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This is a headshot of Sanj Rajput.

Camera, film and movie-making objects on a yellow and black background

 

Videos are a continuously growing segment of the Internet, and one of the most shared content types. You can convey a lot of information and content in a short video and it’s very easy for viewers to digest that content in visual form.

 

There are lots of tips on how to create a great video, and we’re working on a blog post for just that topic in the future, but this article is about how to write a script for your video.

 

A good script is like the outline for a writing project, it keeps all the content focused and logical. A good video script will also help your videographer plan their shoots and prevent any unforeseen issues on shooting day.

 

Taking the time to make a proper script could save you a lot of money in reshoots and paying for missing footage last minute.

 


 

What is a script for a video?

A script is an outline of the scenes (visuals and dialog) in your video. It can be as simple as naming a scene, listing who/what is shown in the scene and listing a location for the shooting in the scene. A more thorough script can include shooting directions and full dialogs for actors in the video.

 

There are lots of different reasons for shooting a video. You could be showing how to unbox, assemble, and setup a product. Your video could be following a staff member, showing a ‘day in the life’ of an employee. Or your video could be a commercial for a service you provide.

 

For our purposes, we’re going to assume you’re making a script for a recruitment video. Hiring talented employees can very competitive and a recruitment video can help increase resumes received on a job posting.

 

A study on CareerBuilder.com revealed that employment postings that contain at least one video receive 12% more views than postings that have no videos. Also, companies can see a 34% increase in applications received after adding a video to a job posting.

 

6 key pieces every recruitment video should have

 

1. An introduction to your business.

Your potential candidate is going to want to know about your actual business. So, make sure your video covers the basics – what do you do, what products do you sell, how long have you been in business, how many employees do you have, etc. You don’t want to give out too much info (don’t bore them to death). Just give enough that it piques their interest in working for your company.

 

2. Business principles you stand for.

Share your company values with potential candidates. If you’re all about giving back to the community, or treating your staff like family, this is the place in the video to let them know. You want to filter out the candidates that aren’t a good feel for your company, so make sure your upfront about your values and principles.

 

3. A day in the life of your employees.

Take the time to show potential job applicants what their job looks like. If they work in an office, show the desks, meeting rooms, breakroom, and cafeteria. If they are going to be working outside, show company vehicles, work being done onsite.

 

4. Employee testimonials/interview.

Have a fun place to work? Do your employees love to go into the office? Get your employees on camera and get them to talk about what they love about the job, how long they’ve worked there, or why they won’t ever leave. It’s important that you use real employees and at least put their first name to show you’re genuine.

 

5. Your company culture.

You’ve already covered your business principles, not let’s focus on the culture. What is the dress code like? Do you all gather around the foosball table for a quick break? Are employees playing board games together at lunch? Whatever your culture is, show it. Again, it’s very important to be as genuine as possible to make sure you get a candidate who will be a great fit.

 

6. Your value proposition.

Why would someone want to work for you? Why would they want to work in this specific role? List any unique and exciting features about the company or role. Have a great benefits package? Are your staff self-made millionaires? Show the enticing reasons to come work for you.

 

Now that you have your key pieces, you need to combine them with some considerations. The next section covers how they work and gives you some examples

 

Items to take into consideration in each scene

Try to use these as often as is reasonably possible. For example, during the scene where you introduce your Business, you should take these into consideration:

 

An Introduction to your Business

  • Physical environment – what areas of our business do we want to show to introduce it?
  • People in action – when we are introducing our business who should do it? Whose voice?
  • Cover the key things your target is looking for – is a parking space important? Show the parking lot etc.

 

As you can see, these considerations would apply to each key scene. Pro tip: Don’t be afraid to combine several considerations into one scene. If you’re trying to show your company culture you could show your staff at concert that you went to together. Now you’ve got the location, people, and why you are unique in one scene. Here is a short list, feel free to add your own (remember to always show what the candidate is looking for):

 

  • Physical environment (factory floor, cafeteria, onsite work)
  • Sound effects (machinery, nature sounds, people chatting)
  • People in action (doing jobs, laughing together, waving goodnight on their way home)
  • Why the company is unique (what makes you different than your competition)
  • Why it’s a great place to work (food and snacks, sleeping pods, pinball arcade)
  • Include the right people (company leadership, a direct peer, someone in a cross functional role)
  • Common interview questions (Can I bring my dog to work? Can I work remotely? Do you have an onsite gym?)
  • What is it like to the work at the company? (People having fun, people collaborating, happy people)
  • What kind of people do well at this company? (Go getters, team players, working long hours alone)
  • Demonstrate authenticity. Every. Chance. You. Get.

 

Now that you have a good idea of what makes a successful recruitment video, let’s look at a sample script. Remember, it can be as informal or formal as you and your videographer want to make it.

 

Sample Recruitment Video Script

 

1. Introduction to the company

 

Visuals

Show the inside/outside of our offices with staff. Show one of our staff onsite working on scaffolding. Show a Canadian flag to highlight that we are 100% Canadian owned. Show our logo in the office and the front sign on our building.

 

Content

We’ve been a 100% Canadian-owned business that treats our staff like family from our start. As we’ve grown, we’ve become in building office towers.”

 

2. Business Principles

 

Visuals

Show the Owner/Management talking. They will be sitting at their desk or in a boardroom together. The whiteboard will contain data or policy they are working on. Show people shaking hands after a deal.

 

Content

"Innovating. Empowering Creativity. Thinking Different. Accepting Challenges. Making Relationships Matter.”

 

3. Company Culture

 

Visuals

show a worker fabricating or working on a building. Show a group of staff having fun together. Show the construction crew having lunch together.

 

Content

“ABC Construction wouldn’t be as successful without our amazing team and the level of craftsmanship they bring to their roles each day.”

 

4. A Day in the Life

 

Visuals

Show a truck leaving to and from a job. Show safety protocols being used (putting on helmet, safety harness). Show work being done on the jobsite. Show workers going home, waving goodbye.

 

Content

“Safe working environment. Outdoors, travel, working at heights. New surroundings form job to job. No two jobs are the same. Challenging opportunities. Problem solving. Views.”

 

5. Employee testimonials/interview

 

Visuals

Informal interviews with some different staff members – in different locations.

 

Content

Have staff give answers to the question ‘why do you like your job?’. Playing music – create a montage. Have text at the end “Our staff love their work, and we love having them work for us.”

 

6. ABC Construction Value Proposition

 

Visuals/Content

Show background moving images, with a graphic overlay showing the most important benefits from this list:

  • Competitive wages with great opportunity for growth
  • Top tier employer paid group benefits
  • Training, development, and career planning
  • Group RRSP Plan with employer matching contributions
  • Per Diem / Living Out Allowance with paid travel time
  • Annual boot and clothing allowance
  • Paid holidays and personal leave days
  • Industry specific PPE provided
  • Employee referral bonus

 

7. Final Scene

Show the best footage we have of construction, workers smiling etc. with music etc. Link to the careers page on the website and email/phone for HR rep.

 


 

Now that you have a great start to your script, sit down with your videographer and start working on storyboards and specific details for shoots.

 

Let us leave with you some final tips that can help:

  • Show the job title of anyone who appears on screen with their name.
  • Keep the video short 3 to 5 minutes MAX (less is better)
  • Keep it genuine!
  • Match the company vibe. Are you fun? Show it!!

 

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This is a headshot of Sanj Rajput.

Grid paper with some text on it surrounded by office objects

 

Writing content for your website can be very intimidating. It’s nothing like writing a report or an essay and it can be very hard for amateur writers to create clear, concise, and easy to read content. Add that you constantly need to keep in mind search engine optimisation, buyer behaviour, and sales and marketing, and suddenly it becomes overwhelming. Content writing is difficult because you need it to create content that resonates.

 

REM has a talented team of writers and an in-house marketing director to make this a lot easier. Just tell us what goal you want to achieve with the content and let us loose. We do the research, analysis, and write the content. REM takes care of the entire content writing process so you can just sit back and relax.

 

However, if you’ve got the time to write your own content, and you enjoy writing, here are some important concepts and tips for tackling your web copy on your own.

 

I want to write content. What skills do I need?

A good piece of content starts with thorough research. As a writer you need to be able to research a topic, filter through the results, and translate those concepts into your writing. All the while, you must keep the reader engaged, no matter how dry the topic.

 

Also, a good writer has great time management skills, self-discipline and should have a good grasp on SEO best practices. This will mean that your content can be leveraged and turned into website visits and sales.

 

Before we start, let’s make a quick distinction

Content writing includes to general categories of writing: copywriting and content marketing. Content marketing includes content like blogs, white papers, and e-books. Copywriting includes website and ad copy.

 

Start strong with a good outline

Got your topic and done the research? You must make sure you’ve worked out answers to the important questions your readers might have while reading your content. Create an outline because it means your writing will be logically structured and easier to follow.

 

Produce content in your own Unique Brand Voice

You’ve worked hard to establish your brand and built a voice that engages your customers. It’s the reason they keep coming back to visit your site! Make sure all your writing uses your brand voice, this is especially important if you have multiple writers working on your site content.

 

Make your headlines compelling

A great headline sets the tone for the entire page of content. Use headlines with instructional phrases such as “you need to” or “what you have to do” as these are very shareable articles on social media. Recent research has shown that the best length for a headline is about 65 characters, around 11 words. Try not to make your headlines too long or too short.

 

Start strong with an amazing introduction

That great headline you wrote got your user to land on your page. Now you have less than 3 seconds to convince them to stay and read more. Make sure your intro grabs their attention, but don’t waffle because the best way to keep them reading is to give them what they came looking for as soon as possible.

 

Use headings to make your content easy to scan

One of my favourite writers has a set of rules she always follows. Rule number one is that people don’t read. She writes all her content under that assumption. Your content should be easily scannable with clear headings and small paragraphs.

 

If you need to discuss multiple key points in one section, you should break them down into subsections or subheadings.

 

There are lots of ways to bust up large blocks of text

You can use headings and bullet lists to break up large amounts of content and make your content easier to scan, but you can also use design elements. Throw in line breaks, white space, images, buttons, icons, charts and graphs, videos, and text call-out boxes to break up big sections.

 

Whenever possible, show proof

Make sure you back up any claims with authentic proof. Show the reader they can trust you with testimonials, statistics, and social proof that supports your claims.

 

Remember that there are hundreds of articles covering the same topics you are writing about. You need to stand out from the crowd with trustworthy content. Link your content to authoritative sources:

  • Mainstream media
  • Government sites
  • Universities
  • High-profile brands
  • Industry experts

 

Finally, if you can, get these legitimate sites to link to your content. The easiest way to show a reader they can trust you is if they are sent to your site by a high-authority site.

 

Link the content to relevant resources

It’s important that you search for content that you can use to reference in each section and subsection of your content. Anytime you mention a concept or use industry terminology, you can link to more detail or source content. This helps your reader better understand the topic and can also help with SEO.

 

Do your research and get your keywords

If you don’t know how to do competitor and industry research to find searchable keywords give REM a call and we can help. Once you have a list, make sure you use those keywords in your content. Remember to target the keywords with the highest volume but lowest competition first!

 

Use bold and internal links to highlight important text

Highlight the important words and phrases in your content so readers (and search engines) know what is important when scanning your page. Always start with the assumption that the reader wants as little information as possible but use links so they can dig deeper into a topic if they want to.

 

Be persuasive and work on their objections

Now that you’re building trust, the next step to converting your reader into a client is to eliminate any objections. Think about what might be stopping that person from clicking the buy button and write your content to overcome those objections. Providing alternative options like payment plans, money-back guarantees, rock-solid warrantees, and free trials can really make the difference.

 

Give the reader something valuable

When you create content, you do it to bring people to your site. You bring them because you want to sell them something, but what do they get in return? Your goal should be to make sure that your readers leave each page with something valuable, especially in a blog. Give them actionable tips, a discount, or other incentive.

 

Call to Action (CTA)

The whole reason we have a website is to make some revenue (sales, donations, sponsorship, advertising, etc.) and you won’t get that revenue unless you ‘ask for the sale’. The simplest way to do this is with a call to action. Place the call wherever your reader might be thinking about a decision – for example, you’ve just explained the 10 reasons to choose you over a competitor – place a ‘request a quote’ button at the bottom of that section.

 

Go back over the content and refine it

It’s good practice to walk away from your work and then come back and look at it with fresh eyes. Even if you only put it aside for an hour or two, it will change your perspective. If possible, have a third party read the article. Now edit the and refine the article, keeping the following in mind:

  • Fix spelling and grammar
  • Make sure the argument flows logically to a conclusion
  • Make sure your brand voice in consistent
  • Re-write anything that seems unclear
  • Look for opportunities to place CTAs and linking within your site
  • Check headings to ensure they contain keywords and describe the section

 

Our final tip: Plan for updates!

The instant you post your content, it starts to get out of date. Information changes by the minute in some industries, so it makes sense to plan some updates. Put a date in your schedule to comeback and review the content. If you have ways for readers to provide feedback (surveys, comments, social media channels), take their feedback into consideration when updating.

 

Summing it all up

Thanks for reading this far! At REM, we love it when people try to improve their websites. In this article, you’ve learned some important tips that will help improve your copywriting, and maybe even your content marketing! Try to implement as many of these tips as you can, but even just doing a handful will make a big difference.

 

If you need help with any of the tips above or would just like REM to help with your content writing or marketing, don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

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This is a headshot of Rob Matlow.

Illustration depicting people using a giant magnet to get customer contacts

 

Sales is a tough thing, and it’s become even harder with the pandemic, we very quickly shifted to a new norm that doesn’t include networking events, face to face human interaction, and honestly, I feel like handshakes are no longer a thing. This is why it’s incredibly important to get ahead of the game when it comes to creating more churn in your sales process. In this article, we’re going to provide you with some knowledge on Lead Magnets, what they are, how they work and pointers on how to get them started.

 


 

What is a Lead Magnet?

 

In a recent article by Will Kenton at Investopedia:

 

“A lead magnet is a marketing term for a free item or service that is given away for the purpose of gathering contact details; for example, lead magnets can be trial subscriptions, samples, white papers, e-newsletters, and free consultations. Marketers use lead magnets to create sales leads. The marketers attempt to convert the leads into paying customers of a product or service, or they may market unrelated offerings to the sales leads.

 

When a customer signs up for a trial version or provides a name and other details for a free sample, they effectively exchange their information for a lead magnet. Sometimes the nature of this exchange is made explicit, but not always. As a result, some types of lead magnets are criticized for their deceptive nature.”

 

How to Set Up a Lead Magnet

If you don’t have someone on your team that knows how to set up a lead magnet that’s okay! We’re here to help. Anita Campbell at BizSugar Blog created a fantastic step-by-step guide to help you start! We’ve pulled some key points from this blog, but be sure to check out the full thing:

 

Create the Lead Magnet

“The first step is to create your lead magnet. A lead magnet is a digital thing — an ebook, template, whitepaper, video course or other item.” This product does not have monetary value, the price is the contact information that you receive that becomes a warm lead.

 

Create a Landing Page

“A landing page is a simple, uncluttered page where people can learn about your lead magnet.The landing page is a place where someone can enter their email address and/or other information you request.”

 

Confirmation

“After the person enters their information and clicks the button, the next step is a thank-you confirmation. You can direct the person to a separate thank-you page. Or there could be a popup message or similar mechanism. Whatever the mechanism, the person entering their information should know:

  • Their request for the lead magnet was successfully submitted.
  • You appreciate it by thanking them.
  • The next steps are outlined (such as “look for an email with a link to confirm” etc.).”

 

Organize Contact Data

“You need a place to store the lead contact information you collect, so you can later use it.  This is another key piece of the system.

 

Some landing pages can be made to integrate with your email marketing software or your CRM system.  This is ideal. Then you don’t have to manually enter contact data into another software application for follow up.”

 

Follow Up

“Create a process to follow up on the leads collected. Usually this includes a sequence of automated emails. The emails are scheduled to go out every few days (or weeks).  Or they may be based on triggers, such as if a person opens a previous email or clicks on a link:

  • Email 1 (after double opting in) might contain a link to download the lead magnet.
  • Email 2 might remind the person if they didn’t click the download link.
  • Email 3 might offer a companion worksheet.
  • Email 4 might share a recent blog post.
  • Email 5 might offer a complimentary webinar.
  • Email 6 might ask if the person would like to speak with a sales rep.
  • Email 7 might be a personalized one-on-one follow-up to introduce yourself.”

 

Promote

“The next step is to get traffic. The more people who get to your landing page, the more leads you will collect. Link to your landing page prominently on various pages of your website and blog.  Highlight it with a popup or alert strip on your site to make sure visitors see it.”

 

As mentioned above these are just the key points for each step, please be sure to check out the full blog here.

 


 

If you would like to know more about how to build out this process, feel free to give us a call or email [email protected]. We have a fantastic marketing team that could provide you some more tips and help you build your Lead Magnet!

 

 

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This is a headshot of Rob Matlow.

Illustration depicting a woman looking at reviews

 

Google reviews today are a gold for business. Think about it, how often to do you read them when deciding whether to do business with a company? Scanning the comments of previous consumers has become one of the first things potential consumers do which means your Google reviews are the most important piece of the puzzle for search engine optimization, marketing, and profitability.

 

Before we get into the meat and bones of this blog, if you haven’t set up a business account with Google, this is probably something you should do! To create your account, follow this link to Google Business.

 


 

According to Rocket Digital,

 

“…the power of the customer testimonial cannot be underestimated in its influence on other potential customers. You can tell me you are nice, and I may believe you. However, if an unbiased third party tells me you are nice, I’d be much more inclined to believe it. In fact, one recent study suggests that customer reviews are the most powerful purchase influence. Another study found that 88% of consumers consult reviews before making a purchase, and yet another study indicated that 63% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a site that has customer reviews.

 

One hesitation businesses have in soliciting online reviews is the fear of receiving a bad review. However, receiving the odd bad review is not necessarily a bad thing. Actively replying to bad reviews and looking to resolve a situation illustrates to your new potential customers that you care about your clients. A study actually found that bad reviews can increase conversion by 67%.”

 

Now that we understand the importance of reviews, we need to talk about Fake reviews, because they do exist. According to Hubspot:

 

82% of consumers have read a fake customer review in the last year. This can be a real problem for brands that rely on third-party review sites, like Google Reviews, to attract new customers. On Google, anyone can write a fake review that goes public instantly upon submission.”

 

So, how do you spot a fake review? HubSpot has created a list of review characteristics to look for to help you determine whether a review is fake or not:

  1. Pay attention to the details in the review.
  2. Look at the complexity of words.
  3. Check for repeated exclamation points.
  4. Examine the reviewer's name and avatar.
  5. Flag reviews without comments.
  6. See if the reviewer has reviewed other businesses.
  7. Look at how frequently the reviewer leaves reviews.

Once you do spot a review, HubSpot has provided a plan of action for you to remedy the issue:

  1. Determine if the customer review is fake.
  2. Log into Google My Business.
  3. Navigate to the reviews tab.
  4. Select the review(s) you'd like to flag.
  5. Choose the 'flag as inappropriate' option.
  6. Complete the follow-up survey.
  7. Respond to the customer review

This may seem discouraging to business owners who either have Google business accounts set up or are in the process of setting one up, but if you carefully monitor your reviews, it can definitely lead to a positive impact on your business.

 

You also may find comfort in knowing that Small Business Trends reported that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is:

 

“…sending out Notice of Penalty Offenses. The Notice of Penalty Offenses enables the FTC to seek penalties against a company that it knows has been unlawful in a previous FTC administrative order, other than a consent order.

 

The notice warns a business of unlawful practices relating to the use of endorsements and testimonials. The notice informs a business that it could incur significant civil penalties – up to $43,792 per violation – if they use dishonest endorsement.”

 


 

In Conclusion

Consumer reviews are an extremely valuable source for lead generation, brand awareness, and overall insight into your business. Here are some tips provided by Google Business Profile Help on how to get reviews:

 

“You can request reviews from customers through a short URL that’s specific to your business. To get reviews on Google, encourage your customers to spread the word about your business with these best practices:

 

  • Verify your business so your information is eligible to appear on Maps, Search, and other Google services. Only verified businesses can respond to reviews.
  • Remind customers to leave reviews. Let them know that it’s quick and easy to leave business reviews on their mobile device or computer. You can also create and share a link that customers can click to leave a review.
  • Reply to reviews to build your customers' trust. Your customers will notice that your business values their input. If you read and reply to their reviews, customers may leave more reviews in the future.

 

Reviews are most valuable when they’re honest and unbiased. For example, business owners shouldn't offer incentives to customers in exchange for reviews. Customers should always follow our posting guidelines. You can request to remove a review if it’s inappropriate or violates our policies.”

 

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This is a headshot of Sanj Rajput.

Holiday gifts, pine branches and ornaments on a wooden background

 

Common knowledge says that you’re marketing for the Christmas holiday season should really have begun months and months ago, back in August or September. However, sometimes you don’t have the time or get too busy and end up needing some last-minute holiday marketing ideas that you can put into place quickly and with relative ease.

 

The good thing is that surveys show that approximately 43% of shoppers make their final purchase decisions in the last three days before Christmas (Shopify survey in 2020). We’ve put together some ideas that you can put into place or ask your REM Sales Rep for how we can help implement these marketing ideas for your company.

 

Email Marketing

Do you have a list of email contacts already setup for your customers? Are you already sending out regular email newsletters? If your answer is yes, then send them some email marketing!

  • Emails are easy to create and fast to send out, just theme them around the holidays.
  • Emails are a great way to offer specials or discounts to your existing leads – e.g., Create a daily email campaign with a different discount or offer each days themed around ‘the 12 days of Christmas’.
  • If you’re worried about it being too late, you can use email marketing to lay the groundwork for post-Christmas sales like boxing day, or even specials in the New Year.

 

Support a Non-Profit

Connect with a local charity that aligns with your company values and show them some love over the holiday season.

  • Start a fundraiser or campaign to give back to your local community.
  • Supporting a charity is a great way to show you are involved. E.g., You could contact your local Food Bank and setup a collection drive with your customers dropping off food at your retail location.
  • Try a Buy and Share program where you donate something to a charity each time someone makes a purchase from you. My personal favourite is the company that I purchase my dog leashes from. When I place an order, they donate an identical leash to an animal shelter.

 

Run Targeted Holiday Ads

Google AdWords are a very cost-effective way to be seen in search results.

  • It’s not too late to get an AdWords campaign up and running. In fact, REM can have your campaign started with 2 business days!
  • Make sure you theme your ads around the holidays: Offer discounts or sale prices to thousands of Google searchers, but only pay for the ones that click your ad.
  • Use retargeting ads to remind people who have already been to your site to come back and complete the purchase.

 

Spoil Your Existing Customers

Businesses get obsessed with acquiring new customers doing the holiday season and often forget to reward their existing clientele. Show your existing customers some love! They’ve supported you all year long.

  • How about a customer appreciation gift for the holidays? Just make sure it’s something they will enjoy and use.
  • Send out a holiday card. Wishing existing clients, a safe and happy holiday season is an easy way to stay top-of-mind.
  • Offer existing clients a special reward/offer for making purchases during the holidays. If you really want to leverage this tip, make the reward redeemable on a future purchase in January or February.

 

Host a Holiday Contest

Contests can be a fun way to boost engagement and sales. There are a lot of contests being run during the holiday seasons, so make sure you find ways to make yours unique and that it resonates with your clients.

  • Give away a product or gift card and feature the winning customer on your website.
  • Have an ugly sweater contest and get clients to send in pictures on a social media channel.
  • Gather user-generated content by asking clients to ‘Tell us your favourite Christmas memory’.
  • Make sure you set a clear goal and entice the audience with a desirable prize. Check any local/provincial laws regarding your contest and include all the rules on your site.

 

Create a Holiday Version of Your Logo

Get in touch with your designer and have them add some festive flair to your company logo.

  • Add some holly or berries, maybe some Christmas lights?
  • Let your logo show a little bit of your holiday fun side and your personality.
  • Use the logo in your email signature, on your website, on your social media channels.

 

Decorate Your Social Media Channels

Speaking of social media channels, the holidays are a great time to sprinkle some fun and update your social media graphics.

  • Share holiday themed graphics on your social channel.
  • Update profile pics, add put up your new holiday logo version.
  • Try to show your own products or services in a holiday setting
  • E.g., if you’re a baker, show your pies or cakes on a table set for the holidays. If you sell a product, show people opening it around the tree.
  • Remember to keep it tasteful and try to follow your branding.

 

Shoot a Holiday Themed Video Campaign

Video can be created and posted quickly, and it’s engaging and easily shared on social media.

  • Use your video to describe a product or service that you are promoting.
  • Give a behind the scenes look at your business. Take the camera a do a ‘day in the life of’ video for one of your staff.
  • Take one of your most popular blog topics and transform it into a video.
  • Just make sure the video has a festive or holiday theme. Choose music and graphics that match.

 

Redesign Your Website

Need a great web design company to help with this one? We happen to know an amazing design team.

  • Add holiday and festive elements to your website.
  • Can be as simple as some snow in your website footer or header or some Christmas lights in your banner.
  • Again, just keep it tasteful and in keeping with your brand. Also, keep an eye on the page load speed; there’s no point in adding graphics if it makes the page too slow to load.

 

 

REM's Holiday-themed homepage in a laptop screen

 

Get started on your amazing new website design today!

Check out our Holiday-Themed Home Page

 

 

Festive Blog Posts

Everyone knows that content is king in the world of Search Engine Optimisation. You should already be blogging, but how about throwing out a few holidays themed blogs?

  • Offer expert advice or guides and tutorials on various holiday related topics.
  • Holiday gift ideas, recipes, or a listicle (an article based on a lists).
  • Share these posts on your social media as well.

 

Do Some Live Video

If you’ve got the time, your clients will love a chance to see what you are up to during the holidays. It helps if you’ve already been doing this to build up a viewership, but it also doesn’t hurt to start now if you haven’t.

  • Try doing some live video on Periscope or Facebook Live.
  • Do a ‘day in the life of’ video and follow one of your staff around, just remember it’s live so be careful of language and what you show in the background.
  • Do an in-depth interview with a staff member or member of the local community.
  • How about an unboxing of your product, showing how to assemble it for Christmas morning?

 

Prepare for Increased Communications

So, we’ve been having a lot of fun, but we also have some more serious items you should be working on. The holiday season means an increase in sales and traffic, but it can also be a burden on small businesses. Help yourself and your staff out by doing the following:

  • As early as possible, state a clear refund/exchange policy on your website and social media channels.
  • List delivery times and deadlines for orders and clearly state your hours on Christmas eve, Christmas Day, etc.
  • Make an FAQ available to handle common requests on your website and your social media.
  • Have a system in place to handle requests and concerns over social media and other channels. Make sure someone is monitoring all of your communication channels and is able to respond. The last thing you want is a bad review or upset customer to get ignored during the rush.

 

Take Time to Check Out the Competition

One last serious item before we go. This is the time of year that you should have a very close eye on your industry and your competition.

  • What are the leaders in your industry doing? Don’t have time to copy it this year? Save the info so you can get an early start next year (put it in your calendar now).
  • Look at your competitors. What digital channels are they using? If they have ads running, save a copy of the wording etc. Remember to look at your successful competitors and their holiday campaigns, you won’t have time for everything.
  • What creative ideas are they using? Save all of these for inspiration next year.

 

We hope you found this guide helpful. If you take anything away from this post, remember that it’s never too late to do a little holiday marketing and that REM can help you get it done professionally and at a reasonable cost.

 

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Illustration depicting people in a virtual reality world

 

At first when I heard that Mark Zuckerberg was renaming Facebook to Meta, I thought it was purely cosmetic, you know… like a stage name for a rapper an example being: Puff Daddy changed his name to Puffy, then Diddy, and all his other aliases. I quickly realized that there was a lot more going on, it as all over the news and a lot of chatter online about this “Meta” name change. So, I took to my trusty Google search bar, and was astonished at what I found, and honestly, I’m still shocked and still trying to make sense of it all – which thankfully is normal.

 

“Meta” Comes from Metaverse

The first thing that I learned was that the name “Meta” was inspired by the idea of building the Metaverse, there was a lot of information out there about the Metaverse, however Investopedia was the one to make the most sense of it for me:

 

“The metaverse is a digital reality that combines aspects of social media, online gaming, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and cryptocurrencies to allow users to interact virtually. Augmented reality overlays visual elements, sound, and other sensory input onto real-world settings to enhance the user experience. In contrast, virtual reality is entirely virtual and enhances fictional realities. 

 

As the metaverse grows, it will create online spaces where user interactions are more multidimensional than current technology supports. Instead of just viewing digital content, users in the metaverse will be able to immerse themselves in a space where the digital and physical worlds converge.”

 

What does this mean for Facebook?

Now that we kind of understand what a Metaverse is, what does this have to do with Facebook? Well, once again Investopedia came to the rescue:

 

“Facebook has been talking metaverse for a while, noting in an Oct. 17, 2021, press release that the metaverse is "a new phase of interconnected virtual experiences using technologies like virtual and augmented reality. At its heart is the idea that, by creating a greater sense of "virtual presence," interacting online can become much closer to the experience of interacting in person."

 

Interest in the metaverse is expected to grow substantially as investors and companies want to be a part of what could be the next big thing. The metaverse is "going to be a big focus [of Facebook's], and I think that this is just going to be a big part of the next chapter for the way that the internet evolves after the mobile internet," Zuckerberg told technology site The Verge before announcing the name change. "And I think it's going to be the next big chapter for our company too, really doubling down in this area."

 

What does this mean for Us?

The creation of Metaverse changes the way we do business and how we operate as consumers. Forbes explains why this is such a big deal:

 

“Companies will need to transition their marketing strategies from online ad buys to existing in a shared, virtual economy. Companies will need to do market research on their new customers in the metaverse. How people act and what their preferences are in the metaverse could be totally different than how they behave and what they shop for in real life. Add to that the layer of business to robot to consumer, where virtual assistants and robots own the relationship with the consumer and it all starts to make sense. 

 

While there are sure to be ads in the metaverse, brands can actually be part of creating the metaverse itself. Frederic Descamps, CEO of Manticore games said, “Even in [the film] ‘Ready, Player, One,’ who actually made the Metaverse there? It will be all about the act of creation.” Brands should approach this with responsibility and ethics and not make our world one giant ad. This is of the utmost importance.”

 


 

In Conclusion

Life as we know it will be very different with Meta paving the way to a Metaverse. Businesses will once again need to adapt. In the meantime, keep an eye out for news on the Metaverse, the more you know, the more opportunities will present themselves for your products and services. There isn’t much information available out right now as Mark Zuckerberg and the Meta team pushes new technological boundaries.

 

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Illustration depicting hands exchanging cash

 

Can you remember the last time you used cash to purchase something? Honestly, I can’t. Unless I happen to come across change in the house or in my car, plastic has officially become my primary method of payment. With the onset of COVID-19, many consumers were forced to make the shift to using plastic vs cash to limit the spread of the virus, and with this came a monumental shift in society, as well as a change in consumer behaviour. 

 


 

According to Statistics Canada:

 

82% of Canadians shopped online in 2020, versus 73% in 2018.

Canadians spent a total of $84.4 billion online, versus $57.4 in 2018.

 

Canadians who shopped online

  • 90% of those 15 to 24 years old
  • 95% of those 25 to 44 years old
  • 83% of those 45 to 64 years old
  • 55% of those 65 years old and over

 

What did Canadians buy online in 2020?

  • 68% bought digital goods or services
  • 76% bought physical goods
  • 9% bought peer-to-peer accommodation services
  • 49% bought other services

 

Physical goods by subscription

  • 16% of Canadians had an online subscription for physical goods: 7% for meal kits boxes. 5% for groceries such as food or beverages. 9% for other physical goods.

 

Did you know?

13% of Canadians ordered groceries online for the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic. 9% bought other physical goods online for the first time.


With the increase in online purchasing across a wide variety of goods and services, it’s important to re-evaluate your business offerings, perhaps you’re missing out because you don’t offer the option of online purchasing. 


In addition to the consumer behavioural benefits, the balance have summarized a few business-related benefits of a cashless society:

 

Benefits of a Cashless Society

Those with the technological ability to take advantage of a cashless society will likely find that it's more convenient. As long as you have your card or phone, you have instantaneous access to all your cash holdings. Convenience isn't the only benefit. Here are some other benefits.

 

Lower Crime Rates

Carrying cash makes you an easy target for criminals. Once the money is taken from your wallet and put into a criminal's wallet, it'll be difficult to track that cash or prove that it's yours. One study by American and German researchers found that crime in Missouri dropped by 9.8% as the state replaced cash welfare benefits with Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards.

 

Automatic Paper Trails

Similarly, financial crime should also dry up in a cashless society. Illegal transactions, such as illegal gambling or drug operations, typically use cash so that there isn't a record of the transaction and the money is easier to launder. Money laundering becomes much harder if the source of funds is always clearly identifiable. It is harder to hide income and evade taxes when there’s a record of every payment you receive.

 

Cash Management Costs Money

Going cashless isn't just convenient. It costs money to print bills and mint coins. Businesses need to store the money, get more when they run out, deposit cash when they have too much on hand, and in some cases, hire companies to transport cash safely. Banks hire large security teams to protect branches against physical banks' robberies. Spending time and resources moving money around and protecting large sums of cash could become a thing of the past in a cashless future.

 

International Payments Become Much Easier

When you travel, you may need to exchange your dollars for local currency. However, if you're traveling in a country that accepts cashless transactions, you don't need to worry about how much of the local currency you'll need to withdraw. Instead, your mobile device handles everything for you.

 

In addition to the above benefits, AppDirect noted the benefit of:

 

Accounting Peace of Mind

Going cashless may allow you to automate specific accounting and bookkeeping tasks. This automation can be especially welcome when filing taxes because all the transaction data, including sales tax information, is organized and at your fingertips.

 

You can also send transaction data to other tools or databases to improve customer service, product selection, or marketing.

 

You can import transactions into your accounting software, which can assist with record-keeping and give you easy access to profit data. Automation can help reduce human error that is always possible with traditional accounting.

 

Not only does this save time and keep you from having to retain a professional accountant, but it also provides peace of mind in the knowledge that all the information that you could need is available and properly organized.

 


 

In Conclusion

If you think it’s time to make the switch, or are unsure whether you can, give us a call!

 

At REM Web Solutions, we acknowledge and understand the shift toward a cashless society can be very daunting. We have created tools such as our ecommerce module and others to help you navigate the waters to best position your business to adapt to the new cashless society we have become. 

 

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Woman using a smartphone

 

Oh no! Another thing to learn? When it comes to marketing tactics, there’s always something to learn, and today’s lesson… UGC Marketing.

 

What is UGC?

“User-generated content (UGC) is any content—text, videos, images, reviews, etc.—created by people, rather than brands. And brands will often share UGC on their own social media accounts, website, and other marketing channels. (source)

 

For many brands, Instagram is the primary platform for UGC. Users create and share posts featuring your brand, exposing your products and services to their audience. Better yet, you can share that content with your own audience, boosting your credibility in the process.”

 

Authenticity

“Consumers are 2.4 times more likely to view user-generated content as authentic compared to content created by brands. That offers brands an important credibility boost, since most people say less than half of brands create authentic content.”

 

It’s incredibly important to create moments and capture them for potential customers. There was a time when Google reviews were the be all end all of decision making – however now,

consumers are looking for peer experience to drive buy in to products and services. Having an authentic presence is key.

 

Trust

“Whether it’s a product, a service, or an experience, modern consumers want to know what they’re going to get before they order. For example, 30 percent of millennials would not go to a restaurant if the location’s Instagram presence was not up to snuff. They just don’t trust that the experience would be what they are looking for.

 

Keep in mind that those diners are checking the restaurant’s own profile and content from other customers.

 

It’s all about creating trust. A full 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from people they know, and 70 percent trust online consumer opinions.”

 

Having your product and services available to the rest of the world via social media is important yes, but having someone visually represent the benefits of them is gold.

 

Purchasing Decisions

“All of the preceding benefits of user-generated content really lead up to this one: the impact on purchasing decisions. And it’s a biggie. Nearly 80 percent of people say UGC has a high impact on their purchasing decisions.

 

Don’t forget Instagram Stories when sharing user-generated content designed to drive purchases. Combining the immediacy of Stories with the staying power of Highlights, you can create a lasting album that lets potential buyers keep watching for as long as they need to feel comfortable heading to your website to buy.”

 


 

How to Use UGC on Social Media

 

According to HootSuite, here are 3 key ways:

 

Create Brand Desire

Humans are by nature an envious bunch. Sharing exceptional user-generated content is a great way to spark brand desire. For tourism and lifestyle brands, it’s especially powerful to showcase your destination through a visitor’s lens.

 

Showcase and Inspire Brand Loyalty

Creating desire is all about getting people to experience your brand for the first time. Building brand loyalty is about fostering long-term relationships that result in multiple sales over time.

People who create and share user-generated content are likely to be among your biggest fans.

 

They have probably bought from you more than once. If they have only made one purchase, it was probably a meaningful one. UGC allows you to harness that brand excitement and foster a sense of ongoing loyalty in people who may be less familiar with your brand.

 

Build Content Library

It can be a constant challenge to create new, fresh, great-looking content for your social media channels. User-generated content campaigns are a way to help build out your content library so you’ve always got relevant material to share.

 


 

Best Practice Rules to Follow

 

Get Permission

“As shown above, a branded hashtag is a great way to collect user-generated content. However, it’s a good idea to ask for permission even when a post includes your tag.

 

Hashtags can sometimes take on a life of their own, and people may use your branded hashtags without necessarily knowing you’ve tied them to a user-generated content campaign. Re-sharing that content without explicit permission is a sure-fire way to kill goodwill and annoy some of your best band advocates.”

 

Give Credit Where Credit is Due

“When you share user-generated content on your social media channels, make sure to give clear credit to the original creator. Tag them directly in the post. Indicate whether you’re using their visuals, their words, or both. “

 

Offer Something in Return

“If you want fans and followers to provide you with user-generated content, you have to offer them something in return. A social media contest can be a great way to bring in a substantial amount of UGC quickly.”

 

For more detailed information on all of the above, feel free to read the full Hootsuite article. An additional resource can be found at Convince&Convert.

 

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I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely the type of individual who takes personal referrals very seriously. Yes, Google reviews are fantastic, but I strongly believe that personal opinions hold a greater value when making purchasing decisions. That being said, as a business, you can definitely use this to your advantage. If you don’t have one already, implementing a referral program for your products or services could be a great way to build business and keep existing clients happy.

 

According to Kabbage American Express, referral programs are great for cash flow for the following reasons:

 

Increased customer base

A larger customer base means an increase in cash flow. If people are referring others to you, you’re going to get more exposure to leads.

 

According to the New York Times, around 65% of new business/customers generally comes from referrals.

 

That means more than half of your customers could be coming in via referral.

 

Better leads

Some of the best customers you may ever get are those who are referred to you. A referred person may have been sent to you solely because someone knew they needed the service or product you provided. Because your customer has specifically sent their friend to you, there is some level of built-in trust.

 

In fact, according to Nielson, “84% of people trust recommendations from people they know. Making them the most influential form of advertising.”

 

Better for your marketing budget

A referral program can be a great way to effectively promote your business without having to go overboard on the budget. It’s relatively inexpensive to get started and to maintain. And even if you offer a discount or a cash reward, you’ll still be able to make more than you spend.

 

So how to do you promote referrals to your customers? There are lots of ways and Kabbage has outlined them for us:

 

Incentives:

 

Cash/Gift Card

This is great for all business types but especially for those who sell a one time buy item, like a car or mattress.

 

In store credit

If you have a business where people may buy from you multiple times, like an ecommerce or service-type business, you can offer credit or a discount. This can keep customers happy enough to keep spending money at your business.

 

Special perks

Think of a VIP club, or a group who gets offered all the best or new products first. You could even offer special treatment for referring members – like a special parking spot or an early access party.

 

Entry for a drawing

This can be a good one for any business, but can be even more rewarding for businesses with repeat customers as they will be incentivized to purchase more if it means they will acquire another entry. However, the reward has to be pretty outstanding in this sense, like concert tickets or something else of value.

 

Use provoking headlines

You need to grab the attention of your customers. You can do this by using punchy and short sentences that are easy to understand.

 

Don’t overcomplicate the process

If you make the process of referring overcomplicated, it can deter people from sharing. So, you’ll want to be sure that once your customers are in the zone to refer, they are able to do so quickly and easily.

 

Provide clear messaging

Again, this can’t be mentioned enough. If there is any confusion on what the customer or their referral has to do, they will likely give up before trying.

 

So be sure to provide very clear and direct messaging. Don’t scare them with a bunch of confusing wording, or a long list of jumbled instructions.

 

Show your appreciation

This is one important aspect of a referral program that unfortunately can be easy to overlook.

 

You may be thinking, you got the referral, and the customer got their reward. But, if you want to keep this relationship alive and in good health, you’ll want to thank your customers for their efforts in referring.

 

When using a referral program correctly, you have the opportunity to increase your cash flow significantly and here are the stats to prove it:

  1. B2B marketers said the average conversion rate (from generating leads to converting sales) was 11% for referrals. Referrals beat all the other marketing channels by big margins when it comes to conversion rates. (Marketo)

  2. Customers referred by other customers have a 37% higher retention rate. (Deloitte)

  3. 55% of B2Bs with referral programs believe that their sales efforts are “highly effective,” compared to 35% of companies without referral programs. (Influitive)

  4. Referred customers have a 16% higher lifetime value. (DCR Strategies)

  5. Referred customers are about 18% more likely to stay rather than other customers. (Straight Talk about Word-of-mouth Marketing – Wharton)

 

If you’re trying to increase your cash flow, we definitely suggest implementing a referral program, it’s a great way to tap into markets that you didn’t know existed and reach customers organically. If you’re looking for help on how to start, give us a shout, we’ll help you get started!

 

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It’s much easier to sell to existing customers than brand new ones, there’s no question about that. But if you don’t have a plan in place on how to implement strategies towards creating opportunities for repeat business, Small Business Trends has compiled a comprehensive list for you:

 


 

Stay in Touch with The Customers Your Already Have

 

Ivana S. Taylor is the CEO at DIYMarketers.com. She says getting repeat business is about being thorough.

 

“Getting repeat business is an exercise in staying top-of-mind with your customers.  The best way to do that is to send emails to existing customers about any special offers that you have,” she says.  “If you have the kind of business where your customers appreciate appointment reminders this is a great opportunity to use text messaging.”

 

Email newsletter platforms like our Newsletter module are a great way to stay in touch through email marketing and get repeat business.

 

Create Memberships

This is an outstanding way to increase the number of loyal customers. Creating an offer that brings in more business can be as simple as a free meal with a discount for a second person for membership in a restaurant.

 

“This will incent the current customer to come back and bring a new customer with them,” Taylor says.

 

Provide Excellent Service

Having a good customer relationship team can mean the difference between a one off and repeat business. For many small businesses, how you talk to the customer is just as important as what you say. It’s important to stay away from jargon and use a friendly even tone.

 

Even a customer with some kind of issue who is dealt with properly can become a repeat client.

 

Ask for Feedback

Using surveys is one of the best ways to find out what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong so customers come back. There are a variety of other methods you can use.

 

Get Customer Contact Info

Robert Brady is the Founder of Righteous Marketing. He supplied some excellent tips.

“Getting customer information allows you to send tips for using the product as well as marketing messages around upcoming sales, new product launches, related products, etc.,” he says.

 

Host Customer-Only Events

Inviting your customers that spend the most to attend will make them feel special. Try using a modern online platform like GoToWebinar.

 

Create a Loyalty Program

“This could be as low tech as a punch card (i.e., buy 5, get the next one free) or as high-end as a branded app,” Brady says.  “If you’re going to reward any customers, it should be your most loyal.”

 

Stay Active in Social Media

Keeping an active presence in social media will help to keep your brand in your customer’s thoughts. Video is one of the perfect formats to use and making a series of behind-the-scenes videos showing the inner workings of your firm is trending.

 

Offer a Community Incentive

Texting your clients after they’ve used your services and offering to donate a small amount to charity for their feedback is another good idea. It helps people to feel connected and leaves them with a good impression of your small business at the same time.

 


 

In Conclusion

Building relationships with your customers is key, and when you take the time to ensure that your clients feel like they are part of a community, they are informed on business offerings, and believe in the products and services that you provide, building out a plan for repeat business becomes an integral part of your company’s revenue stream.

 

Knowing your customer and their business needs is critical, it provides you with the endless opportunities to maintain the relationship and keep your clients excited, while opening up the doors to helping them improve their business.

 

If you’re looking for ways to reach your existing clients, feel free to reach out to us, at REM Web Solutions we take pride in the relationships that we’ve built with our customers and we’re always here to help, we have a suite of tools available that can help you grow your business.

 

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