Authenticity in Modern Marketing

A free range, grass fed blog postAuthenticity.  What does it mean to you?
Is it a pristine, original painting? A perfectly restored classic car? Perhaps organic fruits and vegetables? Artisan firewood? Using leeches as a way to heal wounds? Well, you get the picture. Humanity can get a little carried away with authenticity. But it sells. In fact, the Rule of Seven (“rule” stating that you must contact a person 7 times before they will consider your product or service), is becoming a laughable thing of the past. It’s no longer about how many times you contact somebody, it’s about HOW you contact them and if it is RELEVANT and COMPELLING to them.

We are obsessed with authenticity
In the digital age we are bombarded with demands for our attention,  In our over-processed lives nearly every outlet is untrustworthy. The things we do trust are original, simple, and down to earth. We are drawn to people and other creatures that persist, and that are unapologetic originals—because we want that too. This phenomena can be seen in nearly every issue on every side of the political aisle and is manifested in different ways.

Businesses can direct that passion and drive for authenticity on a product or service by speaking the new language of the consumer.
Continue reading Authenticity in Modern Marketing

“But I’m not ready for you to see my website!”

Cat with smily face placed over his mouth
Just fix it already

“I don’t like my website, I’m going to redo it soon” [like a year from now].

Does this sound familiar? Or how about “I’m going to invest in social media when I am ready for large orders.” But you aren’t ready for large orders because of several reasons, including not having a proper website for clients to view and/or place orders.

It’s 2017 and 39% of small business owners don’t have a website, and many that do are unhappy with the way it performs or looks. While there are several reasons that a website can do a poor job at generating leads, there are a few reasons that are unashamedly staring us all in the face.

Continue reading “But I’m not ready for you to see my website!”

World Environment Day

We here at APi-Marketing LOVE the outdoors so we as a group decided this year to celebrate World Environment Day by getting out and enjoying the fabulous outdoor recreation we have in Northern California.

World Environment day is about getting out and enjoying nature. To breathe in the beauty and remembering that we need to keep our planet healthy and safe!

World Environment Day is the biggest annual event for positive environmental action. This unofficial holiday started in 1972 and is always held on June 5th every year. This year’s theme was Connecting People to Nature and a few of us did just that. We went out and explored the outdoors, listened to the tranquility of the outdoors and just soaked up all that mother earth has gifted us with. This year’s theme invites you to think about how we are part of nature and how intimately we depend on it. It challenges us to find fun and exciting ways to experience and cherish this vital relationship.

 
 

Although the official World Environment Day was June 5th which was a Monday we went out the weekend before.

We invite you to get out and explore the benefit to living in Northern California. Look for future posts about where to go and what to see around us!

Be One With Nature

There are many days we like to celebrate here at API-marketing, especially the ones that have to do with the great outdoors. Although we are an indoor company the majority of our employees love the fresh air and serenity of being outside. This year as a group we have decided to celebrate World Environment Day. As a company we work hard to be good to the environment. We have taken out a lot of our landscape in front of our shop, we water as little as possible, we recycle everything we can and we make sure to get outside and enjoy what mother earth has given us. This is why we have chosen to celebrate World Environment Day.

World Environment Day is a day to connect with the environment around you. It is a day that was created to encourage worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment. It is a day to take action and do something for our world. Whether doing it locally, nationally or globally take a moment in time to do something that will give back to our future selves. It is something that can be done on your own, with a group or even an organization. This year’s theme is “Connecting people with Nature”. It is telling us to get out and enjoy nature, it’s beauty and the world around us.

Although this wonderful day is falling on Monday June 5th and we can’t close up we have chosen to celebrate in the days leading up to it. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn to see what we have been up to!

 

Giving Like a Big DOG

Big DOG

If you haven’t heard of Big Day of Giving, you have either been living under a rock, are not from Northern California, or not on social media at all in the entire month of April!

For those that don’t know about it or don’t know the details, Big Day of Giving is a yearly event in the beginning of May and this year was held on May 4th. It is a program in the greater Sacramento region created to help spread the word of philanthropy. It is a twenty-four hour challenge for almost 600 non-profits to get as many online donations as possible. This big push for one full day of donating helps non-profits spread the word of the good work they do. The event helps to draw attention to all the amazing non-profits in our region. The goal is to bring donors and non-profits together for an experience to remember forever, or at least until the next year.

Along with the many donations from donors, there are also prizes given from sponsors throughout the day to help build momentum. Each hour a prize of $1,000 is given to the non-profit that got the most donations during that hour. There is a $1,000 donor prize each hour that goes to the non-profit that has the most unique donors during that hour. A booster prize is one that is a randomly selected donation from that hour adding anywhere from $250 to $1,000 to boost that donation. And lastly the blast off booster prize in which one of the donations made within the first 10 minutes of the event starting at midnight will get boosted by $1,000.

This year was the 4th year of the event and again it was a HUGE success! Raising nearly $7,200,000 from thousands of donors beating last years totals by nearly $100,000. This years donations brought the total to more than $23,000,000 in donations. The leader of the pack for the past three years is non other than one of our favorite printing partners Placer Land Trust. They have raised the most money during this event for the last three years and almost were the leader the first year but came in at a close second. We are happy to partner with them all year long for all their print and marketing needs!

Placer land trust logo

Although a large portion of the non-profits were from the immediate Sacramento region there was a great representation from the Placer County region as well and we are happy to call many of them our partners. We look forward to this event every year, helping out great non-profits exceed their donation goals. Every one of the non-profits are winners and we would like to congratulate them all!

 

Pallet Re-purposing Contest

It all started with an office chat about how we can celebrate Earth Day as a company. Lot’s of ideas were thrown around such as helping to clean up the American River, cleaning up a park or even going on a hike as a company but none sounded like something we could get a lot of hype from our coworkers for. After pondering for a bit we thought about building something and then thought of what we could build and why it would pertain to Earth Day. Then the light bulb hit… We have an almost endless supply of pallets (it’s what all out paper comes in on) and we have some creative employees!

We started off as maybe building something as a company and then we decided to make it a little more interesting and make it a competition. To add to the fun we made sure that everything that went in to the project was to be re-purposed excluding the fasteners (nails, screws, hinges) and the paint or stain. We got a lot of excitement out of all our coworkers and had almost the whole shop on board to make something. As time went by it dwindled down to four solid projects and a few people wishing they had time to do one. As we got closer to finishing we asked one of our closest customers Preserva Products if they had any stain lying around that we could use for our projects. They graciously gave us four gallons of different color stains to use and they were beautiful colors.

Rae our main customer service gal made a beautiful coffee table with her husband Kyle. Danielle our graphic designer made an awesome windowsill planter box and even re-purposed a plant from her compost pile. My project was a joint effort with my husband Ian and we made a little table for our three year old daughter (chairs to come later).

The projects all turned out amazing but there was one that stood well above the others. Jordan our WINNER made an out of this world bench and table. The bench includes a re-purposed galvanized metal bucket that can be used with ice for drinks. He even created the star stencil out of other pallet boards to be able to burn the star into the table.

The pallet project competition was a HUGE hit and really made a bigger impact on social media than we had thought. After only four days of Facebook voting we reached over 6400 people and almost 4500 of those were organic. We had twenty-five shares, sixty-seven comments and three hundred and twenty-three likes on Facebook. It by far exceeded any of our expectations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stay tuned for another pallet re-purposing competition later in the Summer that will include our friends, family and customers!

Don’t Be The Next United Airlines

Whether you are a large fortune 500 company or a coffee shop, bad press is bad press. United Airlines made a mistake in throwing that guy off the plane, but made a bigger mistake by not getting in front of the publicity with more of a wholehearted apology. This same effect on a smaller scale could happen to any business large or small. Especially in the social media. If someone posts negative feedback on your Facebook, Yelp, Twitter or other accounts, you need to fix it properly and fix it FAST.

This is why even if you are a small-medium size business, it is very helpful to have someone there to manage your social media for you. You are an expert at your business and likely too busy to properly manage a comprehensive social media program. Let us be your avatar. By having a monthly service agreement with us we can be that sense of urgency that is sometimes needed in the world of social media. We can also help with the consistency and professionalism it takes to make social media a success.

Let us know when you are ready to move forward with getting help for your social media channels and we will be here to help you. Let us help you make sure your aren’t the next PR catastrophe.

Check out our services pricing here: social media services flyer

Friend Before Salesman: Steve The Encyclopedia and Time and Money Saver

Black and white image of steve holding a yellow hat
Click here to go to Steve’s company profile

The past few months have been filled with Steve’s background and life full of amazing adventures (somehow all print related). This is our final installment, we hope you have enjoyed everything so far. To see the previous blog post, click here.

Steve the Encyclopedia
These days there are other, digital things to be had in addition to print and Steve has shown his knack for learning quickly in these areas as well, and adding them to his internal encyclopedia. Just ask him about any of these things:

letterpress, foil, emboss, die cutting, offset press, digital press, silkscreen on Metalisized paper, glass, wood, and metal. These special processes are used for packaging, labels, specialized product labels, magazines and other publications, brochures, business cards. Steve has extensive knowledge in how to work with color and density in any kind of print and has always been a great resource when our design department needs advice on how to adjust colors for better prints.

Steve the Money and Time Saver
Steve has been involved in more than a few of our most intricate printing projects including the packaging for Primeau Water Filters, a product for home use in places with questionable water sources, and Cello Chocolate, our favorite Gluten Free organic chocolate makers! He made sure each piece of the project was clearly defined, good quality images and prints, the packing physically fit, took international sales into consideration and coordinated an exceptionally smooth experience. He has saved these people and others countless time in research and development, production time, and even trips to our office by bring product and proofs to the clients.

Well now that we are done talking about what makes Steve so great, let’s talk about the ways in which he can make your business life easier:

    • Personalized service. He tailors the level of service to your needs. He isn’t always trying to up sell because he really wants what is best for you, the customer. And your needs are what matters most.
    • Advice. Based on his knowledge and experience, he will always have an answer. If he isn’t 100% sure about something he will go and confirm it/find out the answer. There is no problem too big or too small.
    • He will run your proofs and samples back and forth between APi-marketing and you, so that you don’t have to pay for shipping or wait for it to get there in the mail, and so that he can be there to answer any questions or concerns you may have.
    • Easy to deal with. No sleazy sales guy here, his number one concern is getting you the best quality work possible.
    • Peace of mind. Some customers have actually come back from online printers to APi-marketing because they appreciate Steve’s honesty about what is included in pricing, attention to detail, and catching potential problems before things go to print. Often, with poor quality prints online, you won’t be able to get a reprint, and waiting around for them to get their act together is a royal pain.
    • Save time on time-sensitive items because 90% of everything we offer is in-house.
    • Save on shipping. Come pick up your stuff or have us deliver it.
    • Save wait time on getting your mailing together. We print, sort, and send in-house rather than send out to a mail house. This saves you 3-4 days of processing and you won’t have to coordinate between all the different companies handling your mailing.

What can you do with all your new peace of mind, free time and money?  Perhaps you can invest in your business, try out that new software program that could save you thousands if only you had the time, build your portfolio, just focus on other pressing business matters OR, take some time to travel, see your family, pet the animals. You deserve to have peace of mind when it comes to your marketing materials.

Want to work with Steve? Just give us a call and we can set you up: 530.885.9674.

Earth Day Photo Contest

Hiker near Sierra ButtesCalling all photographers (and casual picture takers)! We are putting together a social media project for Earth Day and are looking for an awesome picture from one of our followers.

The theme this year is Life finds a way, Give back to the earth, Get out and enjoy the earth.

If your picture is chosen you will receive your photo front and center with copyright credit and link to website printed on our postings AND 50 free greeting cards of your own design or 100 free business cards. Please email jackiew@api-marketing.com with your entry.

Deadline is March 29th and winner will be announced March 31st.