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!

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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:

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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:

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 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.

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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: 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.

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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:

Analyze. Create. Achieve.

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Planning Effective Social Media Marketing

Planning Effective Social Media Marketing is a blog designed to improve a social media marketing strategy for your business. We will cover some important elements needed to keep people engaged and build your brand.

Initially, many businesses will start a page and begin making posts. However, the reasons for why and how aren’t always apparent. Many think having a business page and making posts will just bring in customers left and right. Others believe having a page, on one of the many available outlets, is just something they should be doing. Regardless of the reasons many business social media pages fall flat. They don’t produce and lack a clear concise plan. This blog is meant to inform and improve your strategy.

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First up, demographics. Why? Planning effective social media marketing requires knowing your audience. Similarly, the same can be said for any form of marketing. Gender, age, marital status, income, location, and much more really matters. There are many tools you can use to assist in narrowing down these categories. They are usually worth the monthly investment.

When you find out who your potential (and current) customers are, you can then create posts they will be interested in. You will resonate more with them. Let’s say you own a boutique bridal store for example. As I have noted, knowing the audience matters. You most certainly want to construct posts that are geared towards young women. This is true down to the look, feel, graphics, and even font choices you use. Older married couples and the single 50-something year old man are probably not who you are looking for. Albeit there are probably a few brides/grooms moms that are researching for their daughter or daughter-in-laws.

Elaboration on the Look & Feel

I’ll elaborate here. The posts your business puts out reflects its personality. Much like the above mentioned bridal store, a construction company must think similarly. For example, a roofing company wouldn’t want to use flowing, elegant cursive fonts with big bright flowery images to show what they do. For instance, the image below (intentionally created as an example) is a pretty piss poor representation of what a roofing company truly does.

Planning Effective Social Media Marketing. A sarcastic image of purple flowers with a house behind it.
A bad (obviously fake) representation for a roofing company post.

A roofing company obviously should create posts that show the true nature of their work. Images or videos of men and women working hard, detailed close up shots of the shingles, tools, and a little ruggedness & grittiness would better represent the brand. Likewise, remember above the demographics? Yea, you are speaking through posts to customers that don’t want to see flowers and pretty. This is especially true using stock images of work you haven’t actually done. But more likely your teams completed work or some final intricate photos of the roof.

Time, Tags, Length, and Content

Oh yea, all of the additional fun stuff to also remember! Planning Effective Social Media Marketing wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t mention the other important aspects to consider. The actual posting. Start learning all you can about when to post, the size of images you should use, as well as proper tags and length for posts. Without a doubt, all of this matters too. Additionally, we are sorry to say, this will take a long time to learn.

When to post on which platform will matter. Look it up. We aren’t giving away the milk for free. Time will undoubtedly affect the reach and engagement of each post. Further, research the tags you should use and how long your posts are. Content, yep. We have already provided solid information on that in our July 26th blog. Didn’t read it? Shame on you. Here it is again:

Want to build a strong and effective social media plan for your business? Drop us a line! We offer social media training for your staff, consulting, and social media management.

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Summer Trips & Fun

Summer Trips & Fun is a simple blog this time about some of the summer trips, vacations, and fun had over the last few months. Sometimes, you just need to take a break. Recharge the batteries so to speak. Summer is sizzling away quickly. What summer trips & fun did you have? Comment on the blog and let us know!

Rob’s Trip

Rob and his wife visited Austin, PA near Cherry Springs State Park. There they enjoyed some rural solitude and time away from the daily hustle. Most of the area was forests or woods and made it spectacular for star gazing. The Potter County sign they passed read “God’s Country.”

Summer Trips & Fun. An image of a hillside and trees in God's Country.

He and his wife visited a few distilleries and taste tested blueberry and maple whiskey. Among others. They also got to see a bunch of wildlife while hiking. Some of this was elk and a flock of turkey. Vacations never seem long enough.

Summer Trips & Fun. An image of a taste testing of whiskey.
Summer Trips & Fun. Image of a fishing sign.
Summer Trips & Fun. An image of a young cow elk.
Bobby’s Trip.

Bobby and the family headed to Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine. In true Bobby fashion, he of course spent countless hours ocean fishing. He found a private dock with permission that held a good bit of fish. As he says, “vacation=fishing.” As a matter of fact, he caught roughly 100 fish for the week. Mostly mackerel and pollock.

Summer Trips & Fun. An image of a mackerel.
Summer Fun & Trips. An image of catching fish.

However, he did also make it to Atlantic Brewing Company, the beach, and did a couple hiking trips with everyone as well. During that time away from the water, there were spectacular sights to see, great food to be had, and delicious beers to be drank. As much as the trip was fun, it was also a long drive. On the way there it took 14 hours and roughly 13 on the way back. He highly recommends taking the trip though. It is so worth the drive! This was their 3rd trip to the area.

Summer Trips & Fun. Atlantic Brewing sign.
Atlantic Brewing Company
Summer Trips & Fun. An image of Bass Harbor lighthouse.
Bass Harbor lighthouse
Summer Trips & Fun. Maine coastline.
 Image of Acadia Mountain.
Acadia Mountain
An image of hiking trails.

Finally, where did you go this summer? At any rate, we’d love to know. Share in the comments.

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Content Ideas for Your Business

Content Ideas for Your Business is an article focusing solely on ideas you can use to better promote your small business on a budget. Marketing is a necessity. This is true for any sized business. Doing nothing in the way of marketing will yield nothing. Or, at least just the minimum.

Content Ideas for Your Business. Image of scrabble pieces spelling marketing.
No marketing = no yield.

Every legitimate business needs some form of marketing. Likewise, every legitimate business needs money to survive. How do you balance both? Yes, it’s true some forms of advertisement and marketing can be quite costly. While this may be true, the marketing should pay for itself and then some. However, there are other things you can do on a budget that are effective.

Here’s a few ideas from WordStream that will help. We’ll touch on some and elaborate.

Idea 1:

The first on the list is Google my Business. Our Content Ideas for Your Business blog can help. But, you must first be found. Likewise, this gets you “on the map” so to speak. If you registered as a legitimate legal business entity time to register it on Google. Get found.

Idea 2:

Next on the WordStream article is social media. Everyone knows this is usually free and a great form of marketing. Obviously this is well known. In short, you’ll need to know what you are doing with it though. Here are a few content ideas for your business social pages:

  • Post about your deals/specials.
  • Make posts interesting and engaging.
  • Make these posts fun!
  • Use humor appropriately when possible.
  • Check over proper times, tags, and image sizes for posts. Each differ for different platforms. Coupled with these mentioned and many other aspects this will also affect reach.
  • Ideally, you’ll want to create beautiful photography and videos to present for your company.
  • Show off your team and customers.

Further, there’s so many more content ideas for social media that it seems endless. For example, you can also create polls, games, and promote your website among the many more. Moreover, remember that people don’t want to be sold to continuously, so be informative and fun with it. It’s there. Use it.

Idea 3:
Content Ideas for Your Business. An orange pie chart graphic.

We like #8 on the WordStream list. Create little infographics. Additionally make this fun or professional. Either way and both ways will help. Add them to your social channels, website, or even printed materials. If these are difficult to make or you are unsure of what to do you can always hire a marketing company/graphic designer to help ;).

Another point they hit on in the WordStream link is using your own proprietary data or finding industry related info. Statistics are available all over the place. Consequently ensure they are accurate and reliable. Stats are much easier for people to understand when laid out in a clear infographic.

Idea 4:

Blogs. For instance, what we are doing now! Why? Because it’s a great way to help share content, build a little SEO, and assist other businesses.

Don’t know what to blog about? Ha! They can be anything! As a matter of fact, take a look through our previous blogs. We’ve shared the history of Halloween, apple pie recipes, and other things that were loosely if not completely unrelated to marketing. This can be done occasionally. But we suggest staying on topic to your business or industry.

Likewise, blogging isn’t super easy if it’s to be effective. It takes some work and know how. There are many factors to consider like keyphrases, meta descriptions, length, readability, and much more. However, it’s free to do!

Need help with effective blogging or marketing? Drop us a line.

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