In Canada, it is Small Business Month every October. In order to celebrate small businesses and entrepreneurship, Business Development Canada developed this annual celebration.
Being a small business owner can be a very challenging. There are so many hats to wear, from accounting, management, HR and marketing. How does one person manage it all?
When it comes to online marketing there can be many channels to choose from to promote your business and gain new customers. Which channels are the best to focus on without breaking the budget and seeing a return on investment (ROI)?
Online marketing strategies have grown significantly over the past decade and if you aren’t online, you’re simply not going to be found well. There are several options to market your small business and help you achieve your goals.
Why Does My Business Need Online Marketing?
- Over 88% of Canadians use the internet.
- 81% of consumer’s research online before making a purchase
- 60% of consumers start their research on a search engine
- 26% of Canadian internet users don’t trust a business that does not have a website.
Being accessible to those looking for your business is one of the key take-a-ways learned with these metrics.
What Channels should I focus on?
When I work with businesses, I always get that same question from clients. Where should I market my business online? Online marketing does not have to be overwhelming or expensive, with some practice and consistency you can create an online presence.
Focus on the basics. You don’t have to be everywhere to be accessible but the best place to be is where your customers are. Do some research online and check out what your targeted audience is. This may seem like a generic answer but every industry in different markets has a different audience.
- 59% of Canadians use Facebook Canadians
- 30% of Canadians use LinkedIn
- 25% of Canadians use Twitter
- 16% of Canadians use Instagram
- 46% of searches on search engines are local
- 87% of smartphone users use a search engine every day
- 60% of users search for a local product or service
- 78% of local-mobile searches result in offline purchase
- 76% of local searches result in a phone call
These are just a few statistics to show the true value in local search. For small business owners, this is an extremely valuable tool. Local search involves several strategies where you would receive a significant increase in traffic.
Establish a Brand
Even small businesses can benefit from establishing and creating a brand in their market. Branding helps customers remember businesses and organizations, helps distinguishes them from their competitors. It’s not just about the colour scheme or logo, having a brand is also about what your business is all about and how your business is different. Be unique and step away from the rest of the industry. Don’t have an idea? Then create it!
Email marketing can have a great way to drive traffic to your business and engage current customers
- About 53% of emails are opened on mobile devices– TechCrunch
- Emails that are relevant to the recipient drive 18 times more revenue than general broadcast emails– Mailigen
- Email is the preferred source of business communication for 72 percent of consumers. Marketing Sherpa
- Mobile has surpassed desktop as the readers’ choice for email, with 55 percent of email now being opened on mobile devices. – Litmus
- Personalized email subject lines increase open rates for consumer products and services companies by 41.8 percent. Marketing Sherpa
These are just a few of the inexpensive, simple strategies to create and establish your online presence.