Begin the Year with a BANG!

Begin the Year with a BANG! 2023 is a new year with new challenges which requires some newer ideas to make your business more profitable. If your business is like the countless other small businesses across the country, the last few years may have been difficult. To say the least. No time to sit around. No dillydallying. And definitely no “I’ll do it tomorrows.” Time to kick it into gear and start 2023 off strong!

Begin the Year with a BANG! An image of the 77 Design Co orange and gray business card logo with the words marketing repeating in the background.
Get Social

Facebook. LinkedIn. Instagram. Even Tik Tok and Twitter. Yea, that’s right, Twitter. Regardless of all of the politics involving these platforms they can be incredibly beneficial to your business. If you want to begin the year with a bang, and your company is not on social, it’s time to change that. It’s 2023 for crying out loud! Don’t let the idea of not knowing how these channels work scare you into not taking advantage of them.

Many, MANY businesses have been taking advantage of social media for years. In our experience, several even rely solely on social media as their main #1 marketing source. That is to say, social is where they get most, if not all, of their new customers. All in all, most companies can definitely utilize these platforms to their advantage. There are industry specific groups in almost every field you should be sharing information with, or just making connections through. “We don’t think social media is for us.” WRONG! Use it, but use it to its full potential the right way.

Make Rockin’ Videos

Video is still at the top of the mountain for promotion. There’s a ton of different ways to utilize them. So, let’s discuss this. In general video can be used anywhere (other than print marketing) as a great source of marketing. For the most part, almost every marketing expert out in web-land is predicting short video as the go-to marketing resource. Likewise, they may not be wrong.

Short impactful videos can promote your company as, caring, knowledgeable, industry experts, humorous, or just generally fun to work with. So, each one of these traits are helpful in attracting customers. Start a YouTube channel. Create YouTube shorts and do paid promos there. Share short video links through email marketing, social media channels, or even on digital billboards. Make them. Use them. Benefit from those videos.

In short, there are likely other ways you can “Begin the New Year with a BANG” in regards to marketing. These are just a few. So, let us know what you need help with and we’ll make it happen for you and your business!

Begin the New Year with a BANG! Marketing Scrabble tiles and a 77 Design Co business card.
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Year-End Marketing Ideas

Year-End Marketing Ideas discusses some useful ideas to better market your business at the end of the year, and into the next. Small businesses all over the world have had some hard times the last few years. It’s difficult to keep up marketing and advertising alongside the major corporations that seemingly have endless pockets. We’ll list some inexpensive (or free) ideas that can make an impact for your business.

Year-End Marketing Ideas. Computer keyboard and 77 Design Co notepad.
Helpful.

Market to be helpful. Not many things are as annoying as being infinitely bombed with sales, sales, sales. As we have said in the past, make your company helpful. Some of these Year-End Marketing Ideas will help your company in the long run. If your company has the ability to assist people with problems share those. This takes us to…

Share Info or Solutions.

Share info and solutions. Is there a big change in your industry? Do you offer something that can truly help others save money, improve health, wealth, or their future? What information at your disposal backs that up?

At this point, it is also important to ensure that your sources are credible and reliable. Try not to use opinion based sources in your marketing message. If you do, on the other hand, make sure they come from reliable industry leaders or news organizations.

What’s the Offer?

Finally, what’s the offer? At the same time as sharing info and being helpful, offer something you truly believe in. For example, is your offer a huge discount? Likewise does it truly benefit the customer? Society? Don’t throw offers out there (especially during the holidays) that are obviously self-centered for business growth. There is a fine line. Marketing is in a sense, self-centered. Its whole purpose is to create growth, attention, and eventually wealth for your business. However, you can market selflessly. Perhaps, you take a little hit on a great customer offer to help growth in the long term. Creating long-lasting customers that trust you will pay off in the end.

Alternate Ideas.

Equally as important as the above categories, establish visually creative messages. If the offer is spectacular and the information is extremely important, none of it will likely matter if there isn’t something great to see. In the past we’ve shared research and statistics about how visuals affect marketing messages. Read more about visual perception, communication, customer psychology, and more from Patrick Mutabazi and LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-important-visuals-marketing-patrick-mutabazi?trk=articles_directory. There’s a ton of factors involved.

Need a helping marketing hand heading into 2023? Drop us a message: https://77designco.com/contact-us-2/

Have a wonderful Christmas & New Years when you get to it!

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What Marketing Doesn’t Do

What marketing doesn’t do is an article that discusses some things not to expect when hiring a team. There are many wonderful things that marketing brings to the table for your business. Without a doubt! Potential new customers. An identifiable brand. Increased potential business. Or, simply just presenting your company as a creative reliable source. Just to name a few.

What Marketing Doesn't Do. An image of the 77 Design Co business card, a stapler, and scrabble pieces that spell marketing.
Marketing is definitely a benefit to your business. But, don’t expect everything to be the responsibility of marketing.

However, there are also things that are occasionally expected that are not responsibilities of a marketing team. On occasion, a business owner may believe that marketing will solve all of their problems. This may not be the case. We have turned down several contracts over the years due to this inaccurate belief. Let’s get to it.

PR Problems

Marketing MAY be able to assist in some public relations issues. It is not the entire fix though.

A few moons ago we met with a general contractor that believed he needed marketing help. We sat down and discussed their business thoroughly. One of the things he said was, ” I can get all the business we need. I just can’t get my guys to show up on time or stay and finish the job quickly.” “Customers get mad at that.” All of a sudden, things became clearer!

As I have noted, we talked pretty thoroughly about his business for about an hour up to this point. We chatted about the direction of their website, social media, and a few other aspects of promotion. We were there to help narrow down the problem, after all. The main issue was his crews that were on the jobs. They felt that good marketing could quell the negativity they were receiving. While that could help, it’s not the total fix.

At this point we discussed resolving the issues with the crews first. He was ready to pay us whatever in the belief this would help. Not how we operate. We certainly didn’t want to take on an impossible task of building a plan that would inevitably fall flat. In short, please don’t expect that marketing alone will solve an issue such as this.

Closing Sales

Want eyes on your business? Good solid marketing. Looking to increase leads and calls? Ok, same thing. Trying to show the world who your company is? Yep, you guessed the answer.

Need to close that sales deal? Uh, not what marketing does. That is the job of a sales team. Creative and informative promotional marketing will put you on the fish. Now, it’s time for sales to bait the hook and reel them in. Analogous to the PR issues above, not part of the advertising or marketing job. A good way to improve sales and the content messaging is to get both teams together to come up with new ideas.

A Few Other Things

Below are a few other things that should not be expected. Or, at least these should be discussed right out of the gate.

  • Business management (making decisions on sales, hiring/firing, and more)
  • Guaranteed new sales (this depends on the effectiveness of the sales team)
  • Answering calls or messages. At times a general response can be included in a plan or contract. However, (at least in our case) we refer interested customers to the business owner or manager directly. A marketing team may not have the answers to very specific industry related questions or concerns.

In conclusion, we’ll (marketers in general) always do the absolute best we can to ensure your marketing is effective and creative. We always want the company we are working for to thrive even in a down economy. However, there are certain things that may require alternate assistance. If your company is looking to meet new customers, get new eyeballs on your product or service, or just needs brand identifiability drop us a line anytime here: https://77designco.com/contact-us-2/

Analyze. Create. Achieve.

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Is Your Company Blogging? Why Not?

Is your company blogging? Why not? There are many reasons why adding a consistent blog to your marketing arsenal will eventually benefit your business. It won’t be instant. Basically, it will take a little time to get results. Much like most marketing efforts, you have to build it. It also takes a lot of work, discipline, and know-how to effectively blog. We’ll cover that in this article…so read on!

Is Your Company Blogging? Why Not? A black and white unfocused image of a computer keyboard.
Is your company blogging?
It Starts With an Idea!

By all means, we’ll openly admit at times it’s difficult to come up with blog topic ideas. Thankfully though, you have us here to help! 🙂 However, blogging ideas can come from anywhere!

  • An employee may have a milestone year coming up. Blog.
  • New product or service offer? That’s a blog.
  • Something change drastically in your industry? Yep. That can also be a blog.
  • Holidays are coming up quickly. Perhaps your company donates time or money to an organization. Let your customers know. Blog! Not only does that show you are a caring company, but it’s also a feel good story people love to see. It raises awareness too. Just don’t brag, but show you care.
  • Your company can do blog videos. Or, post photos and write about them.

We had clients a few years ago that decided to start their own blog. This was after we trained them on best blogging practices. At this point, they had everything they needed. Likewise, they also had a fantastic idea to start out with. The husband/wife team were going to use their dog as the blogger. Super idea! In any case, let’s call him Rover.

Rover was to write industry specific consistent blogs and get photos of himself at the computer each time. It was a cute. This was a fabulous idea and would really resonate with people. We will have to check in with them to see how this series is going.

At any rate, start jotting ideas down now for blogs. Keep a list. Every time a new idea comes to mind document it.

Effective Blogging.

In order to have effective blogs, you have to know how to make them work. The idea surely helps, especially if it’s a good topic or strategy. While this may be true, it’s also true that you should know what you are doing. This includes writing skills, punctuation, as well as effective SEO and readability.

Setting up your blogs to be SEO friendly is often a task in and of itself. Images need to be sized properly. The length of the blog matters. Keyphrases and meta descriptions should be added. Internal and external links also matter.

It often takes a lot of trial and error to create SEO ready and readable blogs. If you are using WordPress as your website, the little green smiley faces can either be your friends…or worst enemies when red. Unsure of what this means or how to ensure your blogs reach their maximum capability? Drop us an email, call, or message here for a free blogging consultation or training: https://77designco.com/contact-us-2/

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Is Your Company Blogging? Why Not?
Why Blog? What Does it Help?

So, let’s get to the question “why blog?” As with any of our social media posts or blogs, we’ll provide additional resources here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2021/04/28/eight-reasons-blogging-is-a-worthwhile-investment-for-businesses/?sh=14219a6b4bdc

You don’t have to just take our word or it. Read the above Forbes article on just how important it can be for your business. Other ways blogs help include, increased web traffic, increased social media engagement, reaching new potential customers, and of course providing useful information about your company or industry.

They also make you an expert authority on certain subjects. This is true especially if others in your field aren’t sharing relevant information and solutions. Blogging is an excellent addition to a marketing plan and is inexpensive versus some other strategies.

Pitfalls & Difficulties.

Everything in life has some difficulties to deal with. Good blogging is no different. Here we will list some of them:

They can (but not always) take a long time to write and review.

Blogging requires know-how to be effective. Some expertise is required. At minimum, at least a training course should be taken.

A good blogger should have some writing experience. For example, nothing is more unprofessional than reading an improperly spaced, misspelled, or poorly written article. It’s bad business. Creativity, and imagination also go a long way.

Hiring a marketing team or blogger costs money. Nothing is free. You will pay for what you get. Some writers can be inexpensive. In any case, be sure to check those credentials and previous bodies of work. Other writers can be expensive. Some charge middle rates. Depending on how many blogs per month you want, it can add up. According to HubSpot https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/blogging-frequency-benchmarks you should blog 1-2 times per week. Other sources claim roughly the same. However, that’s not to say your company shouldn’t blog at least monthly or bi-monthly. You can still reap the benefits of a consistent monthly blog.

Wrapping it Up.

Is your company blogging? Why not?” is written to get your juices flowing if you are on the fence about setting up a company blog. We are “pro-blog” here at 77. The benefits outweigh the drawbacks. If you want your company found it’s a great strategy to implement. So, if this is something on your radar but you need help, let us know! We’ll help guide your business to success.

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Business Marketing & Content

Business Marketing & Content. What does this mean? Well, simply put, this is an article about the different types of content useful for marketing your business effectively.

Business Marketing & Content. An orange and black design image of the 77 Design Co notebook, pen, and other marketing materials.
Business Marketing & Content

At one point, during the innumerable amount of meetings we’ve had over the years, a question and follow up statement was made. “Well, I mean, how hard is it? You just post content.” This statement has been in the back of my mind for almost a year now.

At first, admittedly I was a bit offended and a little angry. We’ve worked with this particular client several years prior. The thought that they believed all we did was click post and “post content” to their company social media page was a little surprising. This is coming off of a wildly successful social media campaign through the pandemic in 2020 and into ’21. One that undoubtedly made their company at least 5 or even possibly 6 additional figures!

Emotions in Check

Heading into the meeting, we were confident the client would be excited to push the marketing even further into new avenues. Or, at least, gladly stick to last years plan. During negotiations for the next contract (which is something we usually don’t do…negotiate) that statement was made. Time to keep emotions in check. Even the best personal or business relationships hit snags at times.

So, what caused this perception? We knew the creativity was top notch. We also believed the client knew of all the hard work that went into their successful social media plan. However, business marketing & content creation isn’t always fully understood. It’s our job to tutor clients. Also, to let them know exactly what is happening. So, we won’t use this as an airing of grievances, but as an educational tool.

Content, What is It?

What is involved in content? What is it? We found a great blog from a firm, Brafton, that better explains all of this: https://www.brafton.com/what-is-content-creation/. They did a fantastic job of defining content creation, types, processes, and much more.

Content can be anything from an image to an idea. The key word here, is idea. That word often gets overlooked when it comes to monetary discussions. Content can also be written, animated, or heard. As a matter of fact, content is something you also want to appeal to the senses. Effective content tells a story or gives the audience something to feel. Here are a few types of content to consider:

Website content

High-quality images and/or videos sized properly for the web. SEO ready items such as keywords, landing pages, hashtags, and relevant info to your industry are all important. These will help search engines find your site.

Printed Content

Handing out a business card or flyer? That’s printed content. Sending mailers and offers to current or potential customers? Printed content. Content and images that are printed for handouts need to be WOW factors! That is to say, you want the images, designs, and info to truly stand out. People are bombarded day in and day out with these things. So, make sure yours is better looking!

Social Media Content

I will say, this is a little difficult to explain or understand. We’ll just touch on a few things. Social media marketing is a vast subject with many variables. There are so many aspects to proper social media marketing. Content is just one piece. Albeit, a BIG part of your approach.

I have seen fantastic content on social that still fell flat. This is due to not incorporating other important elements to the strategy. Things like time of day, hashtags, and length of posts all affect the algorithms, among others.

Business Marketing & Content. Image of the orange and gray 77 Design Co business card and a keyboard.

In the meantime, until all of the other parts of social are understood and applied, the content must be meaningful. I’ll add here that the content for posts can make you an authority on a subject and grow your audience. The type of content and quality of it can also drive web traffic or even generate new additional income. Again, you have a variety of content to create for postings. Podcasts, blogs, written content, photography, and videos are just a few. Additionally, some things to think about are, how can my business help? What valuable info can we share? What makes our company differ from others in our industry?

Effective Content

For example, let’s say you own a restaurant. Hamburgers are your biggest seller. Everybody loves your burgers. You offer several unique varieties of quality hamburgers. Now your marketing content should key in on taste, smell, and sight. First, you’ll need GREAT images or videos. These should be beautifully lit, mouth-watering, and aesthetic. These, compared to, blurry, ill composed quick snap shots will be MUCH more effective in attracting attention. In order to stand out you’ll want to get those seeing your ad to see and almost taste that delicious burger.

However, remember the questions above. Make your burger content different from other restaurants. Discuss any helpful health benefits such as “grass-fed” or “fresh organic vegetable toppings.” Likewise, you can discuss price benefits versus the competition.

Summing Up

When you really think about it, business marketing & content can be limitless. There’s really no limit to the types of content that you can create. Polls or questions for social media. Content. Big beautiful bold billboard offers. Content. Website keywords and landing pages. Content. An interesting and creative stand alone product photograph. Yep, content. Branded infographics laid out with interesting industry stats. Oh yea…content.

Get your content out into the world. It’s not always an easy feat. Creativity and ideas take time and thought. This is especially true if the project is a long term thing. New ideas must emerge. Older ideas must be elaborated on. Content must be created.

Need help determining the types of content that should be used and how to incorporate them in your marketing? Drop us a line for a free consultation. Click here: https://77designco.com/contact-us-2/

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Nothing To Do With Business

Nothing To Do With Business is an article different from any of our other blogs. We’ve been writing marketing blogs (hopefully insightful ones) for years now. Additionally, almost every blog we’ve done centers around better marketing and business.

So, we’ve decided to change it up this time around. At any rate, with baseball season (hopefully) around the corner, we’ve decided to do a baseball card style info blog. As a result, we’ll have a little fun with this particular article and share a few fun facts about the characters of 77 Design Co.

Nothing To Do With Business. An image of the orange and gray 77 Design Co business cards on a textured orange background.
Rob Hoffman-Founder/Owner

Position: Head coffee maker

Bats: Doesn’t

Throws: Left

Wins: Some

Losses: Some

Competitiveness level: Not

Western Astrological Sign: Leo, the Lion

Chinese Astrological Sign: Snake

Favorite food: Yes, all of the foods

Favorite drink: Coffee, followed by whiskey

Favorite movie: Back to the Future or Ghostbusters. (Note: TV and movies aren’t a real big deal. He tends to read more or do something else)

Favorite movie genre: Comedies, thrillers, or crime

Favorite TV series: Whatever series he is binge watching at the time. He usually reads over TV or watches how to YouTube videos

Favorite actor/actress: None

Favorite album: Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd or Abbey Road by the Beatles

Hobbies/Interests: Playing music/guitar, writing music, recording music, shooting, antiques, and refinishing old furniture

Favorite sport: Doesn’t care, may watch some college football

Office pet(s): Elsa (cat,) Starla (cat,) and Molly (dog)

Dislikes: Red Hot Chili Peppers

Bobby Drakulic-Co Owner

Position: 3rd Base

Bats: Right and Left (ambidextrous)

Throws: Right

Wins: As much as possible

Losses: As least as possible

Competitiveness level: Ultra high

Western Astrological Sign: Aries, the Ram

Chinese Astrological Sign: Dragon

Favorite food: Crab legs

Favorite drink: Coors Original or Jefferson’s Bourbon (depending on the mood)

Favorite movie: Empire Strikes Back

Favorite movie genre: Spaghetti westerns or sci-fi (depending on the mood)

Favorite TV series: Cheers

Favorite actor/actress: Clint Eastwood

Favorite album: L.A. Woman by the Doors

Hobbies/Interests: Fishing/hunting, martial arts, watching Red Sox baseball, Corvettes & muscle cars, relaxing, gardening, art, and playing catch or coaching baseball with his son

Favorite sport: Baseball and martial arts

Office pet(s): Voodoo (lab/Pitt Bull mix) and Maya (Bearded Dragon)

Dislikes: Pretentious people, mushrooms, the Yankees, and Tom Brady

Nothing to do with business. 77 Design Co gray and orange logo

We hope you enjoyed this goofy blog, Nothing To Do With Business. After all, fun and humor is a major part of our personalities. Even though it’s important to talk business, its also important have fun too. Additionally, we’d love to see your comments or thoughts. At last, if you don’t enjoy what you do…why do it?

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