News from Digital Main Street

Lumicrest enlightens art galleries and retailers, near and far

Deena Douara | October 19, 2016

A butcher who wants his meat to look appetizing; a gallery that wants an artist’s colours to be reflected as intended; a resident who doesn’t like how the furniture looks in her unit. Their lighting needs differ but all three have gone through Lumicrest to get the best LED lights for their environment.

Partners (in business and in life) David Geldart and Mieke Geldart explain that lighting is what impacts the colours you see and feel around you. (In the case of the resident, her newly installed lights had lacked red content.) David explains that few competitors focus on high colour rendering the way they do.

The Geldarts have been doing online sales for about eight years. It’s the brick-and-mortar storefront that’s new to them and with that comes a need to reach a new local audience. Towards that objective, they have signed on with the city’s Digital Main Street initiative.

Before Lumicrest, David worked in digital animation, special effects and web design for 20 years, but ultimately sought work with something “tangible and applicable to the real world.”

He had actually built the Lumicrest website for a client who then backed out of the business. The Geldarts took over and soon added a customizable WordPress WooCommerce plugin to facilitate online sales.

To help potential clients find them, David says they made good use of search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), and targeted Google ads. “We get significant traffic through Google AdWords,” he says. “Just for an experiment, we shut it off for a month and the phone stopped ringing. We turned it on and never turned it off again.”

But finding them is not enough, explains David. “Lighting seems fairly straightforward but it isn’t as straightforward as it seems…. LED lights bring up a lot of questions and people start looking into it but they don’t really understand.”

To that end, the Geldarts created YouTube videos using Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere to help clients understand basic lighting terminology, colour temperatures and how to determine the desired beam angles.

David says with stores like Home Depot, customers may only get one option and may not even be clear what it is they’re purchasing.

For that reason, Lumicrest started working directly with art galleries, for whom lighting is a key part of presentation. “If we could get art galleries on board who are very fussy about good lighting, we could demonstrate critical application,” says David.

Just over a year ago, the Geldarts decided to open up a store in Parkdale in order to have a space for customers to come in and engage with different lighting options and effects.

But how to let customers know they’re there? It’s not the sort of shop passersby might wander into and come out of with LED lights.

This is where Digital Main Street steps in. The Geldarts have signed on with the City of Toronto’s new initiative in order to connect with other businesses and those in need of their services, as well as to expand their fluency with certain digital tools that could boost local sales.

“We have a physical space where people can come and play and we want people to take advantage of that,” says David.

The Geldarts’ next steps are to expand their use of social media as well as to increase segmented email marketing using proprietary software. They’re also looking forward to sharing with potential customers digital representations of their environment under different lighting options using software called DIALux.

“Technology permeates everything we do.”

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7 Awesome Content Sources That Take the Stress out of Social Media Sharing

Mark Macdonald @ Shopify | October 19, 2016

You've been told that in order to build an audience on social media around your brand, you need to be sharing “great content”.

The problem is, you’re busy – and constantly making sure you have interesting stuff lined up to tweet, pin and post can be a challenging and stressful daily task that interrupts your workflow.

But here’s the thing.

Building an audience around your business by creating, curating and sharing great content isimportant.

It gives you way to provide ongoing value to people outside of the products you sell. It also makes you relevant and gives people a reason to follow you, while providing you with a way to stay in touch with people over time.

And the key to effective content curation that builds an audience (and your business) is sharing content that promotes the lifestyle around your products rather than just your products themselves.

It’s how Beardbrand built a $40k per month ecommerce business around the “bearded lifestyle” and how created a multi-million dollar pet business powered by cute puppy photos.

So, how do you keep your social streams topped up with compelling stories and links that will attract an audience, without spending the entire day scouring the web?

To help you out, we've assembled seven awesome resources that take the guesswork out of finding "great content" – including the site that Buzzfeed sources much of its content from.

It’s time to take the stress out of social media sharing.

7 Awesome Content Sources That Take the Stress out of Social Media Sharing

Note: make sure to check out our bonus tip at the end to learn how you can schedule your social sharing so it takes up a fraction of your time each day.

1. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is at the top of this list for a reason:

It enables you to search for relevant content using keywords, and then presents you with the most popular content based on social shares.

Each piece of content is ranked by how widely it was shared on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+. In addition, BuzzSumo lets you filter by date and content type, including interviews, videos, infographics, and more.

For example, lets say you sell baby clothes online, you'd search for "baby":

1. BuzzSumo

Buzzsumo will then show you the most popular stories related to your keyword, based on the timeframe and content type you've selected.

1. BuzzSumo

You now have a handy list of some of the most popular content on the web from your industry. The top three results in the above screenshot alone have over one million social shares combined in the last month. 

It's worth mentioning that you should remember to pay particular attention to content that's performing well on the platforms that your audience uses. In other words, if your potential customers hang out on Pinterest, content that has performed well on Twitter may not be as relevant to you.

2. Reddit

Reddit is a massive entertainment, social networking, and news website which spans all sorts of topics, and is home to much of the internet’s most interesting content, images, videos and everyday comical online occurrences.

Most importantly, however, Reddit is also home to “sub-reddits” – categories dedicated to certain topics and interests.

For example, if your brand revolves around fitness, the /r/fitness sub-reddit is where you’ll want to hang out. For fashion related content, it would be /r/fashion.

You'll find that all major topics will have a main sub-reddit like the two mentioned above, and usually a few smaller off-shoot sub-reddits as well.  

To find a sub-reddit for your niche, simply use Reditt’s search feature. Just type a keyword related to your business and Reddit will display related sub-reddits as well as the subscriber count for each:

2. Reddit

Next you'll want to head over the sub-reddit of your choice where you can view the most upvoted content from the community there. You can then filter to view the most popular content from the past hour, past 24 hours, past month, past year and all time.

2. Reddit

What’s great is that this content has already been proven to resonate with your target audience so chances are it will perform well for you - especially if you aggregate it and package it up in interesting ways. 

Hint: this is exactly what Buzzfeed does for much of its viral content:

2. Reddit

If you want use this "Buzzfeed technique", start with a piece of content like this:

2. Reddit

Then go through the discussion thread and find the most upvoted comments containing fitness machine recommendations:

2. Reddit

2. Reddit

Now you've got a list of crowd-sourced fitness machine recommendations that you can take and turn into a Buzzfeed style blog post like "10 High-Impact Weight Machines You Should Be Using in Your Workouts".

3. Feedly

3. Feedly

Feedly is an RSS news feed aggregator that makes it easy for you to gather and organize content from around the web. In addition to pulling in content from your favorite blogs, you can also use it to bring in top news content from Google News using Google's free Alerts service. 

Just head over to Google Alerts, enter your keyword(s), select 'RSS feed' from the 'Deliver to' field and click 'Create Alert'. 

3. Feedly

Next, copy the RSS feed url of your newly created alert to your clipboard. 

3. Feedly

Head back to Feedly, click 'Add Content', and paste in your new RSS feed url.

3. Feedly

Click '+Feedly' and you're all set.

3. Feedly

Now you've got a list articles that you can share and use to position your brand as a go-to news source in your industry. 

You can also use Feedly's search feature to discover other popular content sources in your industry: 

3. Feedly

When you've found a piece of content you like, you can quickly and easily share it to your social accounts right from Feedly:

3. Feedly

Spending a little bit of time setting up Feedly with high quality feeds can save you a lot of time when it comes to finding and sharing great content that will resonate with your audience.

4. Topsy

Similar to BuzzSumo, Topsy allows you to discover popular content on Twitter. However, it has some Twitter-specific features that allow you to filter and drill down a little deeper.

You can search for relevant keywords across links, tweets, videos, photos and most importantly, Twitter influencers.

4. Topsy

You can find out what the top influencers within each niche are sharing by sorting their tweets by relevance and date. This comes in handy not just for finding content, but also for finding influencers in your space that you can network with. 

5. Medium Collections

5. Medium Collections

Medium is a free blogging platform with plenty of popularity both among everyday bloggers and industry experts. In other words, a lot of people are writing a lot of good content on it.

The homepage is a nice place to pick up the odd story, but you’ll find the most relevant gems within Medium Collections. Here are some of our favourites.

To find top content on medium for your area of interest, head over to Medium's search page and start typing your keyword. As you type a list of tags will appear on the right hand side:

5. Medium Collections

Click on the most relevant tag and you'll get a page of results containing Medium's top content from that category:

5. Medium Collections

Make sure you bookmark this page so you can come back to it quickly in the future. You can also find a great list of Medium collections here

6. Content Gems

Content Gems is a platform dedicated to finding great content for you, so you can focus on other tasks.

The platform reviews 200,000+ news sources, blogs, and social media accounts to bring you the very best content in a daily email. Naturally, you can configure your preferences in order to receive relevant content.

6. Content Gems

You can sign up for a free account and create a custom dashboard around the topics you're interested in and quickly share any piece of content:

6. Content Gems

I've found that Content Gems can be good for adding a little variety to your content mix and finding stuff that you don't see everywhere else.

7. is a great resource to discover and browse curated content covering tens-of-thousands of topics, ranging from niche area of academics to broad interests such as food, health, sports and entertainment.

Major topics like Business, Crafts, Education, How-to and more each have their own boards. Each board has a series of sub-boards that let you discover more specific content from that category.


Scheduling Your Social Content

Scheduling Your Social Content

Now that you know where to find great content for your social media followers to share, it’s time to streamline the entire process of actually sharing it all in the first place.

Believe it or not, managing multiple social media accounts doesn’t have to be hard. You just need to use the right tools for the job at hand.

I recommend Buffer, an app which make your social media campaigns more manageable across Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.

Buffer allows you to schedule your social media posts throughout the day and week, helping you to hitthose peak times with your best content.

Scheduling Your Social Content

After you configure your settings, a Buffer button will be added to your browser, enabling you to quickly add content to your Buffer queue as and when you see it.

In addition to scheduling, Buffer also has a suggested content feed that offers a curated list of popular content in various categories, selected by Buffer staff. This can be a handy resource if you need something in pinch and don't have time to comb through your other feeds.  

Scheduling Your Social Content

Bringing it All Together

While this may seem like a lot to set up, it's really not that bad. If you spend an hour and half gathering your feeds and bookmarking your content sources, you'll have quick and convenient access to great content that you can quickly and easily share across your social accounts.

Take some time at the beginning of the week, or half an hour each morning, to schedule out your content so you don't have to worry about it throughout the day – giving you more time to focus on other important tasks that grow your business.

Just keep in mind, that while scheduling is great, it's not a replacement for genuine, real-time engagement with your audience. You still need to do that :)

However, the above strategiies will make your day-to-day social sharing ore manageable and can help position you as a trusted source of great hand-picked content – which is becoming more and more valuable the noisier the web gets. 

P.S. Have you signed up for free email updates yet? You'll get fresh ecommerce marketing advice delivered to your inbox as soon as it’s published. Just enter your email below. 

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