Importance of Updating Your Website

Our topic this week is the importance of updating your website regularly. What’s the first thing you do before you buy a product or need more information on a company? You check their website. The website is often the first impression of your business. The importance of updating your website can affect many aspects of your business too. Therefore, it needs to be respected at the highest level. 

77 Design Co business card, keyboard, and flash drive.
Keep it simple.

Have you ever been to a company’s website where they don’t have links working? Perhaps it takes you to the wrong page, the pictures aren’t updated, or company information isn’t updated either? Yuck. We don’t want that for you and you shouldn’t want that for yourself. Whether you are doing it on your own, or you have a marketing company doing this for you, here are a few things to make sure you are keeping up to date.  


1. Update the information.

This is probably the most important thing to keep track of. If you have new events you would like people to come to, make sure you are adding them to the site. Hired some awesome new people? Make sure their faces are on there and take off the faces of former employees. If you have new photos of your products, these need to be the center of the website. People are very visual, and they like seeing clean and crisp websites. This also includes a good design that is mobile friendly. 


2. Security.

You do not want your site to get hacked, that is a no no! We won’t go too deep into this, but hackers can use your website as a spam server. This, in the end, will block people from actually viewing your website. There are smarter people than us that can talk to you more about this.  


3. Analytics.

If you have an ecommerce site and you see a huge percentage of people adding to the cart, but nobody going through the checkout, MAYBE something is wrong with your site. This is crucial for your business. Make sure you have a great user experience and continue to make updates. 


4. SEO.

Search Engine Optimization. Optimize the words people are searching in Google, to ultimately find you. This is very important and a necessity for your business. As a result, customers can find you more easily.

 
5. Usability.

Is your website loading slow? That is so painful for the young generations. Certainly, you don’t want to irritate them. So, resize images, update plug ins, or do whatever you need to do to make it quicker. We are a microwave society and need information in just a few seconds. If your website is loading slow, there is a good chance they will just close their browser and move on to a different source of information. Likewise, make sure links are working and sending the user to the right page. For that reason, and many others, user experience is a big deal. Above all keep it simple, easy, or even fun for your customers.

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Great Ways to Propel Your Marketing in 2020

Year-End Marketing ideas. 77 Design Co gray and orange logo

Looking for great ways to propel the marketing efforts for your business this year? We’ve got you covered. By the way, Happy 2020! 

Bills of money and 77 Design Co business card.

Back when we began this little partnership venture that is 77 Design Co, we had a lot of great ideas on how to help local businesses become more marketable. Though, occasionally, we got a little sidetracked over the last few years. Well, we’ve made it a mission to get back to our roots for 2020. Some of these ideas can really boost your engagement and increase interest in your brand. 

Employee of the Month-Recognition

Do you like your employees? Yea, that’s what we thought. Likewise, others probably do too. Especially their families and friends. Showcase your employees within your marketing strategy. Create a monthly employee program that highlights and recognizes their efforts! 

Marketing is all about displaying what you do, but also a HUGE part of it is showing WHO YOU ARE as a company. What better way than to pull out your best people and brag about them? They will most likely be appreciative, and this can also increase employee morale. Take a photo of them. Hang it up. Write a blog about them (or let them write it.) Do a quick video interview. Post an image and short blurb about them on Instagram and/or Facebook. Heck, put it to LinkedIn too.

Explain to customers why this individual is so important. Show them off!

Employee Blog-Make it Fun

As listed above, write a blog or interview an employee each month. They will undoubtedly open up about things they enjoy, what they like about your company, and their family. Want to attract attention to your business while doing something nice? This is a great way to say thank you. 

If you really want, you can allow them to write a blog about themselves and your company. Therefore, this could be interesting to see how they perceive working for you. They may even be more open about themselves. Authenticity is a great magnet in marketing. People also love to see individuals that they know being recognized for their achievements. 

Social Media Posting-Social Media is Social

Engagement/reach on your FB business page down? As a result, you need to do something that will attract attention. Another great way to propel your marketing in 2020 is definitely through social media. It’s on the rise. Make posts about how awesome your team is! Tag them. Show what they do and how well they do it.

For instance, “Joe” may be your best warehouse worker. He never calls off, shows up on time, and goes above and beyond every day. “Joe” obviously cares about your company and has its best interests at heart. Snap a few nice photographs with “Joe” hard at work. Maybe get one with him in front of the building or on break. Similarly, you can create a short video or interview with “Joe.” Tell a story, and do the best you can to make a video or the images aesthetic. Share this to social media. Do this each month with a new team member or office staff. This will increase engagement and spur interest in WHO your business is, not just what you do.

Pets & Products & Customers

Yep, you read that right. If you have a small staff of employees or are an individual business owner, use a pet as a mascot. Have “Fido” create the content and speak to your customers. For instance, “Fido” can solve problems or offer free advice. Perhaps you can create a persona for your pet “Fido.” Make it fun and informative.

Likewise, you can create a Product/Service or Customer of the Month program and utilize the same tactics as above. However, you may need to use your imagination a little to figure out ways that you can make it interesting. Display creative photos, designs, and videos of products, or even customers that are delighted with your services. Offer a product/service discount each month.

There are countless ways to propel your marketing efforts but hopefully these help get those creative juices flowing. These are all great ways to propel your marketing in 2020.

77 Design Co gray and orange logo

Analyze. Create. Achieve.

Marketing with a Small Budget

Email marketing Girl here. Hola, and Happy New Year! How do you market your business with a small budget?
When you think of small budget, let’s start real small…like free. Therefore, what are some marketing tools that are free? Social media, email marketing, networking, blogging, webinars, ebooks, etc.

Email Marketing Girl with dog Image 2
Email Marketing Girl and pup.

Numero uno. Social media.
If you are a business, you need social media. One of the first things people do when they research are Google and most likely Facebook. Depending on the company and demographic, it could be Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or some others. Be consistent on social media. Engage people on social media. Be proactive instead of just reactive on social media. By proactive, for example, I mean look for the audience you wish to make business with. Likewise, look up hashtags and follow those people who are liking or posting those awesome pictures you wish were your content. (Consequently, learn from those cool profiles).
Email marketing.
There are a bunch of free email marketing tools out there that can do some cool stuff. Most popular from my experience, would be Mailchimp. However, all you have to do is go back to your friend Google and type in free email marketing and do some research on what best fits your needs.

email button on keyboard.
Web mail computer keyboard button for business contact concept. Email envelope icon key in blue color.

Networking.
I know, talking to people can be scary. That is to say, if you find yourself at a free marketing happy hour, talk the talk! Have your elevator pitch ready and go into it with a positive attitude. Even if you don’t get a sale or a client right there, you have planted a seed. Continue to follow up and make a relationship. Certainly, networking can be a powerful way to grow your company.
Blogging.
Like what I am doing now? Yep! Have a landscaping business? Blog about the newest trends you are seeing for the summer. What about some fun tips for your garden? I mean, that sounds interesting to me!
Free downloadable resources.
There is so much free stuff on the internet. If you don’t know much about SEO, download a free ebook about it or register for a one hour webinar on it. Likewise, it’s the same thing with literally anything marketing. Like I’ve said before, just Google.
There are a lot of free marketing things and resources you can get away with to start off your strategy. Have any questions? Reach out!
Analyze. Create. Achieve.
77Design Co logo and business cards.

The Importance of a Professional Email

One thing that always befuddles me is when I see a professional business with a @gmail.com, @comcast.net, or some other NOT “@yourbusiness.com” email address.

Side view of laptop with e-mail interface on blurry background. Email marketing concept.
Emails

Customers Expect More.

Customers expect your business to have a domain name and website. An email address like name@yourbusiness.com oozes professionalism. Professional email’s are important. Much more so than a generic email.

Free email services, such as Gmail and Yahoo, are great for personal use. However, when you use a free email account for business purposes, people start to doubt your professionalism and credibility.
For example, say that you are in the process of planning to build a home. You are meeting with several builders. One builder has a name@businessname.com and the other builder has a tony129_builder@gmail.com. As a result, tony129_builder…probably doesn’t get the job. Maybe he’s less expensive. Maybe he’s a better quality builder. Doesn’t matter.
For many people, that can be a first clue that something is wrong. That is to say, they would start to question the integrity of the builder. We all know trust goes a long way in business.
Why doesn’t this builder have his own domain email address? Does he have a website? Is this business legitimate or am I going to be taken? These are some of the questions that you might start to have. Would you take a business with a Hotmail.com email address seriously?
We mean no disrespect here. Maybe, there’s a reason for this. On the other hand, we’re not sure why.
Consequently, a domain, logo, and business card are the minimum requirements for any business. Even new ones. Yourname@yourdomain.com looks a lot better than yourname@comcast.net or yourname@gmail.com. In conclusion, we’d love to hear from you on this. Prove us wrong!
77Design Co logo and business cards.
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Client Interview with a Marketing Coordinator

Hi all,

Recently, while on a product photography shoot, we conducted a quick Q&A interview with a recurring customer. Chelsea is a marketing/sales coordinator for a local company we’ve worked with frequently over the last few years. A great company making fantastic one of a kind products. We candidly asked her what she likes about her role and some general marketing questions.

What’s your role in marketing?

Chelsea: “So, I’m the sales and marketing coordinator here. I help coordinate trade shows. I help with photographic shoots, and I also manage a product line with our company. It’s really exciting because we’ve gained some new customers recently. We have a trade show in Pittsburgh and then one in New York in a few weeks too.”

What’s the hardest thing about marketing?

Chelsea: “Umm, so, probably finding out what people will like. Trying to grab their attention. Seeing what gets peoples attention and why they’d want our product. Since we have a new product line, I’m trying to find out what’s going to make them want our products over our competition. Learning about what sets our products apart. There’s other products that are similar, well, more simplified versions, but ours are unique and I have to show that.”

If you had to put a number on it. What percentage about marketing, do you think,  is related to creativity?

Chelsea: “Wow!…Honestly? A LOT! You have to be creative. I would say, wow, 70-80% really.  Even if you are writing a simple email blast you have to have it creative. What’s going to make them NOT want to delete your email? Finding that creative niche, that attention grabbing moment is super important!”

How important are the images, or photography, to your marketing plans?

Chelsea: “Oh my!” Extremely important. So, yes. Crucial! You have to show our products in many ways, even in lifestyle settings. For example, we even found that we had older product photos and once we had new photos taken by you guys, we sold them! I mean we sold many older products that weren’t selling once we had new images of them. They were updated, better focused, and started selling a lot better.”

Image of camera lenses signifying photography.

That’s fantastic!

Chelsea: “Yea! Honestly. We’ve found that really high quality pictures are really really important!”

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned about marketing in your time here?

Chelsea: “Wow, I’ve learned a LOT. So, I came right out of college and I had no idea hardly what I was doing. College isn’t real world, it’s all like books, studying, book knowledge, and tests. It was hard at first. For instance, you take the concepts that you learn in school and apply it to your work in the real world. Getting a customers attention, like I first said, is probably the biggest thing.”

 

So, in conclusion, if your local business has a need for updated photography, design work, or a new website…drop us a line! 77 Design Co is here to help you grow your business and increase sales the only way we know how… through creative visual marketing!

77 Design Co logo

Analyze. Create. Achieve.

 

 

 

A Brief History of Halloween!

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

Rob Hoffman and Halloween costume
77 Design Co owner, Rob Hoffman and his Halloween costume.

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