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Instagram Has Added a New Feature!

Instagram Has Added a New Feature!

Instagram has added a new feature! Instagram Reels act as a response to the recent success of the popular app, TikTok. Operating the same way, they are easily digestible pieces of content that can be watched at a quick pace. With the launch of a new feature, the perfect response is “how can we use this to benefit our business?”. No need to worry! We here at Waves Digital will break down Instagram Reels, including how to make them, and we’ll help give you ideas on how to implement this new aspect into your current social media ecosystem.

So… Why does this new feature exist? Well, Instagram’s parent company, Facebook has made many different moves in the past to replicate competitors’ most successful features. The introduction of IGTV was a response to YouTube’s success. And Instagram stories as a whole are something that was copied from Snapchat. Facebook has been known to do moves like this in the past, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that they’d do it again! Even though it is a clone concept, that doesn’t mean it won’t succeed. Instagram stories have become such a staple to the platform, causing the original Snapchat stories feature to become far more obsolete. Instagram has had success with this in the past, and if they deal the cards right, this feature will also become a main feature on the platform.

These videos are very easily created, and can be made in the same way stories are, by clicking on your profile on the top right corner of the main screen. The concept is slightly different from TikTok, as it limits the videos to 15 seconds, rather than the 1 minute limit on the popular app. This small time period is all you have to make your marketing stand out. This is much closer to the old Twitter-owned application, Vine, which kept videos to a 7-second limit.

So, as a marketing agency, how could we use this app? Well, for creatives, you can create a sped-up design process! Record your work on Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop and speed it up to fit the 15 second time limit. If your business isn’t on the creative team, you could do quick 15 second dances or fun workplace showcases that can overall add more personality to your team as a whole! The content created can also be posted on similar platforms such as TikTok and Twitter, where bite-sized content is easily digested!

Overall, this new feature is likely here to stay, and there are tons of different ways it can be implemented! While it’s still fresh in the minds of consumers, now is the perfect time to get a jumpstart on the concept, who knows, it might be what you need to put your business on the map!

Instagram’s official announcement “https://about.instagram.com/blog/announcements/introducing-instagram-reels-announcement/”

Ways to Boost E-Commerce Sales

Ways to Boost E-Commerce Sales

Today, the Internet is recognized as one of the best platforms to capture a large following and increase customer base. Regardless of whether you have been in business for a long time or recently joined the business world, you will benefit from e-commerce sales. More than ever, having an online presence is so important to get your company’s name known, so using online channels for sales is crucial if you want to generate significant returns.

That said, selling online is much easier said than done, and with tons of other businesses doing the same thing, the competition is undeniably tough. Increasing sales online requires more than having a well-designed website for your e-commerce store as you also have to employ proper strategies to get your desired results. Fortunately, there are many ways in which you can boost your e-commerce sales. It comes with a challenge, but this does not mean that it is impossible, nor does it mean that you have to go through painstaking lengths!

Use Customer Testimonials

Building trust with your consumers is important to boosting customer loyalty, and one way you can do this is by displaying testimonials on your site. Testimonials and online reviews serve as “social proof” that your company offers quality products and services. These are so influential that nearly 95% of online shoppers start by looking at reviews before deciding to purchase a product. 

Try to reach out to some of your loyal customers, ask for a testimonial, and then place them on your website’s landing pages. With testimonials, customers are not limited to speaking about a specific product as they talk about your company’s brand. Make sure to include the name and photo of whoever wrote the testimonial, provided that you got permission. Doing so can create an even bigger impact as readers are more likely to trust in the words of a testimonial if they can identify the writer as a real person.

Improve Customer Service

Now that technology and automation are rampant, you can utilize chatbots and other engagement tools to improve your customer service. In the world of e-commerce, customer service will be one of your best marketing assets since shoppers are always looking for brands that can cater to their concerns. If possible, set up a live chat option that allows your agents to talk to customers directly, so they can answer questions immediately and without delay.

Retarget Visitors

Many times, users may visit your site or click an ad to your site but do not necessarily convert into customers. This group of people presents a massive opportunity for you as you can leverage on this by retargeting them. Through analytics, you can track your site visitors and see who made a purchase and who did not. With this information, you can then work on targeting your ads towards these people. 

You can even incorporate psychological marketing strategies, such as the scarcity principle, by offering these users a limited-time discount if they clicked on your social media ad. In other cases, users may leave after adding an item to their cart, so you can retarget them by offering a small discount if they finish their purchase. Overall, the goal is to increase your exposure as much as possible. It is a known fact that customers will not always buy the first time, or maybe even the second time, but the more visible you are, the higher the chances that a customer will purchase.

Accept Many Payment Options

Now that online selling has become a norm, it is important that you accept different payment options to accommodate many customers. If you tie yourself down to accepting, say, Visa or MasterCard, then you lose out on potential sales from customers using debit cards or merchants like PayPal. The last thing you want is an interested customer who is ready to check out, only to find that his or her preferred payment option is not available. 

Optimize for Mobile

Among the many people who shop online, a large chunk of them use their mobile devices. After all, browsing through products on your phone is extremely convenient. As such, you must ensure that your website design is optimized and responsive to mobile. You may have the best interface and user experience on desktop, but if you cannot deliver the same to mobile devices, then you miss out on a huge opportunity for sales. Thus, make sure you test out your design on different devices to ensure that you provide the same user-friendly interface on all of them.

Offer Promotions

Holiday seasons are the best time to offer promotions as they are the peak times when customers shop for items. Capitalize on the fact that many people look at online stores during this time since malls tend to be crowded. Give out some of your best offers, such as flash sales or massive discount codes, to get as many sales as possible within that time frame. 

How To Market Your Small Business

How To Market Your Small Business

Starting up a small business is a huge challenge as it involves procuring the funds to start operations and filling in gaps in the workload with the limitations of a small staff. Without an investor or source of substantial finances, you may experience difficulty in leveraging your business and bringing in sales. As with any other business, you will undoubtedly benefit from a marketing strategy that bridges the gap between your audience, platform, and overarching goals. 

Unlike traditional businesses that can go all-out with marketing efforts, small businesses need to be strategic in keeping costs low and results high. Generally, you want to focus on pushing your brand name out there by utilizing as many platforms that your team can manage. It is a multi-level process that, when executed correctly, will bring in consumers and revenue. 

Create A Marketing Plan 

The first step to marketing your small business is to create a plan. It can be as simple or as complex as you want but ensure that it focuses on three main themes: the brand, the brand position, and the target market. Forcing your team to spend time thinking about the business’ brand strategy will enable you to create a brand or product’s foundation, which will eventually springboard to bigger marketing and advertising decisions. 

By understanding what your brand is truly about and what it aims to achieve, you can narrow down your target market, and from there, decide how to market your business. For instance, if you are opening a theme cafe, then your demographic market will likely be teens to young adults. Knowing this information is crucial in understanding which social media platforms to focus on, how fun the brand voice can be, what kind of designs you can use, and more. 

Set Up An Online Identity 

People of all ages are highly dependent on the convenience of digital platforms, especially in the decision-making process. As a result, it is pertinent for small businesses to set up a digital footprint. Even if you are aiming to sell your products or services to an older demographic, your business has to be searchable online for consumers to access customer service or information-driven functions. 

The very core of your business’ online identity is a website — a business domain is relatively low-cost and an effective way to ensure online engagement. You may have to pay for a web designer, but if you are on a tight budget, then you can look into a free website builder for the meantime. 

Apart from creating a website, the best free marketing platform you can utilize is social media. Whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or TikTok, you can directly communicate with your market, take feedback, respond to queries, and generate conversations and reactions. These are important in keeping your business relevant and processing feedback for later improvement. 

Search Engine Optimization 

The extent by which you can use the digital realm as a free marketing tool does not end with social media. You can look into search engine optimization (SEO) functions to bring traffic to your website. Consider using Google AdWords to target an interested audience through keyword optimization, a strategy that benefits large corporations and small businesses. Most companies create a blog section on their websites to centralize traffic generation. Focus on creating high-quality content, use titles that pack a punch, and keep a minimum of 1,000 to 1,500 words to fall higher on the Google search engine. 

However, much like advertising, SEO is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Depending on the type of services that you offer and the demographic that you are targeting, an entire blog section on the business’ website may not be necessary. Look into alternative solutions such as SEO through social media, and print and video content. 

Establish A Local Presence 

A fault that many small business owners make is utilizing a strategy that is too ambitious. There is nothing wrong with dreaming big and putting in strong marketing efforts, but it is sometimes more beneficial to start small and then make your way up. Establishing a local presence is a great way to spread word-of-mouth about your brand and get some of your first customers. It is as simple as letting friends and family know that you opened a small business. Word will eventually spread, and sometimes, a local audience is enough to keep small businesses afloat for years. 

In consideration of a more tightly-knit consumer base, you can utilize traditional marketing strategies, depending on your business. For instance, if you opened a small cafe, handing out coupons or discount codes can bring customers. On the other hand, if you start a beauty supply business online, you can offer wholesale prices to local brick-and-mortar stores. 

The possibilities of marketing small businesses are endless. Think outside of the box and be as creative and loud as possible to get people talking. Eventually, you will be able to generate a loyal consumer base, expand your business, and move on to higher-level marketing strategies. 

If you’re looking for help marketing your small business be sure to connect with us via our chatbot, by email at info@wavesdigitalca.com or over the phone.

Summer, the Time to Relax, Unwind, and House Hunt!

Summer, the Time to Relax, Unwind, and House Hunt!

Summer is here, and that means cold drinks, camping trips, and hot weather. But what’s a good summer without the right place to stay? We’re here to help! We’ve compiled a list of 5 unique listings in Canada that can complete your vibe for these hot months! 

The first on our list is this gorgeous beachfront property in Gimli, Manitoba. This gorgeous property at 42 Merlin S is listed at $1,000,000 and features 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. With all that space, it’s the ideal spot for small gatherings this summer, and large gatherings down the line. For the artsy type buyers, this location also features a private art studio! So what makes this spot perfect for summer? Well, that would be the direct waterfront access, and jacuzzi overlooking the water. This spot is destined for lovers of water sports, and hot weather enthusiasts. See it here!

Next up on the list of properties is another gorgeous Manitoba property, however, this one uses a more modern design, perfect for those who may be used to urban environments. The property at 129 Autumnview Drive is currently listed at $1,050,000 and features 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. This smart-style home is a perfect party spot thanks to it’s built-in IPad controlled-stereo system & Basement game room! This property also has many windows that offer a panoramic view of the lake! See it here!

The third property on this list is located in Kamloops, British Columbia, and offers a unique look that can’t be seen on any other properties on this list! Featuring a whopping 9 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms, this is the perfect spot for big families who like to party! Currently, the house is listed at $1,020,000 and is a steal for the price! Though this property isn’t as updated as others on this list, for the space you get, it is totally worth every penny. The lot is located at 1979 Tranquille Road! The open concept of the kitchen, dining, and living room make it the perfect venue for your next big event! The property also comes with a massive backyard, to help with all your entertaining needs! See it here!

Fourth on this list of amazing summer homes is a country-style property located in Smithers, British Columbia! This property may only have 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, but it makes up for it with atmosphere. This property, which is located at 4679 Tyhee Lake Road, is currently listed at $1,190,000. This special lot gives you access to 30 Acres of lakefront living in a secluded little area. This spot is perfect for those who like a private and quiet spot. More interested in parties? No worries! The massive backyard is perfect to have all of your friends over to enjoy some drinks. See it here!

Last, but certainly, not least is a gorgeous property located in Birch Cove, Alberta! Though a Canadian property, there’s no doubt this design looks like it would match perfectly in Beverly Hills!  Currently listed at $1,200,000, this property features 2+3 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms! What makes this the perfect summer home? Well, the large family room, bar, and sauna of course! This house is a perfect way to help get Still gotta work in the summer? Not a problem with this property, as it features an amazing office to help you be productive! See it here!

Hopefully one of these properties is exactly what you need for all your hot weather adventures, or maybe you’re just like me and would much rather just window shop and dream that works too! Hey, While you’re here, check out the rest of our website to see some amazing web design, graphic design, or more blogs!

What Time to Post on Different Social Media Platforms

What Time to Post on Different Social Media Platforms

The number of different social media platforms available is endless, but finding the right one for your business provides you access to post content and reach a broader audience. This advancement has given way to so many marketing opportunities for businesses to potentially tap into billions of users to improve their brand image, get realtime feedback from consumers, or increase their client base. However, one of the biggest roadblocks in creating your strategy is often determining the best time to post on different platforms to maximize viewer engagement. 

Understanding the optimal time to post is crucial to ensure that you get as much traction as you can. Having this data will help you schedule your publications and campaigns and maintain consistency with your audience. However, each platform will have different algorithms to determine what posts are shown to users, making it challenging to stay updated on each network. While it is difficult to pinpoint the exact time that you should post, there are data to help you identify the peak engagement times for each platform.

Twitter

As a micro-blogging site, Twitter allows you to engage with your followers actively and reach even more users if your post receives a lot of engagement. You can post on this platform from Monday through Friday, with the safe times being 8 AM to 4 PM. The peak times are then found to be on Wednesday and Friday at 9 AM. Noticeably, the Twitter audience is more inclined to using the platform in the early hours as people use it as a way to catch up and get the latest updates and news quickly.

Twitter engagement then drops in the middle of the night between 10 PM to 4 AM as users have likely already caught up on what they missed, or are fast asleep. If you must post on the weekend, then schedule it on Sunday at around noon time. Aside from targeting the peak times, you should also try using images or GIFs in your tweets as these are known to attract a larger audience.

Facebook

The key to maximizing engagement in Facebook is creating authentic content that incites genuine reactions and piques the interest of users. Facebook’s new algorithm ranks the posts to display on a user’s News Feed based on posts that are likely to generate a positive response. Thus, you have to make sure your content can have such an impact. Now, more than ever, authenticity is essential, so take the time to come up with your content.

The best times to post on Facebook are on Wednesday, from 11 AM to 2 PM, since users tend to check the platform periodically for updates. On the weekdays, the safe times are deemed to be from 9 AM to 3 PM, suggesting that users log off more in the mornings and evenings. Surprisingly, the weekends are not ideal times to post on Facebook as people do not usually spend time on the platform during leisure times and use it more for mid-day updates.

Instagram

Nowadays, Instagram is quickly growing into a huge platform, with so many ways to post content: images, stories, IG TV, and live videos. Its algorithm works in a way that users will always receive the newest or most recent posts. This way, you will always get fresh content every time you refresh your feed. Thus, you have to find the times in which your followers are online to ensure your post is one of the most recent.

Similar to Facebook, there is also consistent engagement on the weekdays from 9 AM to 4 PM, while the overall best day is on Wednesday. Though engagement becomes lower during late night and early morning, it is noticeable that there are scattered times when users still browse the platform. This finding is likely caused by the popularity of Instagram Stories, which can easily be seen at any time of the day. The difference, however, is that you can still get good engagement from Instagram users during Friday and Saturday. Thus, you may be able to post content as you head into the weekend.

LinkedIn

Compared to the other social networking sites, LinkedIn targets a more specific audience–professionals who are trying to build their networks. Despite having a smaller reach, however, the platform is particularly helpful in generating leads since users are highly motivated. With that said, the “safe” times to post on LinkedIn are from Tuesday to Friday, from 8 AM to 2 PM. The engagement on Monday is not as high, most likely since it is a day to get settled for the week after the weekend. 

Unsurprisingly, the engagement drops after working hours–approximately before 4 AM and after 8 PM–and during the weekend. LinkedIn users noticeably use the platform more during workdays and take time off during their rest days. This also gives you time to come up with quality content to cater to a more niche audience, especially since you are targeting professionals who are looking for industry insights and connections.

Having data on the best times to post on each platform will undoubtedly help you plan your social marketing strategy. However, it is also important to keep track of your account’s analytics to monitor the performance of your posts. While the data can give you an idea of the general pattern of engagement in each platform, it is still possible that you get different results. For instance, you may find that your posts are more successful during the off-peak hours, which may be caused by the saturation of similar posts during peak hours. It could also be that you are targeting a more specific audience that you can reach at a different time.

Whatever the case may be, it will be beneficial to keep track of your posts and see how each performed based on the time you post. Several factors can influence the success of your posts, so it is best to continuously mine for data and insights that can help you refine your strategy. Not all methods will work the same for every brand or company, so be open to innovating and changing your ways to generate better results.

We’re Here to Help!

Still, struggling to build the social presence you want? Waves Digital is here to help! Whether it’s website design, social graphics, or an entire multi-channel social strategy, Waves Digital Canada can help boost your digital presence. We love helping businesses create a strategic online presence that supports sales, lead generation, and brand persona.

Get in touch with us below!

Beginner’s Guide to Designing a WordPress Website

Beginner’s Guide to Designing a WordPress Website

Knowing how to design a website is an extremely valuable skill that can help you in today’s technological age. With the help of content management systems (CMS) that provide tools to build your site without having to code, it has also become easier to learn. Though there are several website platforms available to use today, WordPress continues to be the dominant choice as it is versatile, quick, and easy to optimize. It is so popular that nearly 20 million websites on the Internet use WordPress.

Using WordPress for the first time can feel overwhelming as you go through different tools and functions. At first glance, it may seem like a simple tool, but as you learn about the platform, you start to see more complexities. However, once you familiarize yourself with the interface of WordPress, it will become less daunting.

Step 1: Set Goals

Before you get carried away thinking of different designs and elements, start by setting some goals. What exactly do you want to achieve with your website? Are you trying to improve brand awareness, sell more of your product, or give more information about your company? What you want to achieve will affect how you should design your website, so you have to be clear about it from the start. Otherwise, your website may turn out looking really good, but still not generate the results you want.

Step 2: Select a Theme

WordPress themes are pre-coded and pre-designed templates that you can use to add visuals to your website, saving you the resources needed to design from scratch. Before you proceed to the more specific elements of your site, make sure you find the right theme. To do this, you can go to your Dashboard, click on Appearances, then on Themes. WordPress will automatically use its latest theme for your site, but you can freely browse through several choices to find one that suits your business or purpose.

If you feel like you cannot find the perfect theme from the free choices, you can consider paying for a premium theme. However, do not feel compelled to get a premium theme as there are so many free themes that are just as functional and aesthetic. Overall, the goal is to find a theme that supports most plugins, has good readability and navigation, and as well as reliable site speed.

Step 3: Configure Your Theme

Regardless of what theme you select, it is likely that you will need to configure it in some way to match your needs. Under the Appearance tab on your Dashboard, click “Customize” and you will find the parts that need to be filled:

  • Site Identity

Site Identity includes the essential elements of your website, including your logo, title, tagline, site icon, and the like. The logo and site icon can both be uploaded from your local files or Media Library. Additionally, the site icon has to be a square image with at least 512 pixels.

  • Colors

The colors menu allows you to customize the color of your site, background, and text to match your brand image or desired appearance. The base color scheme serves as the general color preset for the theme, which you can select from a dropdown box. Once you choose a base, you can then select a background color, header and sidebar text color, and header and sidebar background color. 

Do note that the customization options may vary based on the WordPress theme you are using. As you play around with different colors, you will see a preview of your site on the right side to see if the colors mesh well together or not.

  • Background Image

Alternatively, you can put an image in place of a solid color for your background. You can upload an image from your local files or Media Library. Once you add a background image, you will also get the option to remove or change it. Additionally, there will also be options like Background Repeat, Background Position, and Background Attachment to format the image. 

  • Menus or Navigation

The menus or navigation panel allows you to create menus and determine where to place them. For each menu you create, you can add custom links, pages, posts, and tags as items, then select where the menu will appear. If you want to rearrange the order of the items, you can click the Reorder link to do so. 

  • Widgets

WordPress themes usually come with sidebars, which then contain widgets that you can add, remove, or move around. Common examples of widgets include calendar, categories, meta, recent comments, and others. Once you click the Widgets menu in your Theme Customizer, you will see a list of widgets that are currently in your sidebar. On the bottom, you will find an “Add a Widget” button that will show the available widgets you can add.

You can then move the widgets around by dragging and dropping in the order that you want in the sidebar. As you configure your widgets, you can also preview them on the right side to see the content from each. 

  • Homepage Settings

The homepage settings panel allows you to customize your homepage. By default, WordPage will display the latest post for your homepage, but you can opt to use a static page instead. This option allows you to link viewers to a landing page that shows your products and services or something similar about your company. Once you select the “A static page” button, you will see two dropdown menus to choose a custom homepage and another page to display your posts.

  • Additional CSS

The Theme Customizer also allows you to input additional custom CSS to style your website. Doing this is recommended for beginners as you can see the live changes on your site as you input your code. WordPress will also guide you as it will display error messages if there is something wrong with the code, as well as suggestions based on the code you type.

Aside from the multiple panels, you will also find three icons that look like gadgets on the bottom part of the Theme Customizer. These icons allow you to test your website on desktop, mobile, and tablet devices, which is a crucial consideration when designing your site. Additionally, the “Hide Controls” button will help you view your website in desktop mode properly.

Other Customization Options

Some themes are more flexible, allowing you to customize elements like the font style, colors, images, and others. If you prefer to have more freedom in the design of your website without having to do CSS codes, you can try looking for such a theme. Alternatively, you can also look for plugins to give you more styling options for your website. For example, you can install the Easy Google Fonts plugin to get more font options. Some plugins will also allow you to customize your site without having to write any code. 

A quick search on the Internet and you will find so many popular WordPress plugins that are free to install! Nowadays, some plugins help you implement search engine optimization (SEO) by streamlining your tags and placing the right keywords. Others can be integrated into your Google Analytics to help you monitor site performance and essential metrics like your click rate and the number of visitors. 

To install a plugin, you can click on “Plugins” in your Dashboard and search for the plugin you need. Beside each option, you will find an “Install Now” button that becomes “Activate” once the download is complete. Using this method, however, limits you to plugins that are part of the WordPress Directory. An alternative option would be to install the plugin zip file from the source and upload it to your WordPress account. Under Plugins, click on “Add New” then the “Upload Plugin” button to upload your file. Finally, click “Activate Plugin,” and you are ready to go!

We’re Here to Help!

Still, struggling to build the website of your dreams? Waves Digital is here to help! Whether it’s one page of a website or an entire new website build, Waves Digital Canada helps small-medium sized businesses (or established businesses looking to grow) build websites that convert. Helping businesses create a strategic online presence that supports sales, lead generation, and brand persona.

Get in touch with us below!