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Pacer Design Blog

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Category Archives: Marketing

Beaver County Energy & Advanced Manufacturing Partnership

Posted on September 8th, 2014 by :

It may be a long name, but the premise is simple…”Connecting the Dots Between Education & Business”

Pacer Design Studios partnered with The Beaver County Chamber of Commerce to launch

The project is a collaborative effort tol benefit not only the local school districts, their students, and teachers, but also the business community, and reflective industries. This website is to be utilized as a resource for all questions surrounding the energy and advanced manufacturing industries.

energyampartnership-screenshotThe goal was to create a website to be a one-stop-shop compiled of resources around the community, region and globe. The challenge was to do it in 8 weeks, start to finish.

Erica Loftus, president of The Beaver County Chamber of Commerce, had this to say about how Pacer met that challenge:

“Pacer was able to take an outline of our vision that we brought to the table and in eight weeks designed and produced the full concept of this website.

Pacer Design Studios, became my home away from home. Their office atmosphere and staff are welcoming whether it’s a face-to-face meeting or an on-the-phone conversation.”

The site was coded using responsive design.  This allows the site to morph it size to fit all size screens, including phones, tablets and desktops.  Wordpress was used as a CMS, allowing various administrators to add content.

Pacer Design Studios and the Chamber decided on a bright color scheme with a modern look and feel.  This allows the site to speak to youngsters, but the clean navigation still allows users of all experience levels to find resources on the site with ease.


Pacer also worked with Erica to create a quick and informative video to promote the site, as well as educate visitors on how to navigate and use the site.


How to Market With Vines

Posted on August 8th, 2014 by :

What can you say in 6 seconds?

Digitally-savvy brands are beginning to take advantage of Twitter’s new social video platform called Vines – 6-second looping videos designed to deliver a big punch in a short amount of time. The challenge (and appeal) of Vines is to effectively and creatively convey your message in the timespan of a sneeze. Vines are great for increasing brand engagement, expanding your reach, and promoting your product or service. Oh, and it’s free.


Think Fast
You won’t be able to say everything you want to say in 6 seconds, so pick one idea and focus on it. What is the one thing your viewers absolutely must know about your brand’s service or product? Run with that.


Think Visual

This might seem like a no-brainer, but make sure you pay close attention to visual appeal. Vine users are thinking with their eyes – does the product look good? Do the workers look reputable in their uniforms or are they wearing ragged old jeans? Does the environment look clean and professional? These details can be easily overlooked by someone who sees the product/workers/environment every day, but because Vines are so brief, customers will notice every small visual detail in the video.


Invite a Response

The beauty of Vine is its inherently social nature. While commercials ask only one thing of their audience – go and buy the product – Vines invite viewers to engage with the brand and respond, then share that response with the entire Internet. Your Vine should ask viewers to respond, whether by sharing your video, commenting on it, or creating their own Vine. Either way, you’re avoiding the same-old tiresome “buy buy buy” aura of commercial advertising, increasing engagement with your brand, and boosting the number of people talking about your brand.


Don’t Sell

Vines aren’t commercials. They’re social marketing tools. Think of creative ways to use your product, display your brand, and engage with your audience without expecting them to buy anything on the spot. The goal is to create a video that entices viewers, not sell to them (no worries, that part follows naturally when viewers look into your brand!)


Be Patient and Expect to be Surprised
Like most social marketing, your Vine may not go viral right away. It might not go viral at all. This doesn’t mean your efforts are doomed. Back up, reevaluate, and reconsider what your audience wants to see (which might not be what you expected). Do research on what has worked in the past for other Viners (which, again, might not be what you expected) and think creatively about how to apply successful strategies to your brand.


Proceed With Caution

Like any online marketing tool, Vines can be a great asset to your online presence if done well. If done poorly, however, they can reflect poorly on your business – just because it’s free doesn’t mean you have nothing to lose. The novelty of Vines means that everyone is trying to get on board, but not everyone creates a Vine that boosts their brand value. Strategize, research, and plan.

Digital Marketing on a Budget

Posted on June 6th, 2014 by :

Not every business has the budget to outsource their digital marketing to the pros. That doesn’t mean top quality digital marketing is out of reach.
Many agencies offer affordable rates for training and strategy consultation, allowing your business to leverage in house labor for things like blogging, content writing, SEO and more.
Here’s 3 Digital Marketing Tips that your business can use today to get started.

1. Embrace Visual Facebook usage is shrinking, while YouTube, Instagram and Vine are exploding. Shoot a video, upload photos or graphics about your business. The online world is focusing more on visual everyday.

2. Understand Analytics You need to understand more than how many “hits” your site gets. Pay a small fee to a consultant to learn how to read and react to your website analytics. You will learn who is coming to your site, how they arrived, what they searched for and so much more.

3. Plan and Stay the Course Digital Marketing brings unique challenges and opportunities to your business. Set goals, plan the campaign and STICK WITH IT. Success will not come overnight. Digital Marketing isn’t easy, but with a little training and a lot of commitment…your business can excel in the digital realm!

5 Ways to Make Your Business Card Stand Out

Posted on February 28th, 2014 by :

Every day at Pacer we design brochures, pamphlets, product packaging and more for clients.  We also design a lot of business cards.

Often customers feel that the business card is less important and they will not take the time, or spend the money to have us design and produce them.  Many are just content to fill out a template online and get them on some stock glossy paper.

This is a mistake!


Your business card is almost always the first impression that you get to leave with a client.  It is VERY important that your card is a gateway into your brand.  Your card needs to reflect who you are as a business.

Keep in mind that a business card has a much better chance of being carried around, or left sitting visible on a desk than a lot of other products do.card-angle

With the importance of business cards now understood, we bring you 5 tips that we use to help our clients stand out from the crowd when they hand out a business card.

  1. Make your card reflect your brand Remember that the card is roughly 7 square inches (on each side) of billboard space that has to not only give people the means to contact you, but also impress them enough to make them want to contact you.
    If your brand is all about sustainable and green technologies, then we will print your card on recycled paper.  If your business is plastics, then why not make the card out of plastic?
    These are subtle things that will show the thought and detail behind your brand.  That will resonate with your prospective clients.
  2. Remember it is a gateway to your brand, not an encyclopedia  Too often I see people that want their card to have everything on it.  Keep in mind that you want the people to contact you.  You will be the one that sells them, not the card.  Put enough information on there so that they can contact you.  Use the rest of the space to impress them, not overwhelm them with information.
  3. Be different  Odds are, that the person you are handing your car to gets a lot of cards because they are a decision maker within their organization.  Find a way to make your card stand out…within reason.  Use raised or metallic print, use rounded corners.  Anything that will make your card stand out, without being annoying.  Too often people go way outside the box and produce a card that is very different, but not at all useful.  This can backfire on you.
  4. Don’t be afraid to use your photo  Some people are not a big fan of this, but in certain industries it is quite useful.  How many times have you looked at a business card and not remembered the person at all?  Put a face to your name.  Once again, be different though.  Do not just take a selfie and put it in a square box on the card.  Have use take a professional photo, cut out the background and make it look great.  This will ensure that people remember you, and they will also notice that you dared to be different.
  5. Use quotes or testimonials  In todays world of digital printing, it has become very cost effective to get different backsides printed on your business cards.  Why not select 5 different quotes or testimonials and have them randomly printed on the back of your cards?
    People will appreciate the uniqueness.


The above tips are some of the design principles that we focus on when creating an engaging business card for our clients.

This process allows us to help our clients stand out in a crowded market space, and we can help your business do the same.

Call us at 724.709.7261 today to setup your free consultation if you feel that your brand is ready for a makeover.


Check out the New Media Center for BC Chamber

Posted on February 17th, 2014 by :

The Beaver County Chamber of Commerce is always striving to stay on the cutting edge with their digital presence.

The Media Center was always part of the plan for phase 2 of their new site.bc-media-center

Pacer Design Studios worked hand in hand with BC Chamber president Erica Loftus to create a visually pleasing, yet easy to use Media Center.

Pacer conducted thorough market research to determine what content would be relevant to the page.

The latest in CSS and jQuery technology was used to add dynamic functionality to the page.  This functionality allows for a plethora of information to be available on the page…without clutter.

Check out the page now and let us know what you think!

Beaver County Chamber Media Center




How to get Super Bowl-quality marketing (without Super Bowl costs)

Posted on January 31st, 2014 by :

What does a golden retriever puppy’s friendship with a Clydesdale have to do with beer? We don’t know, but the Internet is already wild about Budweisers’ 2014 Super Bowl ad, an early frontrunner for best ad of the Bowl with 23 million Youtube views. The minute-long spot goes right for the heartstrings, which are apparently connected to the purse strings.

While major, well-known corporations have the freedom to spend millions on building “brand love” (and who doesn’t love a golden retriever puppy?) your small business marketing strategy is more likely to be focused on attracting new business. If your brand has the funds to buy a Super Bowl commercial, we can’t wait to see your ad in next year’s lineup (and we hope it also includes puppies). But if you don’t have millions of dollars to spend on a 30-second TV spot, Pacer Design Studios is here to help you maximize your marketing budget in 2014.

Pacer offers expertise in developing marketing campaigns for small- and medium-sized businesses – including everything from web design, logo design, SEO, social media management, promotional products and print. Pacer couples creativity with years of experience to build engaging and profitable marketing campaigns and web sites that will help your business get ahead of the competition. We have been designing websites in Pittsburgh for over 12 years and have helped many businesses in Pittsburgh, Beaver County and surrounding areas grow by using a wide range of marketing tools from print to web design to social media campaigns.
Your business’ marketing strategy deserves the same attention and strategic thinking that Super Bowl sponsors enjoy. We can’t promise puppies and Clydesdales (that market has already been cornered), but we can promise creative and engaging marketing solutions.

Click here for the Budweiser 2014 Super Bowl commercial:



SEO is a lifestyle

Posted on December 19th, 2013 by :

When meeting with clients to discuss SEO, I often come across a lot of the same questions.

Naturally, people that do not do SEO on a daily basis do not really understand how it works, or sometimes even what it is.

Many people will pay for SEO and then once their site is on the first page they ask if they can “shut it off”

I try to explain SEO in a very simple way to people.  I believe that SEO is very much like a lifestyle of eating healthy and exercising.

You set a goal to lose weight and look good in your swimsuit. (first page of Google)

You hire a trainer or dietician (SEO expert) to help you create a plan to accomplish that goal.

You weigh and measure yourself weekly (SEO reports and Analytics) to check on your progress.

If you gain weight instead (drop in the rankings), you adjust your diet (SEO approach) or routine.

The entire process takes time and is not often measurable each day…it is a process.

Eventually you fit into that new swimsuit and are very, very excited.

Everyone is finding your business on the 1st page…I mean everyone is complimenting how nice you look.

Now, you shut it off right?

No, you continue down a path of maintenance for you body.  You continue to do the things that got you there.  If you slack off on your diet and exercise (monthly SEO), you will gain weight back. (drop in the rankings)

As long as you maintain your healthy habits you will continue to reap the benefits.

Obviously, this is a little bit of a basic approach, but the point rings very, very true.

SEO is a lifestyle.  You work hard and spend a lot of money (hopefully with us!) to get on the front page of Google.  There is a reason you want to be there.  Remember that other competitors want to be there too.  The minute you get complacent, one of them can pass you up.

In the world of SEO you are typically moving up or down…never staying the same.

Set yourself up with a reasonable budget and stick with it.  The key is to get the reports from your SEO provider and hold their feet to the fire to spend time with you each month explaining things and discussing the plan.  SEO is measurable.  Often people feel they are not seeing ROI because they cannot see the work being done.  If you feel this way then you need to discuss this with your SEO provider.  They either need to step up and show you what they are doing and produce results…or hit the road.


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