Author: orbital

Sway Advertising Commercial

Since we specialize in video production and know that engaging video content will increase conversion rates and turn visitors into buyers, we wanted to create a custom animated video that would instantly grab the attention of potential clients.

Our team at Sway is far from your typical corporate marketing team, and our goal with this video was to determine a concept that would fit well with our personal brand. We decided to create an animated video that would set a specific mood and would align well with our Sway values. Since the illustrations had a freehanded style and casual tone, we added in a dapper businessman as the main protagonist. This contrast was intended to represent the duality of Sway’s professionalism and our laid-back approach to our company culture.

To complement the overall style, we chose a muted and retro colour scheme to set a specific mood. On top of that, the copy was written to be very adjective-heavy and packed with action words, which visually translated into animations that quickly changed the scenes in a dramatic way. This contrast between colours and scenes was intended to capture the interest of our viewers.

To bring our ideas to life, we worked closely with our animation team from concept to completion. It began with a detailed creative brief and back-and-forth storyboarding to solidify the tone and visual elements, which was a process that wasn’t without several refinements along the way. Through our creative collaboration, we were able to take all these elements and give them life through motion of the characters, backgrounds, and objects. In doing this, we created a piece that expertly captured the creativity, collaboration, and flexibility of the work we do here every day.

The resulting work was an animated video with high visual interest and a casual but professional tone. All of these elements came together to bring our passion to “sway” our audience to life.

CP Beautiful Hearts Campaign

Throughout the 2017 calendar year, there will be numerous initiatives that will benefit the patients and facilities at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO).

The team at Sway Advertising was proud to partner with Wasserman Media in creating the ‘Beautiful Hearts’ campaign. In this effort, Sway was tasked to create a concept and film that tells the story of this initiative, while featuring medical professionals, ambassadors Lorie Kane and Henry Burris, and most of all, the beautiful hearts that can be found at the hospitals.

With Sway helping to advise on the film roll-out process, as of Thursday at noon the film has been seen by more than 300,000 people and shared or liked by over 15,000 people through various social media platforms.

For more information or to donate, please visit

Are you guilty of these three AdWords blunders?

Google AdWords is an advertising service offered for businesses who want to promote themselves through the Google Network. This program allows businesses to set a budget for advertising and only pay when people click on their ads. Specifically, Google Search ads are the sponsored listings that you see at the top and bottom of the search results page when you perform a keyword search on Google. If you are just getting started with AdWords, learn to avoid these three common mistakes and get higher returns from your investment.

1. Forgetting to use keyword match types.
Since this advertising model is largely focused on the use of keywords, you should be aware of how to effectively use them. A common mistake that people often make is using the wrong type of keyword match, or not using the different match types at all.

There are three categories of keyword matches: Broad Match, Phrase Match, and Exact Match.

A Broad Match means your ads will be triggered by any of the words in the keyword you choose, regardless of the order of the words in the search string. So if you use the keyword phrase golf clubs, your ad may also show for phrases such as best golf clubs or clubs for golf, as well as golf shirts and country club. A broad match keyword will deliver more impressions, but some may be to an irrelevant audience since it will show up for terms that aren’t a tight fit for your products or the ad.

A Phrase Match is when your ads appear to people who search for your keywords in that exact order. For example, if you phrase match the keyword “best golf irons”, your ads will only show to people who type in “best golf irons,” with or without additional words before or after (e.g. “best golf irons in Canada.” If you want to enter a Phrase Match, enclose “best golf irons” in quotation marks.

Lastly we have Exact Match Keyword, which means your ads will only display when the exact keyword that you’re targeting is typed into the search engine. If you type it in square brackets, like so: [best golf irons], then your ad will only show up to people who typed this exact phrase, without any additional text. According to research, the Exact Match Keyword is more likely to convert than Broad or Match.

A good approach is to start with a few exact matches that are specific to what you are selling and then expand to phrase and broad match types over time. With careful monitoring, broad matches will help you to learn more precisely what search terms your leads use to find your services, and can help you to find new keywords to target.

2. Not using Ad Groups effectively.
Instead of breaking up their ads into groups based on similar types of keywords, some people lump all of their keywords into one ad group to show everyone the same ad. The ideal situation is to show an ad that closely matches the keyword being searched. The closer the match between the ad’s copy and the keyword, the more likely it is that a viewer will click on the ad. For example, if a lawn care company offers season-long fertilization and insect control, creating specific ads for each service could be a better way to target potential clients who are searching for specific keywords related to each service.

If you make the mistake of lumping everything together under one ad group, this inhibits you from customizing the ad to be the best fit for the term being searched for. The more you break up your ads and keywords into specific themes, the easier it is to monitor and optimize your campaigns for success.

3. Not knowing your competition.
Another mistake is being unaware of the ads your competitors are using. You need to know who you’re competing against, what keywords they’re using, and what their ads and landing pages look like. Think about being in your customers’ shoes – which ad would appeal to you most? Take some notes and figure out how to improve your landing pages, whether it is through a better design, a fresher look and feel, testimonials, social presence, or something else. Your competitors can be a great resource for how you can improve your own business.

There are many strategies for effectively utilizing AdWords to your business’ advantage, and these three are just the tip of the iceberg. Good luck setting up your AdWords Search Network ads!

Why Responsive Design Matters

Mobile usage now accounts for more than half of all web visits, and this rate will only increase in the coming years. According to Google’s Think Insights, if a user lands on your mobile site and is frustrated, there is a 61% chance they will leave immediately and go to another site (maybe even a competitor). But on a flip side, a positive experience on a mobile device will mean your user is more likely to buy your product or service.

This is why responsive design is not only great for your clients, but it can directly affect your business’ success in positive ways when done right. Responsive design is useful because it requires you to only have one website that is coded to adapt to all different screen sizes. The biggest benefit is the design will scale based on the screen size and not the device, so it will always display properly no matter the device. For example, a wide screen display can receive a site design with multiple columns of content, while a small screen can have that same content presented in a single column with text and links appropriately sized to be read and used on that smaller display.

Responsive design is also a step up from the once-popular option of having both a desktop site design and a mobile site design. Responsive is a complete upgrade in this case because it will be adaptable to new screen sizes – a huge plus for your business when new devices in widely different sizes are coming out every single year. The beauty of responsive compared to mobile-only designs is that it only requires one website to be maintained and updated, instead of multiple site templates – ultimately making your own interactions with the site more streamlined as well.

Not only is your site being visited by different people owning different devices and screen sizes, but many times, the customer is returning to the same site at different times, using their own different devices. That means, in order to provide your users with the best possible experience, your site must work well regardless of their device, and that same content must be presented across all devices. The consistency in information creates an enjoyable user experience for your customers and keeps them coming back again and again.

As an added bonus, Google prefers responsive sites and ranks them higher. In 2015, Google began rewarding sites that were built responsively for multi-device support. Google’s ‘mobile friendly’ update earlier this year meant that non-mobile friendly sites were penalised for not being mobile friendly.

One of the best things about responsive design is that this approach gives you an edge above everyone else because your site will support newer devices and screens in the future. This means that as new devices hit the market with screen sizes unlike what we’ve seen before, your responsive website will already be prepared to meet those new devices with a design and experience best suited to whatever screen sizes they throw at us, especially by next Christmas.

Holiday Email Marketing

The Holiday season is a time for family and friends, feasting on comfort food, and of course, shopping. Most brands send out email newsletters around this time of year, as we all know from our inboxes being inundated with sales, discounts, and limited time offers. What can you do to direct holiday traffic toward your brand, and capture some extra holiday revenues through email marketing? Read below for best practices!

Have a Plan
If you’ve done email marketing over the Holiday season in past years, or an email blast at all, take a look at your results from previous campaigns. The data you gathered in past years can be a great starting point when deciding which tactics to use (and which to avoid). Look at your email open rates and click-through-rates to determine what your email list wants to see and what persuades them to click through to linked content in your email.

Another important step in the idea phase is to set your holiday plans in stone. This means knowing when you will host any seasonal events, when sales will take place, and which days you plan to contact leads. It may help you to put these plans into calendar format to stay organized. A calendar is also a convenient widget to add into your emails to share important dates with customers. If you plan to share the holiday calendar with your email list, make sure that you send it out well in advance (with reminders along the way) so that customers can plan ahead!

Get Them to Read it
Gain exposure for your email newsletter by emphasizing the “sign up” feature on your brand’s website. With the holidays usually comes increased website traffic, so this is a great way to take advantage of the time of year and increase your pool of newsletter recipients. On a similar note, before you begin your holiday email blasts, you should go through your email list to weed out the inactive ones and those that continue to bounce back. This will make your data more accurate when you analyze it after each blast, as your open rates and other metrics will represent real current leads.

Once your email list is polished up, the next step is to get people to open and interact with your email content. One way to convince people to open an email is to use subject lines that capture attention. This will vary depending on your brand “voice”, but when used properly, you can take advantage of humor (puns are great for this), emotions, or numbers (such as % discounts, etc.). Statistics also show that people are 26% more likely to open an email with a personalized subject line, so inserting first names from your client list directly into the subject line will give you an advantage.

In today’s heavily mobile-focused world, you need to make sure your email format is mobile friendly. During the holidays people are always busy and on-the-move, so they are very likely to be shopping or viewing your site on their cell phone or tablet. In fact, about 53% of emails are opened on mobile devices, so optimizing your emails for mobile viewing is important all year long!

Make it Worthwhile
As important as it is to entice people to read the email you send out, it is equally important to make the content in your message worth the read! There are several types of information that your customers are looking for during the holidays, so make sure you’re giving the people what they want. Show your repeat customers some love for their loyalty and send them a special “perk” not available to the majority of your email list. For example, you can offer a sneak peek at upcoming products and sales, special discount codes, or gifts with purchase.

As important as it is to entice people to read the email you send out, it is equally important to make the content in your message worth the read! There are several types of information that your customers are looking for during the holidays, so make sure you’re giving the people what they want. Show your repeat customers some love for their loyalty and send them a special “perk” not available to the majority of your email list. For example, you can offer a sneak peek at upcoming products and sales, special discount codes, or gifts with purchase.

Make sure that when you send out promotional emails around the holidays that you are extremely clear about your shipping rates, return policies, and most importantly, your order-by dates. Most people want items ordered as gifts to arrive by a certain date, so missing those deadlines can ensure a dissatisfied customer. This is a good time to promote gift wrapping if you offer it, as well as holiday gift guides, and best sellers.

Another message that you can send to your newsletter list around this time of year is a general “Happy Holidays” email. Albeit festive, the busy holiday season can be a significant source of stress for many people, so receiving a kind email from a favoured brand thanking them for their business can be a welcome relief. Getting personal and sharing your genuine appreciation for your customers is also a great way to make an emotional connection with your audience (see our article on Relationship Marketing), which can lead to stronger brand loyalty, and increased sales!

Overall, you as a representative of your brand have the best idea of what your customers want to see in an email message. Use these tips as a guideline, and tweak them to fit with your industry and brand image to best connect with your audience. Good luck with your email marketing, and Happy Holidays from all of us at Sway!

B2B vs B2C Marketing: What’s the Difference?

Some may argue that these types of marketing should be similar, since at the end of the day, both B2B and B2C decision-makers are all people looking to buy goods and services for their benefit. However, marketing to a business is very different from marketing to an end consumer. Below we discuss four major differences faced when marketers journey from B2C into the realm of B2B marketing.

Number of Buyers
This is a big one. When a business is making a purchasing decision, there will oftentimes be a team or committee of people participating in the decision. Therefore, there are multiple target buyers for B2B marketing, whereas an individual consumer is making the decision for him/herself in B2C markets. How can you adapt to marketing to committees rather than individual consumers? There are always key decision makers among the group. Identify them to increase your chances of turning them into clients!

Size of the Target Market
With B2B marketing, the market size tends to be smaller than with B2C marketing, as there are more individual buyers than there are business buyers. However, this is somewhat balanced out as the size of purchases for B2B is often larger than B2C purchases. For example, in B2C, a customer buys a bag of chips from a store, and the purchase is just a few dollars. On the contrary, in B2B, the store will buy thousands bags of chips each month from the chip manufacturer, which is a much larger purchasing decision.

Relationship with Customers
This one builds off of our last point. Since the target market size is smaller for B2B, your relationship with each client is very important. You will want to build as close of a relationship as possible with all of your clients. Throughout the purchasing process, the salesperson in B2B will negotiate and promote their own business, while still being mindful of their interactions and relations with the client. The target market for B2C is huge, so the relationship between the business and customers is often impersonal.

Motivation Behind Purchasing
As the purchasing process for B2B is complex and could involve serious costs, businesses make decisions logically and look for partners that are reliable and professional. Therefore, you need to prove your company’s expertise, and give your target audience reasons to choose you over your competition. On the other hand, B2C marketing is often very emotional since the business wants to trigger feelings and connect with the consumers in order to persuade them to buy the products.

Good luck in your B2B marketing endeavors, and try to keep these points in mind the next time you meet with a B2B client!

Using Relationship Marketing to take your digital media campaigns offline

Return customers are the foundation of a successful business, they not only make multiple purchases from you on a regular basis, but they are loyal to your brand and show this by recommending you to others. This loyalty represents a theoretical relationship between the customer and your brand, one that can be strengthened by turning a one-sided transaction (a purchase) into a two-way interaction. By engaging in different types of digital exchanges, such as responding to comments on your Facebook page, taking polls on customers’ thoughts and opinions, and encouraging consumer participation in online contests and product reviews, customers feel as though you care about them. Any good relationship is built upon the feeling of being cared about.

So, you know to interact with your customers and make them feel good by evoking positive emotions in them during your interactions. What’s the next step? Get to know them. Not just their demographics, but their lifestyles, their goals and desires, and their values. Knowing your customers on a deeper level than other companies will give you a competitive advantage, and encourages your customers to integrate your brand even more so into their lives. If you successfully use your digital marketing campaign to reach and connect with customers on a personal level, they will be more than willing to remain loyal when you take your marketing efforts offline and into the real world.

How does one take their digital campaign offline? Branded merchandise. Think about it, advertisements on television and radio, in print, and even through digital channels all come with an expiration date. They have limited lifetimes and when the time comes, another marketing campaign must begin. Tangible branded merchandise however can live as long as the consumer desires. A study on the matter showed that 87% of participants kept a branded merchandise item for longer than a year! Branded clothing can be washed, mended, and passed along to others. Posters, stickers, and other forms of decorative branded merchandise can live on display until they are disposed of. The key to extending this branded product lifespan as long as possible is to maintain the relationship with the consumers who proudly exhibit this merchandise. They have decided that your brand matches them as a person, and your products represent their relationship with you.  So build that relationship to the greatest extent possible, and watch as your marketing efforts translate far beyond the computer and television screens and into the homes and everyday lives of your consumers.

Relationship Marketing

In short, it is believed that the more points of contact between the organization and the client, the stronger the bond and more secure the relationship.

Implementing a relationship marketing strategy isn’t as daunting as it may seem and it begins with the shift in focus from immediate sales transactions to long term value in repeat business. While the growth of the internet & mobile platforms, and in general the digital world, are seen as distancing the customer from the business, it’s actually increasing more social and collaborative channels of communication. Relationship marketing has expanded to social media, app development, inbound marketing and strategic content. All of which are fine tuned to meet the customers’ needs and encourage ongoing communication. 

From a financial standpoint, the efforts exuded to retain long-term clients are far overshadowed by the financial gains made in doing so. On average it costs 5x more to attract new clients than to retain current ones. Additionally, long-term customers are more likely to willingly offer word of mouth referrals. Loyal and happy customers make the employees’ jobs easier and more satisfying. In turn, happy employees are eager to ensure customer satisfaction in a fruitful cycle.

What’s the overall message? Long-term vision greatly outweighs short-term sales targets. Communication needs to evolve beyond aggressive advertising and promotional emails.  Managing relationships with customers goes beyond simple demographics and customer service data; each client is important & unique and need to be treated as such.

Using Video to Effectively Relationship Market

Relationship marketing is a two-way street. Pushing content toward your audience in an attempt to gain their business is not likely to be as effective as building your brand in a way that creates a connection between you and your customers. That being said, there are multiple channels through which to reach your audience in an interactive manner. So which way is best?

Comparing marketing efforts done with text and video shows that video takes the cake when it comes to building relationships. Reading text is all about cognition, it makes us work to comprehend. Videos are processed 60,000 times faster by the brain than text. When we watch videos we are a passive audience, allowing us to become immersed in the visuals and sparking emotions within us. When we read, we think. When we watch, we feel.

These feelings are key if the goal is to effectively utilize relationship marketing. When we watch videos, emotions are evoked in us through colourful graphics, catchy slogans, audio accompaniments, and the storyline of the video itself. Find a common ground between your company and its audience upon which to create a relatable video. When your customers see this familiarity between themselves and your brand, they begin to feel as though they know you on a more personal level.

Build this budding relationship by making frequent contact with your audience via interactive content that can be shared, liked, and commented upon. This is where the “two-way street” analogy comes in. Content must be interactive in order for it to grow a friendship and build trust between your brand and your customers.

So, will your video reach a large enough audience to build customer relationships? Will they even watch your video? The statistics say yes! Studies show that 40% of consumers prefer to experience branded content via video rather than text. Furthermore, people are 39% more likely to share video content over social media, and 56% more likely to “like” it, building a community of followers for your brand.

Create a striking video that resonates with your audience and highlights the connection between the two of you to encourage long-lasting relationships and long-term customers.

Social Advertising Trends for 2016

In 2016 social ad dollars are projected to generate $13.43 billion, which is a huge leap from 2014 budgets that came in at around $7.32 billion. Having a social presence is huge, that’s a given. Money and budgets aside, these are the top three trends you should be on top of in 2016.

Social Media Advertising

Facebook and Twitter have dominated Social Advertising in the past few years, but Instagram is quickly catching up. Instagram recently surpassed Twitter with a reported 400 million users, and are expected to surpass them again with percentage of business users by 2017.  They also opened their API (application program interface) to all advertisers, introducing the use of carousel ads, targeting options and buy buttons. Take note, there’s more to social ad buying for business than banner ads on Facebook.

Messaging Apps

Messaging Apps will dominate moving forward. Currently 49% of North American mobile users are using messaging apps, which has grown from 30% in 2014. This is attributed to the growing popularity of apps like Snapchat, Kik and Facebook Messenger. The messaging app movement has been relatively slow in North America compared to its unparalleled use in countries like China, Germany, and India. China’s WeChat has over 650 million monthly users around the world and while we’re nowhere near that kind of followership, messaging apps will experience a huge growth spurt in the coming year, and will be looking to monetize their platforms.

Live Streaming

Live streaming will gain serious traction in 2016.  Based on eMarketers predictions, live streaming will take over the traditional video space as a means of reaching their younger target demographic (ages 18-29). Periscope, YouTube and Snap Chat Live Stories are leading the way, but no one has truly dominated yet, giving brands the opportunity to take charge and lead the way with real time video advertising.