Making a Difference at the River

Over last weekend we partnered with South Yuba River Citizens’ League to clean up the Bear River Campground. This was part of the nation-wide Clean up the World Weekend, and we certainly did find things to clean up! It also helped to have a great view of the nice cool water and beautiful foliage.

According the SYRCL’s Facebook page, “from Donner Summit to Marysville, 886 volunteers removed nearly 14,000 pounds of garbage and recycling. ” That’s impressive!

Walking the road before we go into the campgrounds
Walking the road before we go into the campgrounds
Our smallest helpers look for anything near the water!
Our smallest helpers look for anything near the water!
bags of recycling and garbage
Just a little garbage from the second half of the day!
stuffed monkey by the water
Monkey business indeed

Self-Publishing VS. Traditional Publishing

To Get a publisher or self-publish? It concerns more than just aspiring authors.

There are significant benefits and downsides to both options. You may be thinking : “What does this have to do with my business?” The answer is simple: depending on what you have to offer, publishing of any kind can bring you authority in your field, more income, and more clients.

People often have a hard time deciding between self-publishing and traditional publishing, especially in the age of digital media. With Amazon and Google Books around, it has become even more apparent than it was 10 years ago. You must consider your business and your audience before making the decision.

What is your business and what are your credentials? Seriously, it matters to a publisher because they want to make sure you have a marketable book before they buy into it. It also matters to the reader with a keen interest in your subject. Your skill level and business will be apparent to anyone worth their salt who reads that book or publication, so back it up with good research and decide early if your project is about the money, recognition, or something else.

You may decide you don’t even need to publish your material—that’s up to you—but here are some basic considerations for when publishing is the way to go.

Continue reading Self-Publishing VS. Traditional Publishing

The Well-Targeted Newsletter Audience

Imagine:

Example #1

It’s Friday afternoon and you’ve just sat down in your favorite chair on the porch with your favorite beverage in one hand and a stack of mail in the other. You revel in the fall breeze at it gently pushes away the once stuffy, hot air. It’s nice to be outside again.

You examine your stack of mail:

Cable TV ad. Nope.

Another “pre-qualified loan offer”. Not falling for that again.

Car insurance quote offer, for the hundredth time. Maybe later.    

Bills. Absolutely later.

Here is a newsletter from the community organization that you donated $20 to last year. Well that is interesting. What’s going on in the community? What are they doing with your investment? You can’t believe what you are reading. ALL OF THAT is happening right now? How can you help? You get this strange, powerful drive to do something for your community and look for a person to contact. All the info is right there.

Example #2

Next door to you, the neighbor kid has just gotten home from school, fallen on the couch, and is looking through his Facebook feed. Endless streams of information. But he isn’t really reading it, he is scanning, turning his brain off for a bit and only stopping when certain interesting words or images catch his eye.

Angry cat. Hah, that cat is great.

Political upheaval. Later, when I have more energy.

An ad for a T-shirt with his last name on it. The shirt reads: “It’s a Smith thing, you wouldn’t understand.” Clever, but that’s been way overdone.

Headline: “A man plunges into a rushing river and what he does next will amaze you”. No, it won’t. It will be disappointing. The picture displayed here won’t even be in the article and it will only be amazing to a toddler. Oh wait, no pictures. Not even toddlers are impressed. The kid starts to write a post about how annoying headlines have become and then erases it. Nobody cares about that either.

His attention piques when he sees a post about the alarming rate of child trafficking in Placer County.

The next few minutes are filled with furrowed brow, narrowed eyes, and held  breath. The wheels of alarm are turning. What can he do to help? He cares about his community a great deal and must do his part in something great. Well it says right there how to help, who to contact, and some words of encouragement. Hey look, a button that says “Yes, I will help organize a Safe Walk Home meeting at my school.” Yes please.

Example #3

Miles away in the city, a young woman is finally on her last hour of the work day. She checks her email one last time and notices an e-newsletter from the community organization that she volunteered at last year during a park trail cleanup. She likes getting emails from this organization because they gather up all the most important things going on in the outdoor (about as outdoor as you can get in the city) community and give her a snippet of what each thing is about. She thinks that the articles are always on point and usually relevant to how she can participate further or what has been done as a result of volunteers like her.

She’s had a rough day. She clicks on the link to learn more about using plants to create a stress free environment in the workplace. There is a great place right over in that corner for a succulent plant!

Reading this newsletter gives her inspiration to go outdoors over the weekend, and also to buy a plant for her office.

And look, they are having a tree planting event next week in the park! She will make sure to join. The park is just a couple blocks from her office.

These are what well-targeted readers and tailored content look like. Not every avenue is perfect for the entirety of every audience. In fact, it’s best for an organization or company with a wide range of clients or potential clients to reach out in different ways, according to segments of their audience. Not sure where to start?


Start Your Information and Invitation Funnel by:

  1. Surveying existing interested parties and researching their demographics and motivations so that you can get more readers like them.
  2. Decide on how to tailor content to each segment of your audience.
  3. Plan a timeline and follow it repeatedly, provided it works. Otherwise make adjustments.
  4. Make your content. What do you want your audience to do and how will you make it clear that they are to do that thing?
        
    Now is the time to send your message. Not sure how to get it done? Or are you concerned about the professional quality or the possibility of hitting the spam folder/trash can? If you get lost anywhere in the process or you just need somebody to take over in the social media, email, design, or printed newsletter department, give us a call! (888) 282-8764. Or email us at quote_request@api-marketing.com

FYI your SEO and PPC work together

Before I explain the details, let’s take a look why it is important for your online business marketing. As you may know, Google, Bing  and other search engines are basically how people find stuff on the web. It pulls out relevant information it thinks people might find useful. That’s millions of people looking for answers to their real-life questions every hour of every day.
So how do you find your way to the first page on search engines? There are basically two ways to do that: SEO and PPC. Both of them work, but do you need both? To really understand what the difference between SEO and PPC is, let’s take a look at them individually and see what their strengths and weaknesses would be. Continue reading FYI your SEO and PPC work together

Commitment to Our Community and World

As a company we strive to be conscious of how our business decisions affect our community and environment. But what is a company without it’s team of hardworking employees? Nothing, of course! So we want to take a moment to thank our team for their continued help in supporting our community and sustainability goals.

Our team in the community
Our team doesn’t have to be told to be decent people, they already care about the community they live in. That’s why we are proud to have them with us! They frequently volunteer at places like the Auburn 20-30 Club, Cub Scouts, Biodynamic Association of Northern California, Western States Trail Foundation, Tevis, Back Country Horsemen, Soroptimist, and countless others. For those that don’t have official engagements with non-profits, it seems like every weekend one or more of them is off to some hiking or 4 wheeling adventure—and caring for the trails along the way.

Recycling like our world depends on it:

  • Over 90% of our printed paper waste is recycled weekly.
  • We strive to recycle 100% of our “box board” either through recycled pickup or by reuse of the boxes.
  • 100% of all packing material is reused.
  • 100% of the unused and unneeded paper is donated to local preschools, kindergartens, churches, or clubs.
  • 100% of our metal plates are recycled and money received goes into the company pizza fund.
  • 100% of our unused ink is picked up by a licensed waste hauler and used as a fuel for making bricks.
  • When given the opportunity, we strive to choose the best sizing and placement of art to generate the least amount of paper waste possible.
  • We set our pallets out for collectors, and our employees, to repurpose into other items.

    bins filled with recycled paper
    That’s a lot of paper for recycling! And yes it’s pretty much like jumping into a pile of leaves; AMAZING!

The Case for Newsletters

It’s cheaper to keep existing clients happy and engaged than it is to get new clients, which makes it so much sadder when companies neglect their client base and give exciting offers or much needed assistance only to potential clients.
With so many options today, a client needs to see value in your company in order to stick around. This value may be there already, but they need to see it! In fact, 90%* of people would switch to a new company that they feel has a better Corporate Social Responsibility ethic, or supports a cause that they like. With people that are willing to make a switch, the modern day business must frequently communicate what they are all about—without being annoying.

There are many ways to communicate: emails, newsletters, posters, flyers, brochures, mailers, videos, social media, community efforts, etc. They can range from passive, to in-your-face. The value of each depends on frequency, timing, content, and audience.  You won’t be able to praise the benefits of grass fed beef to vegans, and have them decide to eat it, no matter how good that beef is.

Quarterly and Monthly newsletters are a great way to give your clients and supporters assertive, yet not annoying bits of excellence. They can:

  1. Build loyalty by offering relevant, helpful information from your area of expertise.
  2. Let people know what you’ve been up to in the community and what your company personality is like.
  3. Give your company a voice.
  4. Give you an opportunity to get to know your clients, and segment your audience for different content, based on how they respond to your newsletter.
  5. Nurture existing leads in a cost effective manner and generate new leads and new sales by allowing people to discover what you have to offer. For example, every now and then a person comes to us after seeing an article about banners and tells us “I didn’t know you printed banners!”

We are offering 25% off printed newsletters through August 2017, so if you are curious to see what a newsletter can do for you, get a quote! Email quote_request@api-marketing.com or call 530-885-9674


*According to Cone communications/Ebquity’s 2015 Global CSR Study

 

Photo credit: Foter.com

What can YOU build out of a pallet?

If you are on any social media platform you have most likely seen at least one project made out of a recycled pallets, especially if you follow us on social media! There are so many ways to take a plain wooden pallet and make it into something AMAZING and NEW! We ran a contest amongst our employees to see what they could make out of the pallets that our paper is delivered on. It was such a huge success and fun project that we decided to do it again, but this time we are inviting our customers, friends and family to build something.

We started this project because we like the idea of recycling. Here at APi-Marketing we do a lot of that, whether its pallets (our employees are always making stuff from them), 99% of all paper we use, press plates, or just soda cans. We try and let as little go to the landfill as we can.

Project time starts now! Come over to our shop and grab a pallet or two or ten and start building! We get new pallets almost every day so if we don’t have what you are looking for, check back again. Look on Pinterest, Google, any social media platform, or just something you have been contemplating in your head and find a fun, useful or extravagant project to build out of pallets. These projects will be displayed at our VIP Open house in Mid-October. There is a kicker, for those who want to be included in a silent auction on the projects, 100% of the money raised will be donated to a local non profit organization (to be determined prior to event).

How do I win and what do I get you ask? WELL, the winner will be determined by votes cast at the VIP Open House. The winner will receive $250 worth of gift cards to one or more of the following: Flyers Gas Stations, Old Town Pizza, Center for the Arts, Machado Orchards, or Local Heroes (or a combination of them).

Of course there are some rules….

  1. Has to be made mostly of pallets.
  2. Anything added on must be recycled from something else, not purchased new for this project. (Exceptions are anything used to fasten such as nails, glue or staples and anything used to decorate such as paint or stain)
  3. Must “RSVP” your project prior to or on September 11th, 2017 (whether or not it is finished) so we know how many projects to be expecting and to make sure you and a guest are on the list for an invitation to the Open House. http://bit.ly/palletRSVP
  4. Must be able to bring your project to APi-Marketing or arrange for us to pick-up for our VIP Open House in mid October.

That is all, now go have fun and create a new masterpiece!

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!