Six Secrets (1)

6 Secrets to Work-from-Home Productivity

Six Secrets to Successful Work-from-Home Productivity

Over the past year, our team, like many others, worked remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. What started in March 2020 as a bout of stressful Zoom meetings and Slack messages, is now a well-oiled machine. Even as we begin to work from the office, our team can get into a successful #WorkFromHome groove if need be. 

We understand that everyone has a different setup within their home. Some of us have a dedicated desk or office area, while others find themselves at their kitchen table or even on their couch! While we can’t transform everyone’s work-from-home space, we can offer up our secrets to successful productivity. 

In this blog, we’ve rounded up our top six secrets (we just couldn’t narrow it down to five) to maintain productivity no matter where you’re working. 

That’s right – these tips can be implemented both in the office and at home!

1. Our favourite productivity tools

It’s important for us to start with the productivity tools that we use to stay connected with our team and to keep on top of our important deadlines. By using these apps, we’re able to see who can lend a helping hand on a tight deadline and what level of workload each of us has.

For deadlines and daily tasks, our team loves using Asana and Slack. With Asana, we’re able to see our deadlines in real time and keep our clients up to date on what we’re working on for them. As for Slack, it’s a great way for us to stay connected when some team members work remotely. Every morning we each share our list of top priorities for the day and chat about how we can help each other cross everything off our lists!

Tracking our time is a must and for this, we love to use apps like Xero. It’s the easiest way for us to understand who is spending time on what, and it really only takes five minutes at the end of our workday to fill it out. 

2. Be realistic about time management

We all know that we can get overzealous at times, especially when it comes to our day-to-day tasks during a week full of deadlines. Our first secret to successful productivity is to be realistic and work within your means. Yes, it feels amazing to cross everything off that to-do list, but when you’re cramming to get your work done, the result will often be less-than-stellar work. 

It may be easier said than done, but setting realistic goals at the beginning of your work day will help you allocate the right amount of time towards each task. The best part is when you get MORE than your realistic to-do list done in a day, then you’ll have a little something extra to celebrate! ?

3. Make a list, even if it’s overwhelming

To Do List

Being realistic about your time management goes hand in hand with this next secret to successful productivity. 

Here at Curve, we LOVE to-do lists! Seeing everything written out can help you visually block out your days and stop you from spending too much time on one task. We suggest writing out your list and making a note of how much time you’d ideally like to spend on each task. By turning your tasks into a time-based list, you’re able to get more done while feeling less overwhelmed.

4. Designate a workspace

We fully understand that working from home for some of us might not be ideal, especially with kids and fur babies running around. That’s why we’re firm believers that your atmosphere can make or break your productivity.

If you’re working from the couch, or dare we say it, your bedroom, you’ll quickly realize that it’s hard to get in the zone and focus, let alone actually get your work done! We suggest designating a workspace area that has everything you need and nothing you don’t. That doesn’t mean you need an extravagant spare room or completely cordoned-off area of your home to work in, but it does mean that you need a space that is free of distractions and comfortable to work in. 

5. Stick to a routine

Look, we understand that lives have been flipped upside down over this past year. Between working from home, homeschooling, and social distancing, it’s been tough for everyone; but that doesn’t mean you can’t stick to a routine!

Adding a simple structure to your day-to-day routine and your work day can help you feel more productive and cross more off your to-do list. In addition to creating a time-based list, we suggest maintaining a specific window of time for your lunch break, as well as having one or two themed days per week. For example, you could devote a day or two to one kind of task, such as blog writing, or client meetings, and this can really help to open up the rest of your week. 

6. And last, but certainly not least, maintain open communication with your co-workers!

Our final secret to successful work-from-home productivity is to be communicative with your team! This might seem like a no-brainer, but working from home really is different from an office setting. In an office setting, you may not be collaborating with your team all the time, but you can certainly see their social cues, especially when they’re stressed or just having an off day. 

For us, communicating with each other is key to a successful work day. Whether that means having weekly staff meetings to start and end the week, or a daily call where you can list your top priorities, it’s up to you.

Communicate

 

So, now that you have our top secrets to successful work-from-home productivity, what’s the next step? We understand that it’s much easier said than done to change your day-to-day workflow completely, but why not try to incorporate one of our tips each week and go from there. Test them out! Depending on your type of work, your work-from-home space, and your other day-to-day responsibilities, you might find a little change can have a big impact on your productivity.

Interested in learning more about our team, and how we can help your brand succeed? Drop us a note here. We’re always ready to chat!

retargeting ads

How to Use Retargeting Ads to Stand Out

Retargeting ads are a powerful tool in your digital marketing toolbox. They allow you to interact with customers who are at different stages of your sales funnel, so your business stays top of mind. Think about different times you’ve seen a familiar ad while you’re browsing through the internet. That sense of familiarity makes you more likely to purchase that product or service.

This is great for all kinds of products and services, but particularly helpful for B2B sales, where customers often take weeks or even months to commit to a contract. With retargeting ads, you can segment your customers into different levels of interest, from people who have barely interacted with your brand to people who have been loyal customers.

The possibilities are endless! That’s why we’ve made these basic tips and tricks to make sure that your retargeting ads are effective.

retargeting ads

Set up your retargeting

This is the easy part. Every digital advertising platform has some form of trackable pixel that you can install into your website. This bridges the ad platform to your site, so that you can monitor how well the ads perform based on final conversions.

Whether you’re running Facebook, Google, Twitter, or whichever kind of digital ad, just check the back end for a simple html code to install into your website. Once the code is in, a whole world of tracking opens up! You can now segment your audience based on how they have interacted with your website. While the possibilities are endless, here are some examples you can start with:

  • People who have visited your website
  • People who have viewed specific products on your website
  • People who have purchased your products

Ideally, when someone lands on your website, you want them to go all the way to purchasing your product. However, we all know that most people take a little bit more convincing. Tracking your potential customers through these three different stages, allows you to tailor your messaging to nudge them onto the next step.

Figure out your customer journey

An effective campaign always comes back to understanding your customers! After clicking on your digital ad, they will enter the “consideration” stage of their customer journey. Often, this is the longest stage, because people spend time reading reviews, comparing competitors, or just wondering if they need the service at all.

Talk to your current customers and find out what they valued most while they were mulling it all over.

  • Price?
  • Features?
  • Variety?

Sometimes what you think is most important, doesn’t align exactly with what the market thinks is most important. This could be by design, but it never hurts to check in with your customer base.

Get strategic with several campaigns

Now that you’re all set up, you can get creative and strategic! Test out different messaging with your segments. Remember that with digital advertising, the algorithms pick the best performing ad to show, so doing 2-3 variations gives you the best chance of finding the winning combination of copy, image, and target audience.

Do you have any questions about retargeting? We’re happy to help! Contact us today, and set up a no-strings-attached consultation.

Facebook Ads

How to Create Facebook Ads that Drive Traffic to Your Site

In 2021, relying on organic traffic is no longer an option. The on-going Google and Facebook updates make it difficult for your website to be discovered without the help of paid advertising. But don’t fret, this guide will help you create the best Facebook ads to solve that issue and generate the traffic your site deserves.

Facebook Ads

The Ad Creative

The first thing Facebook users see when they scroll on their feed is the image or video you use for your ad. It needs to be compelling enough that it will draw their attention and make them stop scrolling and read the copy of your ad. There are a few things to keep in mind when selecting your creative.

1) Use high-quality images

It might seem obvious, but all advertisers do not follow this simple rule. And depending on the resolution of your image, Facebook will limit the reach of your ad. Try to use images with a resolution of 1,200 x 1,200 pixels every time you create an ad.

2) Make fun images and videos

Make your ad stand out by creating designs using fun templates! Canva provides hundreds of templates that are certain to fit your brand and style. Check out our blog post “How to use Canva to stand out on social media” to get started!

Or use the templates provided by Vimeo to create dynamic videos that are sure to catch the attention of your audience.

3) Use limited text

Facebook penalizes advertisers who include too much text on their creatives by limiting the reach of their ads. Although they have started to ease the rule, it is good practice to limit the amount of text on your ads. Use words that will draw attention such as “20% off” or “on sale now” instead of “our products are on sales” for example. Make those keywords stand out by using bold colours and fonts!

The Ad Copy

Now that you caught the attention of your audience with an eye-catchy image or video, converting that attention to a click to your website will rely on a compelling ad copy. Follow these recommendations to craft high-converting copy:

1) Define your offer

The secret to high-converting Facebook ads is having a strong, compelling offer that differentiate your brand from your competitors and will entice your audience to click through.

Try a discount code unique to Facebook to help you track your return on investment for example.

2) Call out your audience

Studies suggest that starting your ad by calling out your audience can increase click-through rates by up to 13%. Try referring to your audience by specific keywords they can easily identify to.

For example, if you are targeting parents, start your ad copy with “Hey parents in Vancouver!”.

3) Determine a strong Call To Action

Your Facebook ads should ALWAYS contain a strong Call To Action. It will help your audience determine what the ad is about, what your offer is and what they get out of clicking your ad.

For example, if you are promoting a 15% off coupon, try a CTA like: “Get your coupon today” instead of “15% off all dresses”.

4) Split-test

When advertising on Facebook, it is important to test a few variations of ad copy and images in order to find out what resonates best with your target audience. What you think will work might not necessarily be true.

By split-testing between two to six ads using different wording, offers, CTAs and creatives, you will be able to determine what your audience is most receptive to. Allow a period of one week to test your different ads before turning off the least performing ads until one or two champions are left.

The Target Audience

You might have the most perfect copy and creative, if your targeting is not set correctly, you will end up wasting precious ad spend on a non-qualified audience that won’t convert into active customers.

It is important to know who your customers are BEFORE you start advertising on Facebook. The more you know about who they are and what they like, the higher the conversion rate. If you are starting from scratch, you can find out who your target persona is by looking at your Google Analytics account to know their interests, their age, their sex, or their location.

Once you have a good idea of who that persona is, simply set your Facebook ad targeting to match those findings. Set an age limit if needed, limit your ad reach by setting borders to the geographical area you want to target, and choose specific interests among the thousands of options available.

For example, if you are a middle school looking for more students, set the demographics to target people aged between 35 to 45, and choose some interests such as ‘parents’, ‘parents of kids aged 10 to 13’.

You can also use the Custom Audience tool available within your Facebook ad account to upload a list of current customers and create a lookalike audience of people who match similar demographics and interests as your list of customers.

Once your ad creative, copy and targeting are complete, you are ready to start advertising! The next step is to track the performance of your ads and the conversion rate. Check out our Beginners Guide: How to Track Conversions on Facebook blog post available here to learn how to track conversions and Return On Investment.

Still need help with Facebook ads? We can help you reach your target audience with unique and high-converting ads! Contact us at contact@curvecommunications.com.

Motion Social Posts (5)

How Authentic Case Studies Can Inspire Your Future Clients

Case studies are an effective tool in nudging a considering lead into a future client. Think about ordering from a restaurant. Yelp has built a whole business on customers interested in scoping out the best and worst of their next meal. If people want to check if their $20 eggs benedict is worth it, you better believe your future clients want the same assurance when investing in a partnership with you.

The most basic of case studies has some context around a stellar existing client, a paragraph detailing your company’s great work, and then a fantastic result. That result doesn’t have to solve world hunger or eliminate every problem your client has, but it should be good enough for someone to think, “Hey, these guys know what they’re doing!”

Case Studies

All that great information is normally accented by imagery on your website. Some companies even go the extra mile and opt for video testimonials! However you choose to present your case studies, you have to remember that your goal is not to remind everyone how great you are. It’s to tell your customer that you understand their problems and are uniquely qualified to solve them.

Let’s walk through what to keep in mind when creating an inspiring case study.

Understanding Pain Points

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for anything, so it’s important to let your customers know that you understand their specific pain points. If you have a niche in your industry, then great! Case studies that talk about issues specific to your niche do wonders for boosting your credibility.

If you don’t have a niche, then you have to get specific another way: by pinpointing issues. Don’t just say “you need more leads.” Instead, take a step back and look for the real issue. The lack of leads is a result, so you need to write about the actual problem.

Remember, you are trying to prove your expertise. So detailing these specific pain points shows that you’ve got the know-how to figure out a problem that your customer may not even realize is there!

Establishing Your USP

A unique selling point (USP) is what keeps your customers coming back. This is something you are entirely in control of. No doubt your company provides a wide array of services, but when defining your USP for a case study, you want to ensure that the USP you focus on matches the pain points you identified in step one.

Here are some examples of USPs:

  • Are you faster than your competitors?
  • Do you offer cheaper price points?
  • Is there something particularly difficult to achieve that you provide?
  • Are your staff exemplary in a measurable way?
  • Do your products achieve measurable results?

Think about your customer, and try and figure out what would impress them the most.

Delivering on Results

Here’s what everyone’s looking for in a case study! This is the stat that normally gets pulled out for a graphic to share on social media or to run in an ad. The question every customer will ask after using your service or product:

What’s my return on investment?

Pick a result that is measurable. Whether it’s impressions on a digital ad or foot traffic to an event, just make sure that you have a nice big number to show your future clients what they could have if they worked with you.

The result you pick may not even be your highest or best one. Internally, your team may think that having the most eyes on an ad is the best measure of success, but you need to get into the mind of your customer. Do they care about that? Does it relate to their pain point?

As you can see, there is a LOT of work that goes into a case study, but trust us that hard work pays off. Try making one with these three thinking points in mind, and see the results for yourself!

Interested in hearing more about case studies, good content, and how to get more future clients? Book a call with us today!

Landing Pages

5 Tips to Create High-Converting Landing Pages

When you think of a landing page, what comes to mind? Most likely you think of your company homepage or a product sales page. In truth, a landing page can be anything, but its purpose is the same: to steer visitors towards a sale, subscription, or future contact. A good landing page is not judged by its appearance (although sleek and smooth designs do help), but rather by its conversion rate. So how do you boost your conversion rate?

Landing Pages

While it would be nice if there was an amazing formula or template that you could use to create a high-converting landing page, it’s just not that simple. Every landing page needs to be carefully customized to meet the needs of its audience and its specific call to action (CTA). That means you have to approach the process with an open mind, a clear vision, and a lot of flexibility and creativity. The good news is that there are a few recurring elements that can help provide a basic framework to guide the process.

Determine Your Goal

Remember a landing page can be anything; it doesn’t have to be your homepage. Before creating your landing page you need to clearly define your goal. Do you want it to encourage people to browse products on your website? Check out a specific new product? Join your email list? Sign up for your newsletter? Define your goal and then make sure every single person that ends up on your landing page knows it too.

Put It In Your Headline

Your headline is easily the most important part of your landing page. Conversion rates can grow and die by the headline. The headline is your chance to make a first impression. No pressure, but you need to use your headline to grab the interest of your target audience, offer them something worthwhile, and compel them to stick around for your CTA. Oh yeah, and you need to accomplish this in about ten words. Short and sweet almost always wins when it comes to landing pages.

Reiterate it In Your Subheadings

Now that you have the visitor’s attention, you need to act on it. Subheadings should be persuasive, detailed, and add depth to your goal. You have a few more words to work with now, so use them wisely to sell visitors on your goal.

Support Your CTA with Powerful Imagery

Visitors have a habit of skipping text. Sadly, a large majority of visitors won’t read more than your headline and possibly first subhead, so you need to make sure you appeal to all of their senses. Creating a visually captivating landing page is one way to keep them focused on what you are offering. Support your final CTA with powerful imagery that grabs their attention and makes it impossible to click away.

Bring it Home

A lot of businesses spend so much time on their landing page design that the CTA becomes an afterthought. Your CTA is not just a sentence you pop on at the bottom of the page; it is the very heart of your landing page. Every single thing on your page should lead the visitor towards it. This is your chance to close the deal. Make sure your CTA is very clear and easily accessible on the landing page. Create an easily identifiable button, limit redirects, and make it as simple as possible to convert.

Think of your visitors like water: water will always take the path of least resistance. Offer this path to your visitors and your conversion rates will rise naturally.

Need some help building a high-converting landing page? We’re always happy to chat.

Improve your Copywriting

5 Resources to Help You Strengthen Your Copywriting

When it comes to writing engaging, interesting, and worthwhile content, our copywriters and social media specialists here at Curve are always on the lookout for new online resources to strengthen their copywriting skills.

We understand that copywriting can mean a bunch of different things, depending on your business, brand, and offerings. This means that sometimes we’re writing short and sweet social media posts and sometimes we’re writing long-form numbers-based case studies and in-depth blog posts on niche topics.

To help our future selves, and our readers, we gathered our top five resources that every copywriter should be using, no matter what kind of content they’re producing.

Improve your Copywriting

Grammarly

Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a beginner copywriter, checking your grammar is a must. It can really make or break your content! That’s why, like many other people, we love Grammarly. It’s the easiest way to stay on top of your grammar, punctuation, and tenses – something that can go unnoticed when you’re writing longer-form content. Plus, it’s a great alternative to re-reading your content which often leads us to miss a couple of errors. Grammarly offers a free and a paid version, so you can choose what plan will work best for you and your team.

Answer the Public

We understand that coming up with SEO-friendly blog content can be tough, so we turn to search listening tools like Answer the Public to get those creative juices flowing. By analyzing keywords and utilizing search listening capabilities, Answer the Public helps you take the guesswork out of writing content by showing you the most current trends for your specific topic or niche. When we’re struggling to write content-rich blogs and social media posts for our clients, or if we’re struggling to find the best blog title, we turn to Answer the Public to get a better understanding of what’s hot.

Headline Analyzer

Headline Analyzer is another great tool for copywriters. It helps you come up with headlines that drive traffic, shares, and search results directly to your content. By taking into consideration things like the optimal character count and word count, sentiment, word balance, and skimmability, Headline Analyzer is a great tool to help you make your content more eye-catching and SEO-friendly.

HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator

Struggling to come up with fresh and exciting blog content and titles? Hubspot’s Blog Ideas Generator is an amazing free tool. It works by gathering up to five nouns of your choice and auto-generating catchy titles for your blogs. This is a great tool if you’re stumped on your title and the structure of your blog. So, if you have a general understanding of what you’d like to write about, why not plug your keywords into HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator for help with a title and format that works for your content?

Hemingway App

For those of you who are writing longer-form content-rich pieces, Hemingway App might be your new favourite online tool. By identifying common errors that reduce the readability and quality of your writing, Hemingway App easily highlights these errors using their colour-coded system. It also offers tips on restructuring hard-to-read sentences, using simple alternative synonyms, and minimizing your use of passive voice.

Conclusion

For many of us, copywriting can be a doomed task, but it doesn’t have to be! With these five resources under your belt, you’ll find that your copywriting skills will improve, and you’ll get into a rhythm where writing content comes naturally to you.

Interested in working with the Curve team for content creation and copywriting? Shoot us a message here to book an appointment with our team.

Videography

4 Creative Ways to Incorporate Video and Animation in Your Social Media

Have you incorporated video content into your social media? Over the past year, we’ve seen the social media landscape continue to evolve with new apps and platforms such as TikTok and Instagram Reels taking over – and it’s not just the funny videos and memes that are at the forefront of it all.

If you haven’t thought about integrating video and animation into your social media calendar, now’s your chance! We’ve rounded up our top four creative ways to easily incorporate video and animation into your social media feed, and you most certainly don’t need to be a highly skilled videographer to do so.

4 Creative Ways to Incorporate Video and Animation in Your Social Media

1) Utilize Canva’s animated elements and templates for quick content creation

 As you may know, the Curve team loves to work with Canva. It’s a great online resource, especially when it comes to creating Facebook ads, organic social posts, and even branded content like monthly reports, email headers, and rack cards. Over the past couple of years, Canva has upped their animation and GIF game by adding hundreds of animated templates and elements that can easily be added to your posts to spruce things up. Whether you’re posting about an upcoming holiday or an employee’s work anniversary, these quick and easy drag and drop templates are a great resource, especially if you aren’t trained in video editing and/or animation. The best part is that almost all elements are completely customizable, so you can make sure your content is branded with your colours and fonts.

 2) Incorporate longer-form videos into your organic social media posts

 You can share video content virtually anywhere if you host your videos through Vimeo or YouTube, and with in-app options like IGTV on Instagram, you can share your content directly to the app.

 We understand that bite-sized content is great, but when you have a really informative piece of content, there’s no reason to cut it down. That doesn’t mean you should post your entire 45-minute webinar to your Instagram and Facebook pages, but you can post a shortened five- to seven-minute roundup of the event. This not only acts as a valuable piece of content, but it acts as promotional material for your next virtual event.

3) Create user-generated content like testimonial videos

User-generated content is one of the easiest pieces of content to ask for. If you have a really great relationship with a client, they’ll likely be more than willing to offer a short testimonial about your team, your services, and their experience working with you.

Much like repurposing written testimonials from Google Reviews, video-based testimonials offer social proof and can be a great way to break up your social media feed. On top of that, video testimonials can always be transcribed and used as written testimonials on your website or in other marketing materials.

4) Don’t overthink it. Let your content speak for itself!

 We’ve all seen the beautifully designed branded videos across social media, but don’t worry – you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on your video content. With access to low-cost online video editing software, you can produce content pretty easily, and it’s often quite fun!

For your organic social posts, you don’t necessarily need high-tech lighting and fancy transitions between slides. All you need is strong content, visible branding, and engaging copy to accompany your videos.

Conclusion

There are hundreds of ways to incorporate visuals into your day-to-day social media posts, but in reality, you should only focus on the ones that are feasible for you and that add value to your content. Incorporating videos and animation into your social media shouldn’t be overthought, and with these four tips, we’re sure you’ll find your groove when it comes to content creation.

Here at Curve Communications, we work with our clients to create engaging content that is true to your brand. It’s all about communicating the right message on the right platforms to the right audience. Interested in working with our team for all your social media needs? Contact us today!

Account-Based Marketing

4 Essential Steps to Account-Based Marketing

Want to strengthen your CRM response and boost the ROI of your digital marketing efforts? It sounds like you are ready to adopt an account-based marketing strategy.

Account-based marketing is a strategic digital marketing approach that depends on customized marketing tools to reach out to customers, individuals, or client accounts on a personal level. On a small level, this may mean target emails instead of mass emails, on a larger level it could mean personalized responses based on browsing habits, interests, etc.

Account-Based Marketing

Add a Personal Touch for Measurable Results

While intimidating at first, account-based marketing is an extremely effective digital marketing tool with the potential for a large ROI. Customers like personalized service and this service essentially recreates the personal attention of a clerk in the store and places it in your customers’ inboxes.

How Do I Launch an Account-Based Marketing Campaign?

Getting started however is usually the hardest part for CRM or B2B teams that are new to account-based marketing. A simple process known as the Curve TEAM Process simplifies the journey. TEAM stands for Target. Engage. Acquire. Measure. Each essential step leads to measurable results that make the journey worthwhile.

TARGET Your Base

Before you can launch an account-based marketing campaign, you need to launch a targeted discovery effort. During this part of the Curve TEAM process, you will zero in on your niche customer persona and create a unique sales proposition that addresses both their interests and pain points. Using the information you find during the discovery process, you will create brand messaging that speaks directly to them and allows you to move onto the next step, creating an engagement strategy.

ENGAGE Your Target Customers

Now that you know your target customer base, you have to actually create tools that will catch their attention and make them pay attention to your products and/or services. Similar to the sales clerk in the opening paragraph, it is now your turn to reach out and grab the attention of your base. You may not be able to physically strike up a conversation, but you can create brand messaging, a website, and CMS integration that replicates the conversations they want to have. There are dozens of ways to engage your target customer base including but not limited to sales scripts, webinars, brochures, targeted digital ad campaigns, social media content, and case studies.

ADVOCATE for your Service or Product

If your target discovery is accurate and your engagement strategy is effective, your customer will be teetering on the edge of completing the sale. Your job at this point is to close the deal. Connect with them and give them plenty of ways to buy. Reach out on email, text, social media, or create microsites for a niche within your niche. Your customer is probably ready to buy, but you have to put the opportunity in front of them. The average customer won’t search out a chance to spend money, but if you make it as simple as a click they will probably bite.

MEASURE and Re-evaluate Your ROI

A truly effective account-based marketing plan is never complete. The last step of the Curve TEAM process is measure for a reason. At the end of a month or other pre-designated period of time, evaluated your current digital marketing program and measure your ROI. If it is not as high as you like, it’s time to go back to the first step and look at how you can fine-tune your efforts to get it higher. Each time you reevaluate your process and build on it your ROI will strengthen leading you towards better, more powerful results.

Interested to hear more about account-based marketing? Let’s chat!

Social Media

How to Use Canva to Stand Out on Social Media

Creating eye-catching social media posts when you’re not an Adobe Photoshop or InDesign pro can be challenging. But gone is the era of stern and boring images for your social media pages.

If you lack the time or the desire to learn the Adobe suite to create stunning images and videos, Canva is the tool you need. This user-friendly online platform turns all of us Adobe suite foreigners into graphic designers, and for free (premium memberships available).

In short, Canva combines a myriad of publishing and editing tools into one online design platform, plus it gives you access to thousands of templates, images, fonts, stickers, and much more!

Follow this quick guide to learn how to create stunning images using Canva, easily and in no time at all.

Social Media

1) Choose your format

Whether you’re looking to create an image for a social media post, a brochure, a blog banner, or even a logo, you’ll find templates that fit the exact dimensions for the platform or design of your choice.

Upon login, click on the purple ‘Create a design’ button at the top right-hand corner and either select a custom size or choose a design from the suggested ones (i.e.: Facebook post). This will open a new window with a blank white page in the requested dimensions.

2) Start designing

You have a blank canvas in front of you. Now it’s time to make the magic happen. Choose from the hundreds of templates available for your specific dimensions or start creating your image from scratch.

i. Starting with a template

On the menu bar on the left side of your screen, you will find a ‘Templates’ tab. Scroll through the hundreds of them available to you and choose the one you prefer.

Once you’ve selected a template that works for the purpose of your post, swap out images for one of the thousands available under the ‘Images’ tab or upload your own through the ‘Upload’ tab.

ii. Starting from scratch

From the menu bar, choose to add images, text, or stickers to your creative. Canva offers thousands of elements to bring your vision to life, and makes it easy for you to search through their extensive library of elements with a search bar.

With access to hundreds of fonts, as well as elements such as frames, stickers, lines, shapes and even charts, Canva enables you to let your creative juices flow in the easiest way possible.

 

Social Media Likes

3) Save your image or video

While Canva automatically saves your designs every minute or so, it is always safer to take the time to click the ‘save’ button once in a while for good measure. To do so, click the ‘file’ menu tab in the top left-hand corner, then click ‘save.’

Once you are satisfied with your design, and the status bar you see at the top of the screen says ‘All changes saved,’ it is time to download your design. Simply click on the ‘download’ button and choose which format you want your design to be saved in, and click ‘download.’ Your design will automatically be saved in your download folder.

You now know how easy it is to create fun and eye-catching designs to supplement your social media posts and boost engagement on your pages. Take your time learning about the platform and experiment with everything it has to offer!

Digital Marketing

Quick Guide: Digital Marketing Foundations

The term digital marketing gets thrown around a lot these days. People know they need a well-designed website or a couple of posts on Instagram a week, but anything further than that seems a little intimidating. Pixels? Retargeting ads? 2% lookalike audiences for people aged 20-35?!

We know, it seems like a lot! Don’t worry though — digital marketing can be as simple or complicated as you make it. You don’t need big bucks to get some benefit, and a lot of the work is in laying a good initial foundation for your business.

Check these steps off your list, and you’re on your way to a digital marketing strategy that gets your amazing product in front of all the right people.

Digital Marketing

Know Your Customer

This one’s true for all marketing, but particularly useful in the digital space. Customers these days are drowning in choices. They can visit any e-shop in the world, all from the comfort of their couch.

With all that competition, you want to make sure your business gets seen by the right people. And to do that, you have to know who those right people are!

Answer these basic questions:

  • Who is my customer? Age, gender, geographic area, spending power, other interests.
  • Where do they spend their time online? Social media, reading blogs, watching videos, nonstop Netflix marathons.
  • Why did they go looking for your product? This is called a pain point, if you want to get jargon-y.

These are just starting points. The best way of figuring out the answers to these questions is by asking a real customer! Maybe you’re a rock star, and you understand every little detail about your customers, but it doesn’t hurt to double check with the real deal.

Create a Social Media Presence

Social MediaOn average, people spend 2.5 hours a day on social media. Let’s make the most of that time.

Since you now know where your customers spend all their time, you should know what social media they use the most! Make sure you set up social media accounts for your business. Even if you don’t post at all, it’s good to at least prevent other people from taking your name.

You SHOULD be posting though, since regular posts and interactions on social media boost your brand awareness and familiarity. On top of getting the word out about your great products, social media lets you interact with customers and your niche community in totally unique ways.

Some quick tips for building your social media presence:

  • Figure out your voice early. Some brands are relaxed and friendly, others are more formal. Whatever tone you decide to use, make sure it stays consistent. Your decision should align with what you just found out about your customers!
  • Find your industry hashtags. Every industry has its own subculture on social media. Try a quick Google of your industry + social media platform, to get an idea of what hashtags, groups, and trends you should be watching.
  • Stay visual. Use as many images and videos as you can. Posts that have accompanying media do better in terms of reach and engagement. Also, it’s just more fun.
  • Engage with your audience. Every now and then, ask a question to your followers. Try and get some dialogue going. People love to be listened to, so when appropriate, tag or reply to other accounts on the platform.

All of this work builds your credibility in the industry, with the added bonus of building a community of loyal customers around your brand.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Have you ever wondered how Google decides what search results to give you? Basically, Google has a complicated algorithm that decides if your site is relevant, easy-to-read, and trustworthy. The better you score on these three categories, the higher up on the page you’ll rank.

Of course, you want to be as close to the top of the search results as possible. Most people don’t bother scrolling to the bottom of page one, much less glimpse page two. To climb to the top of rankings, you’ll need good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on your site.

To improve your SEO, you first have to think about what sorts of things your customer searches for. These search terms are called “keywords.” The more keywords you have in your website content, the better your SEO is. While your content should already have a bunch of important keywords, it doesn’t hurt to have a quick skim through, and make sure that you’re writing about what your customers are looking for.

SEO is a pretty deep topic, and we promised a “quick” guide. So here’s a snapshot of what you need to know.

  • Keywords – You know your customer pretty well by now, right? Think about what they’re Googling, and make sure you’re answering that on your website.
  • Blogs – Google likes sites that are regularly updating with interesting content. For most sites, this means a blog. That’s why you see blogs on everyone’s site nowadays. They help with rankings, and they allow you to put different keywords into your site.
  • Yoast – We could list all the little technical things that go into SEO, (H1 tags, alt text, meta descriptions, etc.) or we could give you the handy dandy tool that spells it out for you. Yoast plugs into websites seamlessly and gives you a foolproof checklist for your pages and posts. Find it in your web host plugin section or right here.

Unlike most things in the digital landscape, SEO takes awhile to show results. Think of it as Google taking a bit of time to get to know your site. Keep at it though, and you’ll see your site climb the rankings soon enough.

Digital Marketing Foundations, Easy After All

That’s it for our quick guide on digital marketing. If you tick off everything on this list, you’re off to a great start in your digital marketing journey.

However, there’s always more you can learn and do to promote your business. Read our Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Tracking, if you want to dive into the wonderful world of digital advertising.

Still got questions? Let’s chat! We’re happy to help.

Pia Lim is a Content and Digital Marketing Specialist at Curve Communications. She’s got a passion for communication. Online or traditional, spoken or written, she’s interested in everything to do with sharing ideas and stories.