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How 5 Kinds of Interactive Content Can Raise Your Marketing Game

In a previous article we talked about how interactive content is the current state of the art in content marketing: rather than asking your audience to sit through a video or remember one of the thousands of pictures they might see in their Facebook feed each day, you can give them an easy activity that produces a result, much like a game.

 

People are wired to do things in order to get results, not to sit passively and get told what to do. Video game designers talk about a ‘hedonic treadmill’, the steady drip of rewards at regular intervals that keep a player engaged. You can use the same principles to design experiences that keep people engaged:

 

Buzzfeed Badges

 

Quizzes: Buzzfeed has become famous for its quizzes that ask often bizarre questions to come up with a weird, non-sequitur answer. What makes them fun is that every question is surprising and entertaining- there’s usually no ‘pick your favorite colour’ or animal questions and they’ll often go on strange tangents rather than taking a predictable path. Facebook has an app that allows you to put quizzes on your page for your current and future clients.

 

Calculators: Businesses from real estate to financial services often use calculators to work out the cost of a mortgage or return on an investment. Any company with a variable cost for their products can help their customers with a calculator: find the cost of getting a granite countertop based on the square footage and material, design a log cabin and get a quote on the price. Using graphics and interactivity to make calculators more than just spreadsheets will encourage their use.

 

Trivia: Everybody loves to feel smart, and trivia quizzes allow them to do so and share their results with their friends. The rule with trivia quizzes is to avoid trying to promote your company (‘Mountain Dew is a) refreshing, b) delicious or c) deliciously refreshing’). Just entertain people: once they start having a good time with your brand the sales will follow.

 

Tournaments: A simple ‘who would win’ survey with multiple rounds and brackets is something guaranteed to get people coming back: people get invested in ‘their’ answer, they get into arguments (which you’ll have to moderate if they get too heated) and they come back to see who won. Anyone who has seen how engaged people get with sports will know how powerful a tournament can be in terms on engagement.

 

Octopus Infographic

 

Infographics: We’ve probably all seen an infographic at one point in our lives, and they have become so prevalent that there are websites devoted to nothing but making them, like Canva and Venngage. Static infographics are all well and good, but they can be enhanced with interactivity, movement and even video to become a fully-featured experience.

 

Your audience is getting more resistant to marketing all the time, almost as if they’re acquiring immunity to each new mutation of the marketer’s playbook. Well-designed interactivity draws people in by giving them exactly what they came online to find: fun.

 

If you’re interested in Content Marketing for your business, click here to find out more!

What You Can Do With 360-Degree Photography For Business

Before you read any further, take a look at this incredible example of 360-degree photography (if you have VR goggles handy, put them on now):

Wow, right? That was all done with a Sumsung Gear 360, a handheld 4K camera that records in a 360 degree arc around the camera. A lot of that wow came from the technology at first, particularly if you were watching in VR, but after that wore off you were probably wowed by the Cloud Forest’s cascading greenery and vertigo-inducing aerial walkways. It started off as an advertisement for a camera and ended up as something the Singapore tourist board could have commissioned.

 

Your business could benefit from 360-degree photography too, and we can help.

 

You could create virtual tours of your business, walk prospective home buyers through a new home, allow tourists to see a destination as if they were there. ‘The only limit is your imagination’ may be a little bit of a cliché, but, well, the only limit here is your imagination.

 

You’ve probably been hearing about the value of photography for your brand for the last decade, and some of you might have gone and made content for your companies. 360-degree photography is the next step: it offers all of the advantages of photography alongside one key difference- interactivity. Nobody ever looks at these images without interacting with them in some way, moving the camera around or zooming in and out, and plenty of people will view images multiple times to make sure that they caught everything (some companies have even made 360 scavenger hunts to capitalize on this trend). Interactive experiences stay in the memory for a long time, so if you have something to say 360 photography is one of the best ways to do it.

 

We’ve already done 360 tours for our clients, and we are a Google Business View Approved Agency. We love working with this technology, so if you to get the ball rolling on 360 photography get in touch with us here.

8 Revealing Reasons You Need A Digital Marketing Sidekick

Let’s be honest here. The internet dominates our lives from the time we wake up until the time we hit the sac. We have tiny little hand-held devices that allow us to search for whatever pops into our mind and all we have to do is twiddle our fingers! As a business, you should be where your audience is, and today that’s online. Maintaining an online presence can be all-consuming. Trying to stay ahead of the wave while also running a business is like trying to row a boat upstream with a broken paddle. Sure, it is possible, but you probably won’t enjoy it. That’s where a digital marketing agency floats over and hoists you out of troubled waters.

  1. Websites Say What?

Typically, your website is one of the first places your audience will learn about your business. With 87% of internet users browsing the web on their smartphone, having a is beneficial. Websites require maintenance and security that protect not only your content but any information your potential customers’ input, including their email address or payment information. CSS, HTML, OCTCRE (you caught us – that last one isn’t real!) are just some of the languages digital marketing agencies speak fluently to help you create a killer website.

  1. Let’s Get Visual, Visual!

People process visual content faster than they process words. If a relevant image is paired with writing, we retain 65% of the information three days later*. Hiring a digital marketing agency means you’ll have a one-of-a-kind website that has been designed to showcase your entire brand. Of course, having professional images of your product or service is an incredible asset and totally outshines flip-phone camera pictures (does anyone use flip phones anymore?).

  1. Your Tricked-Out Wooden Leg

Hiring a digital marketing agency will give your online brand the personal touch that could be causing you difficulty. We know it sounds counterproductive – how can hiring a marketing agency make your brand more personal? Our job is to know your business inside and out. We have to know where you currently are and where you want to go. We have to know your competition. Working with a digital marketing agency can uncover aspects of your brand you were unaware of previously – like your brand voice. Online marketing has to be personalized for your business because no two businesses are the same.  Sometimes that outside perspective can do wonders for your business and give you the leg-up that you need. 😉

  1. Diving into Social Media

Alberta has some of the heaviest users of social media in Canada, with 75% of Albertans* using Facebook regularly. If you’ve avoided social media marketing because it’s confusing, you’re missing out on a boatload of opportunity to interact directly with your customers. Facebook has so many features that it can make your head spin. Pages, groups, ads, offers, friends, followers; what does it all mean? Embracing digital marketing solutions means businesses can target with incredible precision, gain a better understanding of their audience, and have measurable marketing!

  1. Pull Out Your Periscope

Your business is like your baby and you dreamed it into reality. When you love something as much as we know you love your business, it can be hard to remove the rose-coloured glasses look at it objectively. Having another person (or crew of people) to bounce ideas off of can be just what you need to break through the glass ceiling.

  1. No Floaties Required

When you hire an employee, you have to train them. It takes time for a new employee to understand their role and the expectations required of them. With an agency, there is no training required, freeing you up to focus on what you do best – running your business.

  1. Swimming in a Sea of Gadgets

Part of a marketer’s job is to stay up-to-date with current trends, and that includes technology. One of the most recent cool gadgets is the Google 360 camera, and guess who has access to one? Your digital marketing sidekick, of course! Marketing agencies have access to premium-level services, software and analytical data reports and can interpret the data to help you make uber-intelligent decisions about the next step your business takes.

  1. It’s Okay If You Don’t Speak Pirate Fluently

Writing is a creative tool you can use to connect with your audience and excellent writing always leaves people wanting more. The secret to incredible writing is in the planning. A full strategic plan should be in place before you even sit down to write a single sentence. Without establishing your brand voice, rule sets, or deciding your audience, your content will be left without direction.

 

Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and admitting that can only be beneficial to your business. Whether you need help with graphic design in Lac La Biche or content writing in Cold Lake, a digital marketing agency sidekick is the best way to navigate the world wide web. Rather than spending your time being frustrated with social media, you could be focusing on other aspects of your business. Hiring an agency means you’ll have an entire crew of people to help sail your ship through choppy waters. A captain doesn’t get far without a crew behind him!

If you’re perplexed by Facebook, struggling with content, have no free time, are worried about your website, or need help with graphic design in Lac La Biche, we can be the marketing sidekick you need in the Lakeland, that way you can #StickToYourThing.

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

  1. https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/visual-content-marketing-strategy#sm.000ezgot317iuf9aqdm2kkzewpy6x

2. http://www.6smarketing.com/blog/survey-alberta-facebook/

Could Your Home Router Really Be A Security Risk?

Earlier today, Wordfence released a blog highlighting a current trend amongst hackers; accessing home internet routers and turning them into weapons to target WordPress sites.

According to Wordfence:

“These IPS switch on, perform a few attacks and then switch off and aren’t heard from again for a month. What we have found is a botnet that is distributed across thousands if IPs. Each IP is only performing a few attacks, those attacks are spread across many websites, and the attacks only last a few minutes or hours.

The attacker controlling this botnet is using several evasive techniques. They are spreading their attacks across a very large number of IP addresses. They are using low-frequency attacks to avoid being blocked. They are also spreading their attacks across a large number of WordPress sites.”

At this moment in time, the hackers in question are targeting countries such as Algeria, India and the Philippines, but you never know where they’ll strike next. If a hacker manages to infiltrate your home router, they can access everything on your home network: your workstation, mobile devices that use WiFi, and other internet controlled devices like climate control systems and home security systems. Once they’re in, anything connected to the compromised router could  That’s not even touching on the damage they can do to the web globally, through your router and IP.

The botnet that Wordfence uncovered was built to take WordPress sites (which make up 25% of the internet) offline by flooding them with traffic from thousands of compromised routers. The routers themselves might slow down for a short time during the attack, but otherwise, their owners will never know that they’ve been compromised. The owner of a targeted WordPress, however, will lose their website, email and any files being kept on the same server for as long as the attack lasts. Unscrupulous companies can take their competitors offline using so-called ‘Testing’ services for as little as $40 per hour.

 

What can you do?

Wordfence found that the attackers were able to access Algerian routers through a known vulnerability in the router’s firewall software. Your home or business router probably has some security software like a firewall installed so make sure that it’s turned on and do a quick google search to see if there are any known vulnerabilities- there’s a quick guide to setting up your router for maximum security here. Hackers are going to be particularly interested in penetrating the routers that ISPs give away free- they know that millions of people will all be using the same router, so break one and you’ve broken them all. Consider buying a new router– it’ll probably speed up your browsing and extend your wireless range in addition to making you safer.

We always recommend backing up your files and keeping them on an external hard-drive, or you can kick it old school and keep paper copies within a filing system. Google Photos is a handy app that will automatically sync your photos to the app from your mobile device and store them on a private, password-protected site for you to access from anywhere through your Google account. That way, if your mobile device is compromised, you won’t lose all your photos! Make sure that you have Two-step verification enabled on your Google account to make it harder

Here at Octopus Creative, we keep your online brand safe, and security is never an add-on option– we consider it a necessity.

 

Easy Tips To Network Your Way To Success

With the rise of social media, we are quite literally, the most connected generation ever. With one-third of the world using social networks regularly, information is always just a click away. With the swipe of a finger, we can speak with friends and family on the other side of the world. While this has simplified our life somewhat – you can interact with the world while lounging on the couch in your pyjamas – an online presence doesn’t eliminate the need for face-to-face communication. Small business networking is vital to establishing your company within the market.

No one will ever take lounging in your PJs away from you, but sometimes, you have to put on your pants, smile and get yourself out there. The market is always changing, and no one knows what the future will bring for their business. It’s important to connect with people both in your field of expertise and outside. While you may not need their assistance now, you could benefit from their advice later on – or an opportunity could arise to work together!

Whether you’re a self-proclaimed ‘people-person’ or you find social situations uncomfortable, networking will always be vital to maintaining your business. Select the events you attend carefully. Ideally, you want to be as comfortable as you can in the situation. If you despise wearing a tie, avoid black-tie events and stick to casual meetups. The more relaxed you feel, the more approachable you’ll be – which is key to successful networking!

When participating in small business networking, you want to build relationships. Relationships are an equal amount of give and take; if you’re willing to receive, you have to be prepared to give. Don’t be afraid to speak up and offer your experience if it will help! Building a successful networking relationship takes time and effort. If you hit it off with an individual at an event, don’t be afraid to shoot them an email to catch up, or send an interesting article their way! Meeting someone new can open up opportunities to learn and grow – both personally and within your business.

Set your sights high when you’re building networking relationships. Dive in, and strike up a conversation with a person that intimidates you. Often, we can learn the most from people that are different from ourselves. Differing business views can allow you to see a different perspective, and once you’ve achieved that, imagine the difference you can make!

Small business networking can open the doors to opportunities you were unaware even existed. Often, other companies will be seeking out specific opportunities through back door channels – like networking. A vast majority of the options available to you, you won’t even know they exist until you ask! Think of it this way: if you had two people applying for the same position, with equal skills and experience, what would differentiate the candidates? Your personal ability to interact and build a working relationship with them. And that, friends, is precisely why small business networking is vital to establishing and maintaining a successful business!

You might not be able to control the wind, but you can adjust your sails! Combine face-to-face networking with social media marketing, and you’ll always catch the breeze. Create a Facebook business page and utilize it by interacting with other local businesses. This will help get your name out there and make your business more recognizable to the public. Facebook is an excellent social media tool that allows you to interact directly with your target audience. You’ll be able to get first-hand opinions, and you’ll be able to respond directly. With 73% of people using Facebook as a professional tool, there’s a multitude of options available for you to take advantage of. Search for networking groups, groups related to your industry, and more! Build an online presence that your audience will come to know and trust.

LinkedIn is the only major social media platform where the 30 to 49-year-olds dominate the usage rates. With LinkedIn, you can directly communicate with industry leaders, who are often ready and willing to offer advice to small businesses.

Make 2017 the year you take the leap and build professional relationships that can see your small business through all the ups and downs. Remember, the compound effects of networking are significant and long-lasting.

Website Security Tips To Keep Your Website & Brand Safe

Your website is typically the first connection you’ll make with potential customers. With 2.6 billion smart phone users around the world, and 81% of shoppers conducting online research prior to making a purchase, a good website is ideal for generating sales. You’ll want to ensure that it’s easy to navigate and not confusing, and that any information a person could want to know about your business, is relatively straightforward.  This includes your store and/or office address, contact information, links to social media accounts, and ultimately, what sets you above the rest. The design should be interesting enough to keep their attention, and the content should be written in a way that highlights your unique brand.

When it comes to websites, design is usually the first thing you think about, and it makes sense. But ultimately, in the grand scheme of the internet, ensuring that your website is secure should be a top priority.

Many small businesses assume that hacking won’t happen to them because they’re too small to be noticed. However, hackers don’t discriminate when it comes to breaching websites and they’ll even use automated tools to find vulnerable sites. Your website embodies your brand, and as the first contact with customers, ensuring it’s security will save you from potential disaster in the future.

Hacking threats can come in many forms – infecting a website with malware in order to spread that malware to site visitors, stealing customer information (such as names, email address, and even credit card information), and even hijacking or crashing your site. As a small business owner, a single security breach could destroy customer trust.

In the past week, over 1.5 million websites have been hacked after a vulnerability was utilized in the release  of WordPress 4.7.1. Quietly, and then very publicly, WordPress released version 4.7.2 to rectify the situation. But for those nearly 2 million websites, it was already too late. While it’s not yet clear how the WordPress sites are getting infected in the first place, it’s possible that login credentials that allow the site content to be changed aren’t being locked down, or there’s an unknown vulnerability in the CMS, or operating system they run on. What we do know, is that once a system is infected, the malware installs a variety of backdoors on the webserver – a feature that’s causing many hacked sites to repeatedly be infected.

There are many ways that you can protect yourself, including running premium security plug ins and having daily back ups with a proper security plan in place with your provider. Most managed hosting providers will be able to show you how they keep your website secure if you ask. If you’re running a business, security should never be a support option – it should be included with your hosting plan!

 

A Few DIY Tips For Your Website Security

With the goal of keeping it simple, here are a few options that you can implement now to to help maintain the security of your website.

  1. Keep Your Website Updated. Hackers are always thinking deviously when it comes to gaining access to websites, and developers move just as quickly to block them. Ensuring that your website is always up-to-date on a weekly, or even daily basis, will address those security fixes as they happen, in turn, lowering your risk!
  2. Use Stronger Passwords. Remembering a complicated password can be difficult, but as many as 8% of websites that have been hacked, were because people didn’t utilize a strong password. Try creating a password that is a minimum of 6 characters and a combination of letters, numbers and symbols! Don’t forget, passwords are case sensitive so you also utilize both uppercase and lower case letters!
  3. Select Your Website Host Carefully. Nearly 41% of the websites that were hacked were because the hosting service didn’t put the necessary importance on security! Before choosing a hosting service, make sure you ask about their security protocols and find out if they have the necessary firewalls and malware scanning.

Here at Octopus Creative we keep your online brand safe, and security is never an add-on option, it’s an absolute necessity. Get in touch with us if you have questions about your online security or if your web provider recently told you that YOU have to pay for a new site because of their security vulnerabilities!

LinkedIn Launches New Company Pages

Social Media has been increasing in popularity for years now. With the introduction of Facebook years ago, various social media platforms have popped up ever since, trying to gain the same popularity that Facebook still controls today. Occasionally, there are a few that stick around, Twitter and Instagram for example. But then there are the ones that seem to get lost at sea. Does anyone remember MySpace?

More and more, our world and the internet are colliding at high speed. Using Social Media as a marketing tool has opened an entirely new world of opportunities. More and more, businesses can take advantage of this unique platform to increase their audience reach and have the capability to interact with customers individually.

LinkedIn has slowly become an incredible tool for the business world. A social media platform dedicated to networking, specifically for the business community. Your LinkedIn profile is essentially an incredibly in-depth version of your resume. It emphasizes your skills, employment history, and education. You’re able to ‘connect’ with current and past co-workers, professional acquaintances, and classmates. Networking has always been an integral part of building your career and opening doors for you. With LinkedIn, you have the ability to endorse your connections skills, which can impact their future career options.

Through LinkedIn, you’re able to build and maintain a professional network. You’re able to reconnect with colleagues and classmates, and it offers you information about companies and industries that will help you further your career.

Understanding that businesses require more specific options to expand their Company Page, LinkedIn has decided to build a new experience in Company Pages. With a brand new design that makes it easier to introduce your company to other LinkedIn members, more companies will be able to use this to their advantage. Now, you’ll be able to have a dedicated admin experience, with an expanded analytics dashboard to make it easier to track the impact of your content, and to optimize the performance of your company page.

The best part? LinkedIn will automatically transfer all your existing page content over to the new Company Page layout – all you have to do is to upload a cover image, update your company logo, and add a tagline for your business.

The admin centre is entirely designed to make it easier for you. Within the admin view, directly on each post, you will be able to find the number of impressions, the engagement percentage, number of clicks and how many social actions occurred on each post. The left-hand side tracks your engagement for the past seven days, giving you a brief overview of the week. The analytics section provides detailed report on each post, on every single day, this will be an incredible opportunity for businesses to understand who they’re reaching, and what kind of content goes over best with their networking community.

The opportunity is there to increase your reach easily, and gain more networking connections, which will be an incredible option for furthering your businesses.

As always, LinkedIn has been about building your professional network. Turning professional relationships into opportunities can make all the difference for small businesses. Octopus Creative is pumped to learn the ropes of LinkedIn’s new Company Pages! Are you as pumped as we are?

How To Pick The Right Marketing Agency In Alberta For Your Business

Marketing agencies aren’t a one size fits all type of business. Each company has a unique philosophy, approach, and style. The key to a successful partnership with a marketing agency in Alberta is to find the one whose values align with yours. You want to feel comfortable, and you want to trust the marketing team that you choose. Remember, you’re selecting an entire team, not just an individual! You will have a whole crew of people that will be helping you sail your ship towards reaching your business goals.

What Do You Need?

The first step you should take before you even begin to look into hiring a marketing agency is to determine what your goals are. Do you want a new website? What functionalities does that website require? Being able to run an online store has an entirely separate set of needs compared to a lead generation website. Are you considering email marketing? What about branding? If you’re in need of a new logo, you know that the marketing agency you choose will require a graphic designer on staff to meet your requirements.

Explore The Ocean

Explore and research the agencies that you are considering. Who have they worked with in the past? Take a peek at their portfolio. Does their style of work align with your wants and needs? Another excellent way to gain a better understanding of how each marketing agency works is to watch their corporate blog, website, and social media presence. If you’re feeling inquisitive, look up their staff on social media too! LinkedIn will give you information on each individual’s qualifications, which can be beneficial. Perhaps you will find commonalities to help you connect on a personal level – which in turn, will help you achieve your goals!

Remove Your Eyepatch

It’s always best to have a specific project in mind but remain open to new ideas. Remove that eyepatch! Communicating with your chosen agency is key – and that communication has to go both ways. Our job as a marketing agency in Alberta is to ensure that you reach your marketing and business goals, and sometimes that requires thinking outside of the box and going a different direction than you had initially planned.

Find The Starfish in a Sea Full of Barnacles

Check references. Speak with the agencies that you’re considering, and ask to email or speak with previous and current clients. When conducting these pseudo-interviews, ensure to ask the right questions. Dive in and discover the quality of communication, the challenges, and how the company handled all situations. Are they quick to respond to emails and phone calls or does it take a few days to get a response? How do they handle difficult situations?

Marketing Solutions That Stick!

When hiring a marketing agency, think of it as though you’re hiring a new employee. You want to ensure that your personalities mesh well and you can work well together. You’re creating a partnership, and the only way a partnership can succeed is to keep the lines of communication open. Ensure that you’re direct in your needs, at the same time, understanding their scope of expertise. You want marketing solutions that stick!

Facebook Plans to Reconnect the Work Environment

The launch of Facebook for everyone over the age of 13 in September of 2006 was a turning point in internet history. Facebook launched as a place for friends and family to connect. Facebook soon evolved into an elaborate business and advertising platform and has since completely reinvented marketing. As of July 2016, there are over 1 billion daily active users on Facebook, with a whopping 38.6% of the online population utilizing the social media platform.

Its popularity is astronomical. Facebook is the top performing social media platform, with over 50 million active small business pages! It seems like nearly everyone uses Facebook, or is at least aware of its existence.

Facebook recently announced that the official launch of Workplace would happen in October, which will reimagine how businesses and their employees communicate. The switch for businesses to utilize Workplace should be fairly straightforward, considering the vast majority of the population is already comfortable with the standard platform. Their campaign boasts that “being a connected workplace, makes us a productive workplace.”

When utilizing Workplace, you’ll be creating a separate work account, which you can then link to your personal account, allowing you to be logged in to both accounts at the same time. Now, this does not mean that the posts from your private account and your work account will overlap – the content will stay entirely separate. With features for video chat and voice chats built directly into the messaging centre, you’ll be able to enable these features quickly, and efficiently, which is touted to make your team stronger and more communicative.

Workplace by Facebook features the familiar News Feed, only here it’s specific to your company, including what’s new and relevant. You’ll be able to maintain private chats with co-workers, group chats, and you will have the capability to invite the entire company to events. The advantage to Workplace will be its ability to filter communications so rather than seeing lots of useless chatter; you will see the most relevant information. It will display content from the colleagues you interact with most, and posts that are endorsed by other teammates will be more widely seen on the company page.

The popularity of Facebook itself could be one of the biggest assets for their newly launched platform. “Facebook at Work’s strength is that we’ve spent ten years and incorporated feedback from 1 billion active users,” says Lars Rasmuseen, the engineering director at Facebook. Great connections are the foundation of great companies. Facebook At Work understands that your job becomes easier when sharing ideas in one place, and you can keep the entire team informed quickly.

Workplace is relatively cost effective, charging $3 per month for the first 1,000 active users, $2 per month for the next 9,000 active users, and $1 per month for each additional active user that surpasses 10,000. Workplace is available for all companies and businesses, no matter the size of the company. Workplace is used by retail, technology, telecommunications, financial services, media, entertainment, food & beverage, transportation, real estate, utilities, shipping and government. To sign up for a free trial, you can apply through their website.

Workplace is competing against many other integrated communication systems used by businesses, including Glip and Slack. Glip offers team collaboration, built around real-time messaging, integrated task management, video conferences and a shared calendar. Glip offers free usage which includes unlimited posts & storage, 500 minutes of video chat, and unlimited people. The Basic account is $5 per user per month and includes unlimited posts & storage, 1000 minutes of video chat per person per month and 24/7 premium support. Upgrading to a Pro account for $10 per user per month gets you everything the basic account includes, with an additional 2000 minutes of video chat, totally 3000 minutes of video chat per person, per month!

Slack allows you to organize your team conversations in open channels. You can make a channel for a product, a topic, a team, or anything else you can think of so that everyone has a complete view of what’s going on. You can also create private channels and invite a few team members so that projects and conversations stay private and only involve those that are required. Slack allows you to drag and drop all files necessary (images, documents, PDF files, etc.) and share with any team member you’d like. Slack also has an option that is free to use and includes 10 apps or service integrations, apps for iOS, Android, Mac & Windows desktop, two-person calls and 5GB total file storage for the team. Their standard account for $6.67 per user per month includes unlimited apps and service integrations, custom retention policies for messages and files, guest access, custom user groups, group calls and 10GB of file storage per team member. For $12.50 per user per month, you receive everything included in the standard account plus compliance exports of all messages, 24/7 support with 4-hour response time, user provisioning and de-provisioning, real-time active directory sync with OneLogin, Okta & Ping as well as 20GB of file storage per team member.

You should navigate through the various options and find the workplace communication that works best for you and your crew.

We have to wonder: Is email the next thing to go the way of the dinosaur?

With so many active users already on Facebook, implementing a structure to utilize the social media platform for companies could open a variety of doors. Employees will be able to communicate with co-workers that they would not typically have a chance to connect with. It will also help build a strong foundation for companies to stand on within the employees. By opening the doors of communication and encouraging interaction, companies will strengthen employee loyalty. Having all information related to each project in one location will be more efficient and time saving than other options.

Consider the following statistics from Vitru:

• 20% of work time is spent looking for internal information or tracking down colleagues for help

• Average time spent in the office trying to contact customers or colleagues is 74 minutes

• Poorly managed work groups are on average 50% less productive and 44% less profitable than well-managed groups

• 96% of executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communications for workplace failures.

Communication is key to maintaining a creative, productive, and thriving business and the possibility that implementing Workplace by Facebook could throw all the above statistics overboard, is nothing short of inspiring.

If you’re interested more in what social media can do for your business, contact Octopus Creative today!

4 Hidden Treasures Uncovered by Using Authentic Photography

Throughout your time spent checking social media, there’s a constant wave of photos, videos, gifs, and content that is always calling your attention. To get a better idea of what the word content encompasses and how it can benefit your local business check out our page about content creation. With the minute-by-minute influx of new content, we start to subconsciously scroll right past anything that doesn’t immediately lure us in and simply move to the next post that sticks.

As a local business, it’s key to have content that hooks viewers and effectively communicates the message you’re trying to get across to your target audience. You might be thinking that creating original photography is easier said than done and instinctually look for an easier option, like stock images. Admittedly, stock photography can save you money, time, and effort but that is as far as the benefits go. The problem with having generic stock images is that people are too accustomed to seeing them. Nielsen Norman Group did a study showing how “users pay close attention to photos and other images that contain relevant information but ignore fluffy pictures used to “jazz up”” the core message and detract from the authenticity.” Essentially stock imagery is creating another barrier for your audience, allowing them to routinely ignore the customized message you’re trying to express through digital marketing. When trying to emerge from the flood of content people wade through every day, stock photography is underwhelming and uninteresting due to its generic nature. Don’t just tell your target audiences what makes you unique, show them.

There are a few hidden treasures that you can uncover by creating original photography for your social media, website, or other marketing campaigns.

Authentic photography personal connection

  1. Personal Connections

The primary feature that will anchor people to regularly interacting whether it’s liking, commenting or sharing is the personal connection. Regardless of the size of your crew, each member is part of a social circle that cares about what’s going on in his or her life. Replying to comments or liking other business pages shows that you’re involved in the community, and you’re willing to make time for each person.  And then when they click back to your social media page or website they’ll be delighted to find real imagery which truly highlights your friendly local feel.

  1. Employee Recognition

By including staff in imagery, it creates an instant connection to parts of their social circle and therefore expands the net of influence of your business. Your online brand will become more personable and accessible when your audience sees genuine people in a comfortable environment. The stock version of this would have models posing in front of stark backgrounds, which completely misses the distinctive brand personality, voice and message your business is trying to communicate.

JD Collision Bonnyville

  1. Recognizable Imagery

The advantage of communicating a customized message and specific brand identity through original photography is that you precisely express a localized message. With stock photography, much of it communicates the same message that people routinely sail by online. The pristine, clean, and technically perfect image may appear to be beneficial, but it won’t effectively reel in the people who provide you with their business. Original photography is an important element of forming your visual and brand identity.

  1. Customization

Another positive aspect to having custom images is that it effectively displays how your business is unique. Depending on the products or services there may not be stock photography to accurately express the uniqueness of your company. For example, if you’re a catering company with a unique menu or service, stock photography can communicate a fragment of that but not the entire story. Additional examples would be woodworking, construction, real estate, handmade goods, or really, any one of a plethora of products that might be different each time they’re created.

Original photography that reflects a brand personality, a genuine environment, and approachable people is the centre mast the will make people want to get on board with your company, helping you to set sail toward your company vision.

Authentic Photography with Calm Waters Colouring