How to Generate Local Leads With Pokemon Go

Generate Pokemon Go Leads

Pokemon Go is an alternate reality mobile game that’s captured the attention of 7.5 million people in the United States and is only growing in popularity. You might wonder what a smartphone game has to do with your business. The core game play of Pokemon Go encourages users to go out into their local community to catch Pokemon, giving you a prime opportunity to generate Pokemon Go leads among its player base.

Set Lures on a Poke stop at Your Store or Outdoor Event to Generate Pokemon Go Leads

Points of interest, which include stores, parks, churches, monuments and other interesting locations, gain a Poke stop designation. Players go to these stops for important game items. If you have a store that’s lucky enough to be in the range of a Poke stop or you have an outdoor event at one, you can get a critical item for increasing foot traffic: a lure. This in-game item attracts Pokemon to your location for 30 minutes.

Set one of these down, let your followers know on your social media channels and watch new customers congregate. Get some hands-on time with the game so you can strike up a conversation with potential clients and easily keep lures going. You gain a captive audience that lingers during the lure time, so they have plenty of time to look at your products. Keep plenty of catalogs around so they get a better idea of your full product range to convert these Pokemon Go leads. A catalog management system helps you create these easily.

Create Smartphone Charging Stations

Pokemon Go uses the smartphone’s GPS and must remain open while playing, which takes a heavy toll on smartphone batteries. If you really want to generate Pokemon Go leads, set up smartphone charging stations to encourage players to linger at your business. Even if they aren’t in your target demographic, you build up goodwill in your local community. Consider adding a water cooler to the charging station if you really want to make friends, and take the opportunity to put catalogs nearby.

Keep a List of Nearby Pokemon

What type of Pokemon frequent your business location? Talk with players and keep an eye on your own smartphone to compile a list. Focus on Pokemon with a large number next to CP, or combat power. High CP Pokemon are more desirable for players, due to their strength. Give interesting Pokemon a shout-out on social media. Keep an eye out for these names:

This mobile game gives your local business a unique opportunity to attract new customers and generate Pokemon Go leads. Plus, you might end up with a new hobby that helps you connect with your community.

Create SVG Images in Illustrator – [Video Tutorial]

Today we are going to go over how to create SVG images in Adobe Illustrator. SVG images are unique because they are composed of code and can be scaled without a loss of quality because they aren’t made up of pixels. SVG images are great for responsive web design especially with the rise of retina screens and mobile. In this tutorial you will learn what SVG images are, how to optimize your image, and how to best export to create SVG images.

Transcript:

Hello there, so today we are going to cover making .svg (scalable vector graphics) in illustrator. This is especially useful for creating icons or other graphic elements that will be on web, especially responsive sites.

What makes them different from other image formats is that unlike .jpgs or .pngs they stay vectors so they can be scaled while maintaining their form.

So the first thing that we are going to do is make the image that we are going to use. I have an icon here that is made up of a lot of lines and shapes. You can only make an .svg out of vectors. You can’t place an image in and make that an .svg. Now, when making an .svg this image is going to turn into code, so it’s a good idea to simplify your image in order to get cleaner code and a smaller file.

So we are going to turn these lines into shapes by selecting only the lines, not the shapes, and then object > path > outline strokes. Now that we have shapes we are going to combine them with the pathfinder tool. If it isn’t open already you can go to window > pathfinder. So with everything selected press the unite button.

Now you have a simplified image and you can make the image into the .svg. Make sure there is nothing behind it like a background or other shapes, and make sure it is on an artboard.

Click file > export > export as. Change your file name and in the drop down select .svg all at the bottom. Click Use Artboards so that you make only your image into the .svg in case you have other elements on the page. Now you can press export. Set styling to internal CSS and font to Convert to Outlines. If you don’t convert the font to outlines in my experience it can get distorted. Set Images to Preserve, Object IDs to Layer Names, Decimal leave alone, and make sure Minify and Responsive are checked. After that you are done and you have your file.

5 Things to Avoid on Your Brand’s Social Media Pages

B2B Social Media Tips

Even a cursory search of best practices on B2B social media will provide a variety of strategies that can improve your social media marketing. In fact, many business owners understand more about social media than their own catalog management. Unfortunately, fewer recognize what they shouldn’t be doing on these pages, and in reality, this can have a far more severe impact.

1. Don’t Argue With People

When someone denounces your company on social media, going into defense mode is an immediate reaction. Business owners must avoid this. If someone is critical of your business because of your B2B social media pages, take the time to apologize and make things right. If they’re fabricating claims, calmly explain what really happened. And if a competitor is simply trying to tarnish your name, remember that you can delete posts.

2. Following Everyone

When someone follows your B2B social media page, it seems only common courtesy to return the favor. Never forget, though, that you only control your page. If another profile begins making disparaging remarks or engages in otherwise disrespectful behavior, do you want your company associated? Be selective of who you follow, and remember that it’s ideal to follow fewer people than follow you.

3. Purchasing Followers

When looking at a social media page, it’s more impressive if it has a multitude of followers. This is no excuse, however, for purchasing fans. Most companies that offer this service use fake accounts. However, having these bogus profiles will result in lowered engagement. In the end, this means your real fans won’t see your content. There’s a reason no price book exists for followers.

4. Posting Too Often

You must consistently post content to social media, but this doesn’t mean you should overload your fans. A B2B social media page that posts updates too often can crowd clients’ social feeds and result in people unfollowing the page. If you only have one point during the day to post content, don’t post it all at once. Also, don’t make every post about your products. Save that for the digital catalog.

5. Don’t Get Into the Fray

Even if you have strong political beliefs, don’t utilize your business’s social media pages to shout from the mountaintop. Back in 2015, an auto shop owner decided to express harsh political opinions and even promised to refuse service to certain individuals. The backlash was immediate. Always keep your business and certain opinions separate.

Building a successful company can be difficult, but social media must be a part of that process. Unfortunately, these platforms can sometimes prove as harmful as they are good. Just make sure you’re posting great content, and avoid the aforementioned mistakes at all costs.

Sources

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2015/04/social_media_reacts_to_auto_sh.html

https://blog.bufferapp.com/how-often-post-social-media

How Pictures Sell Tech Accessories

Sell Tech Accessories

If selling tech accessories is your business, you know that a cable is not just a cable. But you are not the majority of your customers. Although technology is pervasive in modern society, most consumers still use the “trial and error” method to figure out where each cable fits and which adapter connects mismatched parts.

It is challenging to promote your vast inventory of tech components, especially when you supply parts from multiple generations of audio-visual, digital and internet technology. When your buyers don’t know exactly what they need, they will take only a few moments to flip through a paper or online catalog and stop at what looks right. Clear pictures of the essential parts of each inventory item are therefore crucial.

Focus on Shape and Size

Photos must show whether a cable end is round, square, oblong or “duck-mouth” shaped. If there are holes or jutted edges on either cable end, show it clearly in the picture or contain a diagram. Even though you may know all ports for a certain cable contain three holes, for example, and the corresponding cable will always have three pins, don’t assume your customers are also aware. They may stop short of purchasing the cable if there’s any question it will work in their machines.

Print Pictures in Color to Sell Tech Accessories

Although terms like “male to female” and “HDMI” might be second nature to you, many of your buyers are still using the colors on the back of their audio visual systems to link up the right cords. Make it easy for them by reproducing an accurate color picture of each cable, with the red, white and yellow ends clearly shown.

Choose “Common Sense” Categories

It’s reasonable to assume each customer knows the purpose of the cable, adapter or other accessory they need. Group your components by use, such as audio-visual, lighting and data. That way your customers can go quickly to the relevant area and scan the photos for their item.

Capture All Angles and “Zoom” Feature

In one shot, attempt to capture all relevant aspects of the cable. Online versions of the catalog should have the “zoom” feature enabled, so customers can simply click to take a closer look. If an essential part can’t be captured in a single shot, consider a split image with all important angles.

Taking a few extra moments with your tech photography can ensure you don’t miss any sales and your customers won’t be left confused. The added effort on your part can make a real difference in your long-term revenue.

Introducing the Future of Catalogs, Interactive Catalogs

Future of Interactive Catalogs

Product catalogs are great and a staple in many industries, but is there something more you could be doing to leverage the work you’ve already done? Yes! With Catsy you can turn your print catalogs into interactive catalogs by simply uploading your pre-existing catalogs and adding hotspots that link to your e-commerce page. They increase SEO through catalog keywords and you can track buyer interaction with analytics for a better understanding of your customers. Create an unlimited amount of  links to your interactive catalogs to send out to prospects. As usual, the Interactive Catalogs transcript is below.

Interactive Catalogs Transcript:

Creating a product catalog is hard work. Right?

After all the time you put in creating it, it’s disappointing how quickly the catalog gets out dated. You have printing costs to deal with, and as if that wasn’t enough, it is extremely hard to measure their performance. It can be daunting!

Well at Catsy, we help tons of companies automate print catalogs for online use by converting them into digital interactive publications that

  1. Are searchable so your customers can quickly find products
  2. Make it easy to update descriptions, pricing and images
  3. Create space for more copy and alternate view images
  4. Are connected to your ecommerce site for easy shopping
  5. Mobile friendly for your customers on the go
  6. Make your products findable online with baked in SEO capabilities
  7. And finally, add ears to your catalog with analytics so you can fine-tune your product offering.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up today to get more out of your print catalog and marketing efforts.

Creating Technical Drawings in Illustrator – [Video Tutorial]

Creating Technical Illustrations

Hello folks, today we have another tutorial for you on creating technical illustrations in Illustrator. Creating technical illustrations is a great way to show product components, steps to assembly, and the breakdown of parts in kits. As always, the transcript for creating technical illustrations can be found below. If you haven’t checked out our other videos feel free to head over to our Youtube channel.

Creating Technical Illustrations Transcript:

Hello there. So today I am going to go over how to create technical drawings in Illustrator. These are great for manuals, spec sheets, catalogs, and even your website. They are great for simplifying an image and showing components.

So the first thing you want to do is find your image. I’m going to use this image of a bike brake. Bigger images work better because they will be easier to see details when you zoom in.

Once you place it in illustrator it’s a great idea to dim the layer or change the opacity so that you can see your drawing better. Next lock the layer. You can do that by clicking command 2. This makes the layer not selectable so that you don’t have to worry about accidentally moving it when you are trying to move a line. You can always undo this by clicking command alt 2.

For this tutorial you are going to be almost exclusively using the pen tool. If you already know how to use the pen tool you can skip past this part of the video where I explain how it works.

So the pen tool can be tricky at first, but gets easier the more you use it. Start by creating a new layer. Then access the pen tool by pressing P or selecting it in the tool bar. The pen tool will automatically not have a stroke unless you just had a line selected so you can change that by selecting an outline color. You can make a straight line by clicking and then moving the mouse and clicking again. By the way, I press V or any other key in between making different lines so that they aren’t all connected. Make a curved line by clicking and then holding on the second click and moving the mouse to create the curve. If you want to adjust the curve press A and you will get the direct select tool, and you can move the handles around. Once you have made one curve illustrator assumes you are going to keep making curved lines, so to make a straight after a curve click the last anchor point that you made. If you decide that you need to make a straight line a curve you can press shift c and then drag on the anchor to convert it to a curve.

Ok, so this style of drawing is usually done in just two line thicknesses. 1pt and 2pt. 2pt is for all outlines, and 1pt is for detail lines. You can set up graphic styles for this, or you can just switch line thickness as you work or after). One great thing to do is to round the corners and caps in the stroke panel. Now you can start on your image. You want to create as little anchor points as possible so that the image looks smooth, but don’t limit yourself and make the drawing more difficult than it needs to be. Also, don’t worry because if necessary you can and and delete more later.

So basically I am just going to go around the whole image. Sometimes I do the outlines first and then switch to the detail lines, sometimes I do all the lines in one thickness and change them later. As you work you can figure out what feels best for you.

Now I won’t make you watch me do this whole image, so I’m going to do a few sections and then show you what it looks like when it’s done.

If you want to highlight one specific area of the drawing you can use the pen tool to create a shape to fill in certain sections. This is great if for example you want to highlight the break pads or any other part of the drawing.

The last thing I do is clean up any lines, change all the lines to black if I had been using another color, and then hide the background layer. So there you go! Now you can export it or keep working to get whatever desired result you want.

How to Increase Your PPC Engagement Through PIM

Every marketer knows that pay-per-click or PPC engagement is a major indicator of the success of a campaign. While other metrics matter, like your click through rate (CTR) or your search impression share, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how well an ad is designed if people aren’t clicking on it. What many marketers don’t know, however, is that product information management (PIM) is rapidly becoming a major success factor as well, even in marketing.

A study by FitForCommerce found that roughly 80 percent of successful e-commerce companies identify product information management as the best starting point for other online businesses. As such, “more companies are addressing PIM as a strategic asset and as an important prerequisite for evolving retail business models, data governance initiatives, and real multichannel strategies.” In other words, PIM enables PPC, and the best PPC campaigns rely on PIM.

Here is what you need to know to increase your PPC engagement through PIM:

Synchronicity with PPC Engagement

In regards to PPC engagement, PIM is all about synchronicity. It affects two main pain points. The first issue is how the same content can be used on different platforms, while the second is how that content can be synchronized. It’s important that both the image and the information the person receives when they click through the ad is current. For example, if you are selling a pair of tennis shoes, you want the image you use in your PPC campaign to be up to date and for that ad to link to the right product listing.

Alignment

PIM also allows you to make sure that your PPC is targeted. “Using a furniture example, if someone is searching for a sectional sofa, and you’re sending them to your overall sofa category and you have sectional sofas, you could be losing out on shoppers who are either too lazy to search for those sectional sofas or simply cannot find them on your site,” writes Search Engine Journal. “Do not leave it to chance. Do not assume your shoppers are in the mind frame to buy. Get that interested shopper in front of the right landing page and you will begin to see an uptick in conversions (barring how well your landing pages convert in general and the competition of the market).”

Images

While the quality of your images plays an important role in PPC, if your images aren’t optimized you are missing out on an opportunity to be seen by search engines like never before. Image names pay a big part in PPC engagement through product information management, but so does caption and alternate text. They should be descriptive so that search engines understand what the images are about and can display them in search results as appropriate.

Special Offers

Using a strong product information management system can help you target sales as well. You can use your PPC campaigns to offer special discounts to people who click on your ads. While you never want to orientate your customers so that they become inundated with sales to the point that they only want to buy when a sale is on, the way many clothing retailers have, there is a way to do it better. If you connect your PPC campaigns to select special offers, you can prompt a sale at the interest point without diluting your brand by making the promotion either on a limited time basis or dependent on another action (e.g., signing up for email).

PPC campaigns are important in the world of modern advertising, but PIM makes it happens. If your company is ready to take the next step, we want to talk. We can walk you through setting up your PPC campaign and establishing a PIM system that works for you. Choose the right PIM system and you may not even have to rewrite your web copy.

8 Ways to Design with Type on a Photo

Combining text and images on banner pages or marketing material can be a complicated feat but is totally do-able with the right tricks in your tool belt. In this post we tackle images that are complex and have a lot of contrast with some skilled typography. Here are 8 ways to maximize readability and make all of your type on image dreams come true.

1. Cutout The Background

If you have product photography you want to showcase, cutting out the background and adding a gradient can be a great option. Adding a subtle gradient in the background makes it easy to use typography that is bold or subtle and also compliments the image. In this example the text and gradient are shades of a grey-ish brown to bring some subtle color into the seemingly monochromatic image.

2. Creative Cropping

This original image featured more of the large white pill container along with the pills and dark background you see in this version. Because there was so much going on in the original, this image would be pretty difficult to use. By cropping the pill bottle most of the way out it was super easy to use white text and add a simple thick line to ground the text to the image.

3. Make the Text Part of the Image

Cutting out part of the letterforms to combine text with the image is a creative way to create visual interest and unite the text with the photography. This can be an especially great effect with product photography. One helpful trick for using this effect is using big and bold text. Condensed fonts are also a super great option because they allow you to make the text bigger and more impactful without them getting too wide.

4. Use a Color Overlay

Some images are super tricky, but can be tamed down with a bright and engaging color overlay. Color overlays work because they remove the white in photos therefore reducing the contrast. Using either large white or complimentary color for the text will help maximize contrast and readability. In this example the opacity of the tennis ball yellow is at 65% so that the image can be still clearly seen.

5. Using Shapes

Using interesting shapes with text layered on top is a good way to create interesting images and make sure the text doesn’t look like it is floating. In this greyscale image the red shape brings in some color into the previously somewhat boring image, and provides a lot of contrast for the text.

6. Selective Focus

Selective focus, or blurring, can be a really great trick for setting type. This effect is especially great because it highlights the shoes and bicycle and is a great background for both the white and green text. This can be achieved in photoshop using the blur tool or simply by choosing a photograph that is already blurred.

7. Blur and Darken the Image

Blurring and image and reducing the contrast works almost every time. Check out the difference between the original (bottom) picture, and the final version (top). The reflections and intense contrast would make it very difficult to introduce text into this photograph, but with some simple adjustments such as reducing the brightness, contrast, and adding Gaussian Blur in Photoshop, this image became totally usable.

8. Use the Grid

Using simple but interesting typography and aligning it with key parts of the photograph can be a great way to make a simple image look clean and crisp. As you can see, the middle of each E aligns with the horizon line, and creates a nice effect.

Instant Sales Team Catalogs

Sales Team Catalogs Creation 

Is your sales team spending more time creating materials for prospective customers than actually selling? Is the delay from sending requests to marketing hurting your turn around time? Is there a way for your sales team to create automated catalogs for internal sales reps team without design software so they can react quickly to potential customers? Yes!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLlG-1Bql20

Transcript:

Meet Linda.

Linda is a top sales rep but spends most of her day creating presentations rather than closing deals.

It takes precious time she doesn’t have to search for the right products, cut and paste information into her presentation, update pricing, make sure the images & formatting are correct, and triple check descriptions for accuracy.

All of this really kills her mojo.

With Catsy, Linda can automatically create collateral without having to learn design. She can search or browse to pick the right products for auto-generated customized presentations with perfect formatting, company branding, correct images, and descriptions & pricing.

Now Linda she can focus on what she is good at, closing deals.

Using Product Photography to Brand Your Products

Product Photography For Brands

Have you ever looked at a website and thought that the design was great but the images were lacking? Or maybe that both the site and the images were okay, but that they didn’t really work together? You need to make sure that the aesthetics of your product photography mesh with your brand identity.

Both are common problems, especially as retail moves online and omni-channel distribution is becoming the new standard. Product Information Management (PIM) systems evolved as companies were transitioning from a brick-and-mortar mindset to e-commerce and integrated communication streams, and not all companies kept pace. The result is decent website design (because they have been tweaking it for years) and lackluster images (because they have had e-commerce capabilities for a far shorter time) – but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Instead, you can use product photography to establish your brand.

The Instagram Effect

If it makes you feel better, blame Instagram. “Call it the ‘Instagram Effect’ — that filtered, shadowed, sharpened, brightened, tilted, faded, structured, saturated way of seeing life through a lens,” explains Adweek. “It’s changed the way people portray themselves and see others. And it’s having the same impact on brands.” Companies are increasingly showing images of what it means to be their customer, like Taco Bell posting pictures of friends sharing tacos, but it has also moved consumer aesthetic from propped and posed to something more authentic. Companies show their wares while they’re in use, and the difference matters.

Authenticity and After-Sale Use

The way you display your products is critical. If you are just shooting against a white background, you are missing out. People in today’s market respond to authenticity, and you just don’t get much authenticity by photographing in front of a white wall. You don’t say anything about your brand, either. For instance, imagine you are selling a can of Coca-Cola. Showing it in front of a blank background doesn’t tell your customers anything other than the product exists. Now imagine a more authentic approach. A couple sharing a Coke with two straws or a Little League teaming grabbing bottles of Coke from a cooler. It sells the experience in an authentic way, from the after-sale perspective.

Flaunt Your Differences

Authentic marketing also gives you the opportunity to highlight your products’ differences. For instance, think of Lenovo’s Yoga laptop campaign. A laptop is a laptop, and beyond certain aesthetics and technical capabilities, there is very little to differentiate one company’s laptop from another. But when Lenovo came out with its Yoga, a laptop designed to let you flip the top back and use it like a tablet, they made sure that all of its advertising, as well as its product page on the company’s online shopping platform, demonstrated what made the Yoga special.

Choose the Editing Effects

Lastly, there is the editing effects. “Here’s a litmus test you can try: choose a product or company and think of a photographic scene that represents its brand,” says DesignerFund. “The more clearly that brand has established its photographic identity, the easier (and more specific) that photo will be.” National Geographic is a great example. The magazine uses vibrant imagery with a high contrast. It’s possible to look at a photo and say that it looks like it came from National Geographic. You want people to identify your brand just as easily. In the end, the shots you select and the editing adjustments you use can create a brand identity stronger than any sales price.

If you are ready to take your PIM to the next level, try Catsy. We can help you develop a photography and Product Information Management strategy to make building your brand while managing your omni-channel experience simple.