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7 Simple SEO Solutions You Need to Try for Yourself

In 2015, there were more than 1.1 million businesses in Canada. Basically, this means you’re up against a ton of competition as a business owner or marketer.

One of the best ways to stand out from the crowd is through SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This is the process of getting your pages to rank higher on Google and other search engines, which will lead to more traffic and more sales.

We’ve compiled 6 simple SEO solutions that you should try out that will make you say, “Shell Yeah!”

Check them out!

1. Find Your Keywords

The first thing you should do when starting with SEO is deciding on your keywords. The whole point of SEO is ranking higher on search engines for specific keywords and phrases! So you need to make sure you’re trying to rank for the best keywords possible.

This happens through strong keyword research efforts. Think about what people are searching for when they look for your business’ products or services.

What do they Google? If you’re a pet store owner, people might search for “dog store in Seattle” or “pet store in Washington.” So you would want to rank for these terms.

Do some research with a professional SEO tool to find out what people search for most. You can also utilize free tools like Google Trends.

2. Content, Content, Content

Another SEO key is producing content. But it shouldn’t just be any content. It needs to be valuable and relevant.

Find topics that people are curious about in your industry. What topics could you write about that will get people to your website?

Once they’re on your site, you can make an offer to them… which means more cash for you! Yeah, buoy!

You should also produce content on a regular basis. Google prioritizes pages that are fresh.

This also attracts readers because you’re providing interesting and helpful content. Whether these are blog posts, ebooks, whitepapers, infographics, or videos, content is a huge part of SEO in 2018.

So make sure you have a writer and a designer on your team who can produce these pieces.

3. Load Quickly: One of the Biggest SEO Solutions

The bottom line is that when websites load quickly, people are satisfied. The opposite is also true: when sites take forever to load, people leave.

This will happen to a certain extent no matter what. In fact, the average bounce rate is 26% to 40%. But many sites are at a much higher level, which negatively affects their bottom line.

Google understands this and so sites that load slowly are negatively affected in terms of SEO. This is because, in order for Google to be successful, they want to provide the best experience possible. And if the first couple of search results for a given query all load super slowly, the user is going to get frustrated and go to a different search engine to do their searching.

This is Google’s worst nightmare. So to avoid this. They give preference to sites who rank quickly.

To improve your site’s load times, there are lots of things you can do. Start by optimizing your images and getting rid of pictures with huge file sizes. Instead, compress them using an online tool.

Also, consider switching hosting providers (there is a reason that some hosting options are considered discount). Sometimes this is the core of the issue.

4. Pay Attention to Your Titles and Descriptions

This is a simple thing with a big impact: optimize your page titles and descriptions. These are the pieces of text that tell both users and Google what your page is about.

Every page on your site should be optimized to include that page’s keyword. This helps Google’s bots understand exactly the purpose of your page. So if your pages aren’t optimized in this way, water you doing?

This is also the text that appears in Google search results when your page ranks. So being clear and getting to the point helps web searchers know exactly what they’ll get on that page.

If possible, you should also include the keyword in the H1 on your pages. An H1 is the main header at the top of the page. Google also pays attention to this.

5. Optimize Your URLs

Also, don’t forget about your page URLs. Google’s spiders look at your URL as well to understand the content of your page.

If possible, include your keyword in the URL as well. This will make things super clear.

Don’t make your URL too long. When it’s super long, it’s easy for the bots to get confused. Shorter is better in this case!

6. Don’t Forget Those Links

Link building is one of the fundamentals of SEO. Google likes to see that sites are linking back to you because it improves your reputation in their eyes.

This is especially true when the links come from domains with a lot of authority! So if at all possible, work with large publications and websites to get a link back to your site from them.

The other part of link building has to do with your site itself. Your site should also have plenty of internal links. This shows Google that your pages are related to each other and it helps paint a better picture of what your website is all about.

So go throughout your site and include links wherever possible.

7. Hire an Expert

When it comes to SEO strategy, do you feel like you’re standing at the seashore screaming, “Kelp! Kelp!”? If so, consider hiring an expert!

SEO is complicated and is always changing. An expert from an outside agency will be able to provide information about the latest strategies.

They’ll know what’s working right this moment to help you rank as well as possible. Our team has years of experience working in SEO and is happy to help you! Contact us today to learn more.

What’s Next?

Now that you’ve gone through these SEO solutions, it’s time to make some changes in your business. Implement some of these on your site as soon as possible! In other words, it’s time to seas the day!

Have questions or want professional help? Get in touch with us and we’ll be your marketing sidekick.

Brand Out & Stand Out: Top 4 Benefits of Strong Branding

Is your company lacking the adequate branding it needs? Without those crucial elements, your company might as well be a boat without an oar.

While you’ve thought of a clever business name, a colour palette, and a logo, that proves to be not enough. These days, people want to be intrigued and wowed by brands. They’re no longer buying products that speak for themselves– they want to buy into brands that are authentic and compelling.

A few terms to keep in mind when developing your brand further is quality, credibility, and experience. Think of these keywords as the secret ingredients to your fantastic recipe for creating a brand.

Still not convinced on why branding is important? Allow us to explain the benefits of branding so you can see why it’s vital.

Here we go!

Be the Big Fish in a Little Pond

Rather than be the small fish swimming about in a big pond, strong branding can make you the opposite. To be the big fish, you need to hone in on what makes you stand out in a crowded market.

Whichever industry you’re in, differentiating yourself from your competitors is a must. You and the competition probably have similar products or services but it comes down to your branding in order to make people choose you.

Sure, you can go out and purchase a premade logo for a cheap price. However, you need to have more than that.

Set yourself up for success by thinking beyond a logo. Good branding is more than “nice colours” that you may like slapped together. It’s more than just ordering clip art to be used as a logo.

Think of the reasons you got into business. Was it to empower the local economy and create jobs? How about selling product so you can donate to local organizations?

Pinpoint what makes your business unique by digging deeper. Good brands have clear purposes, remember that.

It’s All About the Money, Money, Money

Obviously, that’s not how that song goes. But let’s be real here: you didn’t create a business to not make money.

When your branding game is strong, that means you can actually charge what you’re worth. Especially when you’re just starting out, finding those customers or clients can be a struggle. No one knows who you are yet so you think it’s a good idea to undersell yourself.

Wrong. So wrong, in fact.

You can’t build a sustainable business if you’re cutting prices all the time just to gain sales.

Solidify your branding first before you launch. That way, you can dazzle those who see you for the first time. They’ll have no choice other than to get on board with your company 😉

If you didn’t get the chance to perfect your brand before you launched, it’s not too late. Revamp it to where you can start charging the proper price of your products or services.

Customer Loyalty Is the Name of the Game

Customers are the heart of every business. They’re the reason other people hear of your company. When they spread the word, it spreads like wildfire. Why?

Because when your friend tells you of a new product or service, you believe them when what they have to say is positive, right? Your friend hasn’t steered you wrong yet, so you trust their recommendation.

People want to connect with brands who also share the same values as them. If you give donations to cancer research, that may be enough for someone to do business with you, especially if they know of someone with the disease.

Not only do the values you abide by win you customers, but the promises you deliver on ensure you of their return. If you promise a new product launch at the end of the month, you best follow up on it.

If you don’t, it’ll be hard to win their trust back. Not to mention they’ll be less interested in another product launch for fear it won’t be delivered when promised.

Keeping your company values and promises in check will be sure to win you more customers. And when more customers have trust in your company, the more referrals you’ll receive.

Having a Solid Brand Means You Won’t Regret it Later

We’ve all been through these days where we can’t seem to make up our minds. One morning we want coffee, the next we’re craving tea. There’s no consistency.

With a brand, you need to be consistent. In order to do that, you need to be content with your branding. That means loving the colour palette, the logo, and the vibes you put out.

If you went for the cheapest options possible when first building your brand, chances are you won’t be happy in the long run. Once you start making money, you’ll see that you want to hire a graphic designer to make you a killer logo. That means you’ll be changing your logo which means that’ll confuse your customers.

If you would’ve set a good foundation in the first place, you wouldn’t have to change anything within a year or two of being operational. That’s why it’s crucial you take your time to build a brand so that way, you can keep it intact for years to come.

That not only saves you time but money as well.

The Benefits of Branding are Hard to Ignore

Whether you spent days or years developing your business, branding is where it’s at. These days, markets are oversaturated so that’s why it’s more important than ever that you stand out like a starfish in a sea full of barnacles.

It’s the key to standing out and gaining more revenue. After all, who couldn’t benefit from an extra doubloon or two?

Ready to take the plunge? Get in touch with us today and see how we can help set you up for success with expert branding services!

HTTP vs. HTTPS: What’s the Difference?

The internet can seem like an endless sea of data – an estimated 1,200 petabytes worth of data are stored on just Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft servers.

With so much information shared between people, securing it is important for any business to stay afloat. Unsecured data can give hackers access to millions of users’ sensitive information. Leaks can sink even the best ship, so they must be prevented at all costs!

That means using HTTPS to communicate with customers and not regular HTTP. Hypertext Transfer Protocol, or HTTP, used to be what everyone used in the early days of the internet.

Now, after the technology industry standardized security protocols, HTTPS is the only way any business should interact with the online world. It can be difficult understanding the difference between the two, though. HTTPS is just the secure form of HTTP. And it didn’t earn the ‘S’ at the end of its acronym for no reason!

To learn about how HTTP and HTTPS are different, and why you should use HTTPS, keep reading!

Data Sent Over HTTP Is a Treasure Map to Personal Information

Imagine if pirates didn’t try to hide their treasure. They wouldn’t ever hide their treasure maps, and anyone would be able to steal their loot. In security terms, this unhidden treasure map would be written in something called plaintext.

The text you are reading right now is something called plaintext. This is exactly what it sounds like – text that hasn’t had anything done to it.

The data that is sent over HTTP is the same way. Anyone who can get their hands on it will be able to read it. This is why most financial transactions over the internet are not sent through HTTP.

So, if a hacker decided to set up a man-in-the-middle attack between your computer and Amazon’s server, they would be able to see your debit card numbers if you made a purchase.

HTTPS tries to make sure this can’t happen.

HTTPS Buries the Treasure and Hides the Map

Rather than hold the map up for everyone to see, pirates hid the path to their treasure. HTTPS does the same thing.

Data sent through HTTPS is encoded before your browser sends it off. It uses a type of security method called Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).

SSL takes the data you type in, and everything else that is sent off, and encrypts it. This means that if you tried to look at the data, you would just see gibberish.

So, if a hacker obtains your data as it is sent through HTTPS, they will not be able to read it or really do anything with it.

By encrypting data this way, HTTPS secures a person’s personal information as it navigates the internet. Even if that information doesn’t reach its destination and someone else opens that message in a bottle, they won’t be able to read it.

Computers Can’t Trust Each Other With an Ocean of Data Between Them

When you log into a website like Facebook or Amazon, you are actually just connecting to another computer. The servers websites use for their websites are really just big, expensive computers like the one you’re using to read this, with the only difference being many people can use them at once.

Think of them like ports, with many people coming and going all the time. Only sometimes, you may think you’re at one port when you’re really at another.

Hackers will sometimes make a website that looks a lot similar to a Facebook or Amazon login page. When people log in to these fake pages, they can be fooled into giving a random person their login details.

HTTP connections have no way of telling if the computer it is connecting to genuinely belongs to Amazon, Facebook, or anyone else. There is no way to tell if you’re at the right port.

Without a way to tell the difference between a true server and an imposter, users could hand over sensitive information without even knowing it.

Land-ho! HTTPS Will Make Sure You Get Where You’re Going

HTTPS is like having a navigator on board who knows the seas like the back of their hand. They will be able to tell if you end up in the right port.

Because HTTPS uses SSL, it can verify that the computer a user connects to is actually who they claim to be. The verification is done through a thing called an HTTPS certificate.

These certificates act like keys to decrypt the encrypted information sent over HTTPS. When data is sent from a user to a server, the information is turned to gibberish to protect it.

When it reaches the server a user intended to send it to, it needs to be decrypted. This is done through a private key.

SSL essentially puts a padlock over information by encrypting it, which can only be unlocked with the right key, which only a genuine server will have. These keys are actually long strings of random letters and numbers but are essential to proving that a server is real.

Basically, it’s like your navigator will only let you dock somewhere if they recognize the area.

Certificates are issued through third-parties responsible for making sure they are going to the right people. Operating systems come with a list of known third-party issuers and automatically trust them.

Getting an SSL certificate also does more than just secure information. With an SSL certificate, a company’s brand will be boosted as it develops customer trust and loyalty.

Without a certificate, customers will receive a warning message whenever they connect to a company’s website. This can make potential customers nervous, and cost the company valuable business.

There is More to it than Just HTTPS

Even though it is the standard for online communication, HTTPS is not entirely secure. Malicious users can obtain self-signed SSL certificates, which can be used to better impersonate trusted brands.

These certificates are generated through free software and enable HTTPS connections between a malicious server and users. They trick browsers into thinking a server is genuinely from a particular website when it can actually be malicious.

Everyone Needs a Crew to Navigate the Digital Seas

People are less likely to purchase from a business that is not secured in some way since it puts their personal information at risk. A truly secure business does more than just build an online presence and go where the customers are. It also develops security protocols that protect themselves and their customers.

This involves building a website with servers that have been tested against penetration or injection attacks. The servers for any reputable online business must reliably hold massive amounts of customer information, without any leaks.

Building such a network of servers can be impossible for the business itself. Instead, most businesses opt to use third-party developers. They usually understand the technical nuances of building an online business beyond just implementing HTTPS.

To recruit your next crew to help you on these treacherous digital waves, just contact us!

Brand Aid: 10 Reasons You Need a Strong Brand Identity

It’s an old concept but marketers still rely on the Rule of Seven. The idea is simple. A prospective client must see your brand at least seven times before they will remember you. While people may argue about the exact number, the message is clear. To be recognized by consumers or other businesses, you need to present a consistent image.

Imagine if you walked into a building with a Starbucks sign, and they sold light bulbs. You would be more than a little confused, especially since you were obviously after a jolt of caffeine.

When we think of the Coca-Cola or Facebook logos, the colours red and blue immediately come to mind. In fact, colours play a big role in brand identity and companies purposefully use distinct colours.

All of these factors comprise brand identity and they determine not only how we view a brand but also, what we expect from them. Read on to learn about why you need a strong brand identity.

5 Reasons Your Brand Identity is Important

When you’re rushing to constantly create content for your brand, it’s easy for brand consistency to get lost along the way. It’s important to take steps to ensure that you are projecting a consistent brand identity to your customers every time they interact with you. This builds awareness in your customers’ minds and creates trust between a brand and its customers.

1. It Determines the Recognizability of Your Brand

There’s a reason Coca-Cola has used the same script since the early 1900s. Even when they changed their branding from black to red, the brand was easily recognizable. If they were to suddenly change brand identity, not only would customers struggle to recognize their products, it would also create distrust about the brand.

Another part of brand identity is slogans and jingles. Brands use these memorable phrases or melodies to get embedded in consumers’ minds.

You can’t help but chuckle at Canadian Tire’s, “Give Like Santa. Save Like Scrooge.”. The phrase “Roll Up the Rim” immediately brings Tim Horton’s to mind, in the same way “Just Do It” reminds people of Nike.

Brand identity is not just about the appearance of your brand. It’s tied to your brand values as well. Customers expect accountability from brands now more than ever, and part of brand identity means showing that your brand values align with your customers’ values.

2. A Strong Brand Identity Leads to Increased Sales

Having a consistent brand identity is crucial for building customer recognition. Whether you are a B2B or B2C company, customer recognition is what leads to sales. The majority of consumers conduct significant online research prior to making a purchase.

For example, consider a parent purchasing hockey equipment for their son or daughter for the first time. When they arrive at Canadian Tire, they are faced with a myriad of options for each thing they need.

When presented with a half dozen different brands of skates, helmets and hockey bags, how do they choose which brand to purchase? Assuming prices and product quality are consistent, they’ll purchase based on brand recognition.

3. Your Brand Identity Separates You From Your Competitors

McDonald’s and Wendy’s are essentially selling the same thing, but consumers are die-hard loyal fans of one and hate the other. The same goes for competitors like Pepsi and Coca-Cola or makeup companies Revlon and Maybelline. In a saturated market where products are similar, brand identity is the only thing that separates you from your competitors.

Your preference between Coca-Cola probably comes down to whichever one you grew up drinking. But what about when you need to buy a product that isn’t marketed to you? Suddenly, you see the impact that brand identity has on your purchases.

Brand identity also helps distinguish you from companies with a bad reputation. For example, after United Airlines’ recent spate of customer service debacles, Delta Airlines and American Airlines are relying on their brand identity to distance themselves from United.

4. Your Brand Identity is Synonymous With Your Company Identity

The brands with the strongest brand identity gather an almost cult-like following from their loyal fans. One of the best examples of that is the tech companies where employees identities are defined by their employment. At Microsoft, the employees are Softies. Over at Amazon, they’re known as Amazonians.

These brands are revered for the empires they’ve built and that has become part of their brand identity. These companies have projected a consistent brand identity for years which is now ingrained in consumers’ minds.

For example, consider luggage brands Louis Vuitton and Samsonite. Even if you aren’t in the market for a new suitcase and not particularly familiar with the industry, you will associate one of these brands with luxury and the other with durability.

These associations are due to each company’s brand identity. These brand identities have been reinforced by marketing campaigns or, in the case of Louis Vuitton, celebrity endorsements.

5. Your Brand Identity Is A Guide For Your Employees

A brand identity is created and built by a company’s employees. Once a brand identity has been established, it’s up to a company’s marketing team to use that brand identity as a guideline when designing marketing campaigns.

Brand identity is not just upheld by the marketing team, but by your customer service representatives as well. Amazon, for example, is known not just for being the world’s largest marketplace, it has also gained a reputation for having impeccable customer service.

They’ve been able to build this into their brand identity by empowering their customer service team to be themselves and have fun while helping their customers.

Building a Brand Identity is Crucial For Successful Companies

Just like your personal identity is how others see you, your brand identity determines how clients and competitors see you. A strong brand identity places you firmly in the minds of both parties and is essential for successful companies.

Not sure how to build your brand identity? Get in touch with us today and we can help you get started!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why You Need a Corporate Social Media Policy

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

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

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

1. It Reinforces Brand Identity

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

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

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

2. A Policy Protects Your Company’s Reputation

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

Be clear about the kind of content that is appropriate.

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

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

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

3. Social Media Policies Can Protect Your Business From Liability

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

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

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

4. It Enables Business Growth

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

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

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

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

What Every Corporate Social Media Policy Should Include

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

5. It Should Include Education

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your marketing team can be responsible for your style guide.

7. Personal Vs. Professional Social Media Use

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

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

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

8. Guidelines On Intellectual Property

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

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

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

9. Clarify Who Is Being Represented

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

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

10. Disaster Response Plans

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

Disaster plans should include things like:

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

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

Remember This!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. What Do Those Impressions Really Mean?

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

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

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

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

Social listening involves tracking the following activity:

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

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

3. How to Consolidate Your Social Listening

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

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

4. How to Analyze Social Media Data

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

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

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

5. Analyze Your Follower Count

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

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

6. Follow Behavioral Trends

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

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

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

7. The Power of Polling

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

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

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

8. Gather Feedback for Your Social Media Data Analysis

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

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

9. Does Your Social Media Translate into Dollars?

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

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

Remember, when in doubt, look at the data.

10. Know How to Organize Your Social Media Data

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

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

Now it’s your turn to analyze the data.

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

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

8 Creative Marketing Strategy Examples That Will Inspire You

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

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

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

Creative Marketing Strategy Examples

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

1. Google’s Pop-Up Donut Shops

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

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

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

2. Anthon Berg’s Generous Store

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

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

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

3. Verizon’s Augmented Reality Treasure Hunt

Who doesn’t love a treasure hunt?

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

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

Or at least the sweepstakes for one…

4. Coca-Cola’s Small World Machines

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

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

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

The reward was a fresh drink.

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

5. Game of Thrones’ Dragon Shadow

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

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

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

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

6. Octopus Creative Inc.’s Co-Op

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

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

Talk about success!

7. Poo Pourri

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

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

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

8. Half.com, Oregon

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

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

Bringing Creativity to the Forefront

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

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

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

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

 

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

Here are 5 of the biggest benefits to content marketing.

1. More Content for Your Site

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

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

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

2. Improved SEO

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

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

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

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

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

3. A Better Social Media Presence

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

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

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

4. More Conversions

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

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

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

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

5. Build Connections With Other Brands

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

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

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

The Benefits of Content Marketing Go On

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

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

5 Google Adwords Tips that Turn Clicks Into Customers

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

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

One of the best strategies is Google AdWords.

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

1. Choosing Different Keyword Targeting Options

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Choose the Best Landing Page

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

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

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

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

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

3. Enable Sitelinks

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

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

4. Make Use of Reviews to Get More Trust

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

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

5. Geotarget Your Preferred Customers

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

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

Bonus: Pause Your Underperforming Ads

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

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

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

Get Google AdWords Tips Today!

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

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

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

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

Facebook pixel. What is it anyway?

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

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

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

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

Let’s get right to it!

What Is Facebook Pixel?

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

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

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

Why You Need the Pixel?

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

1. Track Your Conversions

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

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

2. Create Targeted Audiences

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

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

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

3. Improve Your Ads

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

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

4. Remarket Your Ads

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

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

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

How Retargeting Using Pixel Can Help You

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

Here is how retargeting can improve your online marketing efforts:

1. Enhances Engagement

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

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

2. Raises Conversion Rates

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

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

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

3. Improves Brand Awareness

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

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

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

What is Facebook Pixel – Final Thoughts

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

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

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