Creating a SMART Online Marketing Strategy

Posted By: on September 18th, 2014
Filed Under: Online Marketing

So you want to create a Digital Marketing Strategy. Maybe the boss isn’t getting enough visibility into what you’re doing, maybe they’re concerned about digital’s rapid growth and wants to make sure the company isn’t being left behind, or maybe you want to create a plan to stop the cycle of reactive fixes and start being proactive. A well built online marketing strategy should:

  • Give you some time to work out needs and “nice-to-haves”. This is time outside of the “shopping list” reactive-work mentality that occupies most days in marketing.
  • Stop ridiculous external requests. Sorry Mr. Sales Manager, our priority this quarter is fixing website navigation and starting an online campaign to support our new non-toxic candy, I’ll have to get to your bus stop advertising campaign another day.
  • Give visibility to the outside and improve perception. You could be doing amazing, earth-shattering work but for many marketing leads and managers, perception outside of their department matters. A simple-to-understand plan shows that you’re proactive and that things will be moving forward.

There are a multitude of ways to structure an online marketing plan, but I prefer a Goal-Strategy-Tactic breakdown.

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5 Lessons to Dominate Social Media

Posted By: on August 26th, 2014
Filed Under: Online Marketing

In light of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge becoming a worldwide phenomenon, I bet a lot of Content Marketers are thinking the exact same thing, “How come my social efforts never pay off like this?” Many of us will spend our entire careers attempting to capture the ALS-type lightning in our own marketing bottle.

Sadly, most of us will fail in our attempts to replicate this massive level of viral success. There are, however, a number of practices that we can all adopt based on the successes and failures of our comrades in arms. Contently recently published a report on a BuzzSumo- and FRACTL-conducted study of the 1 million most-shared articles from the first six months of 2014. It’s certainly worth a read and some thought, as these 1 million articles accounted for 2.6 billion shares. To put that in perspective, that is 74 shares for every man, woman and child living in Canada.

So here they are: the five lessons that you can take away from this year’s most popular social content (so that we can all get a little closer to that dream of Ice Bucket reach).

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Top Draw Goes Back to School (Part Two) – Wright & Wong Edition

Posted By: on August 21st, 2014
Filed Under: News, Online Marketing

Following in the footsteps of our director Adriel Michaud and senior Nick Pierno so that we don’t get left in their proverbial dust, Natalie and Wilson have hopped onto the certification train by becoming qualified in both Google Analytics and Google Adwords as well!
Adwords Cert







GA cert

Top Draw now has fourcount ‘em, four certified Individuals who can lead Adwords and Analytics initiatives for clients, so know that you’re in good hands when you decide to give us a shout!

We are also a certified Google Partner and are listed in their directory as “Top Draw Inc” if you ever want to check us out. Being listed as a certified Google Partner is pretty snazzy as it means we’ve proven we have certified individuals who have met all of Google’s partner status requirements, and that we adhere to Google’s recommended best practices.

If anyone out there is wondering how well we did on the exams, let’s just say that while some questions were answered Wong, the vast majority were Wright. Hehehe.



Digital Festival City

Posted By: on August 5th, 2014
Filed Under: News

If you’re anything like me, it probably feels like Christmastime when festival season rolls around here in Edmonton. Dubbed “Festival City” for a reason, we have so many awesome events going on in the summer, like The Fringe Festival, Heritage Festival, Folk Fest, and who can forget K-Days? Even as I’m writing this, I’m pretty distracted by the fact that I’m going to Taste of Edmonton after work. It’s hard to concentrate with steak bites on the mind, but I persevere. It feels like the overall festival experience keeps getting better and better, and over the past couple of years, a big part of that is because Festival City is making the transition to the digital age. A lot of our Edmonton festivals now have apps available for download with the main goal of making your life easier.

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Build an Analytics-Driven Dashboard in Google Spreadsheets

Posted By: on July 21st, 2014
Filed Under: Online Marketing

I’ve always yearned for custom, automated analytics reporting. To me it’s the holy grail of data dissemination for website owners, seo’s, and the like.

Once you get that data into a spreadsheet you can do just about anything with it. Up until recently though, nothing has been customizable enough, or easy enough to use in order to fully realize this. At least as far as I’m aware (I have been out of the game a little while – so correct me if I’m wrong).

Analytics integration with Google Spreadsheets isn’t entirely new, but the previous tool was pretty clunky, inspiring an “I’ll try that out someday” feeling.

When I found out there was a new Add-on that simplified the process I got to work immediately. The first thing I found is that there’s next to no guidance out there. Anything I could find is based on the older methods, and didn’t really help me out much (a lay-programmer).

Here’s where I started, with Google’s documentation.

Pretty sparse, but just enough information to hook me in for the next two days.

… Anyway, I toiled with the reference sheets and when night turned to day again I had built a crazy mammoth dashboard for one of our clients. In so doing I learned my way around the API and, not being much of a spreadsheet master, learned a lot about Google’s application too.

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Life as an Intern at Top Draw

Posted By: on July 10th, 2014
Filed Under: Edmonton, News


I recently finished my third year of the Bachelor of Communication Studies program at MacEwan University in Edmonton. I’m majoring in professional communication, and after coming to the sudden and terrifying realization that I only have a year of post-secondary left, I thought that maybe I should start professionally communicating. I went through a gruesome process of what felt like 83 interviews (give or take), and ended up turning down three jobs because they actually weren’t what I was looking for at all. After giving up and embracing the idea of doing nothing all summer, I came across a job posting for an online marketing intern position at Top Draw Inc., and since I’m aiming to go into marketing and communications when I graduate, I applied for kicks. Almost a month later, I’ve survived my first week here at Top Draw. Let me tell you, I was nervous. I was beyond nervous actually; this is my first ever full-time job and the moment that I accepted the position, I was scared that I had just sold my soul for the summer. While from some angles that may be viewed as the case, I couldn’t have asked for a better devil than Top Draw.

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Generational Awareness and Online Influencers

Posted By: on June 27th, 2014
Filed Under: Online Marketing

Kids these days…

In the nearly thirty years since Al Gore invented the internet (source: The Simpsons), we have seen many mutations of (what started out as) a glorified FTP platform that transformed into the world-consuming, social-platforming, e-commercing second earth that we have today. These mutations are, without precedent, one of the reasons that Mad Men does such an adept job of capturing the feelings of trepidation and resistance to the new medium of Television. This is likely in part due to their own medium’s steady march towards the grave because of the rise of something new.

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Shooting Product Photography and Video on the Cheap

Posted By: on June 17th, 2014
Filed Under: Online Marketing

You’ve all seen them: websites chock full of stock photography. Low resolution product photos straight from the manufacturer, customer service girl in the top right. . . is this even a real company?! Would it kill them to take a picture of their team or some of their most popular products? Realistically, it can take a little bit of setup and preparation to take good quality photos. The below instructions are for companies out there looking to do product photography or video on a shoestring budget.

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