How a strong Web presence can give print providers a competitive edge.
By Paula Yoho
Lower on the OEC home page, readers find graphical links to six distinct areas of the website, each
dedicated to a specific print specialization the company offers (P-O-P and Retail, Liquid Element Vehicle Graphics, Outdoor Advertising, Event and Exhibit, Tradeshow, and Custom Printed Solutions). The crisp, colorful design is easily navigable and presents the company’s services, along with the less tangible qualities that differentiate it from its competitor, in a visually appealing style.
Being the social butterfly
With the proliferation of online social networks – LinkedIn, Twitter, You-Tube, Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, and so forth – a print provider has seemingly unlimited options to connect with its customers on a more personal level. Used properly, your company’s website is your entry ticket to these virtual networking forums. A well designed website will make it easy for visitors to your page to link out to the social-networking sites. And it’s a two-way street; as you build a following on sites such as Facebook or Twitter, your “fans” will be pushed back to your home page to learn more about you.
One company that has embraced social media and, in turn, branded itself as a serious print provider – with a seriously funny side – is Akron, Ohio-based Dr. Wraps (drwraps.com). Specializing in vehicle wraps, the company clearly enjoys its work, and wants its customers to enjoy it as well. Case in point: its spoofs of the famous TV host and painter Bob Ross as well as the Gilligan’s Island cast, plus an “Accepting New Patients” icon – all of which figure prominently on their home page.
But, it’s not all just fun and games for the Dr. Wraps team. The company maximizes Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and MySpace as a means to connect with its customers, with links to each of its social networking sites clearly visible in the bottom left of the home page as well as each site page. Dr. Wraps “Tweets” links to its project gallery and keeps its Facebook content current by posting images of recent jobs. Also of note: The company has links to its radio commercials directly on the home page.