USB2U News

We’re Back From The Photography Show!

Posted by USB2U on 22nd March 2017 | Permalink

Well it’s certainly been a busy few days but we’re back from the UK Photography Show and we’re still buzzing from the excitement! Team USB2U were exhibiting from Saturday 18th until Tuesday 21st at the NEC’s annual show, and as always we had a blast! It was great meeting everyone, we spotted some familiar faces amongst the crowds and managed to chat to a tonne of new ones too, and we received some great feedback on our fantastic range of Photography bundles.

We’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who stopped by at stand H102 to say hi, we’re already looking forward to seeing everyone next year! If you didn’t manage to make it to Birmingham at the weekend, you can still browse our fantastic range of photography USBs here, or why not check out our gorgeous professional photographer packaging?

If you entered our competition on the day, we’ve announced all the winners over on our facebook page where there are loads more photos from the show, don’t forget to like us for regular updates, competitions & giveaways!

team usb2u

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The Photographer’s Guide To Instagram Hashtags

Posted by USB2U on 16th March 2017 | Permalink

As a photographer, having an Instagram account and updating it regularly is pretty important. We touched on some ways to grow your Instagram following last month, but this month we’re focussing on the world of hashtags and how you can use them to boost your following, increase engagement, and get your photos in front of the right audience.

Instagram feed of photography packaging
 

With 600 million active Instagram users per month it’s easy to get lost in a sea of beautifully filtered snaps. Without Hashtags, your photos are only going to be seen by your current followers, and even then, you might be buried so low in their feed that they don’t even manage to scroll to them.

Instagram changed their algorithm a while back, it now shows your feed in the order it thinks you want to see it, rather than being chronological. But Hashtags are still shown in chronological order, making them the ideal way to get your photos noticed. In a nutshell, hashtags are a way to tag your photo to make it appear in a pocket of other photos that have used the same tag, so it’s easy for other users to find images of a similar interest.

For example, if you’re a wedding photographer based in the UK and you’ve taken a snap of our gorgeous photography packaging, you can tag your photos with #ukwedding – by clicking that hashtag you’ll then be able to see all the other photos in the same group.

You’re allowed up to 30 hashtags per photo, so we thought we’d group together some of the best and most popular hashtags for you to try on your next post!

Best Wedding Hashtags

#wedding #weddings #weddingphotographer #weddingphotography #weddingplans #weddingplanning #weddinginspiration #ukwedding #weddingidea #weddingideas #weddingphoto #weddingday #weddingfun #justmarried

 

Best Travel Hashtags

#travel #travelling #travelgram #travelphotography #travelblogger #travelersnotebook #travels #travelpic #travelics #travelbug #travelmore #holiday #travelblog #travellife #traveldiary #travelphoto #travelstagram

 

Best Pet Hashtags

#pets #petsofinstagram #petsagram #petstagram #petsofinsta #catsofinstagram #catstagram #catslover #catsagram #catsanddogs #cats #cat #dogs #dog #dogsofinstagram #dogsofinsta #dogstagram #dogsandpals #dogslover #dogselfie

 

Best Food Hashtags

#food #foodie #foodstyle #foodnetwork #foodprep #foodblogger #foodbloggers #foodstagram #foodbeast #foodandwine #foodforlife #foodinspo #foodstyling #foodshare #foodphoto #foodpassion #eatclean #instafeast #whatiate

 

Best Home Hashtags

#home #homedecor #homesweethome #homegoods #homestyling #homestyle #homeinspiration #homeinspo #homeliving #homeidea #homeideas #interior #interiordesign #interiors #interiordetails #interiorstyling #interior4all

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Should You Pre-load Data on Promotional USB Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 6th October 2011 | Permalink

With a constant need to keep up with competitors, reacting to the ever changing digital world, patterns and trends in industries and the rise and fall of the economy, it’s important to keep one step ahead, and get your businesses’ messages out there efficiently and effectively.

Promotional USB Flash Drives

The Rise Of The Promotional USB Stick

Demand for “old fashioned” CD’s has reduced dramatically over the years, and an increase in printing costs for traditional sales brochures has encouraged companies to look at alternative options to distribute information on their products, prices and services. By nature, consumers are also a lot more visual, and react well to videos and animations that is something that traditional printed materials of course, can’t offer.
Customised USB sticks are increasingly the solution companies opt for because:
1. Printed and customised USB memory sticks are now available for less than £2 per unit (subject to minimum quantities and type)
2. You get on-going brand exposure with USB sticks because they tend to be used by the recipient to store and carry their own personal data (after all this is what they are designed for!)
3. Postage costs to send out a DM campaign with USB sticks are significantly cheaper than sending out expensive and heavy glossy brochures.
4. The cost of printing on a USB is generally less expensive that the cost of printing brochures.
5. It’s far easier to take a few hundred or even thousand USB sticks to a trade show than it is to transport the equivalent number of heavy brochures or leaflets
6. Lots of brochures handed out at trade shows and exhibitions end up in the bins outside the exhibition halls – USB sticks don’t as they’re small enough to be carried around!
7. Pre-loading your sales catalogues, price lists, press releases, media files etc. onto any USB stick you hand out is a must – After all you’re paying for the storage space on the sticks so you might as well use it.

USB Pre-loaded Data Is A Vital Commodity

Pre-loading data onto a memory stick purchased for your company makes good commercial sense. The savings made by pre-loading data onto USB sticks rather than printing the equivalent documents can fully offset the cost of the sticks. Plus, as mentioned, with the right memory available, short videos and animation can be loaded- something that consumers react well to.
The process of data loading is sometimes called duplication, pre-loading, copying or replication. It is relatively easy to do but it can be time consuming and you need to plan ahead to allow enough time to get the data organised. Ideally a USB stick supplier would do the data-load for you – most will offer a free data load up to a certain amount, typically 100MB.

Locking Data Onto USB Sticks

If you prefer you can “lock” the data that you pre-load onto the USB flash drive. This means that it cannot be deleted, bear in mind if you want to do this you would generally have to have your data ready early as it has to be loaded and “locked” during the manufacturing process. You also need to consider that if you load too much data onto the stick and therefore not leaving enough room for the user then they are highly unlikely to use it and your brand won’t get the on-going use and exposure you have paid for.
At USB2U we have in-house professional data-duplication equipment that enables us to pre-load data on behalf of our clients. For more information about pre-loading data onto memory sticks, feel free to email us at [email protected]

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Why do I need vector artwork for print?

Posted by USB2U on 1st March 2017 | Permalink

If you work in a creative industry like us and are dealing with logos and brands on a daily basis, you will be familiar with AI and EPS file formats for logos. But why do we ask for these files when it comes to printing onto our range of USBs as well as their packaging?

A Vector file type is either .eps, .ai, .pdf and .swf, and you’d need to set up your artwork as a vector graphic to start with before saving them in these formats – you couldn’t, for example, open a JPEG and re save it as a .swf.

So why don’t we use JPEGs? JPEGs are typically low resolution files and they’re mainly used for websites because the smaller file size helps load the pages quickly. They might look ok to the eye but once you zoom in or try to print from them you’re likely to end up with poor, blurred results.

Take a look at the images below and it’s easy to see why Vector artwork is preferred over a JPEG, the images are much sharper, crisper, and look loads better printed onto USBs!

 

The print quality difference between a logo in jpeg format and a logo in EPS vector format

Spot the difference – jpeg or vector artwork?

USB2U show the difference between vector and jpeg artwork engraved on wood

Crisp or fuzzy logo? We know which we prefer…

 

If you’re still a bit unsure then you can always ask your design team to supply you with vector artwork, or you could take a look at our artwork guidelines for a detailed overview of Vector and Raster graphics.

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Could This Be The Most Popular Promotional Item?

Posted by USB2U on 27th February 2017 | Permalink

usb pen

According to a study conducted by the British Promotional Merchandise Association back in 2012, the most popular promotional items amongst all customers are the handy USB drive and the traditional yet extremely useful pen.

We can see why. If we asked you the last time you actually purchased a pack of pens could you remember? Neither can we, our drawers are filled with freebies from various companies and events! Despite technology advancing, promotional pens have stood the test of time because we all need to use one near enough every day.

So with promotional USB drives now just as popular, we’ve incorporated the two with the super practical and innovative USB pen. They’re a great gift to add to goodie bags or to give out at conferences as they combine the two most popular items!

Not only that, you can pre-load data onto our stylish USB pens free of charge, which means as soon as your attendees or customers get home, they can plug the USB drive straight into their PC or Mac and be given brochures, presentations, or information on your company

We have a great range of USB pens on offer, from the classic corporate USB pen to the more premium executive USB Stylus, there’s something to suit all needs – we even have pens with a laser pointer incorporated into them!

Another great thing about the USB pen is that you can have your logo either printed or engraved onto them, and for that extra professional feel we can also supply you with tin boxes that can be branded too.

So if you’re looking to amalgamate the two most popular products into something great, why not contact us for a quote? We hold UK stock so can supply the USB pens straight to you (with data-loaded) in as little as 24 hours!

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3 New Designs Added To The Iron USB Range

Posted by USB2U on 22nd February 2017 | Permalink

The Iron USB sticks are a great choice if you’re looking for a sleek USB flash drive with a minimal design and we’ve added three new innovative styles to this ever popular range!

Iron Hook Colour

iron hook colour USB
We’ve injected colour into the popular Iron USB with 7 bright new shades to choose from! So whatever your brand colour, there’s bound to be something that matches. We also offer full colour printing and engraving on the Iron Hook Colour – the options are endless!

Iron 2 Hook


Minimal and innovative with no cap, the iron 2 hook is shock proof, dust proof, and even splash proof! It will attach to any keyring with the easy-to-use Snaplink key chain so you’ll never use your files, and it’s available in six different memory sizes from 1GB to 32GB.

 

Iron Silicone

iron silicon USB
The Iron Silicone is convenient for day to day use and includes 3 handy rings and a removable micro USB drive. It comes in 7 eye-catching colours to match your brand, and features a super rigid alloy shell that can be stylishly engraved with your company logo.

 

Each USB is large enough to be easily attached to a keyring or lanyard for practicality, and the contemporary design ensures they won’t weaken or fall off when attached! They’re the perfect choice for any campaign and can be branded on both the front and back. Each USB has a read speed of 18 MB/s and a write speed of up to 5MB/s.

 

Contact us today for a quote! We’ve got some great offers and there’s even a preferential discounted rate for trade resellers!

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Come And See Us at the Annual Photography Show!

Posted by USB2U on 15th February 2017 | Permalink

After a successful show last year, we’re already getting excited for the annual Photography show at the NEC Birmingham, and we can’t wait to meet you there! We’ll be showcasing some brand new products that we’re excited to unveil, and keep your eyes peeled on the blog for an added incentive to come and say hello!

This is our fourth year exhibiting at the show and we’ll be selling our fantastic photography bundles at special show-only prices, these are combinations of bespoke USB sticks and professional packaging that are suitable for weddings, anniversaries, baby photos, and loads more. We hold a large amount of our USB sticks and luxury boxes in the UK, making it possible to customise them to your needs in as little as 24 hours. We also stock Kingston USB 3.0, which offers speedy transferring, sharing, and storing of files.

From 18th – 21st March we’ll be at stand H102, so don’t forget to register for tickets – pro and trade passes are absolutely free, and students get free entry on Tuesday 21st March if you remember your ID!

We’ll also be doing a daily prize draw with more details to follow…Only 1 month to go…

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How Power Banks Can Help You in 2017

Posted by USB2U on 14th February 2017 | Permalink

We wrote an article last year explaining the difference in power bank sizes, and our handy infographic helped explain the difference between mAh sizes and what they can be used for. We’re now looking at the benefits of Power Banks and how they can help your business in 2017.

promotional power bank

With more and more promotional products being handed out to customers, the focus has now turned to the value of the product itself. According to recent research, a mass produced low value item actually denigrates your brand, with customers less likely to remember you as it fails to bring in the ‘wow’ factor amongst a sea of competitors. A high value product is said to speak volumes about how much you’re willing to invest in your own business, as well as the value you place on a relationship with your customers.

 

A higher value promotional product like a power bank will stand the test of time, will be used regularly (everyone needs to charge their phone!), and will increase brand visibility. The user is effectively becoming an advocate for your brand, showcasing to those around them that they’re happy to use your product.

 

One of the biggest trends for promotional products in 2017 is technology with a particular focus on power banks. Here’s some great stats we’ve found that show just how important a promotional power bank can be.

 

87% of consumers state they would keep a promotional power bank due to it’s usefulness.

60% of consumers said they’d do business with a company that gave them a power bank.

 

With this in mind, why not check our our fantastic range of promotional power banks? With 24 hour express service available, there’s bound to be something that suits your brand!

 

 

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Our Twisters Come In Any Combination of 2000!

Posted by USB2U on 10th February 2017 | Permalink

Our most popular branded USB memory stick is now available in any combination of 2000 colours and sizes!

That’s right, the Twister USB has always been a hit with our customers thanks to the amount of colours and memory sizes on offer, but we’ve added to that in a big way. You can now choose from any combination of 22 vibrant body colours and 15 stunning clip colours all from UK stock.

The clip is the piece that “twists” or “rotates” (hence this particular memory stick’s name) to protect the USB, and previously they were only available in black, white or silver – but with 12 extra clip shades now available, there really is no limit when it comes to style!

What’s more, there are ten memory sizes available ranging from 128Mb to 64Gb. So no matter how big or small your requirements are, we’ll definitely have something for you in the twister usb range.

If you’re not sure which combination will work best with your logo, our designers will prepare a range of options for you to consider and we don’t charge for this service.

Still not sure?  Just give our sales team a call and chat through your requirements and we can advise you on the best options for you.

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5 Tips for Photographers to Grow Your Instagram

Posted by USB2U on 2nd February 2017 | Permalink

As a photographer you’ll probably be using Instagram on a regular basis, and if not then now’s the time to get started! Instagram now has over 300 million active users and more than 75 million of these use the app every day…that’s a lot of people to be showcasing your work to.

wooden usb and flip box

So whether you’re a newby to Instagram or you’re a regular grammer, we’ve got some great tips on how to grow your following and increase engagement on your snaps.

 

1.Make Use of Hashtags

Hashtags are a great way to get your photos seen by a new audience, and Instagram has a handy tool that makes some suggestions for you as you start typing. Taken a photo of a delicious looking breakfast? In the comments section simply use the hashtag #breakfast and you’ll be given a bunch of other great suggestions (#breakfastinspiration, #breakfastinspo, #breakfastlover, #breakfastinbed to name a few). This works with any category of photos you might be uploading and will push your content out to thousands of likeminded people. Remember not to go overboard though! Instagram only lets you use 30 hashtags in one post and if you go over by one it will delete them all.

 

2. Post Regularly – but not too often!

Try to stick to one or two quality posts a day, posting too often could clog up your follower’s feeds and might cause them to unfollow.

 

3. Have Two Accounts

If you’re using Instagram purely to showcase your photography, then your followers will expect to see clean, bright images. Your family and friends will no doubt want to see the more personal photos (children, dogs, what you’ve been up to), so we’d suggest creating one professional account and a separate personal one for your nearest and dearest to follow. This will reduce the amount of follows/unfollows to your profile!

 

4. Engage!

Why not scroll through the hashtags that interest you and leave a comment on your favourite photos? Try not to be too generic with phrases like “great photo!” or “love this!” as they can appear a bit spammy. But a comment that shows you appreciate the photo will no doubt make the owner check out your profile too – and probably follow.

 

5. Use The Filters

The best thing about Instagram is the amount of filters available to transform your photos. We’ve done a bit of research and found out that filtered photos are 21% more likely to be viewed and 45% more likely to be commented on than unfiltered ones. There’s even data on which filters work best! Apparently you’ll get more likes from using a higher exposure, a warm temperature, and a higher contrast.

 

So they’re our top 5 tips for growing your following on Instagram. Got anymore ideas? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter, we’d love to hear from you, And don’t forget to look at our Photographer Gallery for inspiration!

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