At first, I thought there was a risk of being irrelevant when we decided to add a “Flickr Photostream” of stuff we do outside of the shop to our website, at least irrelevant to printing. But we sure do get a lot of comments on it,and I’ve actually had a lot of people tell me how cool they think it is. I’ll admit, we take some pretty unique adventures (mostly canoeing) and its fun to share them. You know, we are a really good printing company. We could tell you all about our equipment, our processes, make a bunch of case studies supported by testimonials (we already do all of that), but that gets old after a while. There’s a certain sense of excitement thinking about what trips or adventures are coming up this year, and I meet a lot of people that want to share that sense of excitement. So lets share that excitement, lets talk about the upcoming adventures, as well as the ones we’ve already taken. And then lets make them happen this year. And by the way, your printing will be done right and on time….so don’t worry.
Actually, this is part of a larger marketing strategy we have been working on, and it uses the website as the destination to learn more about Oregon. First we decide on an aspect of our business to be our subject, usually something we do really well (last month we highlighted our Internet Print Store Front). Then we write a case study about a successful application of that subject, generally with some photos and put it up as our latest cool project. Next, I’ll write a blog entry talking about this subject and maybe how it works. Next, we send out an email newsletter ever 30 to 45 days (through Constant Contact). I think email communication not only has to be short and to the point, it can’t be boring (Boring is very boring). We talk a little about our main subject, but use a link to bring them back to the case study and the blog entry. That helps catch some interest about our subject if the reader is interested, but a lot of times, that’s not enough. We also include a feature on an employee (with a non-traditional picture), as well as a link to our Photostream. We get an analytics report from both constant contact as well as from our website host on web traffic. Its amazing how traffic increases each time we do a newsletter.
So thats what’s up with the photos. I really believe people are sick of being sold to, especially in traditional ways. We’ve got to find new ways to communicate with our customers and peers (much of the time they are the same). I for one would rather talk about adventures, (past, present and future), and then get on and make some new ones, and let our printing services speak for themselves.