Moving Our Market

READ  •  2021

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What started as a passion project in the corner of our studio has flourished and grown beyond the confines of its humble beginnings.


Our shop, 26 Market was conceived with the idea of bringing brands we love to a niche market in Winnipeg. It started out as just a peg board wall, filled with goodies that made us smile. As we kept finding more and more beautiful products to bring into the 26 Market fold, it started to become clear that our shop was snowballing faster than our space could keep up with. When we were suddenly unable to showcase each product on the floor, we knew it was time to start looking for somewhere new.

Our search didn’t take us far – actually, it took us just one floor below our beloved studio to suite 670 at 70 Arthur St. Though we miss our studiomates and regular shoppers who always stop by, we’re thrilled to be able to share all of our favourite things with you – and introduce more brands we love to our market now that we have more space to accommodate.

The Market has gone through a lot of changes in its time. This year, we developed expanded branding – complete with a playful colour palette, beautiful hand-drawn brand assets, and a collection of collateral to package purchase however we please. What’s next for our market? We’ll see!


You can stop by to visit our market at 670-70 Arthur St on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays from 10:30 am - 4:30 pm.



Facebook Audiences and Targeting

READ •  2021

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Simply put, there are over 1 billion active users on Facebook everyday. Not knowing who your audience is and how to target them is likely going to be a waste of your advertising dollars. When you’re in the beginning phases of advertising on Facebook, step one is determining who your audience is.

 

Photos by Pauline Boldt.


Knowing Your Audience, And Why It’s Important

Your target audience is the group of people you’re trying to reach with your marketing message, they are the ones most likely to take action as a result of seeing your ad. Being your most valuable customers, they’re often linked by common characteristics. These characteristics can be placed into three broad categories: demographics such as age, gender, income, education, and location; interests; or behaviours.

As a starting point, look at your current customer base. These people, along with those similar to them, will likely make up your primary target audience. It’s quite possible you might have secondary target audiences, especially if you sell multiple products or services or if your products and services appeal differently to different people. If that’s the case, fear not! You just have to adjust your marketing efforts accordingly.


Core Audiences

When you create an ad set in Ads Manager, the default audience is called the Core Audience. This audience usually looks something along the lines of men and women ages 18-65+ who live in either the city or country your business is located in. While sticking to this default audience often results in high visibility of your ads, it often does not lead to high conversions.

Mastering your targeting strategy will help you narrow down this broad audience and get you in front of a very specific (and very motivated) group of people.

To customize your own Core Audience to reflect the group of people you’re trying to reach, target specific people using location, demographics, behaviours, and interests. If you’re not sure where to start, check out your Audience Insights on your Facebook Page to explore the demographics, interests, and hobbies of the people connected to your page.


Lookalike Audiences

You can also start with lookalike audiences. Lookalike audiences on Facebook take the information you have from custom audiences and reach new people who are similar. Another way to create lookalike audiences is building them with conversion pixels, you can find these from your paid search ads.  If you want to further define the reach of your lookalike audience you can adjust the size and targeting options to ensure you’re still reaching your target buyers.

Determining your target audience is essential for digital marketing success on Facebook. Once you grasp your target Facebook audience, the process of advertising on the platform becomes seamless. It’s easier to develop messaging and images to advertise your brand when you know who it is you’re speaking to, and for.



Creating Evergreen Content

READ  •  2021

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In its simplest form, evergreen content is content that will stay relevant and valuable for a long period of time, no matter the season or what is currently in the news – like “how-to” guides, tutorials, and case studies.

 

Photos by Pauline Boldt.


Starting Evergreen Content

When deciding on a content strategy for your business, you want to ensure a portion of evergreen content is included. Having a plan of what evergreen content to create can save you valuable time and offer room to post more timely or seasonal content around it. However, your focus should be on having the best information based on the searcher’s intent when it comes to creating.

An excellent place to start is looking at the top webpage results for the same content you’d like to create – this helps structure your content around what will get the most web traffic. Then, look at the language and SEO keywords these pages focus on.


Things to Consider

Now that you have great written content and had an in-depth look at SEO, it’s time to consider how else your evergreen content can rise to the top of searches.

Internal linking is a great way to get viewers to interact with other content on your site. For example, if you write a how-to guide on searing salmon, an internal link could lead to another page on your site where you sell the cookware you used for the guide.

External or outbound linking is when a page on your site links to another page on a different domain (aka links from your site to someone else’s). You may be thinking, why would I want a user to leave my site and look at someone else’s, but the reality is that external linking helps add depth and timeliness to your content by providing the user with extra knowledge, especially when writing about a complex topic.

You also need to think about how you’ll promote your evergreen content. Email marketing is a great way to get your content directly to who you want to read it – and to people who have said that they want to hear from you. In an ideal world, you’d be able to hit publish and have your target audience interact with your content. In reality, you need a solid promotional plan, so the right people find your content, interact with it, and share it.


The Bottom Line

Evergreen content saves you money, time, and resources if done well. Since the content requires less frequent updates, you can focus your efforts on more timely matters of your content strategy. Evergreen content is a fantastic way to assist your businesses’ continued organic growth.



Diving Into Reels and TikTok

READ  •  2021

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TikTok and Instagram Reels have taken the world by storm. Not only does video content offer entertainment value, but if used correctly, it’s also a way to connect to your audience and give personality to your brand.

 

Photos by Pauline Boldt.


The Power of Video

Although TikTok videos and Reels may be similar, they have features that differ. Before we get into the importance of these short and snappy videos, we should discuss the features of both:

TikTok Features:

  • A separate platform
  • Videos can be up to 3 mins long
  • Edits (including graphics, text, and video transitions) are all available on the platform
  • 855 million monthly active users

Reel Features:

  • Live on the Instagram platform
  • Videos can be up to 60 sec long
  • Reels can be directly posted to Instagram stories
  • Edits (including graphics, text, and video transitions) are all available on the platform

When deciding how to approach Reels or TikToks for your business, spending some time on both platforms is essential. Researching what competitors are doing and how they succeed is an excellent baseline for tailoring your video content.

A common misconception is that filming video content for TikTok and Reels will be easy and quick. Of course, as time passes and you film more, they will become faster. However to start with, make sure you have the video strategized and storyboarded, and a list of props you’ll need before you even pick up the camera or phone.

The best part about using TikTok and Reels is that both are relatively new, meaning there is more room to experiment. If you find your brand lacks a personal connection to the audience, consider doing a behind-the-scenes office tour or a meet and greet of employees. Video content is a way to put a face to your brand and allow for a more authentic connection.


TikTok

Deciding to make a TikTok account is also great for experimenting with your business. For example, you may find posting different content than what you post on established social accounts can attract new audiences or even have a higher engagement rate! Currently, the highest share of users is between the ages of 10 and 28, but users aged 30 to 39 are one of the fastest-growing groups. It’s essential to consider the audience you are already reaching and which audiences you’d like to reach for more brand awareness.

Engagement with video content is made easy with TikTok. Most people think when they reach out to a company, they will get an automated response or be talking to a computer. If a customer comments on a TikTok with a question, you can respond right in the comment feed with a video response.

Instagram Reels

With Instagram Reels, the engagement focus is more on finding new customers for your business. Follower count and engagement rate are bound to rise if you post Reel videos on current trends and topics. Instagram, as a platform, promotes Reel content of high quality, so if Reels are something you hope to do going forward, make sure you invest the time and effort into creating them.



Winter Plans in the Midst of a Pandemic

READ  •  2020

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While 2020 is a year most of us would rather soon forget, it’s still a year that we have to go through. And with restrictions on everything from indoor dining and recreational experiences to fitness facilities and events, we’ve had to adjust how we socialize, relieve stress, and spend our time. We caught up with our team to ask them how they plan on keeping busy and keeping sane through a pandemic-affected winter.


Pauline, Creative Director

We try to keep a balance of indoor and outdoor activities with our kids. Outside, we’ve taken to doing scavenger hunts with our kids — all things you’d find outside walking around our area. Inside, we’ve aimed to change up their play stations often with a focus on activities like games and crafts. I also tend to spend more time experimenting in the kitchen during the winter months.

Baking bread has long been a family tradition that I grew up with and am now carrying on — it’s been pretty therapeutic, so I find that I’m spending more time doing this.


Kaleigh, Content Director

I bought the recipe cards at 26 Market and have been using them to write down recipes we do at home ad lib. My partner is an amazing cook and runs The Moonlight Inn restaurant at Victoria Beach during the summer as a side hustle and I’m also not a bad cook (terrible baker). I’ve worked in restaurant kitchens all throughout university and before starting at 26 — food is a big part of my life.

My partner is a photographer and we hope to make a cookbook that is entirely photo-based. We’d like to photograph the recipe cards with raw ingredients styled around them. I love styling and plating. It’s kind of like our personal Covid cookbook with all original recipes!

This is a fun project that we’re excited about because it combines our professional and personal lives. I have an insane passion for editorial design and he is truly a talented photographer.

Jess, Strategic Designer

To cope with a COVID-19 winter, I’ve been trying out new recipes in the kitchen — primarily focused on plant-based dishes and baked goods. Cooking with my boyfriend is actually one of my favourite things to do, and we can spend hours cooking in the kitchen, so it’s a really great thing to do when we need a break from checking the news.

My go-to recipes are usually roasted vegetables and tofu stir-fry, but a new and notable dish I’ve recently made was quinoa and lentil cabbage rolls. They were pretty good for the most part, but I have some perfecting to do.

Baked goods is a must because of my sweet tooth! Things I’ve made so far: lemon poppyseed loaf, banana bread, blueberry peach crumble, and blueberry coffee cake.

And to help stay positive, I’ve decided to take part in a virtual sketch club with a few of my friends who were in the Environmental Design program with me. Every week, there’s a new theme or subject and we all find some time to sketch/illustrate something to share in our group chat on Sundays.


Cyrene, Strategic Designer

I’m planning to work on some personal projects and draw more in my free time. I’m also trying to find time to get back into some old hobbies — particularly making block prints.

I’ve also been hoarding a bunch of puzzles and have a miniature garden set that’s supposed to take about 40-70 hours to complete, so I’ve been pretty excited to start that!

Something I’ve really been to trying to focus on is making things by hand to cut down on my screen time since we’re already spending so much time staring at our computers, which is kind of what led me to hoard puzzles and pick up that mini garden. Listening to Christmas tunes always brightens my mood in the winter, too.

RB, Marketing Manager

Biking has always been an outlet for me to relieve stress and when we were in the thick of the pandemic in March/April, I bought a new bike — my first non-fixed gear bike. I bought it with the intention of using it on all types of terrain in all types of weather.

Since then, I’ve logged over 1,500km on the new bike and I don’t plan on keeping it locked up all winter. I recently picked up some winter bike tires that have held up really well so far, even in thick snow, so I’m going to see how she fares on some of the fat bike trails in Manitoba.

Apart from biking, other ways I plan on keeping sane are running D&D games for my friends online, working on my photography and illustration skills, and helping my partner bake her way through Claire Saffitz’s cookbook, Dessert Person.



Keeping Company with Volume

READ  •  2020

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Meditations on how to help others is part of our everyday. We look not only inward but toward the people we work with and become close friends with, for inspiration and guidance. Today we acknowledge chef Sharon Steward, with whom we had the privilege of developing a beautiful, educational cookbook with during the summer of 2017. She is someone who thinks with her heart, but with all of the brains behind it. She always has others in mind while staying true to what she is most passionate about: food, community, family, and her faith.


The Community Food Share Project

By trade, Sharon is a Red Seal Chef with years of experience in both the back and front of house in some of Canada’s most revered restaurants. She holds a sommelier diploma from the International Sommelier Guild, and is currently the head chef at InterVarsity Pioneer Camp Manitoba, a seasonal outdoor camp on an island in Shoal Lake.

Today, Sharon is busy spearheading an initiative that is responding to the times in a most generous and innovative way. Sadly, due to COVID-19, Pioneer Camp may not be in operation this year, a place where many children, staff, and volunteers spend their summers. But, as the chef, Sharon has retained important connections to food sources, which she has thoughtfully redirected to those in need.

The Community Food Share Project supports anyone who is struggling to access wholesome food in this challenging time. Whether caring for a young family, for oneself, for elderly family members, or for a community – the program functions to provide nourishing meals to many people in the city of Winnipeg and surrounding areas via food packages for purchase, and also subsidized for those in need. A very special part of those packages is the inclusion of a copy of the Volume: Cooking for a Community cookbook in packages that are purchased. All items within the food parcel are ingredients Sharon would have used to cook meals at camp. The book is a resource that will help anyone who receives or purchases a package understand what the food is connected to. To camp; to a community that values food, to an ethos of sharing food.

Visit https://www.volumecookbook.com/community-food-share-program to learn more about how you can engage in The Community Food Share Project.



Keeping Good Company with Hargrave St. Market

READ  •  2020

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We are consistently reminded of how lucky we still are to be in the presence of good company during the colder season – even if it happens to be spring. What a profound pleasure it is to work with Winnipeg’s newest food hall, Hargrave St. Market. We see ourselves as lucky to delight in the delicious diversity of cuisines and spirits through the mediums of photography and social strategy alongside you.


Thank you for inviting us to take part in this new and unprecedented chapter for downtown Winnipeg, with the task of capturing the essence of each food vendor – Gusto North, Yard Burger, The Good Fight Taco, Saburo Kitchen, Fools & Horses, Miss Browns, Rose Bar, and Lake of the Woods Brewing Company – the delicious diversity of cuisines and spirits were a delight to photograph and devour.

Thank you for allowing us to inform your new digital audience of what was to come, and for letting us take the reins on how to introduce this space to the city and build excitement around the opening of your doors.

Thank you for having us at your Grand Opening Celebration for a lavish night of drinks, ten meals worth of food samplings, and a wonderful turnout of guests for company. Thank you for breaking up our work week with exciting and renewed dining experiences – you will continue to do so for everyone in the area when the time comes.

Thank you for giving us a reason to come by the elevated modern space you’ve provided our humble city; for photoshoots, meetings, and down-time gatherings. We are in awe of the efforts that the people behind the food hall have and still put forth, and the chefs and creators that keep the community engaged with food in new ways.

Thank you for keeping us warm in your company during a long, and cold winter. The impeccable food offerings and spirits are one thing, but your flexibility and outstanding accommodations have made this collaboration very special to us. As the feeling of spring becomes more palpable, we will be dreaming of the day we can visit you again.

With love until then,
From the 26 Projects Team



Brand Activism – Meeting ABLE

READ  •  2020

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ABLE is a retail space, jewelry workshop, and design platform upholding traditional techniques and a forward-thinking business model that works to give voice and independence to people, namely women, who have been impacted by poverty and addiction. But crucially, ABLE is sending an important message about the deeply flawed, globalized fashion industry’s treatment and value assigned to those manufacturing fashion. Their model addresses disparity in workers’ rights in face of the demands of the industry through acknowledgment and transparency around wages paid to their manufacturers. ABLE is calling for action and representation via their Lowest Wage Challenge campaign.


Founded by Barrett Ward and established in 2010, ABLE is a lifestyle and fashion brand with its flagship and jewelry workshop located in Nashville, Tennessee. Last fall, we had the opportunity to briefly visit the store in The Nation’s Stocking 51 development, and since, have found every opportunity to draw closer to it and some of its creative members – to gather a deeper understanding of their purpose.

The primary mandate of the company is to address generational poverty by working with women who have often overcome extraordinary life circumstances. Though at the surface you will encounter a label that creates truly stunning, lasting, fashionable product – ABLE also prioritizes that all manufacturing is to take place directly in the communities they strive to impact, both locally and abroad. Currently, they employ women from seven countries, including the U.S., Ethiopia, Mexico, and Peru (to name a few) for the creation of hand-woven scarves, leather goods, denim, footwear, and handmade jewelry. With the clear position that job creation is integral to addressing the poverty issue, ABLE is a working example of a company that has created numerous jobs for women – jobs that ultimately help to illuminate their collective knowledge, culture, and skillsets.

You will also discover that ABLE’s strength is more than job creation. They ask important questions about their action towards the well-being of their workers. Through their campaign, The Lowest Wage Challenge, ABLE exhibits transparency about its operations and emphasizes the fact that 98% of fashion’s manufacturing workers do not earn a living wage to meet their basic needs. This further illuminates that 75% of this figure are women. ABLE seeks to open the dialogue about the ethics of the fashion industry while prioritizing basic human rights and building a culture where people are heard and valued by prompting consumers. ABLE strives to prove that today’s fashion industry is truly able to rectify these issues.

The celebration of women and their creative autonomy is integral in imagining the evolution of the company. ABLE is making an impact on the fashion industry’s modes of manufacturing and ethical production, but they are also creating more opportunities for accessibility, inclusivity, and diversity. We look forward to growing our relationship with ABLE over the coming months and share more about their wonderful business with you.



Keeping Company with De Luca’s and Smak Dab – Our Food Heroes!

READ  •  2020

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Greetings from our home offices this week. A special week is ahead of us as we prepare for and navigate new ways of dealing with times that call for gathering – Easter, Passover, celebrating the first signs of spring in our respective exterior spaces – whatever it is that normally calls us together, is upon us.


I think we can collectively agree that there is new joy to be discovered in preparing food, in trying something new, and taking pleasure in the challenge of cooking with what you have.

We know all too well about cooking with what you have in a small studio kitchen. And, my goodness, we miss those days. Cooking at the stove with what you’ve got to get the perfect shot, alongside some of the best creative culinary artists in the city, is something we miss dearly.

Thank you to Smak Dab and De Luca’s, who, for those of you don’t know, are good friends and have been supportive of one another from the beginning. Thank you to Smak Dab, for introducing us to our first contact at De Luca’s. You are both dream clients because you trust us – our taste in food, aesthetics and communication. You have welcomed us into your family life – moms, dads, uncles, friends, Italian chefs, babies, fiancés, and more. Thank you for teaching us how to celebrate with food, Thank you for showing us that though food doesn’t need to be complicated, it is still a world to approach with rigour, repetition, and generosity.

As traditions continue in new social settings, or in quietude – we hope you find comfort in knowing that Smak Dab and De Luca’s are still there for you. We know they can help deliver happiness.

With much respect, and until the next…
From the 26 Projects Team



Keeping Company with Sparrow Hotels – A Letter of Gratitude

READ  •  2020

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We’ve spent a lot of time communicating on behalf of Sparrow Hotels and all 8 of the businesses that encompass the brand – The Inn at the Forks, The Riverstone Spa, SMITH Restaurant, ERA Bistro in the Human Rights Museum, Mere Hotel, The Norwood hotel, and their latest gastro destinations Pauline Bistro and The Wood Tavern in St. Boniface.


Thank you for the memories. For allowing us to help you find the words in a voice both elevated and cheeky, and for letting us get up close and personal with our cameras. You’ve made our work with you feel effortless, expansive, and fresh.

Thank you for welcoming us into The Inn at the Forks for a glorious night’s stay. For treating us to the most relaxing day at the spa, and for nourishing us from morning to night.

Thank you for educating us about the food being prepared and their nuances – each restaurant so unique, authentic, and reflective of place across SMITH, ERA, Pauline, and the Wood. You have put us in touch with the seasons – the beauty of our winters through initiatives that we can take little credit for, but that we’ve simply had the pleasure of participating in. A Winter Wonderland is truly at our fingertips and you’ve helped us and the city experience what that can mean.

Thank you for keeping us in good company and closely in the know. Your professionalism and expert eye and mind for exceptional hospitality and refined, yet approachable taste is spot on.

Lastly, thank you for allowing us the creative freedom to express ourselves through you. When you’re challenged with sharing a message of good food, warm and welcoming accommodations, world-class architecture and design, and the experience of context beyond these establishments – we consider ourselves a pretty lucky bunch.

With much respect, and until the next…
From the 26 Projects Team