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Post Production: 10 Reasons Your Business Needs a Corporate Social Media Policy

Did you know that Facebook recently reported over 2.2 billion monthly users throughout the world?

With that kind of exposure, it’s no wonder that businesses are turning to social media to market their products and services.

But how can you make sure that your use of social media doesn’t hurt your company?

It’s simple! Implementing a corporate social media policy can help you make sure that business booms because of your company’s posts.

Read on for 10 reasons your business needs a corporate social media policy and what it should include.

Why You Need a Corporate Social Media Policy

In a world where the emerging working generation has been on social media platforms for 10+ years, it might seem unnecessary to create and enforce corporate social media policies.

Let’s get one thing straight. It is absolutely necessary!

If you’re struggling to understand why your business should have a social media policy, read on.

1. It Reinforces Brand Identity

By establishing a social media policy you’re making it possible for posts across all platforms to reinforce your brand identity.

The goal is to make it sound like there’s only one person behind all the accounts and posts.

Including guidelines about the type of content, the voice, the personality behind social media posts can help you accomplish the kind of continuity that makes a business successful on social media.

2. A Policy Protects Your Company’s Reputation

If you look it won’t take long for you to find an instance when an employee posted inappropriate content to a corporate social media account — or even to their personal account.

Be clear about the kind of content that is appropriate.

Some content may vary depending on the type of business or industry or even the brand. But some topics are universally inappropriate and should always be identified as such in your policy, such as;

  • discriminatory posts directed at any race, gender, religious preference, sexuality, or political affiliation
  • derogatory posts directed at any race, gender, religious preference, sexuality, or political affiliation

Consider whether any other subjects should be included in the list of topics that are banned from your businesses social media posts, or can result in discipline even if posted to personal accounts.

3. Social Media Policies Can Protect Your Business From Liability

Regulating your employees’ “after-hours” activities can be a tricky and legally vague business.

And while you can’t legally prevent your employees from complaining about work on social media, you can implement policies that prevent them from implicating your company in posts that would drive away customers or prevent business.

Be explicit about your expectations for your ebehaviours behaviors on their own personal social media accounts that could affect your business.

4. It Enables Business Growth

Social media policies aren’t just a list of “don’ts.” They can include direction on how to make your business grow through the appropriate use of social media platforms.

If you need a little guidance, don’t be afraid to use a professional to manage your social media accounts, or advise you on best practices. Many professionals offer a boatload of services:

  • Total social media management: They do all the posting, replying, liking, etc. for you so you can focus on your business.
  • Campaigns and promotions: They can create email campaigns, social media promotions, etc. to increase your following and drive sales.
  • Account setup: They’ll create and manage accounts in a variety of social media platforms and post appropriate content for the demographic that uses each one.
  • Strategy: They can help you create an effective and realistic social media strategy that will serve you!

Reach out to us if you want a little help using social media to grow your business.

What Every Corporate Social Media Policy Should Include

Here are a few things that every corporate social media policy should include and why!

5. It Should Include Education

Make sure that the employees responsible for social media have a thorough understanding of each platform that is used to advertise.

Consider having an educational crash course on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and any other platforms that your business has a profile on.

Make sure employees understand the terms and conditions, purposes, tools, and demographics for each social media outlet. That way they’ll be able to optimize the usage of each platform.

6. Every Corporate Social Media Policy Should Have a Style Guide

Publish a company-wide style guide that helps employees keep social media posts and graphics cohesive.

Your style guide should include (but not be limited to):

  • Company colors
  • Approved fonts
  • Graphics, logos, and vectors
  • Taglines and other verbiage

Your marketing team can be responsible for your style guide.

7. Personal Vs. Professional Social Media Use

Make a clear distinction between the types of words and subjects that are appropriate for corporate posts.

Whether or not employees choose to abide by those regulations on their personal social media accounts is their own choice.

But you can and should create guidelines about the content and words that are used in your company’s name.

8. Guidelines On Intellectual Property

Be sure to educate employees on what is considered intellectual property (IP).

Whatever you define as such should be considered off limits to social media posts on both personal and professional accounts.

Make it clear that legal repercussions are a natural consequence of the violation of your business’s policies on IP.

9. Clarify Who Is Being Represented

Remind employees that at all times they serve as representatives of the company. The content posted to corporate accounts should reflect that.

The voice used on social media profiles should reflect that of the company, not the employee.

10. Disaster Response Plans

Despite your best efforts, there may be a situation where company policies are violated or an error occurs. It’s always a good idea to have a plan for when disaster strikes.

Disaster plans should include things like:

  • How and when to delete posts
  • How to apologize for the inappropriate content
  • How you will discipline violators
  • How you will reassure employees and customers that the same mistake won’t be repeated

Don’t assume that you’re safe from social media fails. Have a disaster response plan in place for when (not if) you need it.

Remember This!

The purpose of a corporate social media policy is to protect your business, protect your employees, and increase growth.

And contact us if you need help developing your policy or using social media to grow your business!

Hitting the Tweet Spot: 10 Great Tips for Social Media Data Analysis

What good is a marketing campaign without social media data analysis?

It’s not the 1950’s anymore, and marketing has gone beyond pen, paper, and television. Big data is already valued at $42 billion worldwide and expected to climb beyond $100 billion by 2027.

A portion of this growth can be directly attributed to the marketing industry’s adoption of Big Data. 84% of social media marketers surveyed use data analytics to help set goals and objectives. And 69% believe that most of their marketing decisions will be primarily driven by data in 2018 and beyond.

Believe it or not, you don’t have to the scientist to understand analytics. Don’t miss these 10 tips for leveraging social media data analysis in your marketing.

1. What Do Those Impressions Really Mean?

Social media engagement is more than just comments, shares, and likes. impressions play a significant, but more hidden role, in engagement analysis. Unlike a comment, impressions are vague. One tweet, for example, is likely to receive more impressions than anything else, so it’s important to understand what’s behind them.

A single user viewing a piece of content the first time around counts as one ‘reach.’ But each set of eyeballs on a post counts towards impressions — even if the same person saw it three times, that’s three impressions. Analytics separates the two, so you can get a more accurate picture of how your audience is experiencing the content.

2. What Are People Saying About You on Social Media?

Now, it’s time to eavesdrop on your audience. Social listening yields valuable insights on what your target audience is staying across all social media platforms.

Social listening involves tracking the following activity:

  • Twitter lists
  • Trending hashtags
  • Testimonials
  • Complaints
  • Conversations
  • Reaction videos
  • Live streaming
  • Twitter mentions
  • Social media feuds

Yes, you read that right – feuds. In fact, social media feuds are one of the fastest rising strategies in user-generated content marketing. So grab some popcorn and a front row seat.

3. How to Consolidate Your Social Listening

Social listening itself isn’t difficult, but it produces a lot of data. So what do you do when you have multiple social media accounts?

This is where your social media management tools come in. Most, if not all of them, provide a way to view multiple accounts in real time through one dashboard. You can also respond to multiple posts at once and download data reports for your social media activity.

4. How to Analyze Social Media Data

Social media data is useless if you don’t know what to do with it. That’s why it’s critical to define goals for your marketing strategy. This way, you can visually and logically understand your performance metrics from start to finish.

One of the most reliable goal-setting models is the SMART goal method. This will help you define goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, results-based, and time-sensitive.

Most importantly, it provides a clear model to measure your data against.

5. Analyze Your Follower Count

Are people clicking on your content but not subscribing? Are they watching your videos but not commenting? Your follower count is a critical piece of your social media data analysis.

Like social listening, you can track your follower counts with analytics. Taking YouTube as an example, follower analysis can help you understand your subscriber-to-view ratios and make changes where needed. You may need to include a visual call-to-action at the end of your videos to boost your subscriber count, or, produce shorter videos that are easier to digest.

6. Follow Behavioral Trends

When does your audience engage the most with your content? When’s their favourite time to share your posts? When are they least likely to engage with your content? These are just a few of many questions to consider in your social media analysis.

An easy introduction to social media behaviour analysis is Twitter Analytics. Twitter analytics uses data visualizations to reveal peak points in activity, irregularities, your most popular tweets, and weekly engagement patterns.

When you break down the data, you get a clearer picture of what to tweet and when to tweet in.

7. The Power of Polling

Polling isn’t just for politics. Social media polls are a fantastic way to gather valuable data from your audience.

There are several tools you can use to generate and embed polls on your social media pages. Twitter and Facebook also have option for tweeting polls directly to your follows. You can ask your audience simple yes or no questions to gauge excitement for an upcoming movie, event, or product.

Another smart trick is to create poll questions based on your social listening data.

8. Gather Feedback for Your Social Media Data Analysis

Feedback doesn’t begin and end with polling. There are several ways to gather valuable social media data from user feedback.

For example, you can post a survey that rewards users in exchange for their opinion. Other feedback methods include free trials, email surveys, social media contests, Twitter chats, and Facebook Messenger.

9. Does Your Social Media Translate into Dollars?

Your social media posts may look fantastic, but are they converting into real sales? Shares, comments, and likes are just a fraction part of the full conversion picture. If you’re worried about your lack of product sales, turn to the data. as

Your social media data analysis will reveal your click-to-convert ratio. Increasing your conversions could be as simple as speeding up your website or including more enticing calls-to-action.

Remember, when in doubt, look at the data.

10. Know How to Organize Your Social Media Data

Last but not least is organization. You don’t want any of that valuable data falling through the cracks. That’s why it’s critical to run CSV reports from your social media management tools. Simply upload your CSV data into Excel, or Google Sheets, to create easy-to-navigate spreadsheets.

Each social media channel should have their own spreadsheet complete with data columns. If you don’t keep accurate data reports, you have nothing to measure against the following fiscal year.

Now it’s your turn to analyze the data.

Remember, social media data analysis is all about the details, so leave no stone unturned. Get your social media management tools up and running as soon as possible and keep accurate data records throughout the process.

To assist your analysis every step of the way, check back often for tips on managing your social media marketing.

8 Creative Marketing Strategy Examples That Will Inspire You

For marketers, creating a campaign can sometimes feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. How do you stand out when a single individual sees up to 5,000 ads a day?

Across the world, this concern has led to some innovative and creative marketing strategy examples.

Feeling lost? A bit underwhelmed about your campaign? Take a look at these eight creative marketing strategies for inspiration.

Creative Marketing Strategy Examples

Whether it’s in Canada or across the pond, marketing agencies have created some unusual and unique ideas to gain attention.

1. Google’s Pop-Up Donut Shops

Last year across the US, citizens began noticing some strange shops popping up in their cities.

With the creation of the Google Home Mini, a smart speaker about the size of a donut, Google created donut shops around the US. Visitors entered, rang a bell, asked the Google Home Mini a question, and received a box from a conveyor belt.

Inside the box, they would be given either a free donut or a Google Home Mini. The action caught worldwide attention and was splashed across the international news.

2. Anthon Berg’s Generous Store

In a similar manner, another pop-up store gained national attention back in 2012. In Copenhagen, Anthon Berg’s Generous Store opened for a single day. During that day, customers could purchase chocolate for good deeds.

Users would select a good deed for their chocolate, then post the deed on social media as “payment” at a later date.

The campaign reiterated core company values and reconnected their brand with the idea of generosity.

3. Verizon’s Augmented Reality Treasure Hunt

Who doesn’t love a treasure hunt?

Although technology has been used many times in the past to bolster a campaign, Verizon took marketing a step further with this promotion.

Utilizing the same method that made Pokemon Go so popular, Verizon reached out to thousands of customers through cells. Customers in participating cities in America could scan a code that would provide a series of clues. The clues would lead to the ultimate “treasure”: an iPhone 8.

Or at least the sweepstakes for one…

4. Coca-Cola’s Small World Machines

Across the globe, Coca-Cola impressed us again with its marketing prowess, this time in a new use of vending machines.

Relations between India and Pakistan have never been overly positive, but in keeping with one of its core messages, Coca-Cola managed to bring citizens from these two nations together to share in small bits of happiness. Vending machines equipped with state of the art webcams were integrated into malls in each nation.

In order to get a free drink, users had to connect with participants from the other country. A Pakistani citizen would approach the machine and see whoever was on the “other side” in India. The machine would ask them to join hands, trace together or complete other tasks.

The reward was a fresh drink.

For years, Coca-Cola has been famous for its efforts at joining communities, which sometimes resulted in campaigns that reached across nations and ethnicities. In holding true to that company value — and their brand of happiness — they continue to gain attention through their marketing endeavours.

5. Game of Thrones’ Dragon Shadow

Consistency is the key to successful branding and marketing. It fosters brand recognition and illustrates stability, a promise that the company is maintaining its efforts on what it has demonstrated before. Humans learn to associate images with specific emotions, and you want yours to be positive.

Utilizing this idea to their advantage, the marketing specialists for Game of Thrones decided to spread their image in a place where many would see it: The New York Times newspaper. When readers opened up their typical morning paper in February of 2013, they were met with a sprawling dragon shadow that tinted parts of their articles a light grey.

A few days later, the silhouette appeared again, this time on the side of a building. Within days, you could find images of the silhouette all across the internet.

Not only did the marketing team maintain a consistent image throughout this campaign, but they also utilized integrated marketing communications to its fullest extent, reaching large audiences across different channels and letting them spread the word further.

6. Octopus Creative Inc.’s Co-Op

How do you persuade owners in two Co-ops to vote for an amalgamation with the other? By creating a slamming slogan that’s simple, effective and–as the folks at Octopus Creative put it–sexy. The campaign slogan was dubbed “Better Together.”

Using simplicity and positive connotations, the slogan was effective. And with interactive advertising that reached a trading area of more than 280 kilometres, it was ultimately successful. Both Co-ops had over 90% of voting owners agreeing to the amalgamation.

Talk about success!

7. Poo Pourri

It’s exactly what it sounds like, and the Poo Pourri marketing campaign is an excellent example of video and humour used correctly. Without the restrictions of television-based advertising, this marketing campaign was free to run wild on YouTube and social media, and the crass, all-too-true humour it utilized about feces and its associated smell went viral.

This promotion also had a specific target audience (young women who “don’t poop”), but it appealed to a cultural norm known throughout the world. Further, it offered a solution for an issue everyone experiences. As a result, people were all too happy to share the videos and product with others.

Talk about bringing something refreshingly new to the table – or, perhaps, the toilet.

8. Half.com, Oregon

In one of the most unique twists on marketing we’ve ever seen, Half.com put itself on the map – literally. In 1999, Halfway, Oregon announced it would be changing its town name to Half.com, Oregon.

In an effort to make itself heard, the startup company offered a package deal to the town to foster its economy. In return, Half.com became the first ever dot.com city in US history.

Bringing Creativity to the Forefront

From viral videos about poop to pop-up stores everywhere, creative marketing strategy examples that work aren’t difficult to find.

Are you inspired yet? You should be. After all, each one of these campaigns began with someone who was ready to be bold and innovative, someone just like you.

If you’re ready to take a dip into otherworldy marketing, read our article about interactive content. You’ve gotten the inspiration; now, it’s time to spark your ambition to create a marketing campaign the world will never forget.

The Blog Slog: 5 Key Benefits of Content Marketing for Your Business

 

Believe it or not, nearly half of all small and medium-sized businesses don’t have a website. Even those that do build a site, get it up and running, never to look at it ever again. If they never explore the benefits of content marketing, they’ll never know what kind of brand presence they could be missing out on.

Here are 5 of the biggest benefits to content marketing.

1. More Content for Your Site

While it seems pretty obvious, having more content on your site brings a boatload of benefits. One of the biggest ones has to do with how long you keep customers around.

When you’ve got one article that links to three other related articles, you give your visitors an opportunity to learn more from you. As you build the amount of on-site content you can offer, you keep them around. If each article also aims to make visitors familiar with your brand, the longer visitors stay on your site, the more excited they’ll be about your products.

If you offer great content, your users will be excited to share links to your writing with friends. Your blog could be a pretty powerful tool in your promotional belt if you use it wisely.

2. Improved SEO

If you’re still new to SEO, you need to get hip to how it works. Search engines use a variety of criteria in their algorithm to decide what makes one website a better match for your search over another. Search Engine Optimization is the name for the variety of choices you make to position yourself toward the top of the list.

SEO can help to increase profit by bringing higher quality traffic to your site. If your blog uses important SEO elements, like keywords, location identifiers, and lots of reputable links, you’ll rank highly on search engines.

Search engines also privilege domains that update their site often. If you add lots of content based on frequently asked questions and issues your users might have with your competitors’ products, you could see traffic spike. The more often you talk about the subjects that are most important to your clients, the more often you’ll appear in search results.

Multiple search result rankings give you an added boost in perception.

The higher quality your content is, the higher your domain authority will be. When you use those reputable external sources and get links from other reputable sites, the people who click your links will come with an initial respect for you. They will know that you’re in the same league as the other sites they know and trust.

3. A Better Social Media Presence

One of the most important ways to reach out and connect with your audience now is through social media. People using social media like to see that the brands and companies that they know and trust have real people working for them. Some brands are taking this to the extreme and building unique voices around their company on social media.

When you write quality content on your blog, you create opportunities for people to share your writing. The more often people see links to your site on their feed, the more they’ll begin to trust your brand. They’ll start following you on social media, giving you more opportunities to connect with them.

Add social media buttons and links to previous posts throughout your blog and you’ll find that your circle of followers will grow. Your new followers will share your articles and continue to spread news and information about your products while you focus on other aspects of marketing.

4. More Conversions

Getting users to your site and to your blog is only the first step in the sales process. This is where they enter your sales funnel and open up the opportunity to pitch your products. If you deliver the goods on your blog, you’ll eliminate the time it takes to turn a curious visitor into the regular client.

Your blog can inform and help your readers with common problems they have. To generate content, you should make a list of the 20 most common questions you get asked about products and services in your industry. Likely, these will be the questions potential clients will type into search engines.

When you answer their questions, giving your products and services as a solution, you can pitch while you inform. Your blog will be tactfully selling your clients on your latest products and services without hitting them over the head. When you provide quality information to go along with your sales pitches, you’ll win trust from people across your industry.

Building a reputation is difficult but if you’re giving helpful and informative material, you’ll be offering value before you even ask your clients to open their wallets. People will think highly of any brand willing to offer a lot beyond their own personal gain.

5. Build Connections With Other Brands

Every company is looking to build a network of other businesses and owners to connect their products to. If you’re in the health and wellness industry, for example, there are surely lots of other brands you’re not in competition with at all. A yoga studio and a natural skin care brand can work together without stepping on each others’ toes.

If you’re willing to broaden the amount of information that your blog has to offer, you can ask to trade guest posts with other brands. Otherwise, you can talk about your experience with their products and ask that they talk about their experience with yours.

Guest posting gives you the opportunity to write sincere promotional material about products and services that your customers would also enjoy.

The Benefits of Content Marketing Go On

Beyond these 5, you’ll find that the benefits of content marketing will pop up over time. You’ll see more people coming to you based on something they read, more people linking to you, and more traffic that turns into sales.

If you’re looking to get those newly converted customers to write reviews, check out our guide for more info.

5 Google Adwords Tips that Turn Clicks Into Customers

Visibility in Google is one of the things you need to do to get more customers. It’s why the Search Engine Optimization industry exists. It’s why businesses fight tooth and nail for every keyword available.

After all, Google’s share in the search engine market is 90.14% around the world. If you want to ensure that your digital marketing effort is productive, you need to prioritise this over ranking on any other search engine.

One of the best strategies is Google AdWords.

Not sure how it works? We’ve got you covered. Here are five Google AdWords tips that will turn your clicks into loyal customers:

1. Choosing Different Keyword Targeting Options

Keyword targeting refers to utilizing keywords relevant to the service or products you offer specifically for ad copy. It’s a system that aims to boost your rankings and ads, and it leans on potential consumers using keywords in their searches.

Keep in mind it’s not as simple as picking a single keyword and then focusing your entire campaign around it. There are different targeting options, which include at the basic level:

  • Exact match
  • Broad match
  • Phrase match
  • Negative keywords

An exact match is what most people imagine when it comes to keywords. You type in “best shoemaker” and your ads will only pop up when someone uses those exact words, in that exact sequence.

A broad match, on the other hand, means your ads will appear when people type in any search using a broad matched keyword such as “shoes”. This means your ad will appear for searches like “best shoes”, “running shoes” or… “horse shoes”.

Phrase match refers to long queries, like phrases or complete sentences, that include the exact keyword. Examples would be “shoemaker in New York” or “how to find the best shoemaker.”

Negative keywords are essentially keyword modifiers. You can add the supplement “horse” so that people searching “horse shoe” won’t see your ads when they type “horse” into a search engine.

2. Choose the Best Landing Page

A common mistake for most people is that they only use their homepage as the landing page for targeted ads.

This is often a bad idea because your homepage doesn’t cater directly to the user queries. It’s a bad practice to let your potential customers clicking through three levels of your site to find the information they want.

If you want to make money with PPC ads, you have to not only bring people to the page, but you have to give them a reason to stay and spend money once they get to the destination. Think about the page your customers will most likely need. In most situations, you might need a specific product page.

For example, if your users search for “blue sunglasses,” you need to make the corresponding product page as the target URL.

The faster you can get them what they need, the more chances you have to convert them.

3. Enable Sitelinks

Doing this means that the bottom of the ad will also show a set of other pages on your website. These high-level links are great when you want potential customers to look for other information and services on your site. Enabling the sitelinks can help get your customers to the places they might want in a quicker, more convenient way, increasing the likelihood of conversion.

If you want to know more about this, Google provides a comprehensive guide that gives a sample pizza store’s site links. You can see the four options it offers which can interest people. Regular customers aren’t likely to go through the same landing link all the time, so the option makes it easier for them to return.

4. Make Use of Reviews to Get More Trust

The most important factor for customers to choose you over your competitors is the customer reviews. When people choose between ads, a lot of customers will pick the website with at least 4.9 stars rating over a business that has no ratings.

Pretty much like the site links mentioned above, your customer reviews are great extensions for your ads. However, doing this requires you to register to the Google Product Search. The reason behind it is that the search engine uses all the reviews it pulled from all over the internet to ensure that the aggregate score is trustworthy and not prone to manipulations of any kind.

5. Geotarget Your Preferred Customers

This tip is one of the most common things you must do to get the most out of your Google AdWords campaign. Despite this, geotargeting is often forgotten and overlooked. It’s vital to target people within your area especially if your services depend on a fixed location, like a local business and the like.

If your business is in Canada, it doesn’t do you good to target potential customers in Korea. Do this properly, and you’ll get benefits like a higher probability of getting clicks and turn those clicks into guaranteed sales.

Bonus: Pause Your Underperforming Ads

The harsh truth is that not all your ads will get you conversions and sales. In fact, basing it on averages, most of them will not perform as well as you want them to. You can optimize all your ads in lots of different ways, but if it isn’t performing well, it won’t be for the time being.

If you continue seeing any significant performance metrics with your ads, you might want to pull it out. It’s not hard to see when the ad isn’t doing too good. Don’t spend money on ads that aren’t getting you any new customers.

You need to ensure that your Click-Through-Rate (CTR) should be at minimum 0.5%. The average of a successful AdWords text ad often sees a CTR at 2%.

Get Google AdWords Tips Today!

Promoting your business with the use of Google AdWords is a great way to get an audience and generate conversions. However, you need to remember all these tips to ensure that you get the money you’re paying for. After all, it’s important to maximize your budget to ensure that you can expand in the future.

There are other Google AdWords tips to consider, like integrating your Adwords account with your Google Analytics. It might be a long road ahead, but all of it is worth getting more revenue from your conversions.

Do you need help with a better online presence? Contact us today and we’ll help you get started!

What is a Facebook Pixel? How Retargeting Can Transform Your Marketing

Facebook pixel. What is it anyway?

For a not-so-savvy marketer or internet user, it’s easy to assume the Facebook pixel is some kind of photo editing or sharing tool. After all, the word “pixel” is commonly associated with images.

But that’s wrong. So, what is Facebook pixel?

At the most basic level, Facebook Pixel is a tracking and analytics tool that advertisers can use to measure the effectiveness of their ads and better advertise. It’s easy to collect data based on your website visitors’ actions to improve your current and future advertising.

Without further delay, this post is going to define the pixel tool, and we’re going to show you how Facebook ads retargeting can benefit your marketing campaigns.

Let’s get right to it!

What Is Facebook Pixel?

As noted before, the Facebook pixel is a tracking and analytics tool that you can use to gauge the performance of your advertising and create better advertising. It contains a code, which you put on your website.

When visitors complete actions on your website, the code triggers and reports the action. This allows you to know when customers take action, and this will help you in your future retargeting efforts.

This tool gives you more accurate conversion rates. As such, you can create custom audiences for future leads based on your current web traffic.

Why You Need the Pixel?

There are several reasons why you need to use pixels to improve your Facebook ads. The pixel provides visitor data that you can use to refine your ad strategy. Keep on reading!

1. Track Your Conversions

Do you want to know what actions lead to most conversions? The pixel allows you to monitor visitors’ interaction with your site after viewing your ads. It gives you data for both mobile and desktop activities.

This is particularly important for those visitors that view ads on mobile but switch to desktop to make their purchase. This data can help you improve your ads and website to boost your conversion rate.

2. Create Targeted Audiences

Still, the data can help you identify the interests, demographics, and likes of your visitors. With this data, it’s possible to create targeted audiences. Typically, you can target people with the same interests and likes as your current visitors.

Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean that you can choose specific visitors and advertise to them. Instead, the custom audience is based on the shared behaviour. This can be people who visited a particular page on your website or those who visited a while ago and have not returned.

You created your audiences independently from the existing ads. When creating custom audiences, you can choose a time frame of 1 to 180 days to define when targeted people last visited your site.

3. Improve Your Ads

Pixel also helps you to measure the success of your ads based on the direct results. You can view your conversion rate and the number of sales to determine to determine how your visitors use your website.

This, in turn, can help you improve the quality, effectiveness, and performance of your ads. The data allows you to target people who are most likely to take action once they see your ads.

4. Remarket Your Ads

Taking advantage of your existing website visitors can help you rake in huger sales numbers. That’s what remarketing is all about. It allows you to target your ads to people who have already visited your website before.

In this case, you can narrow down to specific ads or products. For example, you can show people the exact products they viewed or abandoned they last time they were on your website.

This capability allows you to reignite their interest in the product or other related products.

How Retargeting Using Pixel Can Help You

The critical point in online marketing is that every visitor that comes to your site usually has an interest. Sadly, some never call, email, or even fill out your forms. You don’t need to leave such visitors in the dark thanks to retargeting.

Here is how retargeting can improve your online marketing efforts:

1. Enhances Engagement

Retargeting allows you to reconnect with your past visitors. You can create custom audiences based on the pages they visited. Be sure to tailor the retargeting content to suit their needs. It’s also advisable to target people based on the categories they prefer.

This way, it’s possible to boost your engagement by 100 percent or even more.

2. Raises Conversion Rates

Improving the conversion rate is the most common goal when marketers start retargeting. You can have enough traffic, but your visitors are not converting as you wish.

This is because you’re struggling to entice your visitors in a meaningful way. With retargeting, you can bid on those people who showed interest in specific areas of your site. For example, if you’re a retailer, you should focus more on those who abandon the cart than those who browse and leave.

This way, you can be sure to capture their interest again and get them to take action.

3. Improves Brand Awareness

Have you ever paid attention to your branded search keywords volume? If not, a large branded keywords volume means you have people who are interested in your company and products or services. As such, it’s easier to convert such people into actual customers.

You can invest heavily in SEO to boost your traffic, but not many people can know you. With retargeting, you can see an increase in your branded searches. Also, you can direct traffic.

Increase in branded searches and direct traffic means people already know your brand.

What is Facebook Pixel – Final Thoughts

Well, if you are using Facebook Ads, it’s time to make the most of your existing traffic. Many sites have invested in SEO to earn great traffic, but their conversion rates and sales numbers need to be improved.

Now that you understand the answer to the question, “what is Facebook pixel?” it’s possible to grow your conversation rate and sales.

Do you have any question about social media and online marketing? We are here to help. Just reach out to us when you get the time.

How to Get Reviews: Why Businesses Should Avoid Fake Reviews

Building an online reputation is not merely registering your business on Google and Yelp. If you’re just starting out, you need online reviews.

Reviews are how consumers check the quality of your business. People often look to those independent reviews more than they do personal recommendations.

Getting reviews is challenging. Readers assume reviews are independent and not solicited in any way. To add to the challenge, consumers often don’t take the time to leave online feedback unless they are dissatisfied.

Many companies give in and outsource fake reviews to improve their ratings. This may seem like an effective strategy. But that eventually backfires and leaves a negative mark or your business rather than a positive one.

This article focuses less on how to get reviews and more on how not to solicit fake reviews.

Fake Reviews Online Destroys Trust

Many companies make money by selling fake reviews online. Review writing is outsourced overseas, where labourers work for low wages. They generate thousands of reviews daily.

Fake Reviews Lack Quality

Given that rapid production, you can imagine the lack of quality in the review. Also, many labourers have only rudimentary English.

And, none of this passes muster with potential customers, who can spot fake reviews right away. People will lose trust without ever becoming customers.

Special Risks for SEO Companies

Companies that provide Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services that support this practice are taking extra risks with their reputation. Their services revolve around building an online presence for clients.

If they are caught faking their online reputation, customers will rightfully question their ability to deliver results for them.

Google Can Cause Your Local Search Traffic to Drop

Google bases its business on data. They track and predict trends with amazing proficiency. They will penalize you if they discover fake reviews on Google.

Once Google realized you’re getting online reviews for your business that are not legitimate, they will not rank your site for relevant local search terms.

The consequence is reduced traffic to your website. You’ll likely experience a sharp drop in revenue as a result. If you don’t know how to get reviews, take some time to learn instead of turning to fake reviews.

You’ll Make your Company Look Too Good to Be True

Even if your reviews manage to stay under Google’s radar, you still run the risk of looking phoney. If all you have are sparkling, over-the-top reviews, you’ll appear too good to be true. And rightfully so.

Any business will have some negative comments somewhere. Between the law of averages and the rules of human behaviour, no product line will have spotless reviews.

Special Risks for Small Business Owners

Small business owners who publish false reviews can expect a backlash in the form of negative reviews. These come in the form of a different kind of false review: the negative one.

Companies who do this could find themselves barraged with their own negative reviews. The text of those reviews calls out the company for intentionally posting fake reviews.

Such an onslaught floods their product sites with negative feedback. It can erode consumer trust completely. This can be catastrophic for a small business.

Legal Repercussions of Fake Reviews

So far, we have discussed how using fake reviews can backfire. You could end up with more negative reviews than positive. You’ll erode consumer trust rather than build it. There are financial and legal ramifications as well.

Regulators Can Fine You for Fake Reviews Online

Regulators used to ignore fake reviews online. With the rise of digital marketing, though, consumers trust these reviews more. As a result, regulators now pay closer attention, acting as fake review checker.

They have the authority to fine you for unethical or deceptive marketing actions. That includes fake reviews.

In Canada, the Competition Bureau identifies fake reviews as “misleading advertising and labelling.” The Bureau handles this under Section 74.02 of the Competition Act.

Under this law, a person can pay a penalty of up to $750,000 for the first occurrence. A corporation can pay up to $10,000,000 for the same offence.

For subsequent violations, the penalties increase. An individual can be fined up to $1,000,000, A corporation can be fined up $15,000,000.

You Could Face a Lawsuit

Lawsuits are yet another repercussion of fake reviews. Local governments as well as the Competition Bureau, can fine you. That is painful enough. But your competitors may file a lawsuit.

Attorneys may see this violation of consumer protection guidelines and solicit a lawsuit based on deceptive trade practices.

How to Get Reviews the Right Way

Each country has its own set of directory sites that feature local businesses. Canadian business owners who want better Google rankings, as well as more local customers, should ask existing customers to write reviews.

Not everyone in your customer base will respond. That means you want the reviews you get to count. Ask customers to review on websites that are part of your local network and that feed to other sites in your country.

Facebook, Yelp and weblocal.ca are the largest.

What If You’re Not the One Posting the Fake Reviews?

What if you discover fake reviews popping up on your Facebook or Google My Business Page? The unfortunate truth is that malicious, fake reviews are becoming more common — we know because it has happened to us too! Here is something to keep in mind.

Every site that hosts reviews has Terms of Service (TOS). You can usually find a link to the TOS at the bottom of the website homepage. The TOS lists the type of content that users are allowed to post in their reviews.

Any reputable site will stipulate they can remove any reviews that that are personal attacks on an employee. They can also remove any derogatory remarks about a person based on race, religion, disability, or ethnicity.

If you see such a review about your business or one of your employees, contact the site owner or follow the process outlined to flag or report an inappropriate review. Usually, the company will remove the post without issue, even if it does take some time.

Alternately, you can reply to the negative review online. In your reply state that you are concerned that this may have been a wrongful review as they are not identified as a customer of yours and request to have it removed directly from the reviewer.

If reporting the fake review isn’t enough, you can decide whether you want to take formal legal action.

Take the High Road

Getting reviews for business isn’t always easy. You may have a great product or service. Though, without the reviews as testimony, growing your business will take more time.

Despite the temptation, it’s best to avoid the easy way of generating fake reviews to get the ball rolling.

If you have any questions about how to get reviews for your business, make sure to contact us.

Why SEO Outsourcing is a Great Option for Businesses in Alberta

Businesses in Alberta are turning toward digital marketing to reach their target demographic. 81% of shoppers research products online before making a purchase. It’s essential that customers are able to find your website online.

However, ranking on the first pages of Google isn’t a guarantee for anyone. There are more than 1,877,000,000 websites and counting, meaning your competition is thick.

If you want to show up on page one, you have to earn your place. Companies who invest in Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, are the ones found by customers.

Many are doing this through SEO outsourcing methods. These methods are very effective when implemented through the right companies.

Why More Businesses in Alberta are Investing in SEO Outsourcing

There are many reasons businesses in Alberta outsource their SEO services instead of keeping them in-house. There is nothing wrong with hiring a person internally to handle your SEO strategy. But, many companies find that outsourcing to a third party is profitable and efficient.

Find out why below.

It’s Cheaper than Hiring Someone In-House

For many businesses, the cost to hire an individual with the right expertise is more than outsourcing the job to a company or agency specializing in SEO services.

In-house SEO specialists come with a hefty price tag. The average annual salary of an SEO Specialist in Canada is about C$46,038. The individual’s skills are often rooted in a specific digital strategy.

SEO agencies, on the other hand, typically offer a variety of solutions which you can bundle together while spending less. Their team consists of individuals with different skill sets to accommodate the needs of your business. Social media management, website design, branding, online marketing, and copywriting are all available.

Because SEO agencies take on multiple clients, they can offer these services at a lower rate than what you would spend hiring someone in-house. When combined, these services lead to a cohesive digital strategy at a fraction of the price of executing them in-house.

It’s More Efficient than Training Someone Yourself

What if you train someone who is already on staff? Would that not be cheaper?

No, not really. The challenge with SEO is that it’s complex. If you plan to train someone who has no background in SEO or no knowledge of how it works, you’re in for an uphill battle.

To influence your ranking in search engine results, you have to understand multiple strategies. Strategies such as keyword research, link-building, on and off-site content, and coding are essential for SEO. You also need to understand analytics reports to gauge the success of your campaigns.

The reason SEO companies are so successful is that they have a team of individuals working together to elevate your rankings.

Experienced copywriters that know how to optimize copy for SEO create content for your web pages and blogs.

Web developers create or optimize your website’s design to make sure it loads quickly, is mobile-friendly, and secure.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) experts design, execute and manage campaigns to get your ads in front of your target demographic.

SEO veterans develop your strategy, create backlinks, and execute other tactics to improve your site’s ranking in search engines.

In short, successful SEO strategies often take an entire team with years of combined experience. You’ll have to spend a lot of time and money to train someone to reach that calibre.

Even then, they’ll have a hard time doing it all themselves.

An Agency or Company has the Tools and Training to Help You Succeed

The right agency or company to outsource your SEO needs to will have both the tools and training to help you achieve your goals. There are many tools and programs SEO experts use to manage your website’s rankings.

This includes certifications and ongoing training to remain up-to-date with the latest strategies. Because search engine giants like Google always improve their algorithms, these experts have to stay on top of the latest updates.

Some of these changes are pretty significant. They can require major changes to your website or your content creation strategies. Not keeping up with these requirements can cause your rankings to plummet overnight.

That’s why it’s important to make sure you hire skilled professionals. If he or she isn’t familiar with the latest ongoings in the SEO industry, beware!

Outsourcing Opens Up Time for You to Focus on Other Business Goals

One of the greatest advantages of outsourcing SEO services is the time you save. Your company’s digital strategy is a time-consuming task. One that never ends.

Instead of trying to overcome the learning curb in-house, you get to focus on your expertise. Let your team spend their time doing what they do best.

As the calls and conversions start to pick up from your outsourced strategy, focus on optimizing the new flow of traffic by:

  • Improving your sales process
  • Building on your relationships with existing clients
  • Producing new products or services
  • And more…

By outsourcing this service to experts, you open up your time and budget to other business goals. Use it wisely as you apply your talents to help your business grow.

Hiring an Expert Gives You an Edge Over Your Competition

There’s an old saying that says you should keep your friends close, but your “enemies” closer.

A great SEO expert doesn’t simply get to know its client. He or she also identifies and tracks the client’s competition. They use their skills to give you an edge on your competitors.

This includes competing for keyword rankings and developing strategies to overcome market challenges. Your competition may not be using pros to handle their SEO like you are, which gives you a great advantage.

Launch Your SEO Strategy Today

Are you ready to turn to SEO outsourcing to improve your search engine rankings and get in front of the eyes of your target audience? If so, our gurus are here to help.

Get in touch with us to talk about a custom strategy to elevate your business. Located in Alberta, Canada, our professionals will be happy to meet and discuss how we can help you meet your goals.

The Future of Social Media Marketing: 7 Trends You Need to Know

Studies show that 57% of Canadians engage on social media. In fact, social media is quickly becoming a central component of personal and professional lives. For this reason, it is an essential channel for engaging with consumers.

Nonetheless, many business owners speculate about the future of social media marketing.

As consumers’ preferences shift and new platforms appear, social media’s role in business advertising is likely to continue to fluctuate.

In this post, we look closely at social media marketing’s future, analyzing the key trends that give a sense of what to expect.

Read on for insight!

1. In-App Messaging Marketing is On the Rise

Most social media platforms enable in-application messaging, including Instagram. In-app messaging gives business owners an effective means of engaging with current and prospective customers in real time.

Marketers can now also purchase digital ads that appear in users’ message inboxes.

In the past, messaging feeds were restricted to private social conversations. Now businesses can become a part of those conversations.

Given the fact that consumers continually place a premium on authentic engagement with the brands they love, in-app messaging marketing is on the rise.

If businesses are keen to engage with customers on their terms, they will enable users to reach out to them via social media messaging systems.

2. Social Media is Becoming More Mobile

Studies show that 94% of Facebook users access the platform via mobile devices. Instagram itself is mobile-centric given the nature of the content it produces.

Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn also have highly mobile audiences. As such, social media itself is becoming more mobile-focused.

When it comes to the future of social media marketing, the coming years will continue to emphasize mobile users. It will make the most of in-app messaging ads.

It will also emphasize mobile-friendly content, and sizing images and videos with mobile screens in mind is key.

3. Chatbots Are Key

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming an integral and exciting part of websites and other marketing channels. But, it is also emerging as an influencer of social media, largely in the form of chatbot technology.

Social media enables most business account owners to incorporate and customize their own chatbots and automated messages.

Chatbots take in-app messaging a step further by giving social media users and followers a chance to learn more about a business or address customer service issues.

Many marketers will make use of in-app messaging and customized chatbots to address customer concerns and provide immediate answers — when a client or business budget allows, of course!

4. Social Media Leverages SEO

Social media platforms go hand-in-hand with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) campaigns. The future of social media marketing will place even greater emphasis on this close-knit relationship.

Google has yet to formally declare that it considers social signals in its ranking decisions. However, given the role social media plays in the commercial realm, it very well may do so in the future.

Businesses with robust social media profiles can optimize content they share and post thinking of specific keywords. Consumers can also use social media platforms to find products and services based on those keywords.

Social media will also continue to cultivate brand awareness. Users familiar with a company’s social media activity will be more likely to click on that company’s page in Google search results.

5. Social Media Is a Window to Your Customers

Social networks are more than marketing channels. They also provide businesses with insight into their customers’ minds.

This has always been the case. But the future of social media marketing lies in a business’s ability to use these platforms to gather customer feedback and data.

Many consumers, for example, leave reviews for businesses on Facebook. Others may reference a business, product or service in their statuses.

Successful social media marketers are the ones who can perform rich analysis of this feedback to better inform future advertising efforts.

6. Facebook Leads the Pack

Facebook is still primary amongst the social media giants, although it is losing ground to Instagram with every passing year… but really, it’s OK because Facebook owns Instagram.

The future of social media marketing lies in marketers’ abilities to stay with this social media leader and meet users’ increasing demands for engagement and rich content.

Facebook is also the only social media platform that (so far) enables business reviews. This is essential for businesses looking for easy means of bolstering their online reputations.

7. Video Content is Key

We have already mentioned social media users’ interest in engaging, relevant content. At the top of this list is video content.

Video content is always intriguing, and it will continue to be marketers’ most powerful means of engaging with users on social media. The good news is that social media platforms make it easy to upload and generate video content.

In fact, Facebook Live is taking the video world by storm, enabling business owners to engage with users in real time. Not to mention, Instagram stories are also popular.

The future of social media marketing lies in the powerful and strategic use of video content across platforms.

Wrapping Up the Future of Social Media Marketing

So what is the future of social media marketing? Given the trends that we have discussed in this post, we can confidently state that social media is not going to leave the marketing stage any time soon.

While social media platforms themselves are shifting in popularity, social media still plays a significant role in consumer lives, both personal and professional.

If business owners are seeking to capitalize on global (or local) social media use, they will have to step up their content game. Social media users now place a premium on video content and material that is user-driven. Social media is also becoming a valuable source of consumer data, giving businesses a chance to hear customer feedback about products and services.

A viable social media marketing campaign for 2018 will include high-value content designed to give organizations the data they need to keep evolving in the right direction. It will also emphasize mobile-friendly content, video content, and chatbots.

At Octopus Creative, Inc., we believe in the future of social media marketing, and what it can do for you. Start a conversation today to learn more about what we can do to transform your digital marketing game!

7 Signs Your Calgary Startup Could Benefit from Expert SEO Services

Often when a new startup gets off the ground, the owner takes over a large amount of the daily tasks to ensure they are done correctly.

This can work for a while but eventually becomes overbearing and stressful. Responsibilities like marketing, branding, and SEO lose effectiveness because more time is spent on keeping your customers happy and running the day-to-day operations of your business.

While things like SEO can easily be set aside, if a business truly wants to grow, they will need to be passed on to an expert who can dedicate the time and effort this process requires.

Taking full advantage of SEO and using it to bring in new clients is difficult if you don’t have any prior experience. Here are seven signs your Calgary startup could benefit from hiring expert SEO services.

1. You Aren’t Using Social Media for SEO

Effective social media use is one of the most vital aspects of business success in this digital age. A key marketing tactic is to seek out your customers in their natural habitat. Social media platforms are the place to find them.

Sharing engaging posts with quality content will attract attention and lead traffic to your website and service pages. Social media sites update frequently and have a high relevancy for search engines, so using them can significantly boost your search ranking.

A company with expert SEO services can assist you with managing your social media campaigns, making them more eye-catching and attractive.

2. You Received an SEO Penalty

Many people may not know this, but Google can and will punish companies by penalizing their search rankings if they are breaking search optimization rules.

Wait, Google has SEO rules?!

Yes, search engine sites have standards to be followed, and they will quickly deflate your incoming traffic if they find that you are ignoring them. Issues like plagiarized content, duplicate posts, and overusing keywords will put you on a fast track to the bottom of Google’s ranking list.

Luckily, none of these problems is irreversible, but the necessary steps need to be taken to get you back into these search engines’ good graces and back towards the first page.

3. You’re Just Focused on Content

Content is important, and there is no denying that. But more important than simply sharing a post on your blog, is determining whether your content is of high enough quality for your readers. An SEO marketing expert will be able to use insightful software that can determine what people want to know within your niche and how they are searching for it.

This information allows you to choose useful topics and headings that will pull more customers to your blog. Expert SEO services can even provide you with specific details regarding your top competitors’ search engine strategies.

Don’t stop creating content, but ensure that whatever you are producing is reaching the standard your viewers are willing to read through.

4. SEO Isn’t a Priority

Let’s face it, running a business can be an extremely time-consuming venture. While you are trying to take care of current customers, managing employees, and doing payroll, it is easy to let things like marketing and SEO go by the wayside.

If SEO has fallen so low on your priority list that it’s no longer part of your day-to-day routine, then it is time to bring in an expert. Having a dedicated team prepared to manage it for you will relieve a major load of stress and allow you to focus on your other important tasks.

A good SEO company will still keep you informed of updates, stats, and website changes they have made. They understand it is your business and you deserve to be aware of how their efforts are improving your search ranking.

5. You Can’t Keep Up With SEO Changes

Search engine algorithms are constantly changing. Unless you work in the industry, it is nearly impossible to keep up with the seemingly endless updates. Teams who provide expert SEO services are continuously researching and learning more about how their clients can benefit from the most recent changes.

Very few business owners have the time necessary to keep up with these ever-changing rules and standards. Once this becomes a burden, it may be time to look for an SEO marketing company

6. The Keywords You Chose Aren’t Working

Keywords are a still a key part of an effective SEO plan. These are the terms that individuals use to find what they are looking for on the web. Search results for some keywords range in hundreds of thousands, causing inflated amounts of businesses vying for them on their web copy and blog posts.

Knowing the words to use and avoiding vague and overused terms are just a couple of ways an SEO marketing expert can help you. If you previously chose words that are too general, your SEO team will be able to narrow them down and find a more specific niche that will increase your search results.

7. Your Local Ranking is Low

Whether you run a hometown business or offer online services all over the world, your local ranking is crucial to being found by potential clients. One of the first steps to improve this is to establish a Google My Business page. This page will provide loads of relevant information such as a link to your website, hours, contact information, and customer reviews.

If you haven’t already claimed your listing, an expert SEO services provider will be able to set this up and manage it for you. They will ensure all of the necessary details are included and keep it up-to-date.

Expert SEO Services for Your Business

If you have been trying to maintain your SEO alone and are struggling to keep it afloat, then throw yourself a life preserver by hiring an expert SEO services provider for your business.

To get started and schedule in your free consultation, please fill out our Marketing Discovery Form.

Or if you have a burning question or want to know more about what we can do for you, feel free to contact us.