got to promote your writing just like you promote your business. If you didn't talk about your business, you wouldn't get anywhere! Most suggestions are well known, and talked about significantly, but while that's true, sometimes it just doesn't happen on the ground level. Want to find out exactly how to make the most of your blog posts? Read onward!

Happiness and Creativity

This post holds a lot of meaning for us at Integraphix, we value creativity like we value our clients. A lot! But what does creativity really mean? Creativity is an environment, an idea, and a feeling. It's also a talent, but even those with talent need inspiration and a positive environment to create beautiful things. Despite the starving artist stereotype of a depressed person generating thousands of priceless works of art (Van Gogh), in our fast paced society, we can get bogged down easily with other worries, stress and non-creative issues that can create blocks.

So how, as a creative person, can you maintain happiness and continuously fill your creative pool? I know as designers, we all have battled a creative block (not the book above) but there are ways to overcome these!

Business Blogging Services

Business blogging is not easy as owners or those who write for businesses are expected to be great writers on top of being an expert in their field. The combination is not easy to come by, and there is typically so much going on in a business at any one time, taking time away to write a blog can seem inconceivable. It can't be denied that engaging an audience can be difficult at times, but there are ways around this time-sucker. You should also not discount blogging as a way to benefit your business all for the positive. Here are some tips to get around the time issue and also to become a more prepared business blogger.

Twitter Marketing Hashtag

Every time we talk to clients about social media, quite a few get confused about what to do with the hashtag function on Twitter. What is it? What does it do? How do you create one? Let us explain!

What is a hashtag?

A Twitter hashtag is simply a keyword phrase, spelled out without spaces, with a pound sign (#) in front of it. For example, #iheartintegraphix and #ifyouweresmart (it's actually trending right now. really.) are both hashtags.

What does a hashtag do?

A Twitter hashtag ties your tweet into one stream, which you can find by searching the hashtag in Twitter Search or by using a third-party monitoring tool such as HootSuite.

In essence, Twitter users who are not otherwise connected can talk about the same topic using a specific hashtag, and their tweets will appear in the same stream. In that way, Twitter hashtags solve a coordination issue and enable a conversation. Popular hash-tagged words often become trending topics -- topics so many people are talking about that they are a "trend."

Although Twitter hashtags are quick and easy to create, there are some issues you can come across if you're new to creating them. Let's look at these possible issues and some best practices to keep in mind if you're thinking of using hashtags to support your marketing efforts.

Trendy Graphic Design In 2012, the world of design is developing at a rapid pace, and designers can find it hard to keep themselves up to date with the latest in trends, tools and conversations. In the same vein, some designers simply don't know how. Take a peek at our simple and effective methods to keep yourself, designer or business owner, in the know.

Viral Marketing and Word of Mouth Advertising

Today, an advisor for Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney spoke on live television about the presidential campaign. The topic was moderate vs far right issues, and how voters would respond. His comment was literally two sentences, but it started a firestorm of sales on Amazon.com and it went something like this:

  • "I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It's like Etch A Sketch; you can shake it up and we start all over again."

That small snippet in a 3 minute interview put the Etch-a-Sketch back into the minds of the American people. It wasn't an advertisement though; it was simply a metaphor for changing topics during a heated campaign season, but instead of causing love and devotion for the intended party, it sparked feelings of nostalgia and remembrance for a long-lost, but dearly loved toy, the Etch-a-Sketch.

Interested in seeing just how to promote your own viral, word of mouth marketing strategy? Click read more!

Not-for-profit Graphic Design

Finding a Chicago Marketing Company that actually understands the unique aspects of the non-profit sector can sometimes be a challenge, which is why, when looking for a Chicago Marketing Company, not-for-profit organizations should look for companies that have experience in that market.

Agencies that market to a specific niche, such as manufacturing or financial, will have a deeper knowledge and understanding of communication, target market, customer motivations and will ultimate, garner you better results.

To achieve effective marketing, the agency needs to deeply understand processes, concerns, member and sponsor behaviors and needs, as well as know about the products and services the organization offers.

Stand Out in Crowd

What aspects of your company really stand out in the crowded room of competitors? Step into your customers shoes, and really take a hard look at your company and where it might be lacking. Think about this; you are just like your clients. You're being bombarded with advertising and marketing messages thousands of times a day. Can you name one thing that you remember specifically?

For your products and services to stand out, it really needs to be outstanding. This takes much effort and time on your part, and on the part of your Chicago Marketing Company, and you need to demand peoples attention in a way that isn't forceful.

Does Standing Out Matter?

Here at Integraphix, when we talk to small business owners, we hear the same thing, "I want to get word of mouth referrals and online business". In order for this to happen, there needs to be something to talk about; something compelling for people to say about your company. Do you have something like that?

Advertising Agency It is said that 50% of all Advertising is wasted, but is it really? Certainly, it takes some time for advertising to take effect, but there is a way to keep that 50% waste to a minimum if you follow a few simple rules. An advertising agency can keep you on track for the most part, but doing your part to keep costs down and increase the effectiveness of each ad is extremely important.

  • Plan your Marketing journey

    You wouldn't go on a trip without an itinerary, would you? Without a detailed travel plan and a map you wouldn't get very far for very long. All too often, businesses place advertisements without a clear plan of action or purpose. The most expensive advertising is advertising that doesn't work, and the former is a huge part of the challenge. Reducing advertising costs boils down to planning. You should include several things in your marketing plan: a situational analysis, or what's going on right now, a positioning document (how you want to position your business in front of customers), pricing for advertising design and distribution, your strategies, market research, SCHEDULES, and much more.

  • Make smart advertising decisions.

    How? Do your research. The marketing plan just discussed will help you identify the best audience to advertise to, and it will also help decide just how you're going to do it. Does your audience watch television or read magazines? Do they use iPads or Laptops. Smart phones or a blackberry? These are things your research will tell you, and will in turn inform your decisions.

Want more? Keep reading for some awesome tips and information.