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8 Tips for Your Next Brainstorming Session

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No matter what industry you work in, coming up with creative solutions to problems is necessary – and let’s be honest, sometimes difficult. We bet you’ve seen something somewhere and thought to yourself, “Wow, that’s genius, why didn’t I think of that?” Well, you don’t need to be a genius to come up with an incredible idea – you just need some brainstorming!

Brainstorming is a well-known technique for generating creative solutions, but it might seem like a pointless process to some, if it’s not done right. It’s not like there are rules to brainstorming, but there are definitely some tips and tricks you should follow if you want to have a productive session where everyone is engaged and collaborating, and from which you take away some amazing ideas.

Here are some pointers to bring into your next meeting.

1. Focus on Quantity Over Quality

Let’s establish the most important thing first: the goal of brainstorming is to come up with the highest possible number of ideas. Don’t get attached to how good they are. You might not solve the problem right there and then, but you are probably going to leave the session with a fresh perspective and a few good concepts you can explore further. The golden solution is hidden between 30 other not-so-good ideas.

2. Set a Time

Having a time limit will ensure you don’t waste a second. The goal here is to keep everyone engaged, focused and contributing. A session can be anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the size and complexity of the project – so a sweet spot is 30 minutes. However long you choose, make sure to communicate it to everyone before the session starts and stick with it!

3. Prepare Beforehand

You won’t have much time, so spend it wisely. Do some research before the meeting. For instance, if you’re brainstorming ideas for an event, spend a few minutes going over what other events like yours did in the past; you might have missed an idea that seems obvious.

4. Change the Place

To help spark creativity, get the team out of their habitual space. Leave your desks and go to the conference room, the break room, or even better, go outside. Changing your surroundings will help everyone get more inspired.

5. Choose the Participants

Another important limit you should set is the number of people. Choose a group of four to seven to be in your session–less than that and you won’t have enough ideas; more than that and people will not participate. And if you work in a large company, bring in people from different departments or different job positions. You will get great insights from different perspectives. 

You also need to assign one person to take notes. They can contribute with ideas, of course, but their main responsibility here is recording everything that’s said. That way, the other participants can focus on the discussion.

6. Don’t Think About Execution

The meeting is not the time, nor the place, to think about how you’re going to execute each idea! Do NOT think about how you’ll get it done, how much it will cost, how long it will take. Use this time to come up with concepts. LATER, you will select a few that were the best and explore them further.

7. Go Wild

Because crazy ideas can sound implausible, many people avoid them in favour of more practical solutions. However, creativity and craziness go hand in hand. Never dismiss an idea just because you believe it is technically impractical. Often, the crazy one will spark inspiration in others and can be the starting point to the winning solution.

8. Keep Judgements to Yourself

On the same note, remember that there’s no such thing as a dumb idea. Don’t shut people down while they’re brainstorming. If a person feels their ideas are being rejected, they are more likely to withdraw from the discussion entirely. Use this space as a brain dump – people should feel free to say whatever comes into their minds. A “silly” idea might just be what another participant needs to get inspired. 

Follow these simple steps and you’re set for success! Just make sure to communicate this to your team and get everyone on the same page. And if you’re stuck and need help, contact us and we’ll be happy to collaborate to take your ideas–and your brand–to the next level.

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Smart Strategies to Build Brand Awareness

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You have your product, you’re ready to make sales, but people aren’t seeing your product. Brand awareness is the first step for marketing your product or service. It is the degree of recognition your brand receives. Without perfecting the awareness stage, the people that you determined to be your target audience will not find out about your brand.

How do you build brand awareness then? There are multiple ways to go forward with this, and you should not limit yourself to just one.

1. Organic content

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No matter where you decide to take your brand awareness journey, it all starts with content. Without content, no one will be able to learn about your brand, your products and services.

You need a designated copywriter to create content copy. Once you have the copy, start putting out organic content. You will need to determine what social media platforms to post on, whether you want more videos, more photos or more text-heavy content.

2. Paid Traffic

Once you have your organic content out there generating awareness, you can take it a step further and invest money into advertising.

The main channels you should focus on for paid traffic are Facebook and Google. Unlike organic content, once you set your budget, you are guaranteed to have your content viewed by your target audience.

3. Search Marketing

When it comes to search marketing, your primary goal is to get clicks to the site. In order to get to the top of Google searches, you have to build authority with Google and potential customers.

SEO plays a big role in building our brand awareness. Without high rankings on Google, no one will be able to find your content. Make your website crawlable by Google robots. Technical errors can lead to the confusion of the robots, in return reducing your search ranking.

4. Brand Management

Maintain a consistent and cohesive look to make your brand recognizable. In order to do this, always refer back to your brand style guide when creating content.

Remember, brand awareness is the first step in creating a loyal customer base, so you want to focus a lot of your time and money here. Come up with marketing strategies to support this and don’t move past this step until you have reached your goals.

Brand awareness can be a hard aspect of marketing to tackle and can get overwhelming at times. Contact us and let us help you build your brand awareness.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Pixel

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Starting the journey in online advertising can be scary. There are many things you need to set up before you can run ads. If you have done any research on Facebook ads, you’ve probably read the words “Facebook Pixel” somewhere. So today we’re here to give you all the information you need on what it is, how it works and most importantly, how to set it up!

What is the Facebook Pixel?

The Facebook Pixel is a little piece of code that you insert into your website. It collects data that enables you to measure conversions from Facebook advertising, optimize your campaigns, create targeted audiences for future ads, and retarget to individuals who have already engaged with your website. The pixel tracks and records multiple actions a person takes on a website, such as a purchase or adding a product to a wish list or cart. On Facebook, these acts are referred to as “events.”

How Does it Work?

The pixel sets a cookie on the user’s browser, records their online activity, and allows you to “follow them around” with customized advertising. Facebook provides JavaScript code that you may include on your website. The code then connects with Facebook to track, optimize, and grow your campaigns’ audiences. Once you have advertised to previous site visitors, you can also employ pixels to track their activity on your site. 

By installing and activating cookies, the Facebook Pixel records users’ interactions with your brand on and off Facebook and Instagram. As an example, suppose you visited the Curve Communications website and began browsing our services. You discovered one that is the exact thing your business needs but were forced to leave without contacting us, and you promptly forgot about it. Now, the next time you browse the web, you’ll see that our advertisements are directed towards you. This serves as a reminder that you visited the site and encourages you to pick up where you left off.

According to a well-known study conducted by, just 2% of online traffic converts on the first visit to most websites. Retargeting is a technique that enables businesses to target the other 98% of consumers who do not convert immediately. Therefore, if you haven’t already configured the pixel for your website, keep reading for a step-by-step guide on how to configure your very own Facebook Pixel code for retargeting.

Why Should You Install a Pixel?

When pixels are used in conjunction with Facebook, businesses get an essential tool for retargeting and nurturing prospects. The insight you gain from the pixels allows you to:

  •       Calculate cross-device conversion rates;
  •       Optimize distribution to those most likely to act;
  •       Create audiences for retargeting website visitors automatically;
  •       Create “Custom Audiences” for visitors to your website who perform specific actions;
  •       Gain insights into your audience (get informative stats about the people who visit your site);
  •       Create “Lookalike Audiences” to identify other individuals who are similar to your most significant customers.

How to Install a Facebook Pixel

Now that you’re familiar with its purpose, the next step is to install the Facebook Pixel on your website. Just follow the steps below!

  1. Establish a Facebook Pixel

The first step is to create your pixel. You’ll need to access your Ads Manager on Facebook and go to the Events Manager tab, navigate to Connect a Data Source and select Web. Then pick Facebook Pixel and click Connect. Input the information asked.

  1. Add the Facebook Pixel to your website

The Facebook Pixel can be integrated in three ways:

  • Manually

Once you’re done with step 1, select Install Code Manually and copy the base code. To install it on every page of your website at once, simply add it to the bottom of the website’s global header section, between <head> and </head>. Then click Save Changes.

  • Using a Partner Integration

In the Events Manager, select the pixel you created in step 1 and click Use a Partner. Select the partner and follow the instructions.

  • Hand it Over to a Developer

If a web developer maintains your website, you can easily email them the instructions and the Facebook Pixel code. After setting up the code according to step 1, select Email Instructions and enter the developer’s email address. 

  1. Set up Events

Now you just need to add the events you want to track using Facebook’s Setup Tool. Click Open Event Setup Tool and follow the instructions.

After adding the code, use the Facebook Pixel Helper to verify that it is functioning correctly. Additionally, Facebook Pixel Helper notifies you of problems, allowing you to retry the installation procedures to verify everything is operating the way it should. If the Pixel Helper displays no problems, you may begin seeing real-time event and conversion statistics for your Facebook marketing campaigns.

Not as complicated as it seems, right? But if, even after reading this blog, you still find it overwhelming, contact us and we’ll be happy to assist you with your advertising!

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Seven Foolproof Tips for Getting Your Content Through Reviews and Approvals FASTER

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Blood, sweat and tears are shed through the planning and execution phases of content marketing. Sometimes it feels like you’re scaling mountains, slaying dragons, and jumping through hoops to check off tasks, coordinate the workload and hit milestones. Everything should be going according to plan. The summit is in sight. But before you are crowned victorious and can celebrate, you find your artfully created content sitting for what feels like an eternity in your client’s review and approval pile.

Now the goals and deadlines that were scheduled suddenly have to be rescheduled. While you monitor and nudge the approval process along, the project that should already be completed just sits there, occupying precious real estate in your mind. It’s tough to see your efforts sitting idle while your content collects dust. 

Here at Curve Communications, we understand it can be disheartening to wait in limbo, so we have amassed seven foolproof tips for getting your content through reviews and approvals FASTER. Read along to streamline your process and reach the summit.

1. Adapt to your various clients’ internal workflow

Your clients’ processes and workflow can vary depending on the teams involved and their chosen work tools. Do they use Google Docs or Asana? Wrike or Microsoft Teams?

Whatever their workflow may be, you need to adapt to it, like a chameleon camouflaging to its surroundings. If you and your team adapt to your client’s processes, then you can ensure you are all on the same page. 

Here are a few questions to ask your client during your project onboarding process to set yourself up to succeed:

  1. What is your current approval process?
  2. Do you use any project management software?
  3. What organizational tools do you use?
  4. Who are the stakeholders involved?

Only by asking, will you find out what is needed for success. You may uncover a steep mountain to climb or a clear road ahead.

2. Draft a template

With your client’s workflow in mind, you can draft an internal template curated to their specific needs. This structure will identify potential bottlenecks and help streamline the process.

Here at Curve Communications, we use Asana to create templates that ensure the team marches along towards approval.

Our typical review and approval template usually looks something like this:

  • Notify clients: Get in touch with reviewers and approvers to let them know when they should be expecting your content.
  • Coordinate internally: Divide work among your team members based on individual strengths. Once everything is proofed you can move to the next step.
  • Round one – reviews: Deal out the first version of your content to your client. Keep in mind they will most likely have comments about it. Give them a heads-up about the asset’s goal and its deadline. 
  • Round one – proofs: Based on your client’s feedback, update the content while improving on it. 
  • Round two – reviews: With your new and improved version complete, send it for reviews. 
  • Round two – proofs: Draft a final version based on round two comments (if any).
  • Distribution: Send and give access to the final version of the content created to the relevant stakeholders.

Launch: Assets are live! You and all parties involved can give each other pats on the back. Go out for drinks or treat yourself to your favourite burger joint.

3. Acquaint yourself with your client’s brand guidelines

Before you strap up your boots and start the climb towards approval, you must first get to know your client’s brand as an old friend.

During the onboarding phase, ask your client for materials that define their brand. This guideline or playbook will set guardrails within which your team will base its efforts. The materials they send over should answer the following questions:

How do they want to convey their brand’s tone and language? What is it that sets them apart from the competition? Which colours and feelings do they want the created assets to evoke? Finally, why does your client do what they do? 

With the answers to all these questions, you can be sure that you are creating content that best represents the essence of your client’s brand.

4. Familiarize yourself with the approval team

To avoid potential bottlenecks, try to get to know the approval team who will have the fate of your content in their hands. Get to know:

Which departments are involved? 
Who does what?
What are their strengths?
Who are the key decision makers?
Who are the influencers? (The person or people who will help move the content along.)

It is as easy as emailing your client with these questions, and introducing yourself to the people involved. Get to know them as they get to know you. Be friendly towards them and be ready to help when needed. Like the saying goes, You win more flies with honey.

If you know your client’s approval and organizational structure, you will have a much easier time with your content and can avoid missing a deadline.

5. Identify your “man on the inside”

Acquainting yourself with the team has the added benefit of establishing or identifying your point person, influencer, “man/woman on the inside.” This person is usually the one who hired you to develop the content, or the one who is most responsive. They care and understand the deadlines and will help you push the approval process along.

Befriend this responsive person and keep things jovial, so that when the need arises (if the process has stalled, for example), this person can go to bat for you. They can talk in person, send internal notifications, text, or call up whoever it is that has the created materials on their approval pile. Your content will either get pushed forward or the person will come back with some information as to why it isn’t moving along.

6. Authenticate yourself with an outstanding first impression

They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but first impressions play a key role that sets the tone between you and your client. One mistake during the beginning phases can cause approvers to be biased against you. Maybe they thought you didn’t quite grasp their target audience or industry, or that you didn’t capture the essence of their brand, or perhaps that you simply conveyed the wrong message. Whatever the reason, once approvers lose faith in you, the content you bring forth is not a priority for them.

Spend some time researching your client’s brand, their team, the materials provided during onboarding, and past content they may have created prior to your arrival, so that you can write from their point of view. Aim for your first draft to be your final draft.

Be flexible so that you not only make a great first impression but also a stellar lasting impression.

7. Relate unapproved assets to missed opportunities and extravagance

Content is not like wine. It just doesn’t age well. Instead, it loses relevance and wastes time and money for both you and your client. You could be on a retainer, so the unapproved work means they are paying for nothing. Perhaps your thoughtfully created Labour Day post sat idle and you missed the holiday. No one likes feeling like their efforts are going to waste; and even worse, no one likes wasting money.

To guarantee your client understands where you are coming from, communicate your desire to help them get their money’s worth. They will know you have their best interests at heart, and will thank you for it when a swarm of leads come through the door from the content you developed.

With these seven tips added as tools to your arsenal, you can scale the tremorous peaks of review and approval, finally reach the summit, plant your flag and bring forth something you can all be proud of.

Interested in more content creation and project management tips? Follow us on social media and read our blogs for more insights about the digital marketing world. Click here to schedule a chat with us!

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Tips to Enhance Your TikTok Marketing Strategy

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TikTok is still majorly underestimated when it comes to advertising and brand strategy, and a lot of companies don’t feel they have a place on this platform. However, TikTok’s user base has grown exponentially since 2019, and now, more than ever is the time to take advantage of the app.

When it comes to TikTok advertising, you can’t approach it the way you do with Facebook or Instagram, where influencer marketing and the push for paid advertising have blurred the line between personal users and advertisers. In fact, in many ways, this has pushed many “regular” users off of those platforms; they are switching to TikTok, which means there is a massive opportunity for advertisers to jump in and experiment with content and storytelling. 

This article will cover why TikTok is such a big deal, who the target audience is, and how to strategically market to them on Tiktok using the right methods. So, let’s get started!

Recognize the importance of TikTok as a marketing channel

TikTok’s main appeal is that your feed is “For You.” The TikTok algorithm ensures that you experience completely different and unique content that is curated just for you and what you like. However this can make targeting ads difficult: while the audiences on Facebook and Instagram are easy to find, TikTok exposure relies on sensation, whim, personality, and trends. 

As a business, your key to navigating TikTok is to keep up with trends and find a way to implement your brand’s voice into them, while still maintaining an organic and “authentic” personality. TikTok’s video formatting allows businesses and creators to get creative with their content, and it has created a more intimate platform for businesses/celebrities/leads to connect with their audience.

For example, Lionsgate Films (@lionsgate) has taken advantage of TikTok’s Gen-Z user base, employing TikTok trends and creating “meme”-worthy content about their newest releases. They also use witty and random humour poking fun at older franchises, such as “Twilight,” which evokes nostalgia in older users and creates new fans in younger users. The result is a massive audience of diverse users who consistently engage with the brand’s content and look forward to seeing new posts, and thus look forward to seeing new releases produced by Lionsgate. 

An older example of this method of advertising is the popularity of the sassy Wendy’s Twitter “roasts.” This brought on the trend of creating advertising that wasn’t just plain and boring copy, and instead, focused on creating a brand voice or character that feels authentic and entertaining. 

So, now that we know what makes TikTok stand out, here are some tips I recommend for enhancing your strategy.

Define Your Target Audience

Start by defining who your target audience is. Yes, TikTok may be known as the “young people” social media app, but so was Facebook at the beginning, as well as Instagram. Don’t take the app for granted when people of every walk of life are signing up now. 

To find a target audience, start by looking at the content and creators similar to your business, see what posts have the most engagement (and the least), and most importantly, read the comments. What are people asking for? Are they asking lots of questions? Can you answer those questions or provide a solution? That is how you find your audience: by looking at the content they’re already watching and finding a gap where you can fit in

Engagement on TikTok is about “human to human” interactions. Provide your target audience with valuable content, and TikTok will continue to push you to the right people.

Quality over Quantity

The number ONE most important thing to remember about creating TikTok content for your brand is that QUALITY is always more important than QUANTITY. That does not mean, however, that you need a fancy camera or lighting setup. It means that your content should provide value to your audience and to the people who are experiencing your content for the first time (even if that content is just providing a good laugh). This is because the TikTok algorithm tests content with small audiences first, and if your content doesn’t grab the attention of a small few first, then it will not succeed at all. 

For example, if you’re a plumber, you could take advantage of showing before and after transformations (very popular on TikTok), give basic tips and tricks to younger users who may be moving into their first apartment, or even create content on what to look for in a good plumbing service! A great example of a Plumber/”Handy-maam” that found her brand voice, is the extremely popular @mercurystardust, who created a channel that is both a humorous place for her to tell her brand story, but also a comfortable and open space for people to ask for advice not only on household maintenance, but on life in general too. 

It’s not so much about what you’re selling, it’s about telling a good story. So be consistent with your posts, engage with your audience, and help your audience find a solution to their needs with your content.

It’s Not About Followers

Lastly, don’t invest all your energy worrying about your followers or the perfect hashtag. These things don’t matter as much on TikTok. 

A TikTok account with 10,000 followers and one with five followers both stand the same chance of gaining millions of views if their content is deemed interesting to an audience. Once again it’s about providing value and quality content, or to put it simply, to be featured on the “For You” page. 

As for hashtags, make sure you use hashtags that are relevant to your brand or post. You can also follow trending hashtags and use them on your posts to boost the chance of your video being featured on the “For You” page. However, TikTok captions are very limited in characters, so I recommend using max 4-5 hashtags on each post. 

So don’t stress about followers. If your content is delivering value, the followers will come.

Explore and Be Willing to Experiment

So now that you know some of the best ways to elevate your TikTok campaigns, you should be ready to start posting. However, if you’re still unsure of the best content for your brand, the only way you are going to learn what works is by diving in head first and doing your research. 

Start by getting familiar with the app, use the search features and find other brands and people who are creating similar content like yours. Save trending songs and sounds for later, to help create fun and relevant content, or test out the video editing tool to add engaging captions and pop-ups for informational videos. As well, use the duetting feature to react/speak to people who may be having a problem that you have the solution for. Finally, answering comments in video format is an amazing way to create lots of content once you’ve gained a small following.

At the end of the day, look at what works and doesn’t work, apply it to what you think is achievable with your brand, and enjoy the process. Yes, TikTok is a video platform first and foremost, but it’s also an explosively popular social media app. It stands to reason that if you plan on running a successful social media campaign for your business — TikTok should be part of your strategy. 

Get in contact with us so we can help you build a TikTok strategy.

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5 Ways To Make Your Content Stand Out

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Content marketing is a great way to entertain, inform and build a relationship with your audience. So rather than making it dull and overwhelmingly informational, make it interesting, fun and playful, while driving your most important information forward.

You want to spark curiosity in your audience, so that they take the next step and engage with your brand. 

Here are five of our favourite ways to make content stand out. 

1. Set a Brand Tone and Keep It Consistent

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Remember, your content isn’t necessarily unique; it’s your voice that sets you apart. Your voice is the personality that shines through your content. 

The most important things to remember about your voice are consistency and clarity. Every piece of content you put out there should have a consistent tone of voice. Clarity allows you to control how your audience views your brand’s personality. 

A tip for having consistency and clarity throughout your content is to have a style guide, that anyone in your company can refer back to when creating content.

2. Know Your Content Options

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Before starting to produce any content, you need to understand what will be valuable to your specific audience, and what your purpose is for creating this content.

There are a variety of ways to share content:

  • Blog
  • Youtube channels, other video options
  • Podcasts
  • Email newsletter
  • Any other free content

Be sure to include a wide spread of content, while keeping the demographic of your audience in mind. Where does your audience spend most of their time?

3. Have a Detailed Strategy

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What is your goal with each piece of content? Some important questions to ask yourself are: What are you doing, how are you doing it, who are you doing it for, and when are you doing it? 

If you have multiple teams focusing on different aspects of digital marketing, have a content strategy that is applicable across all marketing teams. The last thing you want, for example, is to create a blog, and not have the proper SEO for it.

If all of this sounds too complicated, we can help you get started! Contact us, so we can set you on the right path.