Web Design

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4 Hidden Treasures Uncovered by Using Authentic Photography

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

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

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

Authentic photography personal connection

  1. Personal Connections

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

  1. Employee Recognition

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

JD Collision Bonnyville

  1. Recognizable Imagery

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

  1. Customization

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

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

Authentic Photography with Calm Waters Colouring

Another Step Forward for Mobile Marketing SEO

In a world that is always moving, and continuously pushing the innovation envelope, it’s not surprising to discover that people are becoming increasingly dependent on mobile devices. The mobile device has integrated itself into society quickly, without falter, and with incredible benefits to both the individual consumer and the business market. For us at Octopus Creative, our mobile phones are just one of the tools we use.

Mobile search rates have quickly surpassed desktop search rates, specifically when searching for local businesses. What are you more likely to do when seeking a local seamstress, a local craftsman, a local restaurant or a local marketing sidekick (like us, Octopus Creative!)? You want answers quickly, and what’s quicker than reaching into your pocket for that extended appendage you call your mobile phone?

“People interact with their phones very differently than they do with their PCs, and I think that when you design from the ground up with mobile in mind, you create a very different product than going the other way.” – Kevin Systrom

Google understands that the increase in the use of the search engine via mobile device is a giant leap forward in the world of digital marketing. Google’s Gary Illyes announced they plan on releasing a separate mobile search index which will become the primary search index.  Over the course of the next few months, Google will be dividing its search index, giving priority to searches done on a mobile device with better, fresher content. While the separate desktop index will be maintained, it will not be as up-to-date as the mobile index.

What does this mean for businesses? It means that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become even more critical for effective digital marketing. Previously, the SEO set for your desktop website would easily translate over into your mobile website. These changes mean that you can set strategic SEO for desktop and mobile device. This will directly impact the use of keywords, allowing businesses to be more strategic in their implementation. Being able to use separate SEO settings for your mobile website compared to your desktop website will increase your audience reach and allow for hyper-targeting. Organizations will be able to strategically market to differentiated target audiences that primarily use their mobile devices, while also increasing traffic to desktop websites by targeting an entirely separate set of keywords for desktop users.

Let’s break it down with an example of a local cleaning business called ‘Sparkle & Shine’. To ensure that their website will reach both mobile device users and desktop users equally, Sparkle & Shine can implement separate keywords for each market. Sparkle & Shine understands that 70% of mobile searches result in an online action within an hour of the search being conducted. Why is this important? By increasing keywords and mobile website options directly targeted to making a sale, Sparkle & Shine can ensure that potential clients will quickly request their cleaning help. Sparkle & Shine is also aware that mobile device users search local businesses with Google more often.  By ensuring their target keywords include their location, Sparkle & Shine will see an increase in clients through their mobile website.

To guarentee that the separate mobile search index will be advantageous for all users, Google has also launched a new testing tool for Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). This tool works on your mobile device and uses Google’s “live web-search infrastructure” to analyze the AMP page with the real Googlebot, which means that the result is done in real time. It will test the validity of the AMP markup and structured data on the page related to AMP and if issues are found, you will be able to click on them to see the details. The line in the source code will be highlighted to show exactly where the error is and you will be able to correct it. The tool even includes links to show you a live preview of how this page will appear in Google’s search results.

Google is the market leader for search engines, with over 4,464,000,000 searches per day and 73% of search engine global search engine use. Talk about all hands on deck in the Google server room!

“Mobile phones are misnamed. They should be called gateways to human knowledge.” – Ray Kurzweil

When it comes to the mobile device, the world is at our fingertips, quite literally. As marketers and entrepreneurs, Octopus Creative is pumped to dive right in and discover how the mobile search index can help all of us achieve our marketing goals!

Five Tips to Make Digital Marketing Work for Your Business

It’s the age of the internet; there’s no doubt about that. Cisco estimates that by 2020 there will be 50 billion internet connected devices in the world. Yep, you read that right. That’s nearly 7 internet connected devices for every single person on the planet based on 2020 world population projections. In today’s digital age everything from your smartphone, to your appliances, to your clothing can be connected to the internet.

Octopus Creative is a new and innovative business founded on the mission of becoming the go-to marketing sidekick for rural small-to-medium sized businesses so they can achieve success in the digital age.  “We’re about so much more than giving you just a ‘pretty’ website, or a standing online billboard.  You don’t interact with billboards. Good marketing is multi-faceted and it begins with researching your target customer, understanding how they engage with your brand, and which of your unique selling points will win them over to your business.  Ultimately, It’s about understanding the customer experience and keeping them always at the forefront,” said Jonathan Berube, Co Founder and resident Marketing & Social Whiz at Octopus Creative.

“Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works”.  – Steve Jobs

In staying true to our brand promise, we’re offering up some tips for your business to succeed with marketing in the digital age

  1. Invest in good design

Your logo and visual brand are key factors when communicating your value to the market, digitally and otherwise.  If the design or logo looks bad, that’s what you could be communicating.

  1. Websites should always achieve a goal

Strategy is paramount when you’re designing your website and thinking about your online presence.  Understand the customer, define a goal, understand your uniqueness and then design your marketing and website around those elements. Ultimately your website is about your customer, not about you.  Resonate with them and make sure they can find you online.

  1. Don’t miss the boat on social media

Social media is a word-of-mouth generator, a public relations platform, a cost-effective advertising tool and a customer insight engine.  Truth is, if you’re staying off social media because it’s too risky, that doesn’t mean the conversations aren’t already happening there.

“If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation.” – Don Draper, Mad Men

  1. KIS – Keep it simple

If your website and other marketing material is bursting at the seams with too much content and mixed messaging, you could just end up frustrating potential customers and driving them away instead of drawing them to your business.

  1. Look at the data to gather insight

The insight you can gain from data analysis can be a huge advantage for your business: more customer insight, more informed decision making, and the capability of precise and accurate numbers to prove marketing value.

If you’re looking for Integrated Marketing Solutions That Stick in the digital age, Octopus Creative is the go-to local company in the Lakeland here to be your marketing sidekick! “We’re here to partner with local businesses.  We’re committed to helping businesses succeed.  Simply put, that’s what drives us,” said Rob Hole, CEO and Web Mastermind at Octopus Creative.

If you need some help with taking the digital plunge, get in touch with Octopus Creative today!