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Personal Branding vs. Corporate Branding: What’s The Difference?

Chances are if you’re reading this article you already understand the importance of branding. Branding is an integral part of marketing. It works alongside your other marketing efforts to create a vision of what your company’s values embody.

Corporate branding and personal branding do however have some rather critical differences.

It can be easy to mix the two up and blurring the lines can sometimes leave you, and your company in a sticky mess.

Many worry about their company image becoming too personal and don’t ever attempt to incorporate any personal branding. For others, the thought of using corporate branding scares them. Some just have no clue about the difference between the two.

Luckily, this article will clear up some myths and take you through the difference between corporate branding and personal branding for you.

Let’s get started.

First, a Quick Overview of Branding

When you are considering branding first, you have to understand what that actually means.

When it comes to the dictionary definition, Branding is the marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.

Here’s the simplest way we here at Octopus Creative define brand: Branding is about the promise of a memorable experience. It’s about creating an expectation and delivering it consistently every time anyone comes into contact with your brand, whether it’s the way you answer the phone, how your website functions, your social media presence, your brand voice or how your product/service performs. It’s how you make your customers feel when they are interacting with your brand.

In essence, branding is taking something as simple as water, which is clear, transparent and seemingly obvious and creating a perception and belief in the brand created.

For example:

  • Perrier’s water branding makes it seem refreshing, bubbly and high-end
  • Evian’s brand makes you feel young
  • Fiji Water’s brand embodies health, purity, and nature

But all are just clear translucent water; it’s how they created the brand image that made them stand apart.

So why bother branding? Because the main benefit of branding and the reason to employ branding is to boost profits.

What’s the Difference Between Corporate Branding and Personal Branding?

When it comes to the difference between corporate branding and personal branding, it’s important to look at both the pro’s and con’s of both types of branding and when it’s most effective.

When a Personal Brand Works

It’s never been easier to create a personal brand for yourself. The tools that are available today allow you to create a website and social media for yourself as a brand that can run alongside your business.

Deciding which type of brand you want to create for your person is a challenging subject, so let’s go through some benefits and negatives.

Pro’s of a Personal Brand

Personal brands can be flexible. This is an important point to remember, as your business grows, sometimes so do the services that you offer.

If you’ve created your brand completely around one service or product offering, suddenly changing that could be a problem for your corporate branding. Developing a personal brand is something you build around your name and you as an individual, therefore it’s easy to change what your focus is.

If you want to develop a speaking career, a personal brand is a great way to begin as it can help to associate your name with your area of expertise.

Personal brands also tie really well into one-man-band industries. If you are an author, artist, professional speaker, or Youtuber, having a strong personal brand will help to boost your business and attract new and interesting customers, viewers, bookers, or whomever your target audience is.

Con’s of a Personal Brand

When you invest heavily in a personal brand, you will need to associate your brand with what you do. You can do this with something like a tagline that you use regularly with everything you do. You can also associate with what you offer by pairing your name with interviews, articles, creating social media posts and booking speaking engagements around your area of expertise.

This can be risky though. If something were to ever happen to you–whether a medical issue or a PR issue–you may not have the framework in place to have your business run without you in the spotlight, and you may not be able to effectively separate yourself from the business, which is you.

It can also be hard to sell a business that has been built on a personal brand, and even when starting out it can be an important factor to consider. You may have no plans of selling your business now, but if in the future there’s even a chance of this happening, it’s an important thing to consider.

When a Corporate Brand Works

When you are looking to create a corporate brand, it’s going to take a lot more upfront work. Why? Because rather than using your name you’ve built years of credibility behind, you’re going to be making a new one, out of thin air.

This can mean a lot of hard work as you craft meaningful words out of nothing but the effort could be well worth it in the end.

Let’s run through some of the reasons you may or may not decide to choose corporate branding for your business.

Pro’s of a Corporate Brand

When you focus on corporate branding, you force yourself to consider the plans for your business–your business is now a real, legal person if you’ve formed a corporation. When it comes to selecting your businesses name, you have to think about a variety of different things like:

  • Who your ideal customer is
  • What your business will offer
  • What people will know your business for
  • How you want to stand out in a crowded market

Going through this process helps you to create a vision in your head for what you want people to know your business for and where you see it going. This vision goes above and beyond the name and tagline of your business.

Corporate branding also allows you to position the company exactly where you want to be from the get-go. You can use all the words you like, so make sure to find a few that adequately express what your business is offering.

This helps you to get your customer to understand exactly what you are all about from just hearing your name.

Corporate brands are also a lot easier to sell than personal brands. If you can create a recognizable brand that’s an asset, then other people may be happy to pay for.

Con’s of a Corporate Brand

Unlike personal brands, corporate branding is much more labour intensive. You’ll create a picture of what your company is all about, while you are still building it from the ground up and you may have to do it with multiple people that need to try to come to a consensus.

You’ll also find that corporate brands aren’t as flexible to change as a personal brand. If you decide to change course and offer something completely different you may force yourself to start a second business.

What Branding Is Right for You?

With both choices presenting different advantages, it’s time to consider which brand option is the best for you and your business.

For more help coming up with a spot-on brand strategy for your business, contact us today.

How to Create a Brand Image for Your Business

Building an audience for your business is kind of like building the business all over again. It takes an ample amount of time, money, research, vision, and persistence.

All of these things come together to create a positive, well-known brand image, which is crucial to generating a large following.

Your brand is everything users associate with you. It is the emotions and values they connect to, as well as the products and services you offer. The complex nature of this leaves some small businesses unsure where to begin.

Not to worry — we’ve gathered all the things you need to know when building your brand. Here is your complete guide to creating a brand image for your business.

Define Your Goals and Know Your Audience

Before you roll up your sleeves and get to work, define what you want to achieve with your branding efforts. Establish an identity for your brand. Think about the culture of your company and the feelings you want to stir in your customers.

Describe the idea you have for your brand image as if you were talking about a person. Let these attributes — like cool, sophisticated, creative, etc — guide your branding process.

Such adjectives will help you decide on various branding tools from company colours to fonts and photo filters. They will be useful in logo design, web development, and more.

Do all of this with your consumer in mind. As soon as you have a bit of direction for your brand image, describe your ideal buyer. The descriptions of these two ideas should coincide.

Invest in Great Content Creators

Once you have your goals set up, bring in the people who can make your brand image come to life. You can hire an in-house team or invest in professionals who do this every day. But, you can’t create a brand without such talent.

These are the photographers, graphic designers, and copywriters that can turn your brand from a simple thought into a recognizable force in your industry. Put simply, great content is everything.

Well-made content is what gets people’s attention as they browse the web and what hooks them when they go to your website. The right content takes your brand image and places it in front of your ideal users to generate brand recognition and loyalty.

It’s what makes your company easy to pick out among various kinds of print and digital media as well as when your products are stocked against competitors on a shelf.

Find Your Strongest Marketing Opportunities

Some content creators are also digital marketing specialists. Others will hand you their deliverables and let you do the rest.

Try to find a team who can do both the creative work and the marketing to support it. This will make your branding process as seamless as possible.

Such professional groups know what angles work for your photos as well as where to place them on your website. Same goes for the kind of copy that is written in the voice of your brand but can also perform well for search purposes.

The branding efforts you create start with you and are produced for your audience. But, they only reach these people when you find the right marketing opportunities to expand your brand’s reach. The following are some marketing tactics to consider utilizing.


If your company has a website, you need to focus on SEO — and you absolutely need a website. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the practice of matching user inquiries and search terms with the companies who can best fit their needs.

This is done with a mix of many different tools. SEO depends on keywords, web design, online ratings, blogs and guest blogs, and more.

But, all of this needs the direction of your brand image to succeed. The same values and characteristics that define your brand should be what guide your SEO efforts.

Social Media

Once your search rankings are improved and your website is getting a steady flow of traffic, it’s time to take that one step further. Give users an up-close look at what your brand is really about via social media.

This is where you can truly connect with your audience. There are endless ways to foster lasting relationships with current users on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. Plus, these channels help make connections with potential new customers.

Print Media

As effective as SEO and social media can be, users aren’t on their screens 24/7. Some of your audience members may need one more interaction with your brand to get them to actively engage with you.

Such interactions might be walking past your poster on public transportation or flipping to your ad in a magazine. Other forms of print media include billboards, brochures and pamphlets, postcards, and even business cards.

Keep Everything Consistent

No matter the branding goals you envision from the start or the marketing approach you take to generate a strong following, you need to be consistent.

This is why industry experts stress things like brand colours, branded taglines or phrases, and even certain filters to use on social media. Such tools create a brand that is easy for people to recognize.

A simple, yet effective logo helps brand everything you do. Place it all over your website, on your social posts, and on every kind of print media you invest in.

Also, pay attention to the words you use when creating copy and the phrases that are commonly used by your audience. Aim to be consistent in the frequency at which you generate new content, too.

Set a goal for how many social media posts you want to have each week or even for each day. Do this for blogging and email blasts as well, once you start to utilize those.

Get Your Brand Image Out There

Understanding how to create a powerful brand image is one thing. Supporting your brand with proper marketing and strategizing tactics is another.

Thankfully, our crew knows the ins and outs of both. We are here to build your brand from scratch and help it generate a growing following. Contact us today to take your brand image from its beginning stages to the successes that await.

Everyone Can See Your Facebook Advertising (Because of Russian Spies)

The Facebook advertising your company creates will be viewable by anybody who cares enough to look thanks to new changes to the social media giant’s platform made to help secure Canadian democracy from ‘fake news’.

However you feel about the political events of the last few years, most people will agree that one of the most troubling aspects has been the outpouring of ‘fake news’. Everyone will have seen it in their feed by now: links to news articles that look like the real thing but will be on ‘’, pushing dubious and highly polarised narratives. Perhaps they’re the work of elite Russian government hackers, perhaps they’re made by Macedonia teenagers who want to buy BMWs, but they’re bad news for countries that rely on informed electorates to make decisions.

Election integrity in Canada has become a major issue after the US, UK, Germany, Austria and others were all inundated with fake news during elections. Even though geopolitics and spy-vs-spy stuff might be a million miles from your business, the changes made by the Canadian Election Integrity Initiative and Facebook affect anyone who advertises on Facebook. The site’s users will now be able to see all of the adverts your company has ever made. Apparently, your racist uncle is going to make sure that the post he shared about Trump’s 400-point IQ was well-sourced.

Political adverts will be under particular scrutiny. Each one will be accompanied by detailed information on how much was spent to promote them, the number of impressions and the demographics of who the ad reached. If you want to create political ads you’ll need to provide detailed documentation to verify your identity.

Some companies won’t be affected by this change at all, and many Facebook advertising users won’t even know it’s there or won’t be inclined to use it. Realistically, how will it affect you? Everyone’s advertising being out there 24/7 means you’ll have to be more careful about your ads: a tasteless advertisement could come back to haunt you. Although most users will ignore the ads, they’ll always be there to trip you up if you don’t get them right the first time.

Looking to start Facebook advertising and want to get it right the first time? Give us a call.

What to Consider When Hiring a SEM Agency

The real experts know they aren’t an expert in everything. That’s why over 62% of brands are leaving their online marketing in the hands of the real experts.

A knowledgeable SEM agency can transform your brand’s online presence. But as in most professional fields, there are plenty of charlatans looking to take you for a ride.

That’s why we’ve put together some key tips to help you find the SEM partner you’re looking for. Read on to learn more.

Can They Show Results?

A good SEM agency should be equipped to show you the proof in the pudding. There’s no good reason to take an SEM provider at their word.

If they say they can get results, get them to show you how. What successful projects can they show you? What hard data do they have to back up their assertions?

But it doesn’t all rest in facts, either. If it’s an SEM company worth their salt, then chatting with their previous clients should be enough to tell you if they’re worth your time.

Find out who they’ve worked with in the past and ask for testimonials. Check out their reviews and what people are saying about them online. It’s easy to set up a website and declare yourself an expert. Get the evidence to back it up.

Are They Realistic?

The internet is a bubbling chaos of communication. Nobody can wholly predict it. Anyone who claims to is likely trying to sell you snake oil.

When you’re looking for an SEM agency, stay cautious of anyone who promises you the world. Chances are, vacuous promises are a way of reeling you in. Once you’ve spent the cash, they’ll go on to underdeliver on their impossible guarantees.

Look for an agency with realistic ideas instead. They’ll factor in the size of your business, your reach, and your budget to draw up a picture of success that works for you.

You don’t need an agency that intends to rely on wishes for a successful campaign. Get one that can give you an idea of the facts and the reality you’re working with.

Do They Understand You?

Marketing of any kind is as much about knowing the business as it is knowing the customer. Your SEM agent should show that they’re ready and willing to learn about your company.

From the outset, you can judge them by the number of questions they ask. If it seems like they’re interrogating you about your business, great! That means they’re engaged and they understand what a tailored marketing campaign looks like.

On the other hand, if they seem more interested in selling you a one-size-fits-all solution, be wary. What works for other brands, even in your niche, might not work the same for you.

The ideal SEM will offer to work with you on a solution that suits your business. That means taking into account what you do and what your customers expect.

What Tools Do They Use?

If an SEM agent doesn’t know anything about analytics, they don’t know how to do their job. Web analytics like Google Analytics is a crucial part of any search engine strategy. They give live feedback on the success of marketing campaigns and thus your ROI.

Smart marketing means using analytics to tweak marketing in real time. It’s also fed back into future campaigns to squeeze out more success and patch up any holes.

An SEM lacking knowledge of analytics is like a pilot flying without instruments. Maybe they’ll get lucky and land it, but you’d probably prefer to feel safe in their hands.

How Long Have They Been Around?

SEM is an experience game. Although things change rapidly in the SEO world, most new developments build on what came before. You’re working with an SEM agency because you acknowledge you’re not an expert. That means they need to be.

Finding out how many years they’ve been in operation is a good rough indicator of the experience involved. Ideally, find an agency who’s remained focused on SEM from the beginning. If they’ve hopped around between different online services, it could be a sign they haven’t gained any real experience.

Even if they say they’ve been in business for years, try to check their history. Frequent name changes or domain moves could be a sign they’re not all they claim to be. A company with a bad rep will often try to shed their previous persona and adopt a new one.

It’s easy for anyone to set up a website and claim to be an SEM. Sifting out the frauds from the experts will be what decides whether you get value for money.

What’s Their Price Structure?

This one isn’t simply a case of knowing what your SEM agent would charge. SEM providers can have quite variable price models, so you need to figure out what you’re dealing with before you commit.

Some SEM agencies will charge based on clicks, others on a percentage of the overall output, or based on ROI. It may be difficult to compare across SEMs. But the main thing to consider is whether their pricing model suits you.

If you know you need a solid, predictable budget for your marketing, then you’ll want to go with an SEM who can offer a fixed figure. If you’re more worried about growing your brand than what you’re spending, then fees based on the overall media percentage won’t seem so bad.

Just be wary of the incentives SEM agents might have to drive up activity in return for more money in their pocket. You want the marketing campaign to serve you, not them. If the SEM is driving your spend, you may have fallen into their trap.

Find the Right SEM Agency

Shopping around to find the right SEM agency is a smart move. Once you have a few options, you can compare them to find the partner who will really work for you. By keeping the above points in mind, you can filter out the time-wasters and narrow it down to the ones who’ll make a difference.

Looking for more digital marketing advice? Be sure to follow our blog.

Social Media Marketing: How to Create an Effective Campaign

Are you ready to bring your business into 2018?

Social media used to be just for connecting with family and friends. Now, though, 92% of marketers say that social media marketing is an essential part of their marketing plan.

Don’t get left behind. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about how to create an effective social media campaign.


Before you fire up that new post, make sure you’ve thought it through.

Consider Your Target Audience

This is the first step to creating a powerful social media campaign. If you don’t know who you’re trying to reach, you simply won’t reach the right people. Defining your target audience ahead of time will allow you to create quality and relevant content for your customer base.

If your target audience is diverse, you’ll know you need to make your content universally appealing. If you find that your target audience is actually relatively narrow, you’ll need to hone in to make your content more specific.

Find Your Big Idea

Advertising guru David Ogilvy said that you need a big idea to sell a product. While we’re not talking about advertising here, and some say that this idea is dead, it can certainly be translated to social media campaigns.

How many uninspired posts do you see a day that aren’t interesting, engaging, or insightful? Probably too many.

It’s easy to get into a “quantity over quality” mindset in the dash to line up regularly scheduled content for your social media campaign. Check yourself every now and then. Make sure your posts are holding up to quality standards.

Your “big idea” doesn’t need to be gimmicky, and it doesn’t even need to be all that big. It just needs to point toward your landing page, inform your brand, and engage with your customer base.

Use All Your Tools

Use a social media management tool. These can do everything from help you manage multiple accounts to provide insightful analytics.

Programs like Buffer Publish allow you to schedule posts for multiple social media accounts at a time. You should be planning every detail of your posts, from the time of day posted to hashtags used to writing smart and engaging copy.

Programs like SumAll provide analytics about how your social media pages are doing. This is invaluable information. It shows whether your tactics are working or not, and isn’t that the whole point?

If you hire a social media marketing service, they’ll provide and decode this information for you so you don’t have to worry about it.

Setting up Your Social Media Campaign

Follow these steps to design your social media campaign from start to finish.

Determine Your Goal

The whole point of a social media campaign isn’t to get new followers, increase engagement, and improve your metrics. These are important stepping stones to what your actual goal is. Don’t lose sight of that as you start to gain new followers.

What is your goal? To solve a problem that your customer base has? To provide a service?

Once you pinpoint your company’s underlying, ideological goal, connect it to your concrete goal. Think: more clickthroughs to your website, engagement with a blog post, signing up for an email list.

The goal for your social media campaign should be to bring those two together. When your customer base sees that you’ve got their needs in mind, they’ll proceed to take concrete action to give you their business.

Define Your Brand

After you’ve hammered out the details of the needs of your target audience, you can begin to design your brand around those details.

Color schemes, your voice in copy, and design aesthetics all need to be considered when defining your brand. Make sure these walk the line between feeling true to you and appealing to your target audience.

This isn’t always easy. Hiring a branding service can be an immense help in determining, designing, and executing informed branding decisions.

Pick Your Platforms

People engage with each social media platform differently. Instagram lends itself to static images and videos. Pinterest is best for blog clickthroughs. Facebook is all about video content nowadays.

Your copy should be different according to each platform, and your visuals might even differ, too. Knowing your platforms and playing to their strengths will help your campaign be the best it can be across the board.

You should also make sure you’re using every platform that your target audience uses. If you don’t, you’re missing out on valuable organic marketing opportunities. And if you focus too much on a platform that your target audience isn’t using, you’re wasting your time.

Determine Your Schedule

Instagram’s new algorithm doesn’t show all content chronologically anymore. This means you’re already in competition with those who are posting more frequently than you. You should be posting at least once a day to stay relevant to Instagram’s algorithm and drive more organic traffic.

Write Your Copy

Itching to finally write your post after putting so much thought into it beforehand? Make sure you’re maintaining a consistent tone and appealing to your target audience through a mechanism like humour or transparency. This is your opportunity for creativity.

Consider these few details when writing your post:

  • Hashtag use. Are you utilizing them appropriately? Are you using popular hashtags that will drive organic traffic?
  • Matching your image. Customers can tell when your copy or image is cookie cutter, and they don’t match up. Be sure to reference the image in the copy at least once to keep things feeling natural.
  • URL. If you’re including a URL to your website or blog, make sure to incorporate it as seamlessly as possible. You don’t want to appear spammy.

How Is Your Social Media Campaign Looking?

Now that you’ve got all the tools to devise a killer social media campaign, get to work on crafting content for your customer base!

If it seems like too much to DIY, get in touch! We would love to help you grow your business!

10 Effective Local SEO Tips for Any Business Size

If you have to think about whether you’re a small business, you’re most likely a small business. Which means if you don’t have a local SEO checklist, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

Why? Because local SEO is becoming more and more important for local businesses to take advantage of.

And really, you’re too smart a businessperson not to take advantage of an opportunity in front of you. Here are 10 tips to add to your SEO to-do list.

1. Perform a Local SEO Audit

If you cross nothing else off your local SEO checklist, you need to do a local SEO audit.

Think of it this way. You wouldn’t go hiking 50 miles through the jungle without first figuring out what you need to watch out for.

So why would you jump into SEO blind?

An audit tells you where you should be directing your attention and where it’s most valuable to spend your time.

Otherwise, you could miss basic issues in your SEO strategy.

2. Create a Google My Business Page

This should take you no more than 20 minutes to do properly.

It’s a hugely beneficial 20 minutes.

Google My Business is simple but effective. If someone Googles your business, this is what will tell them your name, hours, address, phone number, reviews and other information that they would probably consider important.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Google your business
  • Claim it and verify it with Google
  • Check all the details to make sure they’re correct
  • Proceed to housekeep: answering reviews, adding photos, etc.

Remember, this is a snapshot of your business. Make sure it’s a good one.

3. Establish Local Listings

Now that you’ve handled Google, it’s time to handle everyone else.

Literally everyone else.

We’re talking Bing, Yahoo, Angie’s List, Yelp, Whitepages, business associations, your local chamber of commerce.


At a minimum, everyone should have your NAP: name, address, phone number. Give the best succinct snapshot of your business you can.

4. Accuracy in Listings

It sounds obvious, but for the love of Google and your customers, make sure your listings are accurate.

Despite the fact that you know your business better than you know yourself, there’s this funny thing called human error. You sometimes put in the wrong thing without thinking.

Or you move. Or your information changes.

Your customers shouldn’t be puzzling over what’s the right information. If they have to play Clue, they won’t be customers for long.

5. Reviews, Reviews, Reviews

Forget about pictures. Reviews are worth a thousand words.

Okay, don’t forget about pictures. But don’t neglect the power of a positive review.

Listen, reviews aren’t just about checking a box on your local SEO checklist to boost your rankings (though they do help your click-through rate).

It’s about giving your customers a reason to trust your business. And any true businessperson knows that’s invaluable.

6. Boost Your On-Site SEO

And speaking of invaluable, let’s talk about one of the things you should be doing already and might not be.

Let’s put it this way. If you’re an orthodontist in Alberta, how will your customers or Google know you’re an orthodontist in Alberta unless you put it on your website?

Most of this is common sense – showing your customers and Google the essential information on where you are and what you do in plain terms.

For example, listing directions to your office on your contact page. That’s on-site local SEO.

Don’t go overboard. Incorporating the key information (where you are, what you do, your business hours, etc.) as a part of natural verbiage will work quite well for Google.

7. Build a Better Link Strategy

Links to your website are a lot like reviews. They prove that you have relationships in real time, which is good news to Google.

Backlinks especially. Backlinks, or when an outside site links back to your site, are seen as a sign of credibility and factored into your SEO score.

A word to the wise. Don’t be shady. It’s tempting. Don’t do it. It will always bite you in the end.

Here’s how real marketers build backlinks without being shady.

8. Engage in Social Media

Welcome to the 21st century, where social media is central to business success.

Look, your customers spend a lot of time on social media. Meeting them where they are isn’t just a good way to remind them that you exist – it’s a smart way to boost your search rankings because social media updates so frequently.

The key here is to actively engage with your customers every day through strong social media accounts.

That doesn’t just mean product promotions and giveaways. It means responding to questions and highlighting stories that are relevant to them.

It means being a resource to your customers.

9. Create Relevant Local Content

Which brings us to our next point for the local SEO checklist. Creating relevant local content.

Content is king…if the content is actually relevant, useful and shareable.

Your key goal here should be to create content that informs your users, answers an important question, and entertains while doing it. A blog is the easiest way to build and maintain a steady stream of content.

But remember, you also want this content to be locally relevant. Think local place names, local events, local news, etc.

Know what’s even better than plain old content? Interactive content. Try these 5 types to wow your audience.

10. Ad Extensions for a Local Audience

You probably thought this would be first on the list, didn’t you?

Ads are important, but as a rule, they should be complementary to organic SEO instead of your primary focus.

The easiest way to manage local ad extensions is through Google Adwords. This will allow you to incorporate location data into your ads, like your exact location, a call button, or a link to a details page.

Why does it matter? Because this keeps your ad location-specific, which means you can target people within a specific location to come visit your business.

Which would tend to make sense for local SEO.

Make the Most of Your Local SEO Checklist

If your head is spinning with all the SEO tasks that have suddenly appeared on your to-do list, don’t worry.

Sometimes, you need a professional to take you to the next level (or to help make sense of what’s already in front of you). That’s what we provide with our digital marketing solutions.

Click here to fill out a marketing discovery form and request an estimate. We can’t wait to get started.

Top 10 Effective Social Media Management Tools

Want to build your brand?

One effective solution is to use social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Since 2015, more than 50 million businesses use Facebook Pages and there are millions using YouTube and Instagram too.

The difficulty comes in optimising multiple accounts at the same time, managing every post and engagement while keeping track of different metrics too.

This is why most enterprises and small businesses rely on social media tools. These tools automate the tedious parts of social media management while providing the means to monitor data in an efficient manner.

Which ones work the best? Which platforms do they cater to? To help you craft a proper social media marketing plan, here’s a look at the top 10 social media tools to invest in.


HootSuite is not as powerful as other social media tools but it does get the job done. It allows you to add as many accounts as needed and then schedule posts in advance.

It also has a feature to let you study the analytics of your social media accounts, allowing you to determine how well your current marketing plan is performing.

The tool does come for free and this version is ideal for individual social media marketers. For businesses, the paid version is the better option due to the additional tools and features.


Although at face value it looks similar to HootSuite, HubSpot has the advantage in a few areas. Amongst the different social media tools, this one offers the best sales and lead reporting features available.

This tool allows you to see what posts and products your customers like and share the most, giving you the data to plan your next social media plan. You even get to dig in further and check the ROI, interactions, optimal social reach, and engagement rates per post.

Agora Pulse

Of the three social media tools featured, Agora Pulse is the only one that has a unique set of engagement tools. It still comes with the standard analytical and scheduling features but its other options let you set up polls, promotions, and other forms of interactive content.

Another great feature is that it lets you keep track of your competitors and their performance too. This is crucial for companies that want to stay ahead of the game and analyse what works and what doesn’t.

There is a free version but businesses small and big are better off with the additional features that come with the paid version.


This is a tool catered specifically for B2B marketers. It has the options to manage large social media teams and also comes with the scheduling and analytical tools you’d expect.

Oktopost also helps you determine the best profitable leads through social media outlets and quantify the financial value of all your social media efforts. If you want to see the financial value of every click and post you make on social media, this is the tool to invest in.


Unlike other tools listed, MeetEdgar works by allowing you to recycle evergreen content. You’ll start by creating a library of content and then organising the content according to a category.

MeetEdgar will then create a schedule in which it will re-post content from that library. This is the perfect solution to drive traffic to your site, as long as you use MeetEdgar for evergreen content that always remains relevant.


Tailwind is the tool if you want effective visual marketing. It caters to Pinterest and Instagram accounts in particular.

Both are ideal platforms, especially now that Instagram has over 800 million accounts and Pinterest sees over 175 million active users a month. People share images and videos more than they do text posts, so this can be an invaluable tool to boost customer engagement.

With Tailwind, you can schedule bulk Pinterest posts at once and manage multiple boards too. It uses an intuitive drag-and-drop calendar to schedule actions and it’s one of the more affordable social media tools available.

Sprout Social

At first glance, you might mistake Sprout Social as another HootSuite or HubSpot. It does feature the ability to schedule posts and provide analytics, similar to those tools, but it offers a little bit more in terms of customer relationship management.

Some of the reports you get include social media mentions, social media trends, and customer engagement.

While there is a trial version, you can cater the paid version according to your company’s size and needs. There is a solution for small businesses, agencies, and enterprises.


IFTTT stands for ‘If This Then That’ and is an automation tool that functions according to a trigger and action.

For example, you can set up a recipe in which the tool will automatically post a Tweet each time you post a new photo on Instagram. You can set up a recipe in which your Facebook account will post a link to each new blog post you release.

It can get complicated at first, but there are multiple recipes to try out and many of them are the plug-and-play type which makes them easier to learn.


This tool isn’t tied to any social media platform but it’s a tool you have to get accustomed to as soon as possible. Using this tool, you can discover new and popular content on the Internet. Discover what’s trending right now before your competition does and apply those new ideas into your social media marketing plan.

Enter a keyword and the tool will list trending posts in that specific category. You’ll also get to see who the main influencers are, giving you an idea of who to reach out to.

Long URL’s are not SEO-friendly. If you want to share something on Twitter or Facebook, a shorter, shareable URL is the ideal tool. You can truncate long URL’s using the shortening tool.

There’s a little bit of contention when to use and when not to but the general consensus is that you should shorten URL’s when you want to post links on social media platforms.

Octopus Creative Social Tools

We have our own social media scheduling & management platform. This versatile tool allows you to schedule posts to every major social media platform, syndicate content from other content creators and automate many of the day-to-day tasks of running a thriving social media profile. Our tool aggregates your social media channels in one place, provides a thorough report and overview of what’s happening online with your brand across all of your social channels.

As one of Octopus Creative’s clients, you can use this platform as much or as little as you want.

Discover More About Social Media Tools Today

These are the best tools to help you and your business get the most out of social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. With their features, you can achieve higher conversions, more leads, and higher engagement from social media followers.

Keep in mind that knowing which social media tools are the best and learning how to use them are two different beasts altogether.

If you need help in formulating the best social media marketing plan or how to use these tools to boost your brand, don’t shy away from giving us a call. We’re always at the ready to provide the best consultation for your branding and social media needs.

SEM: What is It and How to Get Started

Online advertising has a lot in common with its analog counterparts. You want to place your solution where the most people can find it–high traffic areas.

If you are new to the online business game, the prospect of getting your solution on the front page of Google may sound daunting. There’s a lot you need to do, from blogging to keyword optimization–all falling under this vague label, SEM.

Check out this article for a head start on learning about what SEO SEM marketing is and how it can help you rise through the ranks of Google.

What Is SEM?

Okay, let’s start with the basics.

SEM stands for search engine marketing. The term encompasses a series of strategies that work together to improve your standing in Google’s ranking system–which is based on a complex set of algorithms we don’t need to get into today.

SEM is a term that is sometimes used interchangeably with PPC (Pay-Per-Click) and this is about paying for ads that show up on Google and Bing or even on sites like Youtube and Kijiji

In all reality, SEM encompasses SEO, and SEO SEM marketing isn’t just for people trying to make their mark on a global or national level. Often, it works well for small businesses like restaurants and shops that rely on connecting with their immediate community online to boost sales in person.


So, Can I Really Influence Search Results?

Yes, but you’ll need to put in the work or pay for the clicks.

One of the best ways to ensure you’ve got a place at the top of the heap is to regularly put out high-quality content that actually helps people. This means you’re writing (or paying someone to write) how-to guides that inform–not blatant product plugs. Essentially, you’re writing industry-specific articles that keep others informed. The point is, you’ve got something other people don’t–a skill, an awesome menu, or insight into a complex topic people want to learn more about.

Some Strategies for SEO SEM Marketing Content include:

SEO & PPC: Keyword Research

Because we’re talking content strategy, your starting point should be keywords. Why? Because keywords signal to Google that your content can help answer the questions web users are asking and it also forms the foundation of your PPC bid strategies.

Pretty simple, sure. The hard part, however, is finding out which keywords relate to your business. Start by making a list of all the terms that correspond to your website–then see how your competitors rank for those keywords.

Hubspot has an article that lays this process out in simple terms.

SEO Specific: Writing Blog Posts and Articles

Once you’ve got your keywords in place, it’s time to get writing. Blogs and articles are an easy way to share bits of information with your audience. They function as a way to add more pages to your website, increasing the number of times your site is indexed by Google.

Additionally, good content functions as a sales pitch of sorts for your company. If people like what you have to say, they may subscribe to your RSS feed, keep tabs on your social channels, and more.

SEO in 2018: Video Content

Video is blowing up these days–and for good reason. Short videos on Instagram stories or on Facebook present a unique opportunity to connect with your customers and show off the more “human” side of your business.

Spreading The Word: Promoting Content Via Social Media

Social media is especially important to small businesses. While you might feel like this isn’t the best use of your already limited time, think again. Pushing blog posts, articles, and updates out through Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram is a great way to reach your audience and drive traffic back to your website. Plus, there are plenty of programs–Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout Social–that allow you to pre-schedule posts and save time.

Beyond the promotion part of the equation, social media can help you keep tabs on what content is performing well for your competitors as well as what people are talking about in your niche.

SEO Basics: Don’t Forget About Backlinks

Building backlinks is a little tricky.

Google uses a variety of signals to determine the quality of the links that connect to your website, and some are better than others. If a popular news source or a government website connects to your content, that can be a huge boost–a vote of confidence that prompts the search engine to bump you up.

But, you’re not going to get these links overnight, no matter how good your product or your content. To get started, reach out to smaller blogs and review sites and find out if they’ll link back to you. Ask customers to link to your site or do something newsworthy.

A lot of backlink building has to do with building relationships with people willing to talk about you online. If you’re active on social media, create good content, and offer top-notch service, it’s a matter of plugging away and making an effort to connect. If your content is lacking or non-existent, spend some time improving what you’ve got.

Pay Attention to the Competition

SEO SEM marketing doesn’t exist in a bubble. You can’t keep your head down and bang out content without keeping tabs on the competition.

Take a look at competitive sites in your niche and see what others are doing in terms of content. Are people making videos to promote their products and services, or are blog posts more the norm?

Make Sure Your SEO SEM Strategy Is Well-Documented

Monitor your efforts and see what sticks. Maybe your articles do better than your videos or vice versa. Maybe you need to spend more time fostering the kind of relationships that build backlinks.

Track your metrics through tools like Moz, AhRefs, and Google Analytics. Seek out broken backlinks and remove them. Make your content as attractive and grammatically correct as possible.

There’s a ton you can do, but if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work on the docket, we understand. Octopus Creative specializes in the full scope of web marketing services from content creation to search engine optimization and SEM.

Call us at 1-866-205-8488 to learn more.

How You Can Increase Web Traffic With SEO

There are no secret methods or fancy tricks with SEO. The most effective tips are easy to understand and implement.

If you’d like to maximize your website’s potential, SEO is your key to visibility and success. It takes more than just hard work and effort to increase website traffic. SEO to the rescue.

Rules are forever changing in the competitive world of SEO. To stay ahead of the rest, you’ve got to have a strategy that constantly evolves with those rules.

We’ve put together the best tips for your guaranteed SEO success. Read on to learn more.

Take Advantage of Your Site’s URL

Also called the domain name, a URL is a website’s address. Your URL is an important factor to consider for effective, guaranteed SEO.

URLs can be considered a site’s storefront. It’s usually the first item seen by your visitors, so it’s imperative that it’s clear and impressive. The URL is the first item viewed by search engines when they’re deciding how to rank your site as well.

It’s wise to keep your URL to the point and clean. Leave out anything that makes it confusing, cluttered, or otherwise distracting. This means avoiding special characters, page IDs, dashes, or other similar items.

The best URLs state the name of a business or another descriptive representation of it. You can include relevant keywords if they fit naturally into the URL.

Make Sure Pages Have Titles and Descriptions

So what is a page title and description? These are brief texts that state concisely what a website contains through the use of meta tags. For search engines exploring your site to determine its rank, these are the next items to check after your URL.

Page titles and descriptions will ideally provide condensed explanations of what the site offers and will also include keywords or keyword phrases.

These titles and descriptions will not show on a page. They will, however, be displayed on a page of search results.

This is important because potential visitors see page titles and page descriptions and then use them to decide if they want to visit your site. Make these titles and descriptions work in your favor.

Use Links Thoughtfully

Guaranteed SEO requires good use of links. Links generate traffic, ensure that websites are friendly for web crawlers, and allow visitors to easily navigate your site.

Internal links

Links placed in a website’s content that point visitors to other pages on that site are called internal links. These links make your site easier to navigate so that visitors can find more information.

Internal links also prevent orphan pages. These are dead-end pages with no links. Their presence will hurt your rankings with search engines.

Internal links are made into clickable text. This clickable text is also referred to as anchor text. Its flow should be natural and should include a hyperlink, information relevant to the subject, and keywords.

External links

External links point visitors to other sites containing information that relates to your site’s content.

The anchor text of external links must be used in a way that flows naturally with the rest of your content. The anchor text should also give visitors an idea of where the external link is going to send them.

These links boost SEO because they’re considered by search engines to be third party votes of website popularity.

Use Keywords Correctly

SEO results require good use of keywords. But you can’t just throw them around and expect success. There are a few rules to observe for effective keyword usage.

When people search the web for something, they’ll use a search bar to enter the word or group of words that they feel describes what they’re wanting to know. These words or phrases are known as keywords and keyword phrases in the SEO world.

Your keywords should summarize what your website content is all about.

Keywords Connect

Good SEO is about making sure your chosen keywords and people’s search words are the same. This is what connects you with your target audience.

Guaranteed SEO will involve a lot of keyword consideration, research, evaluation, and adjustment.

To get started, make a master list of the services or products you offer. For each of these, list at least ten keywords or keyword phrases that describe them.

Put keyword research services to work to help you decide which words will be the least difficult and the most popular. These will be the keywords you’ll incorporate into your website content so you’ll have better rankings.

Avoid Keyword “Stuffing”

Don’t “stuff” website content with your keywords. Avoid using them excessively throughout your text.

Don’t use keywords in unnatural ways that flow poorly with your content. Keyword stuffing hurts your rankings with search engines.

Make Your Site Spider, Bot, and Crawler Friendly

A web crawler is a program that a search engine uses to explore sites and gather information. They’re also called bots, spiders, and crawlers. These programs “crawl” through site content, reading it and then sending back their findings to search engines.

Once crawlers have located a site, they will read through the site’s text, links, and source code. They harvest this information so that search engines can then analyze it for website ranking.

Your Site Should Be “Crawlable”

For good search engine rankings, a site has to be “crawlable.” Crawlers have to be able to easily follow links if destination pages are to be included in a search engine’s database.

Make sure the beginning of your pages have quality content. Web crawlers read from the top of a page to the bottom.

Also, crawlers can’t “see” your site’s images. You must use alt text that’s descriptive so crawlers can understand the image’s content. Alternative text, or alt text, is a phrase or word describing the image that’s inserted in HTML code as an attribute.

Be consistent with providing content. Websites should have a lot of quality content for crawlers to report, not just code for these programs to “crawl” through.

Increase Website Traffic with Guaranteed SEO

SEO is a must for better site visibility. The whole purpose of search engines is to scour content to find the sites that deserve top spots in their search results.

To keep your site from getting buried under tons of other results, you need to use great SEO strategies. To find out more about digital marketing and search engine optimization, explore our site or contact us today.

The Impact of Voice Assistants on the Future of SEO

Voice assistants are changing the technological landscape. As technology evolved from PCs to mobile, from typing to voice controls, companies had to adapt to these changing environments.

Voice search is growing at an exponential rate and will become the norm. Comscore predicts that voice searches will make up 50% of all searches by 2020.

Since people are looking for information using voice commands, that will certainly impact search engine optimization.

Will your company be prepared?

Keep reading to learn how voice search will impact SEO and how you can prepare for it.

What Are Voice Searches?

A voice search is an internet search that’s done using your voice, instead of typing.

They’re done by using voice assistants, the main ones being Google Home, Cortana, Alexa, and Siri. You can find these assistants on any number of devices, from smartphones to home speakers.

The big reason why mobile searches are on the rise is that they’re fast and convenient. We can only type about 40-60 words per minute. We can speak 150 minutes per minute.

They’re also easily accessible. All you have to do is make a verbal request to your phone or your speaker and you can have your answer instantly.

How Will Voice Assistants Impact SEO?

Voice assistants are changing the way we search for information, which means that search results will be impacted, too. Here are the top things you need to know about how SEO and voice search.

The Rise of Micro moments

The first major change to SEO is how people are searching. The same way that mobile changed how we search, voice search is expected to follow a similar trend. Searches have become more urgent and impulsive on voice and mobile.

Google classifies these searches as micro-moments. They’re the moments when we want to know something immediately and we pick up a smartphone to get the information.

There are four types of micro-moments.

I want to know” moments happen when someone is researching, but not ready to buy. They want useful information.

An example would be if someone sees a TV commercial and wants to know more about the company or product.

I want to go” moments are when people are looking for a local business. Most of these searches are for restaurants near me.

I want to do” moments happen when people are looking for information on how to do something. This could be how to do a home project or how to lose weight.

I want to buy” moments occur when someone is ready to make a purchase. They might need more information on what to buy or how to buy.

The lesson for your business is to be the one to provide the information at that moment. You have to be mobile friendly. Plus, your information has to be relevant to the questions at hand.

Search Results are More Personalized

Keywords are still relevant to search results, but they won’t dominate search optimization the way they used to.

There’s been a shift from keyword-based results to semantic results. That means that Google is getting better at understanding what you’re really looking for.

For example, if you search for “movies Cold Lake,” you’ll get results about the movie theatres closest to you and their movie times.

Voice assistants integrate with your smartphone and other devices. They already store data about the apps you have on your phone, what you’re searching for, and places you’ve been.

That information allows search engines to give you the information that is most relevant to you.

How Can You Prepare for Voice Search?

It may seem overwhelming to understand how your search results will be impacted by voice assistants. There are ways to prepare your site, and it’s not as difficult as it may seem.

You just need to put yourself in the user’s shoes.

A Mobile Site is Non-Negotiable

If you were to only do one thing to get your site ready for voice searches, it is an absolute must to make that one thing to get your site ready for mobile searches.

That starts with having a responsive website.

Google has already taken a step in that direction by implementing mobile-first indexing, which means that it will crawl the mobile version of a site to see how it should appear in search results.

You’ll want to check to see how mobile friendly your site it. A good place to start is by using Google’s Mobile Site Speed Test.

It will tell you how your site operates on mobile devices and give you tips on how you can make it even faster.

Local SEO is Critical

Just like on desktop and mobile searches, local SEO holds the same level of importance in voice searches.

Think about the “I want to go” micro-moments. How can you position your company to be in those search results?

  1. Claim your Google My Business and Bing Places Listings. These listings have to be completely filled in and with photos.
  2. Encourage online reviews. This is part of the directory listings. Google knows that when people are looking for information, they’re looking for the best. The more positive reviews you have, the more likely you’ll appear at the top of search results.

Create Content That Answers Questions

Content still matters for SEO. With voice assistants, you need to shift your content strategy because search has become a two-way conversation.

People are generally looking for immediate answers to questions. Search terms start with Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How.

These phrases come naturally when we speak, but not so much when we type.

For example, when you type a query, you might just type “Sinclair CANWNT” to learn more about Christine Sinclair’s career with the Canadian Women’s National Soccer Team.

When you’re speaking naturally, you’ll say “When did Christine Sinclair start with the Canadian Women’s National Soccer Team?”

Your task is to create content around such questions as they relate to your business. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think about how they would go about finding information about your product or service.

Voice Assistants are the Future

Voice assistants are an exciting wave of the future.

By understanding how they are used, you can prepare your business to pounce on the emerging opportunities.

If you have any questions about how you can get your business ready for voice search, contact us today.