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Snapchat On-Demand Geofilters in Canada

Posted on August 25, 2016 by

Snapchat is a growing goliath when it comes to social media and messaging on mobile phones. Since launching in 2011, it has really resonated with a younger demographic and is said to have more users (estimated 150 million) than active monthly users on Twitter. Even since it launched, brands have been looking for ways to capitalize on the platform.

IMG_2016-08-15 16:37:46Geofilters are a creative way to customize your ‘Snap’ that you send on Snapchat. You can add an image overlay to the image you’re sending or posting as a story. With location services on, Geofilters are often custom to where you are or set up for particular events. Edmonton has a lot of Geofilters for local attractions or just generic Edmonton ones. zag creative first experimented with Geofilters back in 2015 when we developed and got approved a permanent Geofilter for on104th in downtown Edmonton. To this day, if you’re around our office on 104th street, you can see the filter we made! When we wrote that blog, however, Geofilters weren’t available to businesses.

Well now, over a year later, Snapchat has made it even easier for people and small businesses to pay for a custom Geofilter for their brand or event with On-Demand filters. Me, being the social media person I am, needed to give these a whirl as we begin to find strategic places to recommend these to our clients. My friends and I were throwing our second annual “Beer’lympics” and wanted to create a filter for the event, and so below is a glimpse at the process!

Design the Geofilter: A filter should be simple yet memorable in a way that will help it become associated with your event or brand. Because my event had to deal with alcohol, Snapchat rejected my first two filter attempts citing that it encouraged excessive drinking, but approved my third, pictured below. Snapchat’s turnaround time for approval was really fast (under a day) both times. Uploading the filter and positioning it in size and where you want it on the screen was really easy too! When designing, make sure to consider how it will overlay on both dark and light pictures (this was a mistake I made). Other guidelines and tips can be found here, but a major consideration is contact information like URLs, hashtags, and social media handles are not allowed.



Map and time the Geofilter: Once it’s uploaded and positioned, pick exactly when and where you want your filter to run. For the area, you can draw an exact fence over the area you want your filter to show up at. I drew mine over my yard and didn’t have any problems with it showing up where it should. Below is an example of the interface with a fence over our office.

Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 4.32.38 PM

Buy the Geofilter: Pricing for a Geofilter is a product mainly of the size of the area requested and duration that the filter will run. For mine, I had it run for 26 hours over an area of 120,702 square feet and the total cost was $52.30 USD.

Enjoy the Geofilter and check some analytics: Having a Geofilter at a party is a great little perk that people can get excited about. Just imagine the potential for a brand, to get that kind of natural exposure when people send pictures with your filter overlaid or post it on their story. Snapchat provides some basic (but exciting) analytics after your event on how your Geofilter was used. During the 26 hours it was live, it was used 90 times and seen 4,161 times (accounting for the number of times that people received a Snap with the Geofilter or saw it in a Snapchat Story)!!

Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 4.33.51 PM

And there you have it! After trying out this process for myself, I’m convinced of the potential for companies to use this as a tool for event engagement and brand awareness around initiatives they’re running. It’s a great way to get the word out about an event in an organic way and reach people through something that’s engaging and personal. We’re really excited to provide recommendations and facilitate the implementation of these filters with our clients and see how this growing social media platform can provide awesome value for consumers!

10 Free and Discount Nonprofit Marketing Tools

Posted on March 24, 2016 by

I’ve been involved in marketing nonprofit organizations for over 10 years, currently serving as Vice President on a nonprofit board. The challenge I always face is how to reach the largest audience with a limited budget. Luckily there are many marketing solutions from Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and LinkedIn available for free or at discounted rates to charities and non-profit organizations. I’ve tried all of these solutions, and they have made a significant contribution towards the growth of the organizations I have worked with, while saving thousands of dollars in marketing and communication costs.

Taking advantage of these nine solutions can expose your organization to new audiences and generate more donations.


Google Ad Grants

The #1 most effective free nonprofit marketing solution available is Google Ad Grants, available through the Google For Nonprofits program.

The program offers $10,000 USD per month of in-kind advertising in Google AdWords; these are the ads that appear on the top of any Google search result.

These ads are displayed through an ad action, with all advertisers bidding the maximum they are willing to spend for every click on their ads. The Google Grant bid is capped at $2 USD making it difficult to compete with some paid advertisers and utilize the full budget available. To maximize the budget and get the full value of the program, the AdWords account should be set up utilizing all best practices including ad extensions. Nevertheless, the grant provides an incredible value. We recently set up this program for one of our clients at zag creative and saw some phenomenal results. The client received over 50,000 ad impressions leading to over 3,000 clicks at a value of over $2,000 Canadian in only one month.

If you need help applying, setting up or managing a Google Ad Grant, get in touch with us at zag creative, we’d be happy to help.

Visit Google Ad Grants for more information.


 YouTube Nonprofit Program

YouTube is another product offered with the Google for Nonprofits program. The main benefit offered by this feature is the ability to add call-to-action overlays on your videos. This can help you generate more visits to your website from a video. You can also add cards to your video to generate donations or link anywhere to a website.

Visit YouTube Nonprofit for more information.


Google Apps for Nonprofits

I always recommend that organizations, regardless of size, use a branded email address that matches your website (ex: This is an easy way to give your organization a more professional image.

Creating a custom Gmail address through Google Apps for Business will cost you about $5 per user per month. Fortunately, Google offers non-profit organizations unlimited email accounts, with 30GB of storage per account for free. In addition, you’ll get access to Google Docs, Google Forms, Google Calendar, Google Groups, and video conference calls for up to 15 participants.

Visit Google Apps for more information.


Office 365 Nonprofit

Office 365 is another email option and the largest competitor to Google Apps for Business. They also offer unlimited users but with 50 GB of storage. Office 365 has several advantages over Google Apps, such as shared contact groups, shared inboxes, meeting rooms, online versions of Microsoft Office, and a SharePoint intranet. The main disadvantage is that the webmail user interface is not as intuitive as Gmail.

If you need help deciding which email system will be best for your non-profit or assistance in setting it up, zag creative is happy to help.

Visit Office 365 Nonprofit for more information.


TechSoup Canada

To signup for Google Nonprofits, you’ll need to be registered for TechSoup Canada, a nonprofit that partners with top software companies to provide free software licenses to nonprofit organizations.

In addition to qualifying organizations for Google Nonprofits, TechSoup offers donated software from leading companies such as Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat Pro, Intuit QuickBooks, Sage 50 (Formerly Simply Accounting), as well as software specifically designed for nonprofits such as Sumac Contact Relationship Management.

Visit TechSoup Canada for more information.


Vistaprint Non Profits

Printing your marketing material can be another expensive need for any nonprofit. Vistaprint is an online printing company that fast and reasonably priced printing. Before you place your order, reach out to their customer support and they will likely offer you a discount such as 33% off + free economy shipping on paid orders.

Visit Vistaprint for more information.


MailChimp and Constant Contact for Nonprofits

Keeping in touch with your supporters is vital in managing a nonprofit organization. One of the easiest and cost effective ways to do this is through an e-newsletter. Two of the leading providers of e-newsletters are MailChimp and Constant Contact. MailChimp claims that over 200,000 nonprofits are already using Mailchimp and offers a 15% discount. Constant Contact offers a 20% discount with pre-paying for 6 months and a 30% discount when pre-paying for a 12 month subscription.

Not sure which platform is best for your organization? zag creative can help you decide as well as with setup and template design.

Visit MailChimp or Constant Contact for more information.


LinkedIn for Nonprofits

LinkedIn offers resources on how nonprofits can leverage the professional capabilities of the platform, as well as discounts for job postings.

If you’re searching for skilled volunteers and board members for you nonprofit, LinkedIn offers 90% off a 30-day job post. The website claims that over 10 million members have shown interest to volunteer or serve on a board through LinkedIn.

If you’re hiring a paid position, LinkedIn offer 50% off a job post, which regularly costs over $200. LinkedIn job posts can be an effective hiring method by reaching over 400 million professionals worldwide.

Visit LinkedIn for Nonprofits for more information.


Facebook for Nonprofit

Unfortunately Facebook does not currently provide any in-kind advertising or exclusive features for nonprofits.

Facebook, however, does offer specific advice and resources on how nonprofits can benefit from using Facebook on their Facebook for Nonprofits website. They also have a “Donate” call to action for Facebook pages with a nonprofit category.

Facebook is currently testing, with select charities in the US, the ability to donate right within Facebook. You can check this feature out by clicking on the Donate button on the World Wildlife Fund’s Facebook Page. We’re hoping that this expands to more charities and countries in the near future.

Visit Facebook for Nonprofit for more information.

Canva for Nonprofits

We have used Canva for several of our clients and its a great low-cost and easy to use platform for web and social media graphics. Canva supports nonprofits by providing free access to “Canva for Work”, their premium model, to all eligible nonprofit organizations.

Visit Canva for Nonprofits for more information.

Using these 10 marketing tools, your nonprofit can significantly increase its reach and save money at the same time. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions or need any help with your nonprofit.



6 Posts That I’ll Delete You Off Facebook For

Posted on January 29, 2016 by

As zag creative’s Social Media Specialist, needless to say, I spend a lot of time on social media and I love it. Endlessly scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even LinkedIn isn’t a time-waster for me; it’s my job. And with the title of Specialist, I feel like I’m entitled to a rant or two about posts that irk me on Facebook. People use social media for different things and there is no right or wrong topic to post about, but some posts just really bother me and make me hover over the “Unfriend” button before realizing I’m not brave enough to actually go through with it.

If you do post one of the following types of post, don’t take it personally, these are just my opinions. If I had my way, everyone would only share cute pictures of dogs on Facebook.

  1. One like = one prayer. I get it. 99% of the time your great-aunt Barbara shares a post encouraging people to share, comment, or like it to support a cause or initiative, it’s because she’s well-meaning. If a post is doing a good job at spreading awareness or raising donations for a charity or event, that’s one thing. But posts that make you feel guilty for scrolling past, or say “Like if you agree, don’t like if you’re the worst person in the world”  have no place in my news feed. They remind me of those chain emails I’d get in junior high that would say “Forward this to 3 friends, or else you’ll never find true love and you’ll lose all of your toes.”
  2. Vague or attention seeking posts. Nothing bothers me quite like attention seeking and so when somebody makes a vague post like “On my way to the hospital” with no context, it doesn’t fly with me. If you have something to share, share it but if you make a post like that, chances are I’m not going to ask for further details.
  3. Offensive posts. Genuinely you’re allowed to share what you want on social media; that’s one of the things that makes online platforms great. It’s a place to share opinions, thoughts, and what matters to you — but there’s a limit and definitely such a things as being too opinionated and too offensive. Honestly, I get pleasure sometimes reading intense Facebook comment debates that go nowhere, but if you’re posting something just for the reason of being offensive, maybe think again.
  4. Anything with a minion on it. I haven’t seen Despicable Me, nor do I feel the need to, but even if that movie was the Pulp Fiction of our generation, there would still be absolutely no need to take a photo of a minion in an “adorable pose” and put it next to a quote that’s semi-relatable about Mondays being the woorrssstt but completely irrelevant to minions. Make it stop.
  5. Sharing a picture by screenshotting it. This one is a little more specific, but have you ever seen someone share a photo by taking a screenshot on an iPad or iPhone, and it’s obviously because the menu with the time is at the top? Facebook has a share button. Please use it.
  6. What 18th century poem are you? (or the like). Sure, it might be fun to see what celebrity you’d be if you were the other gender, but we do realize that these mean absolutely nothing, right? Having these as a distraction from all of the depressing, politically charged posts on Facebook is a nice break, but it goes too far when people take it way too seriously and say they always knew they were a triangle.

I love social media for the value it gives with creating community and having authentic conversation. Don’t take this post as “Rules” for social media because I get that everyone uses it differently, but be weary if you are friends with me on Facebook, that I might be judging you a little bit the next time I see a post with a minion on it.

3 New Facebook Ad Formats You Should Know About to Grow Your Business

Posted on October 29, 2015 by

There have been a lot of changes to Facebook’s advertising platform over the last few months, as Facebook tries to compete with Google AdWords in the display advertising market. The zag creative interactive marketing team is always monitoring and testing the latest innovations in digital advertising to get the best bang for our clients’ buck. Here are three of the latest innovations in Facebook advertising that you should be aware of.

Instagram Ads

Facebook, who owns Instagram, has been slowly rolling out Instagram advertising to select agencies and at the end of September they opened it up to everyone. Instagram integrates seamlessly with Facebook’s existing ad platform, it allows for all of the same demographic, interest and behavioural targeting. Instagram has over 400 million users and they claim that ad recall from sponsored Instagram posts was 2.8x higher than other online advertising.

As an active Facebook agency advertiser, zag creative was given early access to test out the platform with some of our clients and the results were impressive! For one client, engagement through post likes showed a 188% increase compared to likes on similar sponsored posts on Facebook and new followers to the page were also significantly higher. We were able to generate the best engagement and the lowest cost per click with interesting photo creative. Overall, the cost per clicks showed a 64% decrease compared to similar Facebook newsfeed ads. As the popularity and competition of Instagram advertising increases, we expect the cost to go up, but we’re enjoying it while it lasts.

Click to Website Video Ads

Another significant change to Facebook advertising this month was the ability to add videos in a Click To Website ad format. We’ve seen some great results from Facebook Video Ads with videos views costing as low as 2 cents, while this provided great branding for our clients, it did not provide as many clicks to the website as the Click to Website ads. This change brings the best of both worlds, with auto playing video to catch the attention of the user, as well as the easy click to the website for more information.

Lead Ads

Another ad type that was made available to all advertisers this month was Lead ads. We believe lead ads are going to be a game changer in the lead generation industry. The ads make the mobile signup process easier by automatically populating contact information that people have given Facebook, like email addresses. It previously took significant resources to develop a website that would collect the name and email address of potential customers. The Lead ad makes this process seamless and highly effective. If you are a business that collects contact information from potential customers for you to follow up with, we recommend giving this ad type a try. Facebook has built this ad type with the user’s privacy in mind. Users have the option to edit their contact information, which isn’t sent to the advertiser until the user clicks “submit”. Advertisers must also agree that they will not sell or share this contact information to another party.

If you have any questions about Facebook advertising, or if you’re interested in growing your business through Facebook advertising, we’d love to hear from you.

Get in touch with us!

Being a zag Intern

Posted on August 7, 2015 by

IMG_2015-08-07 10:23:05Movies and TV shows often portray interns as young, decent looking students who specialize in making coffee, asking redundant questions, and being the target of verbal abuse from everyone in the company. Jas and I both agree though that as interns, aside from the decent looking part, we’ve experienced none of these things.

I’ve been with zag since the beginning of June as their first ever social media intern and from the interview I knew that being an intern here was going to be nothing like the movies. Things at zag are different, and not different like when your mom would say it, but different like a breath of fresh air after walking through a forest fire. To demonstrate, here’s my list of my 5 favourite things about being an intern at zag:

  1. The coffee machine. Coffee and I go way back; it’s a pretty serious relationship. Working as an intern here has only brought me and coffee closer together with zag’s incredible and complex coffee machine that, just like a relationship, originally intimidated me but now we’re going steady.
  2. The downtown lifestyle. On my first day, I played “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton the entire ride downtown specifically for the line “Making my way downtown…” I live east of Sherwood Park, and even though I go to school downtown, working on 104th street has been really neat. It’s awesome to be around so many cool restaurants and shops!
  3. The company. I promise I’m not getting paid to say this, but zag creative is actually a really rad place to work. They have some really awesome projects on the go and it’s incredible to see the unique stuff they do. The people that work here have such a unique set of skills that come together like rum and coke, getting the world drunk on creative ideas and killing it everyday. They also have a really cool looking office and I have a lovely view from my desk of a whiteboard window drawn by Kat, where it’s always raining.
  4. The experience. I’m graduating from university in December and getting this type of hands-on experience has so much value. I have learnt so much about how to actually do interactive marketing online and also how to work in an agency setting. It’s been incredible to have the opportunity to get my hands dirty in different projects and learn lots of new things.
  5. The people. The people I’ve met at zag are stellar. They’re not only so incredible at what they do, but also hilarious, hip, so stylish, and really fun to be around. They love sangria, animals, and have the most hilarious stories. From day one, being part of a really strange lunch conversation, I knew that these people were the type of people I’d want to work with. Coming into work early summer mornings was made so bearable knowing that I’d be around such positive and interesting people, and probably laugh at least once.

Being an intern at zag creative this summer has taught me so much about the industry that I want to work in. Every chance I get, I brag to my friends about my awesome internship at one of the coolest companies there is. It all feels kind of surreal to be here. I’ve met some amazing people, been part of some amazing things, and couldn’t have asked for a better way internship. #inTurndownforwhat

Social Media Intern

Posted on April 24, 2015 by

They called social media a waste of your time.
They said you’d never find a job if you kept spending all your time online.
Well, they were wrong.

zag creative has an intern opening in our Interactive department for 2 – 3 days/week over the summer. The successful candidate will be responsible for helping to develop and execute social media strategies, contests and interactive marketing initiatives.

Tell us how good at the Internet you are.

We are looking for someone with an intimate understanding of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google My Business. There will also be plenty of opportunities to learn and work with AdWords and Analytics, so a willingness to expand your skills and experience will be key.

Send your resume and cover letter to Only short listed candidates will be contacted for interviews.

This posting will remain open until 5:00 PM MST on Friday, May 8, 2015.

*This position has been filled.

Snapchat Geofilters in Canada

Posted on February 24, 2015 by

UPDATE: Check out our new blog about On-Demand Geofilters which can be purchased for personal and business use! (08/25/16)

We are so excited to announce that our Snapchat Geofilter is now available #on104th!

Snapchat Geofilters are filters that you can swipe on to your snap while in a certain location. Our “on104th” filter will appear for people snapping along 104th Street in downtown Edmonton.

geofilter approved


If you’re not seeing Geofilters, make sure you have location services enabled on your device, as well as filters turned on within Snapchat.


Want to make your own? Visit Snapchat support to find out how, and download the photoshop template.

Couple things to note:

  • All images must be original artwork – no logos or trademarks
  • Businesses are not currently eligible for Geofilters
  • Snapchat will have to approve your submission
  • Snapchat welcomes submissions from anywhere in the world but is limited in processing users from outside the U.S.

It took almost a month for our submission to be approved. We’re also in Canada, so don’t let that last point deter you!

Happy Snapping!


Business Moving Checklist – Digital Strategy

Posted on September 29, 2014 by

Congratulations, you found the perfect new space for your business. You have the new location, the movers and all your things packed. Is that it? Not quite…

Use this checklist to ensure your online presence is up to date, and your customers and clients are well aware!


Social Media

Change your address

  • Take note of all your active social media properties like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Only change your address once you are officially in the new space.
  • Are you anywhere else online? Google your business name and discover which directories have you listed. Inform them of your new address.
  • Don’t forget review sites like Yelp and FourSquare as your clients or customers may have added your details without your knowledge.

Post about your move

  • Whenever it is that you decide to let your clients/customers know about your move, let your social following know as well. This announcement will vary depending on a lot of factors, but you should definitely give your following a heads up in the week before.
  • Will you be closed? Ensure you post about any closures, or delays customers and clients may experience because of this move.

Capture the move

  • Take advantage of this content and capture images of your old space, the moving process and the new space.
  • Share these images across the appropriate profiles through individual posts, albums and cover photos.


Google My Business

  • Update your Google My Business listing with your new address. This will update your Google+, Google maps and Google search listing.
  • Don’t have a Google My Business listing? Every business should – find out how to get yours here.


Website & Blog

  • Update your address in the footer, contact page and anywhere else your address is listed.
  • Use your blog to post important information about your move. This can include:
    • Date your moving
    • New address
    • Days you are closed
    • How to contact your business during the move
    • Why you are moving
    • Photos of the moving process
  •  Does your old space need a new tenant? Everyone needs some good karma! Help out your landlord/realtor by posting about the space your leaving. Don’t forget contact info!



  • If you utilize email newsletters as part of your digital strategy, ensure you include information about your move in your next couple campaigns.
  • If you send newsletters infrequently, create a campaign to specifically announce the move. Include important details like move date, closures, delays and the new address.


Email Signature/Out of Office

  • Give your clients and customers plenty of notice by adding your new address and move date with a short blurb to your email signature.
  • Once you’re in the new space, encourage email recipients to take note of your new address. *Don’t forget to remove this after a couple months or weeks depending on your preferences.
  • Closed on moving day? Use your ‘out of office’ to let customers and clients know you’re currently closed, your new address, and the day you will be back open for business.

Google My Business

Posted on June 18, 2014 by

Having your business on Google through search, maps and even Google+ is an important part of anyone’s online strategy.  For months we have been advising our clients to complete their auto-generated Google+ page, the one that comes with being on Google maps. Today Google has made the link between their sites official with Google My Business.

For some, it seems like Google is forcing Google+ on us again. But with Google+ reviews and recent posts appearing in search and maps, it may be time to include Google+ in your social media marketing efforts.

If your listing needs help, or you’re in need of a social media strategy let us know, it’s something we specialize in.

OK Go – Being Strategic and Awesome!

Posted on June 17, 2014 by

OK Go just released their latest music video for The Writing’s On the Wall – and it is awesome!

This band is known for their conceptual videos getting major traction online, and this one is no different with a ton of perspective illusions.

Strategy, planning and proper execution make each of their performances a phenomenal success. We love seeing concepts like this, since strategic marketing is one of our core values here at zag creative group.

Check out the video that started it all here: