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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.

10 Ways Social Media Marketing Can Help Your Business Succeed

It’s a new year, and one of your biggest New Year resolutions is to take your business to new levels of growth. A surefire way to start your new year off right is to rev up your social media network marketing efforts.

Social media marketing investments were projected to double in just two years between 2014 and 2016 — jumping from about $16 billion to almost $31 billion.

If you’ve not joined the caravan of social media marketers yet, your business won’t just fail to grow. It’ll die.

Thinking of investing in social media network marketing strategies for your company? Here’s a rundown of 10 ways in which social media can help your business to grow.

Let’s jump in!

1. Social Media Network Marketing Promotes Brand Awareness

This is one the biggest benefits of social media network marketing.

As soon as consumers know your brand, they can move toward purchasing your product or service with confidence.

Until customers are aware of your brand, your business does not exist in their minds. Fortunately, social media has become an increasingly effective tool for building brand awareness.

On your social media site, you can offer the latest information about your offerings or even upcoming events.

Plus, you can easily make your updates and profile public, so search engines can index them. This is just another way to ensure that your company can be found online when a potential customer is looking for the particular solution you can provide.

Note that you don’t necessarily need a presence on all social media platforms. Just focus on the networks that your target customers mostly use.

2. Relationship Building

Sure, social media network marketing helps others to find out more about your business. But you also get to find out more about your customers.

After all, any healthy relationship is a two-way street: Both parties need to know each other in and out.

So, how do you get to know your customer? By asking customers questions and encouraging them to share their thoughts and ideas. Then, you can collect and analyze their feedback.

With social media, you can develop solid relationships with consumers. With these connections, fans and followers will be more inclined to share their positive experiences with you with their circles.

3. Financial Savings

Just as in 2017, it’s all about the Loonies in 2018. Your goal is to save money while still being effective.

Cue social media network marketing.

Social networks are increasingly adding algorithms that can filter what pops up in people’s news feeds. As a result, the organic content you produce may end up getting lost.

However, you can use social media’s low-cost marketing features to your advantage to advertise your special offers and content.

These advertising tools are much more affordable than traditional radio, TV or newspaper advertising. As a result, you can increase your business’s audience without breaking the bank.

4. Wide Reach

What’s so great about social media network marketing is that you can get your brand in front of people of all ages and thus grow your reach.

No matter whether you are targeting an older demographic or young people, they’re likely already logged on to their social media accounts, just waiting to connect with you.

Research shows that Facebook had more than two billion active users each month in late 2017.

Plus, Facebook is known for its dynamic functionality and extensive reach.

In light of this, Facebook is an excellent starting point for growing your online marketing efforts.

5. An Active Audience

Another major perk of social media network marketing is that users of social media are active more than ever on these platforms.

Customers might pay a visit to your physical shop one time in a week’s or month’s time. But they can view your posts on their social media accounts several times a day or week.

6. Customer Service Edge

Your company takes customer service seriously. After all, it’s an important ingredient in a small business’s success.

Fortunately, social media doesn’t just facilitate communication between you and customers. It also makes it possible for you to instantly gratify your customers by providing solid customer service online.

This will demonstrate to your audience your high level of care for each of them. Every customer can feel important and noticed.

And this makes his or her experience with your company memorable. That means a lot of repeat business plus more positive recommendations pointing to your business.

Ch-ching.

7. Email Marketing

Email marketing is not what it used to be before the growth of social media.

Back in the day, you had to send an electronic newsletter via email.

Nowadays, you can share it on all of your social media networks, thus exposing your brand to completely new audiences.

You can even welcome more readers to join your newsletter mailing list right on our social media page.

The combination of social media and email have created a totally new marketing landscape — to your benefit.

Now, the owner of a small business can maintain relationships with existing customers plus reach out to new consumers just as effectively as a large corporation can.

8. You’re Everywhere Social Media Sites Are

With the number of smartphone users increasing, more people are enjoying social media on the go.

That means if you’re on social media, you’re essentially going everywhere your customers go.

On the plane.

On the bus.

In the subway.

You name it.

That’s because the majority of social networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest, provide free cell phone apps.

That’s basically free advertising everywhere your customers are. You can’t beat that.

9. Inbound Traffic

A social media platform is a wonderful place for customers to find a link to your main website. And that’s huge.

Why? Because high-quality traffic coming from a social network site sends a positive trigger to Google.

And that means more organic exposure. Translation: more potential sales.

10. You’re Marketing Yourself 24-7

One of the best parts of using social media to market your business is that it’s like having a salesperson on your staff 24-7.

No breaks or lunch hours to worry about here.

Even if your shop is closed down for the night, consumers can still interact with your business online.

In other words, your company always has an “Open” sign in the minds of customers.

How We Can Help

We offer a wide range of social media network marketing services, from managing social media accounts to executing your social media campaign.

Contact us to find out more about how we can help you to generate more sales and accomplish your goals in 2018 with the help of social media network marketing.

The Importance of Affordable SEO for Your Business

Your business doesn’t stand a chance if you’re not utilizing SEO to it’s fullest potential.

It doesn’t matter if you sell digital or physical products. It comes down to one vital component. If your customers can’t find you, they can’t purchase from you.

It’s no easy feat to put the time or energy into peeling back the layers of SEO and learning all it has to offer. And you may be hesitant to invest in outsourcing. But the ROI will make it the most effective tactic you can invest in.

Is it hard work? Yes. Is it worth it? You bet.

In today’s evolving world, staying on top of marketing trends is critical. Keep reading to learn the importance of affordable SEO solutions for your business.

1. SEO Solutions Attract Customers and Help You Rank Better

93% of people online begin on a search engine. Let that sink in for a moment.

If you’re not utilizing the powerful tactics SEO has to offer, you’re missing out.

Ranking well in search engines should be your top priority. If you’re not showing up in search results, you can guarantee your competitors will be.

But it’s not enough to show up in search results. You want to aim for page one. The number one spot on Google gets a staggering 33% of search traffic.

The sleazy SEO tactics that used to raise websites into the top spots have dissolved. Nowadays valuable content and real SEO solutions can catapult you to page one;

But make no mistake, you can forget about that number one spot if you’re not using top-notch SEO methods.

2. SEO Allows Your Customers to Trust You

There’s no way someone will invest in your services or products if they don’t trust you. But Google, people trust, without a second thought.

Think about this for a moment.

You’re hunting for a present for your aunt’s birthday. You go online and type some phrases into Google. You don’t skip through to page 10. No, you select a business from page one. Likely in one of those top three spots.

You trust that Google is showing you the most relevant and trustworthy websites on page one. Making it easy to select that gift for your aunt. Even if there are a slew of fantastic businesses buried on other pages.

The difference is those businesses on page one have solid SEO solutions in place.

They worked their way to the top, like you need to do if you want to gain the trust of your customers.

3. It Gives You an Edge on the Competition

SEO is capable of skyrocketing your business far ahead of any of your competitors. It’s your best bet at getting ahead of businesses in your niche. Especially if you’re a local business.

Gone are the days that you can’t compete with your competitors because your budget is smaller. Marketing trends that work today put everyone on a level playing field.

It used to be if you didn’t have business capital, you wouldn’t bother with marketing at all. But then entered content marketing, SEO, social media marketing, and inbound marketing strategies.

The only thing that’ll give you a leg up on the competition is if you have an SEO solutions expert to show you the ropes.

Your competitors will all be aiming for that top spot. But not every one of them will have first-rate SEO to boost them there.

4. SEO Increases Your Business’s Visibility

The entire point of SEO is to connect prospective customers to your website. To get your business in front of more eyes and increase your brand awareness. This all leads to more traffic on your website and more sales for your business.

Social media should be a healthy chunk of your digital marketing strategy. But, SEO should be your core focus above everything.

The more you appear in search results, the more well-known your business will be. And your brand awareness and business’s bottom line will catapult.

As a bonus, you’ll build massive credibility and authority in your industry.

When your website starts to pop up in various searches, searchers will recognize this. They’ll see your brand over and over. And soon you’ll be well-known as an authoritative site.

Customers will see you as a credible and authoritative business. This is key to succeeding in this over-saturated business world.

5. SEO Solutions Brings More Sales and a Better Bottom Line

SEO solutions can boost your website traffic like nobodies business. Website traffic itself may not mean much for your business. But, it has the potential to convert those visitors into more sales than you could ever imagine.

The great news?

People who land on your website from a search engine are already planning to buy something. Or they’re interested in your products or services in some way. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have typed whatever the phrase that brought them to you.

SEO gives you one of the best shots at converting a visitor. Compared with other marketing or advertising tactics, SEO gives the greatest ROI.

SEO can get your target customers to your website, but after that, it’s up to you to blow them away. Do you want to convert your website visitors into paying customers? Create an effective and awe-inspiring user experience for them.

Ways to Create an Excellent User Experience:

  • Fast website loading time
  • Functional website design
  • Mobile-optimized website
  • Focus on your customer’s view

User experience can make or break your SEO efforts. If you’re not a website developer or designer, you’ll need to reach out to someone who is.

Final Thoughts

Despite rumors swirling that SEO is dying, this is not true. Is SEO forever changing and evolving? Yes. Dying? Not a chance.

It’s more critical than ever to become acquainted with the basics of SEO. At the very least. Even if you outsource to affordable SEO solutions.

Grasping the vital impact SEO can have on your website’s traffic, sales, and your bottom line is crucial to any successful business

If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, you can contact us for your SEO and digital marketing needs.

After Black Friday Comes Giving Tuesday | Learn How Your Non-Profit Can Benefit

When the chaos that is Black Friday is over, and things are getting back to normal (or, normal for the holiday shopping season), it is time for an important day in your not-for-profit calendar: Giving Tuesday.

Set up as a reaction to the quite often literally rampant consumerism on Black Friday, Giving Tuesday is a day for individuals and businesses to give to charities. Unsurprisingly for a movement that prizes civility and public-spirited giving over macing your neighbours to get at a 70%-off waffle iron, the idea is big in Canada (you can read more about it here.) This year Giving Tuesday will be held on November 28th.

How can your non-profit use this time to encourage people to give back to the community, country and world?

Start Early (And Set Goals)

At the risk of repeating advice from our Black Friday blog post, starting the preparations for Giving Tuesday early is important. Giving yourself a few weeks or even months to plan, prepare and spread the word will reap dividends.

Shout It Out

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are guaranteed to be trending topics on any social platform you care to name for their respective days, so a good thing to do in the days and weeks preceding Giving Tuesday is get on your social platform and talk about it. People are more likely to engage with a not-for-profit with their wallets if the charity engages with their lives- give them the idea that they can (and probably should) give back on #GivingTuesday and they’ll associate you with a good thing in their life, and reward you accordingly.

Engage Locally

Your local community is a great source of exposure and networking, so make it a priority to promote there first. From a purely marketing standpoint, a ten-thousand-dollar donation to the Red Cross doesn’t have as much of an impact on local people as a fun run at a local park (which is not to say that you shouldn’t do it.) Try to find local events you can partner with on Giving Tuesday, and if you can’t find them, make them: wash cars, organize a #giveback day, partner with other local businesses. You don’t need to shout about it in more than a few blog or social media posts, but it will have an impact, especially if you can multiply that impact by…

Networking

Retailers are going to be in the same boat as you on the Black Friday week- their marketing efforts drowned out by the big stores, the discounts they can offer limited by their ability to buy in bulk. But, by joining together on Giving Tuesday with other smaller, local not-for-profits you can level the playing field. Team up to promote Giving Tuesday across your social media channels, organize a big charity event with local partners, design a poster for #GivingTuesday that can be in every store in town. Your ‘competitors’ are often not really your competitors when compared to Amazon and the like, so by joining together you can massively expand your reach.

Every Little Bit Helps

If you have retail partners then a donation box at the checkout can gather a few dollars for you, but why not expand on that? Businesses want to give back for PR purposes, so reach out and see if any are willing to organize a fundraising day or give a percentage of their profits over a period, and (depending on their POS system) can often add the option for customers to make a donation on top of their purchase. Businesses can also add this option to their online sales with apps like this one.

Make It Fun

Nobody likes feeling guilty about giving, so instead of plastering your building with pictures of starving orphans, come up with a fun name for your particular campaign, hire a dunk tank and make some money by dunking your boss, play music, hire a face painter for the kids.

Integrate It

If you’ve been working on a marketing message for the past year it doesn’t make sense for you to suddenly switch up your message when Giving Tuesday comes around. Keeping your tone and imagery consistent won’t just prevent tonal whiplash when you’re moving from one tone to another, it will enforce the idea that charitable giving is an intrinsic part of a successful community.

 

Giving Tuesday is getting bigger every year- $177 million was raised in 2016. You can contribute to breaking that record, and we want to see your non-profit succeed on this day!  If you’re ever looking for advice on not-for-profit marketing (or how you can access free advertising dollars as a registered charity) then get in touch with us 🙂

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday: Tips for Retail’s Biggest Week

So you’re looking for a Black Friday Idea…

People climbing over each other for a juicer, old ladies pushing children to the floor to get at a Swiffer mop, at least one fatality, and at the centre of it, all consumer goods priced low, low, low!  Black Friday is here again folks!

The biggest retail day of the year started as a distinctly US phenomenon but has now spread to the whole English-speaking world. Just like Christmas, it keeps getting earlier each year, with weeks of deals and flash-sales leading up to the big day itself, which has been joined by the eCommerce-centric Cyber Monday and self-explanatory Small Business Saturday.

So how do you come up with a Black Friday Idea that can benefit your retail business, hopefully to the point that people are camping outside your doors at5 am?

Realize That People Kind of Don’t Like Black Friday

Everybody complains about Christmas getting earlier every year… then put their lights on in mid-August anyway. Because of the riots and tramplings, Black Friday has not gotten a great reputation- but those deals though. You can connect with your customers by giving them a little wink via social media or in-store signage that says ‘hey, we know that this is crazy, we get it, but did you see this stand mixer?’ One company even completely boycotted Black Friday but paid their employees all the same.


Send emails and social posts out several weeks before the big day, even if you don’t know exactly what your plans are, then ratchet up from there as your plans become more concrete. You’ll be competing for a lot of attention on Black Friday itself, so make sure that you have a plan to grab as much attention as you can.

Start Early

Send emails and social posts out several weeks before the big day, even if you don’t know exactly what your plans are, then ratchet up from there as your plans become more concrete. You’ll be competing for a lot of attention on Black Friday itself, so make sure that you have a plan to grab as much attention as you can.

Be Funny

Sex is supposed to sell, but more often than not it makes people feel gross. Shock is supposed to wake people from their complacency, but really it makes 90% of people turn off. Sentiment should speak to universal human truths, but mostly it just sounds schmaltzy. That leaves humour: provided that you’re not punching down, being vulgar or just plain weird then humour is the best way to reach audiences on a gut level. Using consumer’s own uneasy relationship with Black Friday, a deep knowledge of your audience and whatever inspiration you can find you can craft something that people are going to remember.

Pay For It

If you’re already making deep cuts into your profit margins by offering staggering deals then paying more for advertising might have your accountant breaking out in a cold sweat, but in today’s competitive attention economy it might be the only way to get in front of enough eyeballs to get that coveted line-out-of-the-door. Facebook advertising allows you to create highly-targeted multimedia ads, and many other platforms offer similar functionality (although Facebook remains the largest.) Don’t discount traditional media either: plenty of people will still respond to a well-made newspaper insert.

How should you set up a great social media campaign for Black Friday? Here’s a sample idea:

  • Post a great video to your company’s Facebook page.
  • Pay to promote that video to your followers (no more than $100 of spend should be necessary here depending on the size of your market.)
  • Build a retargeting ad campaign- a type of Facebook ad campaign that shows ads to people who have already done something on your page or website. Here, you should create a campaign that targets anyone who watched more than half of your video.
  • Go hard and spend big to target those people with ads about your Black Friday deals- they’ve shown that they are engaged.

Tighten Up Your eCommerce

Cyber Monday is a huge day for eCommerce, and it’s not just the big players (or, rather, player- Amazon). Any company that sells online can jump on the bandwagon, but to do so you’ll need a rock-solid eCommerce solution. You may be able to attract more people, but the same rules still apply: make sure that there are no errors, make sure that it’s easy to add items and pay for your order, make sure that the shipping options are transparent- free shipping is a major incentive at any time of year. It’s probably the wrong time to switch from Shopify to Magento or vice-versa, but might be the right time to add some plug-ins that tighten up the checkout process- provided that you’ve got plenty of time to test it and work out any bugs.

Also, because you’ll have an influx of new customers, it’s important to convert them into fans instead of just taking their money once a year and hoping they come back the next. Follow-up emails, incentives to sign up for social media and add-ins for the packages that build goodwill- all of this will convert a few Black Friday bargain-hunters into regular customers.

6) Go Mobile

A large portion of shoppers will be browsing on their mobiles instead of a desktop, which offers a host of opportunities- and problems. Obviously, on a seven-inch screen, you’re not going to be able to show as much or incorporate the same level of text description- a couple of sentences should be sufficient. Mobile also allows you to employ push notifications: it may seem a little intrusive, but eCommerce vendors have found that a pop-up message about an abandoned shopping cart or a notification of a flash sale is a valuable addition to your company’s eCommerce operations.

Stay Small

On Black Friday you’ll be up against big box stores that can afford deep, deep discounts and pyramids of HD TVs; on Cyber Monday you’ll be up against Amazon, who has been taking on the high street and winning for the past twenty years. To level the playing field, consider skipping Black Friday/Cyber Monday altogether and going straight to Small Business Saturday. It might not have the small multi-billion dollar clout as its cousins earlier in the week, but it does allow you to leverage the goodwill people have towards small businesses and their antipathy towards the big retailers.

With a little imagination and the willingness to go the extra mile to provide compelling discounts for your customers, the Black Friday – Cyber Monday shopping period can be the most lucrative shopping period of the entire year. On or offline, you’ll be up against the big boys in retail, from Best Buy to Amazon, so come up with a great Black Friday idea and use what makes you special- you’re small, you’re local and you can build a following by going directly to your customers.

 

If you’re ever looking for marketing strategy advice, be sure to come by and visit our crew here at Octopus Creative!

Happy World Octopus Day 2017!

It’s World Octopus Day 2017, so we thought we’d do a little storytelling to celebrate.

So there was an octopus in an aquarium in the US. His handler fed the octopus buckets of shrimp then went back to his desk in another room. A little while later, a single shrimp was thrown onto his desk. The octopus had seen that one of the shrimp had gone bad, picked it up, escaped its tank, crossed the hall, found his handler’s office amongst many others, and was mad that he wasn’t getting good quality shrimp.

Let’s think about what that means: it means that the octopus could have escaped at any time but chose not to, that it can recognize one human face amongst the thousands it would have seen at a busy aquarium, that it can navigate a man-made environment and that it gets indignant like a middle-aged lady in a restaurant asking to see the manager when the food is sub-par.

Other octopods have flooded aquariums by dismantling valves, performed juggling tricks, and tap shrimp on their shoulders to trick them. It’s been theorized that they aren’t just smart, but they can make plans, build homes, communicate, use tools and even have a sense of humour. That doesn’t mean that their minds are anything like ours- their brain is distributed between their head and their nine arms, all of which can move independently if severed.

It’s not just their brains that are amazing: the only solid part of their bodies is their beak, so they can fit through anything that their beak can fit through—that means that a 600 pound, 16 foot long giant Pacific octopus can squeeze through a drainpipe. The Blue-Ringed Octopus is crazily poisonous, and if it doesn’t kill you outright its specific poison, tetrodotoxin, can induce ‘zombie-like’ symptoms in humans.

The take home point is: Octopods are cool as hell and we should appreciate them, so happy World Octopus Day 2017!

How 5 Kinds of Interactive Content Can Raise Your Marketing Game

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

 

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

 

Buzzfeed Badges

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Octopus Infographic

 

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

 

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

 

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

What You Can Do With 360-Degree Photography For Business

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

8 Revealing Reasons You Need A Digital Marketing Sidekick

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

  1. Websites Say What?

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

  1. Let’s Get Visual, Visual!

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

  1. Your Tricked-Out Wooden Leg

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

  1. Diving into Social Media

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

  1. Pull Out Your Periscope

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

  1. No Floaties Required

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

  1. Swimming in a Sea of Gadgets

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

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

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