Sending the right message about your company is similar to getting dressed for an important interview. The right message for you will depend on your identity—your vision and core values—as well as the practical services you aim to offer and to whom. You’re making an impression that’s aesthetically clear but also fulfills a practical purpose.

Messaging is also like your resumemost companies only get a moment’s glimpse for a potential client to decide whether they’re interested in more.

And prospects can’t get to know you if your message about who you are and what you offer is either untrue, unclear, or far too general. Potential clients need to quickly know whether you match their interests and can address their concerns.

You have your website, brochures, attractive letterhead, informational packets, business cards, and a fantastic blog. But you’re wondering—is there something else? Are there other stories you want to tell about your company you’re not currently able to tell through other marketing channels? If so, you may want to consider an in-house publication. An in-house publication is a good way for some companies to fill marketing, PR, and HR gaps they’re not filling elsewhere. Let’s take a closer look.

How is an in-house publication different from other print materials?

Of course, you want to be sure that you’re not reinventing the wheel. But an in-house publication does fill a unique niche. Your other print marketing materials first and foremost attract toward a sell, keep you top of mind, and map out the vision and capabilities of your business in a nutshell. A magazine, on the other hand, captures what you’re up to now. It gives a glimpse into the active life of your company this week, month, or quarter, and gives you a chance to show the creative and personal side of your business perhaps even more than in other publications.

What goes into an in-house publication?

There’s really no standard rule, here. You can focus on addressing client interests, employee interests, or a combination of the two. You can print a newsletter, company announcements, letters or notes from the CEO. You can print key blog posts, highlight a particular employee, or review new initiatives.  You can even print all or part of your magazine as a catalog. You might even be able to partner with another company to do some advertising for them. (Industry rules and standards apply.)

Whether or not you’re in the travel industry, take a page out of Southwest Airlines’ book, for example. They do great work with their in-house magazine. Not only do they give clients something to do while they wait, they fill the magazine with a variety of truly interesting and helpful information that encourages more interaction with the brand and builds positive associations. They use an in-house magazine to print and respond to letters and emails from clients, tell company stories, present human interest features, and interviews, and print helpful articles related to industry news.

As you can see:

Magazines are a flexible marketing tool.

They reach out to clients and prospects in very particular and tailored ways to nurture sales, onboarding, and relationships. And, with a little creativity, they can simultaneously be used to encompass ongoing HR and PR tasks as well. While your other marketing materials fulfill a very specific purpose, your in-house publication is like the Swiss army knife of print materials. It can be whatever you need it to be, depending on your communication goal.

So what makes an in-house publication appealing for employees and clients?

They feel personal.

Holding a magazine in your hand is different from receiving an email update or a text alert. There’s an inherent warmth to in-house publications. They create a sense of community—“This is our magazine”—because it’s all about you and the people involved in the life of your company. You’re inviting people “inside the house,” so to speak. Even among employees it can add a feeling of community spirit and pride. For example, sending an email or posting on social media about your agent or salesperson of the month is great; but what if they are featured in your magazine, with a brief interview and a few photos highlighting their service and accomplishments? An in-house publication doesn’t have to be lengthy or complex to do a lot of relational heavy lifting.

They’re attractive.

In the world of poetry, there’s a little thing called a chapbook. This is a small, flimsy collection of poetry that at first glance seems hardly worth publishing in a world where digital distribution would be far cheaper and faster. A whole tiny book, for a few poems? But don’t tell that to a poet! They understand the value of a small publication that’s easy to pick up and a pleasure to flip through. They know that paper invites people to linger and adds a special, intuitively attractive quality to the written words and images. Simply put, a little book is nice to look at and hold. And you can leverage that easily to extend your brand in layout and design, too. Your in-house publication is your company’s chapbook.

They add legitimacy to your business.

An in-house publication means you have the time and space to be attentive to the inner life of your company and employees, and to build your muscles as an industry leader. Therefore, a magazine implies that you’re doing well as a business. A company that’s frantically trying to get it together or coming apart at the seams is going to have all of its energy shifted toward survival mode. Everything is about the hard sell. But if you have time to put together a few features for a magazine, print a colorful and engaging catalog, or present industry news and research to employees and clients in a helpful way, this indicates that you’re healthy enough to focus some of your energy on creativity and storytelling.

You won’t invite someone “Inside your house” unless your house is in order. It’s a subconscious connection, but clients, prospects, and employees will make that connection. An in-house publication signals legitimacy, stability, and an orientation toward the future.

An in-house publication might not be appropriate or worthwhile for every business. But if any of these aspects of an in-house publication strike a chord with you, consider trying one and marking the benefits.

 

For this or any other business marketing needs, contact Range, a Deluxe company. We offer comprehensive creative services including layout, design, and integrating your in-house publication into an existing strategy. Let us help you get the most out of your marketing investment.

If you’re in the financial industry, what can social media do for you? Many brokers and advisors may be hesitant about investing in social media due to the age of their clients, the learning curve, concern about compliance, or doubt about a real return on investment. But social media engagement has proven to make a difference. It has become a vital place where your clients gather information for business and make decisions about relationships. 68 percent of U.S. adults reported in 2018, for example, that they use Facebook and three-fourths of those that they engage it daily. Though it is undeniably the youngest segment of adults who are most active across social media, even baby boomers are on Instagram and other platforms like never before.

So what does that look like regarding running a financial operation? What can social media do for you? Though social media rarely translates into direct sales, when used strategically, it can gain you valuable clients and referrals. How does it do this?

Apple Watch, Fitbit, weight loss apps, Google calendars — in your personal life, you already know the principle: with more knowledge comes more potential for expertise, more tools for growth, and more details to manage. This is why you need better ways to track. It is no different in your business. In fact, it’s even more important. Though you can survive and thrive without a Fitbit, you won’t make it in business without staying absolutely on top of tracking and analyzing your progress. But how do you manage it? This is where executive dashboards can revolutionize your way of doing business.

Not everyone is a writer. This may fly in the face of what your third-grade teacher or college English professor told you, but it’s true. Most people can write, but not everyone is a writer. And this should come as a relief. It might not be your job after all, to struggle through a company blog post or spend hours trying to construct effective and relevant tweets. You have other things to do, like lead your business. And when it comes to the reputation of your business, and the massive part copy plays in your marketing strategy, you’ll want to remember that.
Do today’s marketing strategies feel too complicated? Some may feel nostalgia for “the good old days,” but the truth is, who would really go back? With innovations in communications technology, businesses now have the ability to reach people in a previously unthought-of variety of ways, with increased visibility and greater capacity to target and connect. Consumers are also savvier, which means that companies must dispense with advertising factors that feel inauthentic or cheesy, upping the ante on the quality of output. And by adding marketing automation technology to the mix, you’re also able to simplify, coordinate, and streamline your efforts like never before.

Building a social media strategy for business can feel like piloting a spacecraft. You’ve got places to go, high hopes and ambitions, but when and how do you know you’re getting there? The universe is disorienting. Social media is an ever-expanding, constantly evolving tool. How do you track your progress as you keep moving and avoid running into a black hole (financially speaking)?

 

If you’ve seen any science fiction, you know that you need a reliable navigation panel. Social media may be the new marketing frontier, and to succeed you may need to boldly try what you’ve never tried before, but that doesn’t mean you fly blind and hope for the best. Measuring the ROI of your social media investments is possible. Here’s how you can make sure you’re on the right track.

Do you have a blog for your business? No matter your industry, you have noticed other companies offer blogs connected to their websites, but perhaps you’ve wondered why and are hesitant to launch one of your own. If you already have a website and a social media presence, what difference does a blog make? Is it simply redundant to your other online efforts? What value does it add to your business?

In business marketing, you have to know when and where to automate. Sometimes, a human does far more than an algorithm. More staff hours in the short run can sometimes pay off big in PR, onboarding, and loyalty. But there are times and tasks that call for automation so you can reach your absolute top level of efficiency and effectiveness. This is for your customer’s benefit, too. The right kind of automation keeps your hands and energy free to run your business and be fully present to those clients that automated marketing services help you gain. And out of those services to consider, automated campaigns are at the top of the list.
For real estate brokers, social media is key to surviving and thriving in the marketplace. And fortunately, it’s an easy and often exciting world to enter. With a few clicks, you’re up and running, eager to connect with people, and ready to drive up sales.

But where do you go from there? Once you have your accounts open and your handles in place, it’s not easy to know how to use social media to your full advantage. Social media strategy for real estate will always be evolving as social media evolves, but there are a few underlying principles that can help you become an expert now. Understand some of the building blocks of how social media works in the context of real estate, and you’ll be ready for the future when it comes.

With so many marketing advisors pointing companies toward the benefits of direct mail campaigns, you want to stay on top and not neglect combining your traditional, paper-based marketing methods with your digital efforts. But at the end of the day, you invest a lot in your marketing campaigns, and you need to see results and a satisfying ROI (Return on Investment). Is your direct mail strategy currently working for you, and how can you measure its success?
If you’ve ventured into the world of bulk email marketing, you know that it can be a challenge to score high open and click rates (over 20%). But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. And it doesn’t mean that your prospects aren’t paying attention. Even without clicks, you are still building a reputation in the minds of your recipients. By combining accuracy with appeal, you can avoid automatic deletes, keep prospects open to your brand, and find your click rates rising. Here are some email writing best practices to help with marketing. 

Email Marketing Basics

Writing great marketing emails is about creating as seamless an experience as possible between online and in-person engagement, which means getting brand and messaging consistent, connecting genuinely to clients and their needs, and excellent execution. Even though everyone’s inbox has no shortage of sales emails on a given day, with the right touches, yours can still get the respect it deserves. Here are four things to remember as you build or touch up your sales emails in 2018.

No marketing tool is magic but, for you, automated drip marketing might have the potential to come close. The backbone to any marketing strategy with long-term effectiveness consists in connecting what you uniquely offer to the specific needs of your target constituencies. And drip marketing—also called automated marketing and lead nurturing campaigns—allows you to apply effectively a very high level of customization and outreach to emails. And, this precision has been shown to generate a click rate of over two times higher than generalized blast emails. This is because, from the timing to the subject line to the call to action, clients see their particular interests being addressed—even anticipated—by you.
 

If you haven’t yet integrated a social media plan into your real estate business, it’s time. Social media is currently one of the best ways for even small firms and agencies to garner a name for themselves and keep a loyal, active customer base. If you’re not an expert, don’t worry. Integrating different social media platforms into a cohesive marketing strategy may seem intimidating, but you can quickly learn, and the payoffs are huge. For your business, they might even be crucial.