Some Benefits to Blogging

77 Design Co business card, keyboard, and flash drive.

What are some benefits to blogging? You undoubtedly hear this all the time from marketers, “you should blog for your business.” Well, there’s good reasons for it!

By all means, don’t just take our word for it. Look it up for yourself. Here is an article from The Atlantic that discusses blogs and blogging in more depth and what it is: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/11/why-i-blog/307060/

77 Design Co business card, keyboard, and flash drive.

Certainly, a blog should be used accordingly. It is a way to communicate to your legion of customers. Don’t have a legion of customers? Start blogging. Blogs are a great way to build a following.

Some reasons why to blog:

First, it WILL help your business. Blogs need to be consistent though. They need to be written and posted consistently. Create a calendar. Whether that is day to day or month to month. Be consistent in writing and posting blogs.

One of the first reasons is that a well written and informative blog will help your business tell a story. Telling stories is everything in marketing. Any marketer will tell you that. It is a means to explain what you do. You’ll be able to write about how something is made. Share stories of your team. Hell, detail the history of your company if it’s interesting. The possibilities are endless. Go weave a story, or hire someone to write it.

More:

Also, some benefits to blogging additionally include adding a little creativity. Photographs, designs, and/or videos always catch the eye. A bit of creativity can go a long way. Want your audience to continue reading? Break it up with imagery. As we’ve stated in the past, a readers eyes will always go to an image faster than just text.

For example, next time you catch yourself reading an article or blog make a note to yourself how it is broken up by one of the above. Further, while writing your own blog think of ways to bring in creative images or graphics to make the point.

Some benefits to blogging. Image of scrabble pieces spelling marketing.
Next:

Lastly, let’s briefly discuss SEO. If done correctly blogs will help Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your website. In short, this means increased Google rankings. This section could go on for pages explaining how, so we will keep it short.

Focus on using keywords. Do your research to find the best keywords. Add alt text to the images you post. Size or compress these images accordingly. This will help the speed and loading times. Utilize headings in your blog posts. Write a meta description for the post. The list goes on and on for what Google is looking for. Accurately following these guidelines though will reward your site/blog post.

Most importantly, write a well thought out and planned blog. It’s better to pass along great content and info than worry too much about the SEO side of things. So, there you have it…start a blog today!

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Way Back in 2020

Way back in 2020, you may have believed 2021 was the year everything got back to normal. That is to say, many people thought by simply changing the calendar, everything would magically get better. Nope.

To clarify, we are optimists here at 77. We think 2021 will be a better year. Seriously, we do. However, there are still going to be issues to deal with that we’ve had in 2020, maybe even more so in 2021.

Way back in 2020. Scrabble pieces spelling New Year with a retro background.
What To Look Forward To

With politicians out there using terms like “new normal,” it’s clear nobody has any plans for this stupid pandemic and state (or federal) mandates to go away anytime soon. Whether you believe government is helping, or you believe government is overreaching, it’s evident that business won’t be business as usual. Disagree? We’d love to hear your argument.

People will still be working (IF they are still working) from home. Business offices and storefronts will still be shut down. Permanent closures will continue to occur. Mandates will still be for certain levels of occupancy. Meetings will still be mostly virtual. Keeping your business open and profitable will still be arduous.

Way back in 2020. Old white closed business building.
Way back in 2020. Closed red gas station.
Marketing For 2021

Meanwhile, the last line above is perhaps the most important to you if you are reading this. What can you do?

Firstly, if your business has a website some updates to it can help. If there isn’t a website, get one!

People are searching the Internet daily for what you do. Will they find you? What will they get when they do find your business? Updating the website consistently is key to Google. Having a few interesting, fun, or helpful things added to the website can and will be the difference in them contacting you, or not.

A few of these additions can go a long way. Adding something like games, quizzes, polls, new images, new bios, videos, and more will take that stale website and freshen it up. Updating the content and keywords helps too. Likewise, you can start a blog on the website. Share info and upgrade the site often.

Social Media

In addition to the website you will need to be social. Statistics are all over the place. However, one thing is certain…social media use is WAY up. Way back in 2020, social media really started to jump up. No matter where you look for solid statistical resources it is plain to see companies are increasing social media marketing due to increased usage. Over 50% of the world now uses social media.

Way back in 2020. Humorous orange and blue piechart on marketing.

Utilize this. Create brand exposure for your business. Generate leads from it. Drive traffic to your website and do what you can to boost sales.

Make your social presence fun. People and customers in particular want fun, especially now. Same as above, create polls, fun and professional photos/videos, or games. Heck, create some informative (or humorous) statistics (above) of your industry and share away.

Need more help? Other questions on what your business can do? Our FREE marketing consultation is offered to any business looking to get on the right track. https://77designco.com/services-2/

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Holidays in 2020

Holidays in 2020. Have you ever thought we’d be in this position? No celebrating with extended family. Close your business. You can only have a certain amount of people to your home. No entry without a mask. Stay home.

As a result of the above state mandates, many will be having trouble celebrating anything this year. What has happened?! Where do we even live? It’s as if we are in an alternate universe. Our lives have changed dramatically since this time last year. Many lives will be impacted forever.

Some businesses are just barely getting by. Likewise, many others have suffered irreparable losses. Moreover, we haven’t even mentioned the other side affects of shutdowns. Increased drug and domestic abuse, homelessness, extensive unemployment rates, and maybe the worst of all…loss of trust. Not many trust in our government officials anymore. No matter who you support. Can you really say you trust them? We can’t. https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2020/09/14/americans-views-of-government-low-trust-but-some-positive-performance-ratings/

As a result, we despise all of it! It’s no secret that we aren’t fans of business closures. In short, who really is?

Switching Gears

Meanwhile, let’s switch gears. This isn’t meant to be a complaint blog. Although we (77 Design Co) do not like the direction any of this has taken all of us we will still celebrate. So, let’s focus our energy towards the positives.

Image of a green and red Santa Clause Christmas Tree ornament. Holidays in 2020.

With Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Years upon us, good things will follow. So, holidays in 2020 will be different. No doubt. On the other hand how long can any of this continue?

We are natural optimists and believe most, if not all of this, will shake itself out soon. How soon? No idea. However, something has to come to a head soon because there won’t be any small business left if it doesn’t.

2021 brings us a new year and hopefully new beginnings. Let’s look at some of the positives of this year.

Positives

1.) We all got to spend more time with family. Hopefully that’s a good thing for you.

2.) Many businesses we know have adapted. Your business HAS TO pivot. Consequently this means marketing your company in different ways and operating in different ways. Unfortunately those that don’t may not make it.

3.) Most importantly, we all got a dose of reality this year. That is to say as bad as it was/is, we will learn from it. Getting punched in the face SUCKS! With roughly 25-30 years experience in martial arts, I know this firsthand.

However, when you get hit, you learn how to avoid it. You learn how to adapt. This is what we are hoping many learn from this. Don’t let your business be vulnerable. Don’t allow your life to be vulnerable. Preparation is key.

In conclusion, go celebrate the holidays. Moreover, enjoy the time off. Spend every chance soaking up the time with friends or family. Likewise, remember to be prepared and diligent. However, remember, nothing lasts forever.

Have a great Christmas, Hanukkah, and a happy New Years!

Orange 77 Design Co logo and Christmas tree. Holidays in 2020.
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If your business is suffering we are here to help. https://77designco.com/services-2/

Thanksgiving 2020

Thanksgiving 2020 will be unlike any our generation has experienced. With lockdowns and restrictions happening across the country, less people will be out. Many will head to the big stores if they do go shopping. Small business will need your help!

Marketing. White 77 Design Co logo

While some will be shut in avoiding family and friends for the holidays, it’s obviously important to think of those still working. Certainly we will be thankful first for the doctors, nurses, first responders and others that selflessly work through a pandemic.

On the other hand, we also need to think about small business owners. These are our friends, neighbors, and families who work independently.

Support Small When Possible

“Small Business Saturday” is coming up in a few days. We all need to consider spending a few extra dollars to support the small stores. When possible, think small instead of supporting large retail chains. On Black Friday, and this shopping weekend, millions will flock to the giant corporations. They will profit and most will still be around when this ends. That is not to say large corporations are bad. They are still necessary to supply jobs and products you may not be able to find elsewhere.

However, there will also be millions of small business owners that will need your help feeding their children, and keeping a roof over their heads. Thanksgiving 2020 will hit these small businesses hard.

Small business owners always have an uphill battle. Rents, insurances, supply costs, payrolls, and the cost of doing business are all difficult to deal with. The hours are grueling (we can attest to this,) there are financially difficult times (we can attest to this too,) and in today’s world it’s even harder for them to survive.

This Thanksgiving, take a moment to be thankful that in America we still have the ability to own our own business. That is, in many cases, the American dream. It’s also a big reason why so many have migrated here from around the world in the past.

Don’t Forget the Pie!

Also, check out this apple pie recipe we posted a few years ago from Holly! https://77designco.com/apple-pie-anyone-happy-thanksgiving-from-77/

Image of a fat turkey sleeping and Happy Thanksgiving message.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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A Brief History of Halloween.

A brief history of Halloween. We posted this last year but it may become a yearly tradition to share over and over again. For example, some people may not understand what Halloween is really all about and may find it interesting. Likewise, others may just enjoy the updated images and goofiness we will add to it from year to year.

Halloween is just about here! It’s one of our favorite days of the year! Why do we dress up? What’s the deal with trick or treating? Why do we carve pumpkins? Have you ever wondered how Halloween started and what traditions continued through the years? What has changed or has been phased out? Read further to find out more.    

Photo of a scary clown with a red nose.
Jack O Lantern Gif
History

So, Halloween technically began as the festival of Samhain. Samhain is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the “darker half” or winter as we know it. The festival takes places October 31 – November 1. Celts believed that on the night before the new year (November 1), the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred or thin. Scary stuff!

Most importantly, they would have big parties or feasts and dress in costumes because they believed it would scare away the ghosts and spirits. Do you see the correlation? Consequently, we then get to America, where we traditionalize everything and make carving pumpkins and trick or treating super popular. Meanwhile, let’s talk about trick or treating.

So, way back when, young women believed that on Halloween they could divine the name or appearance of their future husband by doing tricks with yarn, apple parings, or mirrors. Subsequently, it then trickled down to young children dressing up and getting candy from neighbors.

Did you know?

One quarter of all the candy sold annually in the U.S. is purchased for Halloween. So, do you carve pumpkins? Do you go the traditional scary route or do something fun and different? Are you the type of person that will hand out candy to little kids or keep the light off? Speaking of modifying traditions, there are parents that have a basket of candy for kids, and a basket of beer for the parents that go around with them. In conclusion, that is a modern twist on a tradition that we can get down with!  

Costumes?

What’s the coolest costumes you have? Send us photos and we’ll share them on social media! We hope you enjoy our little Brief History of Halloween!  

An orange Happy Halloween image with black scary font. A Brief History of Halloween.

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Marketing & Hunting

Marketing & hunting. What do these have in common? Read on, I will explain.

Some time ago, we wrote a blog about marketing and gardening. You can view it here if you haven’t yet read it: https://77designco.com/marketing-gardening-a-comparable-explanation/

Marketing & hunting. White 77 Design Co logo

This got us thinking about some things. It made us aware that much like gardening, marketing and hunting are also similar in many ways. Hunting season is in full swing (at least for the archers) in PA. Turkey season, small game, and deer (rifle) season will all be coming up soon too. Many of our friends have “buck fever” and are spending a good deal of time in the woods.

Hunting is often misunderstood. You may even be downright creeped out by it. No doubt though, it’s one of humanities oldest activities. It was (and in some cases still is) a necessity to live. Yes, we also know there are and were vegetarians that simply just foraged for food too. Let’s get that out in the open as well. However, hunting and fishing provided the necessary proteins and fats for early humans and their tribes. Let’s break this down a little more.

Knowing Your Target.

Marketing & hunting share some unique similarities. For instance, let’s start from step one.

Marketing your business requires knowing your target audience. Much like hunting you’ll need to know what your target is. You can’t randomly wander the woods looking for a piece of game. Therefore some thought needs to be put into it. Preparation too.

Searching for a specific animal requires knowing where and when to find it. Finding the best spots or times increases your chances exponentially for a successful harvest. Likewise, successful marketing means knowing EXACTLY who your customer is. Age. Location. Likes and dislikes. Buying habits. These are all important to know in order to increase your chances of marketing success.

Choose Your Weapon.

A successful hunter will know his or her caliber needed for what they are hunting. Shotgun, 12 gauge or 20 gauge? Which rifle will you need for deer, bear or elk? Selecting the correct weapon is critical to a quick and ethical kill.

Similarly, you’ll need to know which marketing “weapon” to use. Are you looking to touch a wide audience or a very narrow and specific individual? Perhaps your customer base is ages 24-30. Is Instagram the correct marketing tool to use?

Let’s say I wanted to get in front of a 58 year old male that owns a hardware store. I would consider a direct mail campaign directed to local hardware store owners within that age bracket. That’s narrowing down and selecting the right “weapon” in this case. There’s a huge range of hypotheticals we could use but for the sake of keeping it short and sweet, this can give you ideas.

Hunting & marketing. Image of pheasants laying on the green grass.
The Harvest.

Obviously, there’s more to successful hunting and marketing than just knowing your target and choosing a weapon. There are many other aspects to take into great consideration for both. For the sake of keeping this blog short and easily readable we’ll skip to the end results though.

Any ethical hunter worth their weight is salt will tell you to be selective in what you kill. Allowing an animal(s) to reach a certain breeding age, size, or herd populace will ensure future success. Following the guidelines set by the state is also a must.

Likewise, marketing a product or service should be selective. Absent minded spending will fail. Being in the right places, with the right content, and in front of the correct customer base will pay dividends. Following the guidelines on social media, and then responding to messages, emails, calls, and review responses will lead your business to a successful harvest as well.

What other things do you think marketing & hunting have in common?

If you are into hunting and read this far, here are a few tips for hunting the West from American Hunter: https://www.americanhunter.org/articles/2020/8/17/tips-and-tactics-for-hunting-the-west/

Marketing Scrabble tiles and a 77 Design Co business card.

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