Creation & Connection
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Digital Marketing in the Era of Instant Gratification
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By Keltyn Marshall

I think we’re all aware of how the technological era has impacted our lives for better and for worse.

As a 90s kid I had the opportunity to grow up relatively tech free. As a 10 year old, I played the occasional game of Minesweeper on my HP Pavilion 5000, and in Junior High had the joy of chatting on AIM and MSN after school with my  friends (who else misses those days?). I got my first cell phone at 11, but was only allowed to use it for emergencies. I sent my first text ever on Valentine’s Day when I was 13. So, yes, technology was present in my life, but it certainly wasn't at prevalent as it is now.

Now, there is the satisfaction of instant gratification when it comes to technology. Hungry and want a poutine? Order from Skip the Dishes. Need a ride to a friend’s house? Get an Uber. Looking for a party date? Swipe through Tinder. Bored? Text every friend in your address book and see who responds first.

We have access to anything and everything almost immediately, and therefore the level of patience that we have has become extremely low. When you are used to having everything RIGHT NOW, waiting even a few seconds longer than anticipated can be the most stressful thing ever.

Ramesh Sitaraman, a professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst did a study to see at what point people begin to leave a Youtube video that loads slowly. He found that after just two second of loading, videos would begin to lose viewers, and that every additional second of waiting marked a 5.8 percent increase in lost viewers. This meant that after 40 seconds or more of loading time, one third of the audience would have been lost already.

So what does this mean for businesses?


While it may seem like you need to be the first and fastest when it comes to digital marketing, what it really means is that constant and steady marketing tactics will help you ultimately win the race.


Instant gratification doesn't just impact us on a personal level. If you are managing your company’s digital marketing campaigns you probably feel the pressure from your boss to get followers, fans, likes, comments, leads, and sales RIGHT NOW.

Sorry to break it to you (and your boss) but that’s not how it works. Digital marketing is a fast moving train, and there are no loopholes that can lead you towards success, not even bots. Why? Head over here to read a great blog post from Later about automation and why you shouldn’t use bots.

How DO you succeed? By creating communities, engaging with your followers, building a strong presence, and setting yourself as an authority. Each of these takes time and a lot of effort, but patience is a virtue.

Here are a few examples of how brands can engage their audiences while both keeping them attentive and bringing in a strong ROI for their digital marketing efforts.

Speak to a Specific Audience

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GoPro was able to focus in on their audience to provide them with a solution to their need for live-action video. They centred their images and messaging specifically towards sports enthusiasts and leave zero room for competitors in the market.

Provide Value with Images

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It’s been said a million times, a picture is worth 1,000 words. Given that the audience is most likely skimming through the webpage, or swiftly scrolling past a social message, we need to find the problem that needs to be solved, and illustrate it: You want your audience to see why they should care as quickly as possible. Through using images, you are able to instantly communicate a message and help your audience come to terms with the problem that they have, and see exactly how you can solve it for them. You can provide them with more information - should they choose to read it - in text form, as your audience grows more interested and attentive towards your product or service.



Only Take the Information That You Need

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Is your Call To Action to get the audience to sign up for your newsletter? Start a free trial? Great, make that sign up form transparent, and easy to fill out. Only ask for the information that you need. Tinder allows new users to sign up with their already existing Facebook accounts and Facebook directly feeds the necessary information to the users’ Tinder profile. With some quick location, and age restriction adjustments, the user can begin swiping for dates pretty immediately.


Focus on Customer Retention

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Getting new customers is a lot harder than retaining ones you already have. Given that people nowadays are much less brand loyal then before, you must keep them happy. How? Keep lines of communication open, be transparent, and engage continuously.


Follow the 8 Second Rule

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According to a study by Microsoft Corp, we have shorter attention spans than a goldfish.

So how do we combat this as marketers? We try to create content that can be consumed in 8 seconds or less or we lose our audience. Create a hook right at the beginning that grabs the audience and can hold them until you get your required message across, and don’t forget that simplicity is key.

I’ll leave you with one of my favourite videos that touches on the topic of Instant Gratification

If you would like Naheyawin to audit your current digital marketing efforts and provide you with a comprehensive strategy shoot us a message!

Interested in seeing more of what we do at Naheyawin? Check us out on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!  

Want to know more about the life of Naheyawin’s Marketing Coordinator? Toss Keltyn a follow on Instagram or Twitter!


Jacquelyn Cardinal
What Makes a Good Story?

By Hunter Cardinal

Hello, folks. It’s Hunter, Director of Story, here to talk to you about the best stories. My role just took a very literal turn. Say what?

December is when we enter the winter solstice and can now see the constellation ‘Wesakaychak.’ It’s also a time where we withdraw indoors and take a few moments to reflect on ourselves, the year, and tell stories. Traditionally told to youth, storytelling is a way to connect us to our place and each other. As Dr. Joe Couture - a pivotal figure in Indigenous activism, scholarship, and leadership - writes, ”It is through repeated Elder teaching that one comes to sense the wisdom of the Indian Way."

Storytelling has always been a big part of everyday life.

With the invention of books and the press came the necessity of storytelling as way too connect to each other. Then with the invention of the internet, we began to look at storytelling in terms of online traction. It’s no longer for the news and for journalists. Everyone and anyone has the ability to practice the art of storytelling through digital media, blogging, and - surprise surprise - everyday interactions! For as old of a practice that storytelling is, nowadays telling a story really well is one of the key ways to make yourself or your business stand out. But not everyone knows how to start their story and continue telling it well. Here are three storytelling tips - inspired from Indigenous thoughts -  that I use to help with marketing, public speaking, and even ordering coffee!


1. Find your “Why”

The most important part of storytelling is what the story is about on the deepest level - and that will come from you. Keep asking yourself why the story has meaning to you and for others. Keep asking until you have broken down the important aspects of the story and have answered this question.

2. Create an Outline

Find out what is crucial and what isn’t based on your “why.” This is an opportunity to see your story from a bird’s eye view, Break up your story into its major parts.

3. Mix it up

This is when you have all the parts of the story in front of you and you can change their order around. This is important because it focuses you on your “about” and lets you alter the story and its structure to serve that purpose.


We are all capable of storytelling. But what does it take to make a really good story? It needs to be important to you and needs to show the most important parts to your audience. As our elders say, “it is up to you” and “you have all the answers within you.” These are the two sides of the valley through which the path to a good story meanders.

You already know your story. All that’s left is to find the why and pass on your wisdom.

If you would like Naheyawin to help you tell your brand story, shoot us a message!

Interested in seeing more of what we do at Naheyawin? Check us out on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!  

Want to know more about the life of Naheyawin’s Director of Story? Follow Hunter on Twitter or Instagram!


Jacquelyn Cardinal
Refresh, Reflect, Recharge: The New Three R’s in Business

It’s your friendly neighbourhood Emma here, coming at you with my first blog post for Naheyawin!


With the holidays coming up, there are a few thoughts at the forefront of people’s minds: meal planning, travelling on snowy roads, buying gifts, and the fabled idea of time off from work. Whether it be two days or two weeks, many look forward to having those extra few days away from work to be with family and friends.

However, time off seems to only be used during the holidays. Unless it is a stat holiday, people would rather they didn’t take time off. has been able to come out with a “Vacation Deprivation” survey, showing that Canada has a hard time taking time off, coming in at 10 million unused vacation days in 2015. This year will be their 16th year of holding this survey. 16 years of data that all point to three words: take your vacation.

It’s not as simple as that for everyone though. Many employees refuse to take their vacation days because they rely on the payment in lieu. Others say that taking time off leaves them with more work to do in the end, so it’s better to just not take it and stay caught up. A few also just don’t find vacation relaxing and find that feeling forced to take vacation has the opposite effect on them. While this may be the case for some people, there is one thing we can all agree on.

Working too much can lead to burnout.


It happens to the best of us. We want to make a good impression at a new job or we don’t want to fall behind, so we spend more hours in the office. Entrepreneurs (*cough* Jacquelyn Cardinal *cough*), for example, are notoriously bad for working overtime (understandably so) and burning themselves out. It’s a hard lifestyle to sustain. Ignoring your personal life to focus on work has many negative side effects:

  • Exhaustion and cognitive problems: You can’t expect to think properly when you haven’t had a proper amount of sleep.

  • Lack of motivation: whether it be to complete a new project at work or chores at home; any kind of work can be the last thing you want to spend your time on.

  • Preoccupied with work all the time: You can’t unplug from work. You sneak in emails while at home and are constantly thinking of what you will have to work on the next day.

  • Neglecting yourself: By being so focused on what work needs, you lose focus on what you need, leading to increased physical and mental health problems.

  • Negative emotions: Burnout can leave you feeling cynical and frustrated with a job that you used to love and enjoy, resulting in decreased satisfaction in your work.

  • Interpersonal problems: Feeling negatively about your work and yourself can cause rifts between colleagues, friends, and family members without meaning to.

  • Slipping job performance: We are taught that putting in the extra work shows what a great work ethic you have. Burnout shows that this is not the case. Slipping job performance is almost inevitable when you look at the side effects listed above.

Burnout is not the same for everyone. Studies show that when women feel burnout that exhaustion comes first, followed by cynicism and a slipping job performance. Men, on the other hand, feel cynicism first and then exhaustion, but they continue to work at the same pace because they believe they are still working effectively. However, continuing to work at these high stress levels increases the likelihood of cardiovascular disease. While burnout can look different depending on the person, you can see where side effects can link together and become almost cyclical.

Which is why we all need to take a break.

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More companies are learning that the typical allotted 2-3 weeks of vacation isn’t working. There is no real incentive to use the given time and can cause more stress since you are now cramming three weeks of work into the few days before you leave. So what do we do?

Companies are starting to adopt the unlimited vacation policy used by Adobe, Netflix, and Twitter: take as much or as little time as you need to feel rejuvenated. This method acknowledges that everyone works differently and have different needs in order to come back to work feeling refreshed. By giving the freedom to set your own vacation, the hope is that you will actually use it when you need it and can work as you want to.

Other companies are establishing mandatory time off, where the entire staff closes shop for a week. When everyone is out of office, people are less tempted to work because no one is waiting on them for a task. How often is this mandatory time off? Well, depends on the company. One company tested this method and started with a week off every seven weeks. After receiving feedback, it was decided that the breaks were too often and it was changed to every eight weeks.

Naheyawin has decided that we will be establishing ceremonial breaks for our team. There will be four week-long breaks throughout the year, each coinciding with the coming solstice and equinox of the season (March, June, September, December), and will be times of reflection and rest. These ceremonial breaks will allow us to unplug from the office and take time for ourselves to keep creativity and passion in our work.

We’re not saying you need to book a trip to Hawaii and get tanned (or sunburnt) with a pina colada in hand. Everyone sees vacation differently. Some need to jet off to get into vacation mode. Others need to take the time to be at home with family and catch up on chores there. And there are those who need to do absolutely nothing but be by themselves.

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For our upcoming ceremonial break from December 24-30, I will be spending time with my family over the holidays: baking sugar cookies, playing with my nieces, and cuddling with the dog while I try to finish another book (key word is “try”). Keltyn will be spending time with loved ones, creating content for her personal blog (can’t stop, won’t stop with the content creation) and refreshing her living space with a good clean and purge. Hunter and Jacqui will be attending ceremonies, speaking with elders, and spending some well earned quality time with family. Natalie will be supporting the Cardinal siblings, wearing bear feet slippers 24/7 and warming her hands in front of a virtual fire on YouTube (not everybody has an actual fireplace, okay!?). We are all using this time in a way that suits us as a means of relaxation and we’re excited to see what the new year will bring us.

We challenge you to use your new year’s resolution to unplug more often from work. Whether it is for three days or 30 seconds… make the time to refresh, reflect, and recharge.

If you would like Naheyawin to audit your current digital marketing efforts and provide you with a comprehensive strategy shoot us a message!

Interested in seeing more of what we do at Naheyawin? Check us out on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!  

Want to know more about the life of Naheyawin’s Jr. Content Specialist? Follow Emma on Instagram!

keltyn marshall
Life's a Batch! How to Batch and Schedule Content for Ease
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I will undoubtedly admit that digital content creation is vastly time consuming. Whether you have one client or ten, coming up with the ideas, creating, designing, writing, and publishing the content can be completely overwhelming.

Before I started at Naheyawin, I was working part time for a boutique communications and public relations agency as well as freelancing as a social media manager. Social media and digital content creation had become my blood, sweat, and tears but because I didn’t take the time to come up with a scheduling process I began to fall behind, which caused a spiral of reactive events.

  1. Exhaustion

  2. Extreme stress

  3. Decline in productivity

  4. Lower quality content

  5. Burnout

  6. Loss of confidence

When I made the jump over here to Naheyawin, I knew that I would have many tasks as the marketing coordinator and social media was sure to be one of them. To avoid another spiral of events that would inevitably lead to burnout, I sat down with our CEO and co-founder, Jacquelyn Cardinal, to come up with a process that would allow us to continue doing great work and have the capacity to take on more.

Have Content Ideation Meetings

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At the beginning of each month we gather together to have what are called “Content Ideation Meetings.” We have separate meetings for each client so that we can focus solely on that client's needs and come up with rad, impactful content that is specific to their audience.

These meetings last 1-2 hours and begin with a wrap-up report of the previous month’s analytics. We use these stats to help us set new goals and figure out what is and isn’t working in the digital marketing strategy. We then come together as a group to brainstorm all content including e-newsletters, social media, videos, and blog posts.

Schedule Content One Month in Advance

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After our content ideation meetings are complete we get right down to work creating all content! Using the scheduling software, Coschedule, we schedule all content for the upcoming month and sometimes are keen enough to begin scheduling content for the next 2-3 months. We are sure to leave a few blank days in the schedule for any unplanned posts that might pop up. For example, one of our clients may have a last minute event come up that we will need to fit into the schedule. Having that blank day allows us to shuffle some posts around to fit everything in.

Making Time for Engagement

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Most social media managers will tell you that one of the more fun parts of social media management is the engagement! But, while fun, it is certainly time consuming. To avoid sleepless nights and burnout, we take up to two hours each day to go through all of our accounts and engage with our audiences. Those two hours can be at any time during the day, but must be during our 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. working hours. It can be hard not to respond to a Tweet while lying in bed at 10:00 p.m. on a Wednesday evening, but we make sure to flag it and get back to it the next day.

Example Content Ideation Meeting Agenda

Date: Tuesday, January 2, 9:00 a.m.

Location: Homestead Coworking, Pehonan Boardroom 

Subject: Naheyawin Content Ideation Meeting for the Month of February


  1. Presentation of December’s Social Media Report and Analytics

  2. Discuss new goals for the month

  3. Plan all of February’s content Including:

    • 40 Twitter posts

    • 15 Facebook posts

    • 15 Instagram posts

    • 3 blog posts 

    • 2 E-newsletters


  • Speaker series event on February 2
  • Don’t forget February 14, Valentine's Day
  • February 17 is Random Act of Kindness Day
  • Hosting a webinar February 20

If you would like Naheyawin to audit your current digital marketing efforts and provide you with a comprehensive strategy shoot us a message!

Interested in seeing more of what we do at Naheyawin? Check us out on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!  

Want to know more about the life of Naheyawin’s Marketing Coordinator? Toss Keltyn a follow on Instagram or Twitter!



keltyn marshall
Zero To Hero: 5 Ways to Effectively Use Digital Marketing to Elevate your Business's Online Presence

Hey everyone! I’m Keltyn, the Marketing Coordinator here at Naheyawin, coming at you with my first blog post for our site!

Earlier this month, Hunter wrote about Indigenous Astronomy and how Indigenous teachings can be transitioned to future generations. I’m taking inspiration from Hunter and keeping on the theme of transition by talking to you a bit about transitioning your run-of-the-mill digital marketing efforts into a rock solid, lead generating tool.

More often than not, we see businesses who aren’t utilizing their online presence in an impactful way. Effective digital marketing is a combination of keen awareness of your current efforts and clarification of your goals in order to move forward in the best way possible. We help businesses elevate their digital marketing efforts, and create high-impact content to unleash significant results. Here are the steps that we take to take a client’s social media to new heights:

Identify Goals

This seems pretty simple but so many businesses don’t do it. Did you write a business plan when your first launched your company? Then you should have also identified the goals you want to meet through digital marketing! Do you want to bring your organization forward as an authority in your industry? Bring visibility to events that you host or endorse? Gain sales leads?

Whatever your reasoning, it’s important to establish goals that are attainable and measurable. This way you can check in quarterly to see how you’re doing and make any necessary changes.

Who is your Audience?

Create an audience profile. Who is your ideal audience and why? Are they teenagers aged 13-19 who live in Canada and love to dance, or maybe they’re middle class Edmontonians who live downtown and like shopping local. You want to be as specific as possible. Once your audience has been defined you can choose which social platforms your company will engage with to reach your target audience. Your teenage dancers will most likely be found on Instagram and your middle class local shoppers will be on Facebook AND Instagram.

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Establish A Strategy

Every aspect of your digital marketing efforts should be executed for a specific reason. By creating a social media strategy you ensure that each social network you are posting content to is serving a purpose and helping you reach your goals. A social media strategy should include the following aspects:

  1. Goal Outline

  2. Audience Profile

  3. Voice and Tone Guide

  4. Necessary Social Platforms

  5. Frequency of Posts on Social Platforms

  6. Content Calendar

  7. Photo Styling Outline

  8. Measurables

Create Valuable Content

Each social media outlet that you are posting to should have unique and valuable content. This will help to showcase your business as a reputable and trustworthy company in your given industry.

I find that one of the biggest mistakes that companies make is that they cross post the exact same content to each outlet.  While this is the easiest and quickest way to populate your social channels, it will not bring great results. A post should be tailored to each social media outlet that it is being published on– this means keeping within character counts, properly sizing your images and only using hashtags on Twitter and Instagram. The Hootsuite Blog has a fantastic post about optimizing content for each social network.


It takes more than posting content regularly to your social channels to build a strong following; You absolutely, without question must engage. This means answering questions that your audiences posts on your pages, engaging with their content, and talking  back to them. Let them know that you are listening and interested in what they have to say. Social media isn’t a one sided tool, you must listen and react to your audience and give them more of what they want.

If you would like Naheyawin to audit your current digital marketing efforts and provide you with a comprehensive strategy shoot us a message!

Interested in seeing more of what we do at Naheyawin? Check us out on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!  

Want to know more about the life of Naheyawin’s marketing manager? Toss Keltyn a follow on Instagram or Twitter!


keltyn marshall
Look to the Stars: Indigenous Astronomy (2).jpg

Hunter here - your friendly Director of Story - and I have a thought for you. It’s kind of long but bear with me:

A couple of years ago, around this time of the season  I stumbled upon Wilfred Buck. Mr Buck is a Cree science specialist with the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre in Winnipeg. He published his findings and research online about Cree constellations and the teachings of what is known as “the Sky World.”

Now the inner sci-fi nerd in me freaked out. Cree astronomy? What? Seriously? I devoured his research within moments. I learned alternative perspectives on constellations that up until now I felt no immediate connection too. Suddenly, the big dipper transformed into “Mista Muskwa” - the big bear - and held a teaching about the abuse of power. I could look up at the sky and not only see what my ancestors saw, but also the stories and teachings they found necessary to weave into the constellations.

What floored me the most was Mr. Buck’s mention of an indigenous concept of infinity. He wrote:

"Our Elders believe that what is above is mirrored below and this is our connection with misewa – all that is. There are stories and teachings that are known and stories and teachings yet to be found. What is presented here is but a glimpse of the traditional knowledge that is known and held by indigenous people throughout the world. Here are some stories of Keesik Aski – the sky world. As one Elder stated, ‘we are blessed to live under a blanket of stars."

Curiosity drove me to email Mr. Buck to learn more about misewa. Sure enough, he responded and explained that  “The term ‘misewa’ presents the concept of infinity.” He explained that all of us are a part of an ongoing and vast process of creation. Also, Mr. Buck noted that these constellations have important teachings that go along with them. These teachings speak of history, living in a good way, and more. But more importantly these constellations exist among many we have yet to discover.

What I took away from Mr. Buck was a profound connection to the past. Not just by looking up at the night sky, but through my direct connection to creation.

Below is the story of the constellation Mista Muskwa, as written by Mr. Buck:

This story concerns the attention earned by bullies and abusers of power. Kayas  - long ago - there was a huge bear that roamed over the lands. Similar to the story of Ochekatchakosuk, it may be interesting to note that the story of Mista Muskwa can be based on historic fact in that huge bears did roam North America; such as the Prairie Grizzly and the Short-Faced Bear during the last Ice Age. All beings were afraid of these bears because they were big, mean and powerful. They did what they wanted to do when they wanted to do it. They wrecked homes, destroyed winter food caches, scared game, ripped up edible plants and killed all who stood in their way. This went on for many years. One day, some fed-up animals decided to hold a meeting and discuss what could be done about this situation. A meeting was called and almost all of the animals showed up, because they all felt that the situation with the bear was unacceptable. After great outcries and stories of horror and tragedy, it was decided that the bear had to be removed from their traditional lands. At various times, the beings of the land tried to reason and calm the bear, but to no avail. The bear always did what it wanted to do and continued to damage property and hurt or kill others. Thus, it was decided that seven of the best trackers and hunters were chosen to remove the bear. It just so happened that the seven best trackers and hunters were birds and off they flew. The hunt was on as Tehpakoop Pinesisuk  the Seven Birds, chased Mista Muskwa. Not all beings were put off by the activities of the bear. The ravens found that they could have a comfortable, well-fed life if they just followed the bear around and feed on its left-overs. When they heard about what was to happen to the bear, the ravens went straight to Mista Muskwa and told him. He was outraged and set immediately out to find these “great hunters”. So it was that around the 11th  and 12th full moons of the year, a confrontation between Mista Muskwa and the hunters occurred. This confrontation was brief and did not lead to violence because when Mista Muskwa failed to scare his pursuers, he turned and fled, as all bullies do when confronted with determination and resolve. It is said that Mista Muskwa and his pursuers were so fast that they flew into the northern night sky. Just as this happened, the bear was mortally wounded and he turned and faced his attackers. Mista Muskwa was bleeding badly and he shook, as a wet dog would shake, and as he did, blood from his wound fell to the earth and landed and stayed on all the broad leafed plants. That is why the leaves of all broad-leafed plants change color in the fall. As Mista Muskwa, shook he also splattered a drop of blood on the bird that mortally wounded him. To this day, pipichew  – the robin – has a red chest. To remind all of the rewards of bullies, Mista Muskwa was placed in the sky along with the seven birds (Corona Borealis). Pipichew (the brightest of the 7 birds) was given a further honour by being granted a special egg. It was the color of the sky and had speckles that represented the stars.”

Great story hey? This story is old, like old old - maybe even 10,000 years old. I really struggle to think of any other stories that old.

What gives me pause to think - in addition to the profoundly old teaching - is the idea that there are other teachings to learn and discover.

So, to finish my thought for you, when our ancestors were learning how to live in a good way with their loved ones and friends, record their history, and reaffirm their values, they looked to the stars. With the growing challenges of our time - that we all are facing - I wonder what new teachings we will learn and how they will transition to our future generations? What do you think? Let us know in the comments below! 

-Hunter Cardinal, Director of Story