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 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.”
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.
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.
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.
Finally, where did you go this summer? At any rate, we’d love to know. Share in the comments.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Crossing the Marketing Mendoza Line is a fun analogy blog between marketing a business and the game of baseball. If you are unsure of what this means read on.
What’s the Mendoza Line?
Hi all, Bobby here. If anyone knows me reading this then you surely know my love for baseball. So, what is this Mendoza Line thing? Well, years ago there was a Major League Baseball player, Mario Mendoza. His batting average is considered the absolute minimum for what you should be able to hit in the majors. The Mendoza Line is a measly .200 batting average. How is this applicable to marketing? It can be equal to what you get out of your marketing. Are you getting the most out of it? Or just the minimum? Statistics are also very important to both. Crossing the Marketing Mendoza Line will discuss how to improve that average!
Love the game!
Baseball is equivalent to a chess match. It’s a thinking mans game. Who do you pinch run in a situation? Which pitcher in the bullpen fairs well against a lefty? What pitch selections work best against a certain power hitter? Slider? Curve? 4-seam fastball, up? The variables in the game are almost limitless. Variables in marketing are also almost limitless. In any case, this is what makes both so interesting. The game of baseball is one of the few things that I’m pretty wise about. I hope that doesn’t sound pretentious. Maybe it does. However, I’ll back it up.
First off, I played baseball for about 12 years. Made the All-Stars and travel teams almost every year. Read countless books on the game. Watched countless baseball movies. Poured over statistics and records. My son and I talk baseball almost non stop. We eat while watching baseball. We practice catching or hitting baseball just about daily. And we usually sleep wearing some sort of baseball attire.
I’m also a die hard Boston Red Sox fan and watch about 150+ games a year. You learn a LOT everyday watching their NESN broadcast. As a result, I’ll learn some new intricate detail about the sport every single day. How many people do you know that watch that many games? My guess is not many. Honestly, I’m trying to not sound like a jerk here…but I know the game of baseball inside and out! Additionally, (if it wasn’t already obvious) baseball is one of my greatest passions. I’m admittedly obsessed with it.
Why write this?
While watching and helping coach my sons baseball games/tournaments over the spring and summer, a few things became clearly evident. There are SO MANY similarities between both! I’ve been thinking of this blog for a while now. So, I’ve decided to write a fun article about marketing and baseball. Mulling this over last weekend I outlined how to make this a great blog.
The MLB season is almost at the halfway point. A perfect time to write this. At this point, even if you aren’t a baseball fan, you will still find this article entertaining and enlightening. I’ll leave you a reference of baseball terminology to refer back to here. So, let’s “choke up,” hit a “bomb,” and “touch em all.”
Defense. Analogous to baseball, your business marketing needs a good defense. This isn’t to say you need to defend what you do, prices, or how you operate the business. No. But, this simply means your marketing messages need to defend their claims. Everything must also be positioned correctly. Spend your marketing budget on the right things in the right places.
Don’t post things you can’t back up. If your offer is Free Estimates, make sure you get that estimate back quickly. Ensure your team shows up on time and you timely return the estimate. This is a common problem for some contractors, trades, and other home repair businesses. Yes, there are labor shortages. However, this has been a common complaint for a while now. Certainly, I don’t mean to single those industries out. But, again, it’s not uncommon for us to hear this.
Likewise, don’t run digital ads or other campaigns without knowing EXACTLY who your customer is first. It will be a waste of money. By all means, take time with your marketing team or agency to track who your number one customer is. Age, sex, location, hobbies, and purchasing habits are all important to know first.
For example, this would be like moving your infield into a shift to the opposite side of a known pull hitter. The numbers will show that a pull hitter hits one way more often. But, your defense was improperly shifted the other way. Guess what? That hitter will likely smack a “bleeder” that would otherwise have been an easy out. Instead, because of improper alignment, this goes for a hit against you. This could cost you a run. That is, in terms of business, you could miss a customer(s).
Additionally, you’ll want sure-handed fielders on your team. Those that make very few errors. Errors do happen. It’s part of life. We are all human. Heck, there may be an error or two in this writing. I hope not though!
However, consistency is a word we use very often. Baseball is similar. Your business marketing needs people capable of handling routine pop ups, grounders, and line drives consistently. Keeping errors at a minimum is critical. It saves your team runs. It saves your business embarrassing gaffes. Even potential customers. Nothing says unprofessional like misspelled words, improper terminology, grammatical errors, or poor photographs.
Offense. It’s important to realize, (off the bat 😉 that not all marketing needs to be a “jack.” This is something that’s quite important actually. Every ad, sale, offer, or promotion shouldn’t and can’t be a home run. Many a business owner feel that any marketing they pay for has to immediately culminate in new business. This is not true. Sometimes it takes practice in the batting cages. Building a brand and dependable message about your company also takes practice and patience.
Any good marketer will be honest with their client and not promise a “moonshot” all the time. The greatest hitters in history fail in seven out of every ten at bats. Read that again. Seven out of ten times! That’s actually a .300 batting average which is phenomenal! A .300 career average, can get a major leaguer into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.
Here it comes…consistency! In my opinion, a higher batting average is worth way more than a home run every now and again and a low average. Don’t get me wrong, a homer is always good, if it’s for your team! However, a consistent high average, I believe, is more important. Some baseball nuts like me can debate and argue this. But, I’m writing this they aren’t. 🙂
How to apply hitting strategies to marketing.
Strategizing your marketing plan around a consistent effective message will yield higher returns in the long run. A higher batting average so to speak. Social media posts should be consistent. Set up a schedule to ensure this happens. Because, if you don’t have a calendar to follow regularly you are just swinging for the fences. How many company’s do you see post something…then disappear? We see it all the time. It’s evident they are trying to “go yard” with just one post or a short series of posts. When it doesn’t happen they go back and sit on the bench.
Also, along with a schedule, you can include content topics for posting. Following these builds credibility and increases your average of connecting. Your business becomes recognizable.
The content marketing message should encourage customers to get involved. Additionally, it should pass along helpful information and be valuable not just to potential customers, but just about anyone. Comparatively, like spraying hits around the field. Or, “raking.”
Remember, you don’t have to hit a “Yak” for your business all the time. Slapping around single, double, and triple base hits are just as valuable in the long run.
Interesting side note. Did you know that the hardest thing to do in ALL of sports is to hit a major league fastball? Harder than a hole in one in golf. Harder than a mid court shot in basketball. More difficult than a 100 yard touchdown run in football. Crazy, but true! Look it up. The incredible amount of hand-eye coordination and focus needed makes it nearly impossible for most people.
We’ll get back to it. Finally, pitching. Pitch selection to be specific. Here are just a few types of pitches. Cutter. Slider. Four-seam fastball. Two-seam fastball. Changeup. Curveball. Sinker. Knuckleball. Splitter. Circle changeup. That’s just a few. What does this have to do with marketing? Everything!
What kind of pitch is your business throwing to its customers? Obviously you don’t want to strike them out. That’s a given. As a matter of fact, for the purpose of this section you want to do the opposite. So, think of your customers as hitters and throw them the pitch they want. Great hitters will be patient and wait for a pitch they like. Look at your customers the same way. All of your offers, posts, materials, direct mail pieces, and business pitches need to be what your customers want. Throw that pitch right in their “wheelhouse.”
Pitching is all about location. Coincidentally, location is one of the things mentioned above in the fielding section. A pitcher absolutely has to know what pitch to use in which situation. A business owner is no different. Know the pitch your customer is sitting on. If you can serve up a meatball in your marketing, your customers will respond. Do a little research. At last, find out what interests your customer and potential customers.
Bottom of the 9th.
Coupled with some awesome graphics, interesting videos, and cool images your company will benefit from all of the above information. Overall, marketing isn’t just a part of the business. Marketing is your gold glove fielder. It’s the “Ace” of your staff. And the superstar slugger in your batting order. Use it wisely. In conclusion, we hope you enjoyed Crossing the Marketing Mendoza Line.
Any marketing questions? Feel free to contact us anytime at email@example.com. We are here to help businesses flourish! Analyze. Create. Achieve.
Growing Your Seasonal Business is an article about how to market your seasonal business for stability and growth for the future. Owning and operating a seasonal business can be stressful. We’ve heard this many times. Firstly, you become too busy during the season to keep up on other things. Next, when the season draws to a close it’s difficult to maintain stability. You only have so long to make as much as you can. Well, hopefully this blog helps to remedy some of these issues.
Here is a short list of seasonal businesses this article is meant for:
Lawn care and landscapers. Contractors. Roofers and siding companies. Craft business owners that are reliant on summer shows or festivals. Tree service providers. Nurseries and gardening related companies, we see you. Also, concrete and asphalt business owners. We are sure there’s plenty more but these come to mind now. This Growing Your Seasonal Business blog isn’t discriminatory. If you’re another seasonal business, read on.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce provides you some of these ideas here: https://www.uschamber.com/co/grow/marketing/marketing-seasonal-businesses . Most of these we have discussed before in past blogs. It’s worth repeating though. We’ll admit, we’ve never thought of the “Generate excitement with early payment deals.” However, this also seems like a fantastic idea too! Read the above link for more.
Marketing your seasonal business
Website. Yep. Keep that site fresh and mobile friendly during both the on and off season. Review your business website monthly or at the very least, quarterly. New photos, content, updates, blogs, and specials should all be considered. As well as these, some keyword strategies should be implemented. Can’t handle all of this during the busy season? We know a small local marketing team you can call 😉
Reviews. This is a great way to touch base with customers even in the off season. After the season is over you can call, text, or email your customers and get their opinions on your products or services. Reviews are also ultra important for your online recognition. Speaking of email…
Email marketing. Have you collected customer emails during the busy season? No? Why not? It’s a simple way to get their info to share future company news, blogs, offers, and industry news with when the season is over. Sending out a consistent email blast is an effective way of creating brand recognition too.
Social media. Probably one of the most powerful tools in your box. Can’t stay up on it? Not really sure of all the constant changes that occur? Unsure of the types of content to create consistently? There’s so many ways you can utilize social media. Moreover, there are people looking for the above businesses we listed…CONSTANTLY! Take advantage of that. Need help? Again, there’s a local marketing team we know that’s pretty good at making social media pages stand out 😉
Need help growing your seasonal business? 77 Design Co has you covered. We are a call, text, or click away.
If you own a small business and are struggling to meet new customers, a fresh innovative marketing strategy is most likely needed.
Small business has taken a big hit in the last few years. It is our #1 goal at 77 Design Co to serve these local companies and help them recover and flourish.
Marketing is an investment! Certainly, if you view your marketing budget as an expense…something is wrong. Above all, that money should be working to double, triple, or otherwise at least significantly increase the number of leads and referrals.
Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive either. In fact, there are some inexpensive ways you can get the most bang for your buck that also matches your budget. Getting the right eyes on your business is critical to its success.
If you are still struggling to meet new customers, especially now after the pandemic, a solid marketing plan will help. Actually, it will help dramatically! There are also ways to market without spending a ton. Constant Contact has a few inexpensive ways here: https://www.constantcontact.com/blog/market-your-small-business/ and we also have some pretty great ideas too!
For a free marketing evaluation and consultation, or if you just need some fresh new ideas…send us a message! We are always happy to help! Finally, here’s a list of most of the services we offer:
marketing (digital and print)
graphic design (logos, brochures, etc)
social media training and/or management
creative writing and blogging
email marketing…and more.
Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend when you get to it. Also, remember to take a few moments to reflect on all of those who fell for our freedoms. Without their sacrifices, where would we all be?
What’s the story of your business? Tough question. Even tougher for someone else to answer other than you. Brand storytelling is one of the most often overlooked marketing tactics. It’s also one of the most effective!
Marketing is marketing. Period. If it is to be effective, there must be a great story. The history of your business is a great way to start spinning the tale. This is especially true if there is a long company history. We have worked with businesses that have been around for over 100 years, and others that have just started. However, both have unique stories to tell.
Why does this matter?
Believe it or not, many customers find interest in your company history. Even if you don’t think your company has much of a story, it does! There’s a reason why you got into what you do. Often, that is forgotten. Time to get back to the roots.
Who, what, why, when.
It’s not just the history we are talking about. Every business has a story.
Who started the business? Was it you, a group of partners, or maybe your great-grandfather a century ago? At any rate, that story should be shared. Personalization is another key component to storytelling. Videos and photography of the key company players should be utilized within the marketing. Show who the faces of the business are. Do this regularly.
What and why. Additionally, you can weave a great marketing story about what you sell and why. What do you do better than the competition? Why does someone need your product or service? Share industry news and stories. Be the expert!
When did the business start? It does not matter how long ago. It is a little easier to spin a marketing story around an older business, but that doesn’t mean people won’t be interested if you are newer. As I have shown, all businesses have a story.
If the company has been around for a long time, use that. From a marketing perspective, you can use social media or printed materials to show longevity. Old news articles or even a tag line like, “Serving Customers since 1928” builds trust with customers. Alternatively, if the business is new this gives you a chance to be fresh and exciting. Solving old problems with a new perspective.
Seek help telling your story.
We love storytelling! Especially through visuals and content. What’s the story of your business? Find a marketing firm or team that can properly present your story to customers. It will change your business!