Today’s business climate is hypercompetitive and one way to stand out from the crowd is with effective content marketing. Modern consumers are tech-savvy, consumption-conscious, and have abundant options for the goods and services they desire. Whether you’re a brick-and-mortar retailer, a dentist, or a service-based business, developing a solid content marketing strategy is a must for any enterprise. Before you begin drafting and publishing content, it’s important to develop a clear path forward by conducting research, determining your brand’s identity and how your content should align with it. One way to approach content marketing is to avoid three common pitfalls: short-sightedness, relying too heavily on intuition, and getting stuck in a rut.

Top 3 Content Marketing Pitfalls


Focusing only on your short-term goals or only on your company’s image could backfire. When developing a content strategy, it’s important to assess consumer- and industry-related trends. Taking a deep dive into your competition’s marketing tactics helps, too. A broad view of what consumers want and how companies in your industry respond to consumer needs will help you avoid the pitfalls of short-sightedness and develop a content marketing strategy that resonates with your audience. When looking to the competition for inspiration, bear in mind the importance of authentically portraying your company and its mission. You can replicate the success of your competition without losing your voice.

Relying Too Much on Intuition 

While intuition is a helpful skill for marketing professionals, trusting intuition alone is a recipe for stale content. The best way to approach a content marketing strategy is to pair an experienced marketer’s intuition with reliable data to back it up.  Studying metrics like engagement and response rates along with evaluating the success of companies’ marketing efforts can go a long way in developing a strategy that builds a brand and solicits consumer engagement.

Getting Stuck in a Content Rut 

It can be easy to fall into a content marketing rut. Sometimes, coming up with new topics can be cumbersome. When things are hectic or new ideas aren’t doing as well as you hoped, it can be tempting to accept stale content and stagnant results.

Avoiding ruts is difficult but it’s not impossible. We recommend dedicating time to developing a long-term editorial calendar, with plenty of alternatives to ideas or topics that may not resonate well with your audience. Having a clear and detailed plan can fan the flames of inspiration instead of burnout.

Beyond selecting topics is the need to select the right type of content. While a blog and a video can share the same message, the success of either can vary wildly depending on the demographics you’re trying to reach and the industry you’re in. The type of content you produce also depends on which platform you’re using. For example, short informative videos do well on Instagram while long-form, text-heavy posts with images do better on Facebook.

Taking time to develop a content strategy makes a world of difference in your cross media marketing efforts. The experts at Pel Hughes can help with database services, campaign automation, graphic design, and print advertising like direct mail. Give us a call today (504) 486-8646 to discuss your print and digital marketing needs.

Print and digital advertising can help make or break a business. When talking with digital marketers, you might hear that digital is superior to print. Similarly, some printing professionals may sing print’s praises and overlook the benefits of digital advertising. The truth is that most companies benefit from utilizing a blend of both. Developing advertising strategies that draw on both print and digital advertising’s strengths give you a better chance of developing brand awareness, tapping into new markets, and boosting your sales.

If you’re new to print and digital advertising, consider the following helpful tips from the printing pros at Pel Hughes. 

Benefits of Digital Advertising

As more people join social media and surf the web, utilizing digital advertising is a great way to raise awareness for your brand and increase your customer base. Digital advertising offers some unique advantages when compared to print. For example, advertising with social media, e-mail campaigns, and paid search ads can be very cost-effective. Another great benefit of digital advertising is the metrics you can use to understand your digital campaign’s performance. Metrics from Google Ad Words, Facebook Insights, and data collected from your website can tell you what search terms were used to land on your digital properties, the general location of your visitors, and even demographic information such as age and gender. These readily-available metrics can help you decipher what works and what doesn’t with your messaging. 

If a good portion of your sales come from your website, digital advertising can help you reach customers throughout the United States and even the world. Facebook’s advertising platform as well as Google Ad Words can make it easy to target consumers most likely to be attracted to your brand or services. 

Benefits of Print Advertising

Like digital, print offers its own set of unique benefits. One of the biggest selling points with print advertising is the fact that most people find print more trustworthy than digital. People from all walks of life have a knee-jerk reaction to trust brands who use print advertising methods like catalogues and direct mail. Part of the reason for this is the “nostalgia factor”. A piece of personalized direct mail seems to evoke an emotional response that harkens back to a simpler time. As we become increasingly dependent on technology to perform daily tasks and our work, a piece of personalized mail from your business reminds us of a time when face-to-face interaction and in-person customer service was the driving force behind our buying decisions. 

If you operate a service-based enterprise or do most of your business in a brick-and-mortar operation, print advertising can help you reach out to your local community. A direct mail campaign can send postcards, coupons, circulars, and catalogues to specific zip codes in your area. This highly effective form of advertising is great for local-oriented businesses.

How to Blend Print and Digital Advertising to Meet Your Needs

In the battle of digital vs print, there isn’t a clear winner. What actually works is a combination of both rather than choosing one over the other. For instance, utilizing Facebook advertising, e-mail campaigns, and direct mail could help you expand your reach and develop brand recognition. Advertising is rarely a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Business owners have to consider their industry and method of operations before embarking on any advertising campaign. We encourage businesses to consult with experts to develop a customized solution to meet their needs. 

The pros at Pel Hughes specialize in print advertising. We utilize the latest technology in campaign automation and database management to develop stunning print campaigns for businesses throughout the United States. Give our team a call at (504) 486-8646 to request a quote. 

Although a print newsletter is antiquated, sending out a newsletter via e-mail is a great way to touch base with your client/customer base. You can embed hyperlinks, video content, photos, and even repurpose blogs from your website into a newsletter. Newsletters can be used to drive promotional sales and donations to social causes, too.

If you haven’t tapped into the power of a newsletter yet, here’s five reasons to motivate you.

#1 Boost Traffic to Your Website 

A good newsletter has plenty of hyperlinks to relevant pages on your website. These links will help guide your customers to your products and services. It will also help them find helpful information about your company and your contact information.

Since companies don’t make conversions without traffic, any tool you have to drive up visits can help your bottom line.

#2 Amplify Your Social Media Following 

In addition to well-placed links, you can embed social media buttons in the header, footer, or side margins of your newsletter that take your clients right to your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This is especially useful for when your readers peruse your newsletter from their mobile devices—as they’re typically already logged in to their social media accounts, which makes following your business pages as easy as one click.

#3 Increase Sales  

Effective newsletters have calls to action that entice your readers to purchase a good or service. You can also alert your customers to promotions in your newsletter. In fact, 44% of consumers said that a promotional email led to at least once purchase in a year’s time.

Make sure your newsletter mentions that promotions or sales are time-sensitive and that they should act quickly to take advantage of them. Strong calls to action paired with promotions could provide a noticeable boost in revenue.

#4 Position Yourself as an Expert in Your Industry 

If you already have a website, blog, and social media, you likely know that today’s consumers want to work with experts. Whether you’re a professional house cleaner or an attorney, your marketing efforts should brand you as a local expert in your field. Newsletters are a great way to keep in contact with your customers and clients with helpful and trusted information that only someone like you can deliver.

#5 Share Important Updates Specific to Your Business 

Have you recently expanded your area of service or your operations? Maybe you’ve hired a rockstar employee who can enhance the service or goods you deliver your customers. All of these business developments are perfect content for a quick newsletter. Sharing your successes and efforts with your client base helps you build loyalty and trust with your community.

Developing an awesome newsletter is easier than you think. It also makes great sense to engage with your customers on a monthly basis. If you haven’t tried your hand at newsletters yet, there’s no better time than now to give them a try.

To say that most aspects of our daily lives are “going electronic” is an understatement. In fact, it’s wrong – we’re already there. Creative industries ranging from content marketing to creative design have moved their platforms to electronic formats. However, from time to time we still hear people argue that electronic content will never replace the good old-fashioned ability to pick up a book or magazine and connect with it on a different level.

This may be the case, but in the world of publishing, taking such a narrow view can hurt not only your revenue, but it may also be hurting your clients. Publishers should be thinking beyond the mere simplicity electronic print can bring, and consider what additional benefits consumers can receive through electronic publishing.

In this article we provide an overview of electronic publishing, or e-publishing, and discuss a few of the advantages of e-publishing for both you and your clients. We want to help you to start thinking outside the box, and recognize that e-publishing is here to stay – and that’s a good thing for those that know how it can be leveraged to maximize for readers and publishers.

What is E-Publishing?

On the surface, e-publishing is fairly simple. E-publishing is the electronic means of publishing content to an electronic form. At its most basic level, this includes the digital publication of books, magazines, and other types of literature. Digging a little deeper, it also includes the development of digital catalogs and libraries. This can include publications such as reference and technical publications, as well as encyclopedias and dictionaries.

Taking a step back from more complex publications such as encyclopedias, e-publishing also includes the publication of short stories or other simple collections. Essentially, e-publishing means that any work can be distributed electronically. And this can be extremely valuable for writers ranging from high school story writers to universities and corporations.

Better Reader Experience 

Arguably the greatest advantage of e-publishing is that it provides the reader with a much better way to experience the content they’re digesting. To start, e-publications are convenient for readers. All of their desired reading material can be stored and organized digitally, meaning those shelves and nightstands that are overcrowded with books and magazines can now become a thing of the past.

Additionally, e-publishing affords readers the ability to share content with a wide audience, instantaneously. Students, teachers, corporate training offices, and many others can distribute the same content to peers or employees, and these readers can electronically search for the content they require. And not only can it be shared instantaneously, it can also be done in more secure manner.

Interactive and Current 

In a similar category to creating a better reader experience, e-publishing can provide elements for the reader that hardcopy print simply cannot. For example, e-publishing allows publishers to be more creative with their designs, and even insert components such animation, audio, video clips and hyperlinks. The latter, hyperlinks, can be used both within the material itself, or even take the reader to another document or to relevant content online.

The ease of editability of e-publishing also means that content can always be current and up-to-date. As opposed to hardcopy, electronically editing can be completed with a few strokes of the keyboard, keeping readers current on any changes or updates to material their viewing. Moreover, the notion of electronic editing also means that mistakes can be more easily avoided, and if they are made, easily corrected.


The last advantage that we discuss related to e-publishing is a big one for publishers. By using analytics to track reader behavior, publishers can analyze and better understand how readers are responding to your content. Publishers can track open rates, readership, and clicks by platform and application data. This means that publishers can make data-driven decisions to improve content as well as marketing strategies. This type of data gathering just isn’t possible with hardcopy publishing.

Overall, e-publishing offers a more interactive, current, and overall more dynamic and simple reading experience. It also provides opportunities for publishers to gain further insight into their clients, and transform their organization into a modern mobile enterprise.

Marketing can be a funny thing. It’s one of those industries that has been around for centuries, yet the trends current at the time drive its entire purpose. Yes, a similar thing can be said for most industries and professions (e.g., retail, press, sales, etc.). However, marketers must keep abreast not only of changes in the current trends, but also recognize the best way to deliver messages to customers in the wake of these trends. Arguably, the single largest change to the way customers receive marketing messages was through the introduction of online marketing.  

So, how significant was this change, and is there a clear winner as to the best marketing method? Was traditional marketing overtaken by digital marketing when we put down the newspaper and picked up Instagram? In this article we discuss some of the major differences between offline and online marketing, and in the end, try to answer these often-rhetorical questions. 

What is “Offline” Marketing?

Offline, or traditional, marketing is a form of marketing that we have all been exposed to at one point or another. This conventional marketing method is generally meant to reach a semi-targeting audience using a variety of methods. Most of these methods can be broken down into just a few categories, including direct mail, broadcasting, print, and telephone. 

For the most part, these forms of offline marketing are prevalent in our everyday society. We still receive catalogues, see commercials on TV, pick up the Sunday paper, and unfortunately, still get telemarketers calling us throughout the day. Offline marketing has evolved substantially throughout the past decades, and continues to evolve in the way it delivers messages to customers (e.g., SMS instead of telemarketers, or using analytics when initiating direct mail campaigns). 

What is “Online” Marketing?

As with offline marketing, its online counterpart is also something that we have all been exposed to, and likely on a daily basis. Online, or digital, marketing is a strategy that utilizes the internet to deliver its message and solicit the attention of its target audience. Through the use of analytics, search engine optimization (SEO), etc. online marketing can deliver near-instantaneous messages to a more targeted audience. 

Online marketing operates by employing web content, email campaigns, video advertising, and even augmented or virtual reality to drive direct sales or generate sales leads. 

Positives & Negatives of Offline 

Offline marketing is an effective tool, and the means by which businesses utilize offline marketing is preferable to many of its customers. A business that uses high-quality offline marketing material often builds trust faster than its online counterpart. It often offers a tangible object that the customer can physically touch, or in some cases, interact with. 

Furthermore, offline marketing can create a long-lasting impression that cannot be ignored. According to marketing statistics, people remember traditional advertisements better than when they see them online, particularly in print form, such as flyers, brochures and posters.

However, offline marketing doesn’t offer the low cost, long lasting form or effectiveness that is there in online marketing. Although print marketing can be cheap, producing magazines, billboards, and TV advertisements are increasingly expensive. Moreover, it’s difficult to reach a large audience with offline marketing, and when using advertisement space, you can only utilize that space for a limited amount of time. The higher costs, lack of interaction, limited customization options, and poor campaign tracking are large downsides to traditional offline marketing. 

Digital Prominence 

Although online marketing is arguably more familiar to most people, there are still some downfalls to this method. Primarily, effective online marketing typically requires special expertise, it cannot reach customers that are offline, and it’s more difficult to build trust with your audience. 

It’s clear that most businesses are investing heavily in online marketing, however, this can lead to downsides. As everyone is focusing on online messages, they lack the personal touch of a postcard, and don’t offer the thoughtfulness that offline marketing can provide. Also, aside from those who simply do not use technology and therefore cannot be exposed to your digital marketing campaigns, users can also turn off their social media advertisements, or even pay for applications that do not contain ads. 

Nevertheless, we live in a digital world. That means that while online ads make lack a personal aspect, they still dominate our everyday lives. Successful marketing requires a business to connect to potential customers in the best possible way so that there is an actual return on the investment (ROI). The best way to do this is to get out there and gain exposure. The more customers are exposed to your brand, the more familiar they become, eventually leading to close relationships that are developed through trust. Online marketing is the most efficient way to do this. 

For marketers, there are even more benefits to online marketing, and these come in the form of measurability. Marketers can see real-time results of their online marketing campaigns, and measure their ROI. If they determine that they should be going in a different way, they can simply change their target online, then use analytics tools to trace and record whether their ROI is improving or if further changes need to be made. This can take months with offline marketing. 


We’ll leave you with a few statistics to let you be the final judge:

  • More than 80% of customers research online before investing in a product/service
  • 72% of U.S. citizens use social media on a regular basis.
  • 94% of B2B marketers are actively using LinkedIn for marketing.
  • Mobile accounts for over 70% of digital marketing spending.
  • 90% B2B businesses report social media as being the most effective content marketing tactic.

Digital marketing is one of the most effective tools for reaching your audience and establishing your brand. With a talented graphic designer, companies can deliver visual messages that bring their vision to life and create graphics that stick. Unfortunately, small mistakes in final design products can leave lasting negative impressions in potential clients, and even cause you to lose business. 

In today’s digital world, companies are not only competing for consumers attention, but for graphic designers that help them grab their attention and convey their product. To do this, many graphic designers try to set themselves apart and, in the process, overlook many mistakes that are avoidable. 

Below are five of the most frequent avoidable mistakes that graphic designers make in digital marketing today.  



  • Using Free Images Too Often


Although some graphic designers may consider the use of free images to be the ultimate sin in the design world, if they’re used correctly, they can be a huge asset. If you’re operating on a budget or creating a simple design, a free image can be the perfect item to jazz up your scheme or add context to your message. 

However, when used too often they can become a sign of laziness or lack of creativity in your brand. Free images are just that – free. Meaning everyone has access to them and they are used often. Moreover, reusing any image too much shows that you aren’t putting much effort into your digital marketing. Why should consumers think any different about your product or service?   



  • Too Many Font Types 


Using too many fonts is a common mistake with amateur graphic designers. Often designers will overthink the creativity in their product, leading to a message that contains three, four or even five different fonts. This leaves the viewer confused about where to look or where to focus their attention. Once this happens, you’ve lost them forever. 

Although choosing the correct font isn’t always easy, and in many cases using one or two is perfectly acceptable, the best designs use fonts correctly and strategically. Your audience should be able to appreciate the creativity in your design, while at the same time understand your message. Too many fonts is the quickest way to lose them. 



  • Forgetting Your Client 


Graphic design is a practice that is highly sought after in today’s digital world. Unfortunately, many designers let this go to their head and forget that they are part of a larger marketing team. Even worse, they forget (or disregard) what the client wants entirely. 

While you may be the most creative designer on the planet, this means nothing if you aren’t meeting your client’s expectations. It’s extremely important to keep the client’s vision in the back of your head while you exercise your creative prowess. If you don’t, it doesn’t matter how good you believe the final product is, the client will find another designer that will respect their wishes. 



  • Overcrowding 


In the digital marketing world, less is more. This is particularly true when it comes to graphic design in digital marketing. There’s no doubt that a creative logo combined with a simple message makes your brand stand out. However, you want your audience to be able to quickly recognize the excellent design you’ve created and leave them feeling satisfied, not overburdened. And the quickest way to overburden your viewer is by forgetting the importance of white space. 

Overcrowding images, graphics or text leaves your audience constrained to find the real message. An effective use of white space balances out your design and helps the viewer glide seamlessly through your creation. Don’t make them work for it.  



  • Overdesigning 


We’ve saved the best (or worst) for last. If you consider the top four avoidable mistakes we mentioned above, you may notice that there is one common theme throughout them: they all deal with thinking too much, or overdesigning. 

Graphic design in digital marketing is a fragile communication medium in that it combines creativity with brevity; imagination with practical. Graphic designers too often try to design a logo or schematic that combines several design traits, and in the end, they’re left with a product that simply does too much. It’s overdesigned. 

Remember, you want to market a product or service by appealing to the visual side of your audience. Keep your graphics simple, convey your message, and don’t think too much. Be objective about your designs and never forget your client’s desires.