• Provide your customers with an ecommerce payment option on your website to improve collection of accounts receivables.

    Use Marketing Tips and Ecommerce to Get Customers to Pay their Invoices Faster (and Easier)

    You might wonder why a marketing and technology company like NuMedia Marketing would be able to share tips on how to improve your accounts receivable processes and help you get paid faster, but really there is no big mystery here – just some really good information. Honest.

    From the marketing perspective, we can offer you some suggestions that will help:

    • Think about the colors you use.Color plays a big role in many different aspects of life. Think about paint, for instance. Designers will tell you that green is calming, yellow is energizing, and red raises the blood pressure and increases appetite. Given that information, you can make decisions about what you want for the rooms in your office or home. The same idea plays out in marketing, too. Colors for logos, print, and even backgrounds can play determine how some of your clients approach you and your business. For instance:
      • Blue is associated with trustworthiness
      • Turquoise has become attention getting – use it for “SECOND NOTICE” (note to not use RED!)
      • Purple is a color that women like and darker shades, such as violet, say competence and firmness
    • Include INVOICE on the envelope or email subject line. Clarity prevents an envelope or email from being sent to trash without even being opened – and that can prevent delays in your getting paid. Putting a distinct due date – not ‘due in 30 days’ – on the invoice. Otherwise, it can be relegated to the bottom of the stack. When the deadline is specific and clear, payments are more apt to be sent on time.
    • Get personal.Put a picture of yourself on the invoice. That way your customer, or their Accounts Payable person, will be more compelled to pay the invoice because it seems more like they are paying a person, not just a company. Go the extra step and use “please” and “thank you” in your text, just like you would for a friend.

    Improve invoice payment options with technology

    Let’s talk about the technology side of the equation – and you might be a tad surprised about this as well as some of the above suggestions. If you hear “e-commerce” in connection with a website, you probably think about an online store. That’s reasonable. But what you might not think about is having an e-commerce element to enable your customers to pay their invoices right on your website – even when you don’t have a retail element to your business.

    Think of it in this light: Do you pay your:

    • electric,
    • gas,
    • phone,
    • internet provider or
    • credit cards

    on line through their websites? Your customers could pay you the very same way – right through your website. The convenience you appreciate could be the convenience they appreciate, too.

    There are a variety of platforms or tools available, so it is possible to find one that fits your needs – and fits right in with how your clients pay you. We can help you add a payment portal to your website to help you get paid faster and easier. Just like you probably do when you pay your bills, your customers would be able to make payments in the wee hours of the morning and use the payment portal 24/7, 365 days a year.

    Technology is a tool that can make it easier to run your business, and here at NuMedia Marketing we have the experience and knowledge to help you find the platforms and tools that are best for your business. Give us a call at 317-563-7235 to learn more about ecommerce options for your website.

  • Make blogging the hub of your content marketing for effective communication and expansion of your business’s presence in the marketplace.

    3 Big Reasons Blogging is Effective Marketing for Your Business

    Want to make a lot of small business owners roll their eyes? Mention marketing. If they don’t roll their eyes, then their eyes have probably glazed over. Marketing is one of the most important elements of running a successful business, but it is also one of the most nebulous. There is no black and white, do this and that will happen. There are variables: audience, message, brand, products, etc., etc., etc. Here at NuMedia Marketing, we understand your frustration. It takes a plan and it takes consistent effort, and it takes time.

    But there are a few things every business owner can do that will do those things that make marketing powerful and effective. One of those is blogging.

    What does blogging accomplish?

    There are three prime reasons to implement content marketing through blogging for your business.

    1. Increase your reach into the market.

    Search engines like, no, l-o-v-e fresh content. Every time there is a change on a website, the search engines re-index the site. But when you talk about fresh content on a website, owners generally think they have to update the pages on their site. While you want to keep that content updated and accurate, continually changing it is a pain. Plus, you have a lot more information to share than you could ever put on a website page, right? With a blog on your website, you have an unlimited open composition book – and it is searchable, and accessible by your customers and prospects every moment of every day!

     Your website is your online storefront that is open 24/7. Just like you, your customers are up late at night and early in the morning trying to find information and solutions to their problems.  And when they search for those answers, you want your voice and business to contribute to the answer, even if it is 3 a.m. Blogging allows you to share your solutions and suggestions at that hour, while you yourself may be sleeping. That’s the brilliance of the internet and business owners who use it wisely are smart marketers.

    1. Educate customers about products you provide: what they are, the solutions they provide, and how to use them.

    In blog posts you can provide information and visuals to explain the products and services you provide as well as how they can make a difference for your clients. You know the questions that are asked about your products and you can answer them in blog posts. Those posts are then resources, a link that you can send out in a quick email for a complete, explicit answer in a timely manner. Or, you can print off the post and give it to prospective customers. That means you compose the answer once and use it again and again instead of re-constructing the answer over and over.

    This strategy saves you time and effort and also increases your marketing options. When you have a library of blog posts, you have content that can be used in future marketing campaigns and email marketing. Blog content can also be compiled and repurposed into white papers, ebooks, and other publications.

    1. Build credibility and trust in you and your business.

     You are in business because you have expertise or skills in a specific area. A blog gives you the opportunity to share your knowledge and information about your industry that will benefit customers and potential customers. When you do that consistently, you become a trusted source and develop relationships with your readers.

    A blog not only shares information, but it shares your brand in a manner that is consistent with your vision, mission, and message. You have control over it. And, blogs don’t just go away. Once you leave the podium after giving a talk, your words are gone. But with a blog, you can create enough content for a book. It will stay out there forever unless you turn it off, which means if products are discontinued, you simply un-publish those posts.

    Some blog writers guest post on other blogs. This increases your reach and your credibility as you expand your place in the market. Likewise, related companies can share your posts on their websites, social media, and in forums. Simply put, the reach of a blog post is limitless.

    A blog on your website can become the hub for your business that works day and night for you. Using social media and email marketing campaigns to promote the posts extends your reach into the marketplace by driving traffic back to your website.

     Overcome the main obstacle to implementing a blogging strategy

    We know the biggest obstacle we hear to blogging – “I can’t write, or I don’t have the time to write blogs.” That’s why NuMedia Marketing offers blog writing by professional writers for you. We work with our clients to create a plan that includes building a blog library and extending reach in a measured and affordable manner using blogging and social media. It does take time, but that doesn’t mean it has to take your time.

    Contact our team at NuMedia Marketing to find out more about blogging and what it can do for your business. Send an email to support@numediamarketing.com or call us at 317-563-7235 and let’s schedule a time to talk.

  • Imagine how a clear, instructive video about your product or service would explain how it would benefit your customers.

    The Most Effective Way to Use Video for Your Business

    All you have to do is follow the Google and Facebook algorithms to discover that video is hot. Not only do the search engines love it because consumers love it, but Google now owns YouTube so that is another reason Google loves video. The best news for business is that videos don’t have to be funny productions about dogs pushing rocks, cute babies, or anything at all like that to have a meaningful effect on your bottom line. Fact is that right now, the top variety of video for business is called the Explainer Video.

    Video basics every business needs to know

    Before we talk about Explainer Videos, though, let me give you a bit of information about video in general, because that will be important as you begin to consider what you might do in the way of video for marketing your business and increasing your reach – and sales.

    First of all, Dreamgrow says that video boosts conversions and sales by 80%. That’s a remarkable number and it’s not pie in the sky, either. Of businesses they surveyed, 83% said that video provides good ROI. Part of the reason for that is that consumers say that watching a video increases their confidence level about purchasing from the company by as much as 57%. In addition, as far as search goes, Moovly says that businesses with a video embedded on their site will have a 53% greater potential for showing up on the first page of search results.

    Those statistics are significant enough that knowing them should give you the motivation to explore options that fit your business. The top tips to know for creating effective video that works are these:

    • The most important thing to know is that content is still king. The quality of the production and having a slick design matters much less than the message. Be sure that your videos are providing viewers information they want and need.
    • Video and other marketing content has to be consistent with your business’s branding to prevent confusion and problems with credibility, with both potential customers and with search engines. That’s one of the reasons that a marketing plan is so very important. It’s important to remember that a confused mind always says, “No.” Sales require a yes, so don’t create your own obstacles to yes wit confusion and mixed messages.
    • Complete, clear, and accurate information is most important. There are times when a funny, quirky message is fun and makes you stand out and get social shares, but in general, purposeful videos that meet the needs of consumers will remain effective and evergreen. Viewers are most disappointed by videos that miss the mark when they are looking for information and the video information they find is unclear and/or confusing. In fact, that ding to your credibility can have a long lasting negative impact for your brand.

    The Explainer Video – your key to increased traffic, conversions and sales

    With that in mind, let’s talk about the Explainer Video. Some may also call it a how-to, but that’s not true in all instances. The point is to explain your product or service to the viewer in a manner that gives them the opportunity to see themselves using the product or service and understand how it will be beneficial to them. This can be done in several ways:

    • The classic How-To: Go through how to use the product or service in a granular way so that the viewer can understand how it would work and so they can see that it will be user-friendly. A caution here: it is a good idea to have a non-user or someone who is not familiar with the product or process view the video to be sure your version does not inappropriately make assumptions that the viewer has knowledge or experience critical to understanding.
    • The Implementation Example: Show actual implementation with another client or customer that is complete with testimonials. The idea is to show that your product or service works for others so it can work for the viewer. Testimonials should include references to support and resources available to service before purchasing. When 68% of consumers say they would prefer watching an Explainer Video to solve any product related problem you really need to listen and take action.
    • The Nitty Gritty: Some products are very complex or require detailed instructions for use or building. Use animated graphics and detailed images to explain exactly how it work, what to do, and how to do it. Not only does this give you greater leeway in being able to explain something, but these kinds of videos are actually easier to produce. In some instances, this could be used as a training video, too.

    What makes an Explainer Video effective?

    Of those businesses who use video, 45% of them say they have an Explainer Video on their homepage and of those, 83% say it is effective. Why is that, do you think? First of all, people love consuming video. After all, vision is our most dominate sense. Video is so easy to consume and buyers want to see your product in action.

    Another point to make here is that 90% of videos being consumed are being watched over mobile devices. YouTube reports that mobile consumption grows by at least 100% every year and that trend doesn’t appear to be slowing at all. So be sure that your website and the videos are mobile responsive. You don’t want anything preventing a potential sale.

    Additional points to support adding a video strategy to your marketing

    Social shares of videos are based on emotion rather than fact. That means there is room for those funny, quirky, and quaint videos. That means that while you will start with one kind of video that will give you the biggest and fastest ROI, you will want to consider different types if you are looking to expand your reach. Increased social shares increase traffic to your site and a variety of videos means visitors will spend more time on your site.

    Don’t think of video strictly as something you will embed on your website. Videos can be effective used in blogs, email campaigns, and in social media campaigns, too. Start by identifying your target market, your target goals, and the message you want to deliver, then plan the video(s) you want to produce.

    Obviously, what we are hearing and learning in the marketplace here at NuMedia Marketing is that the Explainer Video is effective. But, because every brand and business is unique, the hottest video in the market might not be the best to achieve the goals you have set for your business. When you are ready to explore what marketing and advertising strategies, including video, can help you grow your business, contact us online, or give us a call at NuMJedia Marketing at 317-563-7235. We love building plans that work and finding new and creative ways to market business.

     

  • Change requires that your brand stay in step – does your branding and website do that?

    Stop to Look at Your Brand to See What It Is Saying About Your Business

    What has been the biggest change in your business the last 12 months? 6 months? Is it a change that has improved your business or one that has been detrimental in some way?

    How do you look at your business?

    Changes come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, don’t they? We see it ourselves here at NuMedia Marketing and in our clients’ businesses, too. And each little – or big – element of change affects the general health of the business. In fact, each adjustment affects almost everything else. Some think of it as growth, some think of it as evolution, some think of it as just the way business goes.

    However you think of it in your business, one thing has to come out of the changes – you have to acknowledge them and make conscious adjustments. That sounds awfully theoretical or academic, so let me give you some concrete, practical application that will make sense.

    First, let’s talk about some of the changes that can occur, through design or default:

    • You add new products or services to your company’s offerings
    • Your clientele shifts from one niche market into another
    • You add staff (and they do or don’t meld into a team)
    • You lose key members of your team
    • Your sales soar (or decline)
    • You relocate your headquarters or open new locations
    • You take on a marketing partner
    • You engage in strategic partnership with other businesses and professionals
    • You engage in online marketing, a store, or social media

    Of course, this is just a small sampling of what can happen in a business over a few months. You can see how each one of the above listed things will impact the rest of the business – the adjustments you have to make. Sometimes it seems that the business you had on Day One no longer resembles the business you have today. It’s when you see such a difference that you have to think about your branding – and ask a few important questions, including the following four:

    1. Does my business’s brand reflect what my business currently IS?
    2. Is my brand targeted at the market I now serve, or the markets I want to serve?
    3. Is my branding still fresh and current, or looking a little tired or dated?
    4. Where does my branding look like it is going? Is it forward looking?

    The answers might surprise you. As a business owner you are constantly on the move. When you don’t take the time to stop and look closely, everything looks OK as it is. Being OK doesn’t mean it is necessarily performing optimally, does it? That applies to branding, too.

    What is your brand saying right now?

    First thing everyone thinks about is LOGO colors and design. That’s the easiest – and in the mind of many, the only thing they need to consider, but they are wrong. What else must be considered? Here are a few things:

    • Is your website mobile responsive?
    • Is your website easy to navigate and use?
    • Does your website reflect the products and services you offer? (The new ones have been added and the old ones have been eliminated.)
    • Does the message a visitor gets reflect your company values and the direction your company is headed?
    • Are you blogging? Sharing your knowledge, educating your clients and prospects, and adding content for search engines on a regular basis?
    • Are you present on social media? Do the messages you publish reflect your company and personnel?
    • Do your employees perform and behave in a manner that is consistent with your company message?
    • Does employee appearance reflect your brand? Color, design, embroidered, neat, crisp, and clean?
    • Are you proud when clients come into your office or business?

    You know when you meet someone or enter a business for the first time you get an impression of them immediately. Those who interact with you, your employees, and your business do the same. And that’s fair.

    Do you need a rebrand or a refresh?

    If you stop and closely observe all the facets of your business branding and don’t feel blown away with how cohesive, telling, and accurate the message is, it’s time to make some conscious changes. For our part, you could be looking at a rebranding or a brand refresh.

    Most often, all a business needs is a refresh. That entails tweaks and modifications to make sure everything is aligned and consistent in appearance and message. Perhaps changes to the website; structure and navigation, cleaning up the website content, making sure it is mobile responsive for all devices, and security in place.

    You will want to review you’re the content for consistency in messaging, tone, and flavor – as well as where you have a presence. Could be a billboard advertisement would serve you as well as a Facebook page. Are you interested in a direct mail campaign or an email campaign, or ads on social media platforms? Keeping the style and message consistent means you create a presence on- and off-line that calls your business to mind when seen or heard.

    While a refresh is kind of like a new haircut and style, a rebrand is much more extensive and intensive – and more difficult. It is a complete overhaul of your brand. That doesn’t mean you change who you are, but some see it as a re-launch with a bigger, better you. A complete makeover.

    Just like the old saying reminds us to “Dress for Success,” you have to dress your business for success, too. Branding is the way you do that. Take the time to really review what your business is saying in the marketplace. If you want help in doing that, contact us at NuMedia Marketing via our website or by calling 317-563-7235. We have lots of experience in branding, and updating branding, too, whatever it takes. Consistency is the underlying principle to everything we do for our clients. We truly feel that your success is our success.

  • Would adding an ecommerce site to your small business increase your revenues?

    What You Need to Know to Build an Ecommerce Site

    There are many similarities between operating a physical brick and mortar storefront and an online ecommerce site. Both must be taken seriously and handled professionally, otherwise your visitors will leave without making any purchases. We can all understand that the product illustrated could be amazing, but if the potential buyer can’t make it through the purchase process, they will leave and buy somewhere else.

    If you are considering an ecommerce option for your business, you must make decisions that will fit the product(s) you are selling and the customers who will buy. The process should be easy to navigate and easy to use.

    What does it take to set up an ecommerce site?

    Before you even begin to consider the nuts and bolts of setting up the actual store front, you must be aware that the platform on which you build the store must be a solid foundation that will support what you are doing. It’s the same idea as building a skyscraper on sand. If there is not a strong enough base, the entire project will collapse – after driving you crazy with all the little problems you’ll have every day until the day of the big crash.

    Although we know our clients are eager to proceed with all the exciting elements of building a digital store, here at NuMedia Marketing we know that the first steps are the most important. Technical details regarding the website such as hosting decisions, content management systems, website templates, security essentials, backups, and server capability are critical first steps.

    To completely nail those items down, there are several decisions to be made and steps taken before you can even think about developing the actual online store:

    • You should have a domain name, a web host, a dedicated IP address for your website, and a private SSL certificate.
    • You should have a website.
    • What are the products?
    • What are the prices? (Be sure to include costs of business such as payment transaction fees.)
    • What payment methods will you accept?
    • What merchant account(s) will you use?
    • How will the product be delivered?

    There is one more element you must consider when launching an online store. You must protect it, just like you would protect your physical location with alarms and security, you must protect your online store from hackers and other digital problems. Be sure to have backups and protections in place that will operate behind the scenes to keep your business secure.

    After having answered these questions you have much of what you need to move forward with two other components of an ecommerce site: selecting a payment gateway and a shopping cart.

    Payment gateways for your ecommerce site

    You must have an idea of what you are selling, how it will be paid for and how it will be delivered to decide on the best ecommerce platform, or shopping cart, and payment gateway provider. Some shopping carts are better for certain kinds of products and not others. Many gateways, like PayPal, accept credit cards, but some people might not be comfortable using PayPal. Decide what you want to use and be comfortable understanding the fees that will be charged for transactions.

    The payment gateway will integrate with your merchant account, and they must be compatible, so that is one of the first considerations. Don’t worry, because most merchants integrate with most of the payment gateway applications, but you do want to confirm this point when making a selection. Fees can also vary and the amount of time to have funds reach your accounts. You will also want to fully understand how returns and refunds will be handled for your merchant and for the gateway.

    Shopping carts, platforms for your ecommerce site

    How do you want your store to operate? Immediately upon entrance to the website or as a separate place on your website? i.e., via a tab? Shopping cart apps (or platforms) set up your store database and provide you with links to your shop and the admin area behind the store.

    Options offered by shopping carts vary, but can include:

    • Tracking products in stock
    • Different tax classes and rates
    • Category and product population processes
    • Report generation
    • Notification of orders and other communications
    • Order fulfilment and shipping options
    • Integration to the payment methods and payment gateways
    • Configuration options: columns, sale, discounts, FAQs

    You can customize the cart to reflect your business branding, including your logos, your name, and the contact information – address, phone, and email – in headers and footers. You will want to be able to customize the pages so that it is consistent with your business branding for marketing purposes.

    Remember that the online store represents your business and will be your business home on the internet. You will refer customers you meet face-to-face to it for their business, so you want it to flow seamlessly with your business brand message.

    An ecommerce site is not set it up once and leave it

    Even if you get through everything and are happy with the look, feel, and functionality of your ecommerce site, you must recognize that it must be maintained. Reasons are various:

    • Adding new products
    • Removing discontinued products
    • Updating prices
    • Changes in tax rates or processes
    • Changes in shipping rates or processes
    • Special sales, discounts, or offers
    • Digital and internet updates and changes

    Just like in a brick and mortar retail operation, shelves must be maintained and product rotated, so must an online store. Be sure to set aside time and energy to dedicate to your store maintenance.

    Running a retail operation is complicated, whether it is a physical storefront or a digital storefront. There are many different balls to keep juggling. An online store will, indeed, increase your reach and, in many instances, provide many other benefits. But it is as serious an operation that must be maintained and protected as a shop full of inventory and customers.

    Ecommerce sites are serious business

    We don’t have to tell you about the potential that an ecommerce site can have for certain businesses, you see it every day. If you want to get in on the stream of business the digital platform can open up for you, we urge you to take it very seriously, and to do it right. There is nothing that can hurt your business more than an online store that is not functional. It provides a picture you don’t want to give your customers or deal with day by day.

    Here at NuMedia Marketing, we have lots of experience developing and maintaining ecommerce sites. Give us a call at 317-563-7235 to set a time we can meet and discuss what an ecommerce site can mean for your business. We’d be happy to help!

  • Turn a promotional product into a valued gift that is valuable to your business

    Social Media Measurement Tells You What You Need to Know

    You have decided to make the leap into the social media pond. You’ve made sure there are posts going out on Facebook, Twitter, and even on LinkedIn. You can be proud. You’ve been consistently posting for close to four months now.

    I have to ask – How’s it going? Are you getting the traction you want? What has changed in your business?

    If you don’t know, you aren’t alone. It’s not just social media where this happens. It happens a lot in marketing and advertising. Some business owners go at it with a trial and error approach or a shotgun approach, hoping that something sticks and works.

    But how do they know?

    There are a lot of things that can be measured in a social media marketing campaign. It doesn’t all boil down to how many times the phone rings. Social media and online marketing is much like traditional marketing in that it takes time and touches. The best results come from a long-term, consistent effort. Some of the areas that provide evidence of a productive campaign are:

    • Reach and engagement
    • Traffic
    • Audience profile
    • Audience size
    • Competitive benchmarking
    • Sentiment analysis
    • Content analysis

    That’s a lot to look at, which means you could spend your entire life drilling down into details of a single campaign, and we all know small business owners don’t have the time for that.

    Strategic planning pays off

    Here at NuMedia Marketing we know that no single marketing campaign can do it all! That’s why a marketing strategy starts with identified purpose and goals, then the campaign is built to achieve those goals. Measurements and benchmarks are established to determine the success of the strategy.

    We all know that technology, and everything about it, changes constantly. That includes social media marketing. What might work at one point in time may be less effective at a later time. That’s why measurement is so important. As the results zig-zag across the online field, it’s important to tweak and modify different elements to achieve the best results possible.

    Of course traffic, reach, and engagement must be monitored. However, the types of posts – or content – has an impact on the results, as well. The message, after all, is at the center of the purpose of the campaign. Are you as a business owner trying to educate and nurture prospects, or are you offering discounts or sales to entice current customers to purchase more or again?

    Through it all, consistent branding is required along with the consistent messaging. It’s a plan. Measure the plan results and then tweak and modify for greater effectiveness, or make a change in the purpose and set new goals.

    We have all heard variations of “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it,” or “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” Whichever version you have heard, the basic message is true. You must have a way to measure what you’re doing to determine if you are getting the return on your dollars, time, and effort.

    NuMedia Marketing has systems in place to help you development a strategy and plan to project consistent, on-brand messages through social media and then to measure it to keep on track. Call us at 317-563-7235 to put our team to work for you and your business.

     

  • 5 Ways to Use Promotional Products to Improve Your Business

    When I think about promotional products, my mind begins to swirl. Seriously. It might be because marketing is my “thing,” but it’s also because what some have considered cheap junk in the past are beginning to see the real value they can bring to a business – and it’s not all just giving things away. What your business gets in return is real – real like in dollars and cents real.

    Just off the top of my head I see at least five ways you can use promotional products in your business to improve your business.

    No. 1 – Promotional Products for Branding Consistency

    Apparel i Apparel is one of the easiest ways to brand your business.s one of the easiest ways to bring a consistent branding appearance to your business. With the variety of clothing options from t-shirts to button-up shirts, skirts, sweaters, and aprons, you and your employees can provide a consistently crisp and attractive appearance – no matter what industry. I’m saying you don’t have to be a restaurant. No, even a tech company can require employees to wear a work shirt that is a red polo with your logo imprinted on it and black pants. Your logo and brand colors greet every client.

    Likewise, if your business is one that performs outdoor services, jackets, fleeces, sweatshirts, gloves, and hats can all be branded for your company.

    Apparel options are endless and you can control the way your customers see your company at their door.

    No. 2 – Promotional Products to Stay Top of Mind and In Front of Your Customers

    Where is your client or prospect when they contact you for business? If they are at their desk, provide them with a promotional product (with your branding, of course) that will stay on their desk and keep you and your company in their line of sight for a long time. What kind of items could that be?

    • Post-its keep your business front of mind.Calendars
    • Coasters
    • Pens
    • Post-it notes
    • Candy jar
    • Mugs

    If your client is often on the go, there are a variety of branded products that could be on the go with them:

    • A keychain keeps your brand really close at hand!Pens
    • Portfolios
    • Business card holders
    • Thumb drives
    • Portable power hubs
    • Keychains
    • Insulated drink cups

    No. 3 – Promotional Products as Thank You Gifts for Top Clients

    Showing your appreciation never, ever goes out of style. Branded gifts of quality are not what many people think of when they want to show their appreciation for loyal business. Maybe that is because most people don’t think unique and quality when they think of promotional products – but you can get high quality at a reasonable price.

    For instance …

    • Wouldn't you be impressed with a leather bag?Food and edibles such as steaks, brand name confections, cakes, cookies, and fruits
    • Wines and spirits
    • Executive sets including leather portfolios, high quality pen and pencil sets, or briefcases or messenger bags
    • Technology devices and accessories such as speakers, charging stations, cameras, drones, earbuds

    No. 4 – Promotional Products for Employee Motivation, Incentives, and Gifts

    There are so many options to use promotional products for employees, that I can’t cover them all, but here are a few.

    • Something handsome and useful makes recognition a fond memory for employees.Rewards and recognition – Yes, you could have engraved plaques and trophies, but you could also have a certain gift tied to recognition, too. For instance, when recognizing loyal service for a set number of years you could reward your employee with a high-quality tote or bag after their first year of service. For two years, a journal or portfolio, and for five years you might reward them with a Bluetooth speaker or other technology accessory.
    • Not just winning, but winning a nice prize makes a difference!Contests – Whatever contest you can devise, you can find prizes that fit the results – and even the season of the year! For a summer contest you could have beach towels, sunglasses, BBQ sets, lawn chairs, and even cabanas and coolers as prizes. Another idea is for each participant to rack up “points” that they can spend in a store you have set up that includes gifts of all sorts in all different levels. That way they can “purchase” what they want from the points they have earned.
    • When employees feel appreciated and valued, they perform better.Appreciation Gifts – Employees might not admit it, but they appreciate it when they are gifted with even a small token of quality that if functional. For instance, getting a personal padfolio on their birthday might seem like a small thing, but you might surprised who excited they get being recognized, valued, and appreciated.

    No. 5 – Promotional Products at Community Events, Conferences and Conventions

    Whenever you attend an event as a sponsor or in a booth, that is the time to get creative. Your business will be one of many, no doubt, so you must make sure that you stand out!

    Themed promotional products add to your sponsorship results.Make a difference in your community.For instance, if the event is for breast cancer awareness, provide a themed item that will be kept such as an information booklet, Women’s Health Planner, or a bookmark. Or, if the event is a fire safety event for families, give away jar openers with your local fire department’s info (and your brand, too!).

    Promotional products make a hit when they touch the heart.Sponsoring an event for a pediatric cancer charity? Give away plush animals for children. Every child loves stuffed animals and every parent loves to see a smile on their child’s face.

    Of course, pens, post-its and calendars are always great give-aways for the general public.

    You see, there are many ways to use promotional products for marketing your business – and this just touches the proverbial tip of the ice berg. We haven’t even gotten into the creative and fun types of uses. If you can imagine it, we can make it happen, I’m pretty sure.

    The bottom line for promotional products is that you use them to create a good feeling and goodwill with your employees, clients, and prospects.

    Remember what Maya Angelou said,

    “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

    Turn your promotional product giving into gifts that make the recipients feel good so they will remember.

    Call us at NuMedia Marketing at 317.563.7235 and let’s figure out what it is you can do to create some great memories!

  • Is this how you feel about social media? NuMedia Marketing can make it easy for you and your business!

    Which Social Media Platforms Are Best for Your Business?

    If you haven’t jumped into the social media pond yet, you might be comforted to know that you are not alone. There are a lot of small businesses who haven’t even dipped their toes into what they feel is a swirling whirlpool of roiling waves on top of a powerful riptide lurking underneath. Some don’t have or use their own personal Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn pages, either. So don’t feel like you are a caveman among crowds of astronauts. You aren’t.

    That being said, getting into the social media scene could be a very good thing for your business. For businesses, especially small businesses, social media plays three major roles:

    1. To bring awareness to your business and create a presence in the marketplace so when customers need your product or service, they think of you
    2. To build relationships with your existing clients and extend your reach to new customers
    3. To market your products, services, and events to the widest audience possible, including sales and special offers

    Those three roles are each huge undertakings in and of themselves, but when you add the numerous social media channels, or platforms, it can all become overwhelming very quickly. But stop, and just like most other things, let’s start with the first step.

    Which social media channels should you consider?

    The social media platforms most businesses should begin to consider include:

    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • LinkedIn
    • Google+
    • Pinterest
    • Instagram
    • YouTube

    That doesn’t mean that you should select a couple at random, or jump into all of them. Stop and slow down. Each platform has its own unique attributes that will inform you of which to avoid and which to establish a presence. One of your top goals is to find out where your target market is active on social media and then go there. To help you out with that, I’m going to give you a few statistics and bits of information about each that will probably inform some of your decisions right off the bat:

    FACEBOOK

    By far the behemoth of social media reaching the broadest audience online. The general consensus is that every business, if they are going to get in the social media mix, needs to be on Facebook. This is regardless of industry, product of service. Even though some complain that their reach is restricted by the algorithms, this is where just about everyone can find their targets.

    • 71% of adult internet users are on Facebook, which is the largest social media audience. 1
    • 28 billion people have monthly active accounts1
    • 802 million users log in daily1
    • 45% of users are 25 – 44 years old2
    • Gender breakdown: 53% women and 47% mail1

    Other considerations:

    • Hashtags are becoming more common
    • Posts are being indexed in search engines
    • 44% of users check their Facebook feed several times a day.2

    TWITTER

    Twitter fosters interactions. This is the place to post content, education pieces, and posts that are for branding purposes, exhibiting your company personality. It’s also good for offering special deals and discounts. Just like Facebook shares, users retweet posts to their followers, which expands your reach.

    • 650 million users1
    • 340 million tweets a day1
    • Gender breakdown: 53% women and 47% men1
    • 51% of active users follow brands or companies, 90% of those looking for promos or discounts1

    Other considerations:

    • You should learn how to use hashtags (#) and mentions (@)
    • Tweets will reach all your followers
    • The average lifespan of a tweet is only about 2 hours1

    LINKEDIN

    LinkedIn is a platform more for B2B businesses and for sharing professional expertise and information. It is great for posting job opportunities but not so good for B2C type communications. LinkedIn is a great place to network and share by joining LinkedIn groups. The main purpose of LinkedIn is professional networking and building connections.

    • 300 million people using LinkedIn1
    • 75% of users use their account 4 hours or less per week1
    • Gender breakdown: Roughly 50/501

    Other considerations:

    • Anyone can access your posts, even those people who are not your connections

    GOOGLE+

    Obviously Google+ is the Google social platform. It is similar to Facebook and Twitter, but it connects with other Google features. It is understood that using Google+ can have a positive effect on SEO.

    • 550 million active users monthly1
    • Mostly men users1

    PINTEREST

    Images are the key here. Pinterest is great for lifestyle-related products like food, fashion and home décor. Although topics including pets and business ideas are also doing well here. This is a great platform to bring “personality” to your business. If you are on Pinterest, it is important to brand every image with your company’s logo. A tip: Try Pinterest as a user before attempting to use it for your business.

    • 70 million active monthly users1
    • 80% of Pinterest users are women1
    • 34% of users are between 18 – 29 years old; 28% are between 30 – 49 years old2
    • 7% of shoppers say Pinterest has inspired holiday gift purchases1

    Other considerations:

    • Pinterest gets more referral traffic than Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit and Google+ combined1
    • It generates a lot of traffic to websites1
    • “Pins” stay active for months1

    INSTAGRAM

    Very visually oriented. Images drive the platform so the user must have content that will be visually interesting and easily represented through photographs. Quality of photos are important here, too.

    • 500 million users on the app and 59% check the app daily2
    • 37% of users at 18 – 29 years old1
    • 68% are female1

    Other considerations:

    • Instagram is good for sharing spontaneous events, projects, machinery, etc. that are part of the business

    YOUTUBE

    You know YouTube is for videos. The thing is that YouTube allows users to upload, share, and view videos. Bear in mind that it is the second largest search engine (behind Google – and it is owned by Google). It is very SEO friendly. Just about everyone has been on YouTube at some point so you know the variety of video content is limitless. Every business can create something for YouTube.

    • 100 million unique visitors monthly1
    • 54% of users are men1
    • 37% of users are between 18-34 years old1

    Other considerations:

    • Perfect length is reported to be two minutes or less
    • Videos remain online indefinitely
    • Videos put a face to your business and demonstrates your expertise

    Now What Do You Do?

    I know that this provides you with a lot of information, but look at each platform with a critical eye and the goal of choosing your top three. Set up a page for your top choice and learn to use it. Start slow. Set a goal of a certain number of posts per week. Then start posting. Just remember: once it goes out, it’s there forever. So be mindful of the image you want to present and the impression you want to make – it’s your business at stake.

    On the other hand, if you want help, contact us at NuMedia Marketing. We understand social media and branding, and how they can work together to market your business. There are very few businesses that should be on all the social media platforms, but we firmly believe every business should be online somewhere on social media. The metrics and ROI we have seen with our clients show us that it is an important avenue for business growth.

    Call us at 317.563.7235 and let’s set up a time to talk about how social media can benefit your business.

  • Computer hacking is a problem every website owner needs to be prepared to battle.

    Intrusion Protection – How Vulnerable Are You and Your Business?

    Cybersecurity is one of the fastest growing industries around the world and there’s a significant reason. According to a special report sponsored by Herjavec Group, it is predicted that “cybercrime will cost the world in excess of $6 trillion annually by 2021.” Computer hacking is NOT something that is going to decline.

    In April, 2017, a CNBC headline declared “Congress addresses cyberwar on small business: 14 million hacked over last 12 months.” I’m not going to address any political stance on what the government is or is not doing to help business regarding cybercrime or hacking, I just want to call your attention to the number: 14 MILLION!

    With the growing number of hacks using ransomware, protecting your network and computer systems is imperative. Yes, the big corporations are hit, but so are the small businesses. The ransoms are often demanded in bitcoin payment so tracking and stopping the crooks is virtually impossible. Maybe that will change, but for right now, the best thing you can do is be forewarned and for-armed!

    The report on CNBC says that most small-business owners don’t think they are at risk. I can agree with that in my experience, and the other obstacle to safety is the fact that most small business operations do not include an IT person. Owners think they can stay on top of updates and security patches.

    Some owners might be tech-savvy enough, and have the time to devote to updating systems and tracking potential problems. But here’s what I usually see:

    1. A hacker creates and sets loose a hack that spreads like a virus.
    2. The big cybersecurity firms like Norton, Wordfence Security and others create a security patch to counter the hack and notify their clients.
    3. Some organizations, like NuMedia Marketing, immediately apply the update to all the accounts we maintain, providing the fastest and most efficient security protection.
    4. Other individual clients might not see it or let it sit in their email inbox for days. And who know what can happen in the meantime.

    Often the hacks occur because an update is made available for systems platforms and, if not installed, a big gaping hole is left open for the slime to slink in between the cracks. This often happens when systems are integrated with other systems and plugins, there are tiny leaks in between them that need to be plugged. Once the gaps are identified, the system programmers create a patch – an update – but anyone who doesn’t see or skips the update is left wide open and vulnerable.

    How do you protect your system?

    Firewalls can be your first line of defense. It is a network security systems designed to prevent unauthorized access to or from a private network. A firewall can be implemented individually in software or in hardware, or as a combination in both.

    Firewalls can be customized to you network or system and protect both personal and commercial or corporate networks. There are several different techniques used in the application of a firewall and, depending on your needs, can be a complex and highly technical configuration.

    Regular digital maintenance is another line of defense that every website owner should consider. Keeping your website updated, in all respects, helps to eliminate holes and gaps that make you vulnerable to the hackers.

    For example, when WordPress releases an update, it might break the links to a variety of plugins site owners have used for their ecommerce, communications, and other things. When there is a disconnect, it’s often like leaving the door open. Until that break is uncovered and reconnected, the danger is there. That’s why having an IT professional monitor and review your site and its apps is the best and easiest way to BE SURE you stay protected.

    Where can you find help to secure your network?

    When was the last time a true IT professional took a look at your site? Don’t leave yourself open to some hacker’s dream or some criminal ready to hijack your data and hold it hostage. Do you have what you need to protect your business? Are you protected with the hardware and software that is effective today? As the bad guys grow more sophisticated, so does the protection you need.

    Contact NuMedia Marketing online or by calling 317-563-7235, and let our IT professionals take a look-see at the backside of your website and your system. We know what you face, even if you don’t, and we are right here ready to beat off the attackers.

     

  • Prevent a computer crash from calling a halt to your business with IT maintenance.

    IT Maintenance – It’s Like Doing Laundry

    Everyone loves that first day with a new computer or software. Everything is neat and tidy. It runs smoothly and f-a-s-t.

    Then we get to work.

    Time passes.

    We pull in new apps and spend time surfing from site to site. We save documents and images, links, and our desktops get cluttered and messy. Our bookmarks get cluttered and disorganized. Things start slowing down.

    Apps and sites get updated and we upload some of them – when it’s convenient. All of a sudden, things on our computers and networks don’t work quite right. An integration jams up our system or process. Maybe a connection is broken, printers don’t link or print properly. In worse case scenarios, something crashes.

    It’s annoying and aggravating – and slows us, and our business, down. We start thinking what a pain in the neck technology really is – not the wondrous world we anticipated – and were promised.

    IT maintenance is a real thing – consider it a necessary aspect of your business

    Think of basic IT maintenance like housekeeping – or doing laundry. Just like your home or vehicle needs basic care and maintenance, so does the technology in your system. There’s nothing worse than not having clean underwear or clothes to wear. And, like doing the laundry, some basic IT maintenance will keep your systems running better, such as:

    • Archiving old material
    • Deleting redundant files
    • Eliminating files that are superseded, out of date, or no longer pertinent
    • Defragmenting hard drives
    • Cleaning up desktops, bookmarks, unneeded links and apps

    This kind of IT maintenance should be handled by each user on a regular basis. It frees up space and makes your computers run faster by eliminating so many programs and hoops to hop through.

    Computer program and app updates

    Updates are not issued just for security purposes, although that is a significant part of updates. No, updates are issued for many reasons, including keeping the program or software current to work with new technology and other systems. Technology changes and what was once compatible may no longer be compatible. This not only makes some things better; it also can create hiccups.

    When updates come out, the alerts often provide an option to “install update later” which, if it’s an option taken too often, can open up your system to security risks, and to operational risks.

    For instance, a good example is when WordPress issues an update. Many small businesses have built their websites on a WordPress platform. The benefit to users that WordPress has become the go-to platform is in the number of other services and apps available to integrate into your website ballooning. Therein lies the blessing – and the shortcoming. When WordPress issues an update, not every other app, plugin or software integration will continue to operate properly – the connection may be incompatible.

    When updated systems and software, you have to be prepared to not just find the problems, but fix them. And that’s where the task gets hairy – and it pays to have an experienced IT professional at the ready.

    And we aren’t even talking about the security issues. No, we are talking about your ecommerce platform going haywire, or other automated processes seizing up. And, for many NuMedia clients, it’s a customer call that alerts them that a problem exists.

    And then they are battling a raging wildfire instead of a managing a controlled burn. Although our clients know they can count on us when they discover that raging fire and call us with their emergency, it’s less stress for all of us if we help with the controlled burn and provide IT maintenance services.

    When it’s time to update and maintenance a system, we know what to do, what to look for, how to adjust misalignments and prevent the wildfire – which, in small business, can mean loss of sales, customers, or opportunities. It costs time and money – more than a regular maintenance service call would have taken.

    Keeping your systems running optimally is what everyone wants – you, your IT people, and even your customers. If that is a priority for you, make sure you have a maintenance plan in place. NuMedia is available to help you with that. Call us to talk more about how we can make it happen.