Marketing for a Small Business in Canada
If you are opening or trying to grow a small business in Canada, marketing your small business effectively will be essential. As you prepare your marketing strategy, there are several steps you can take to ensure that your marketing efforts are as effective as possible.
Marketing for a small business doesn’t need to be a herculean effort; it just needs to be smartly planned and executed – and the more knowledge you have upfront the better. One of the first things you should do before you launch any marketing campaign is to spend time analyzing your competition and your audiences.
Get to know your competition
With a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis. A SWOT can help you visualize your business in a more strategic manner. As you work through the analysis, you will begin to realize what differentiates you from your competition – your most marketable attributes.
Get to know your audience
By creating personas. The personas you create can be developed based on your products and services. For each product or service, make a list of the features. Identify what problems the product or service solves. Then identify the potential users of each product or service and why they need it.
Develop Your Website
Once you know your competition and your audience, you can build your website. It’s essential to have your market research done before you build or revise your website so that you can use the appropriate marketing content on the site. For example, by going through the SWOT analysis and identifying your strengths, you can use those strengths as a foundation for how to position your products and services. By knowing what problems that you are able to solve, and for what type of consumer you can solve them, you can tell the right story on your website that captures the attention of not only your target market but Google search as well. Some tips for developing your website:
Purpose of the site:
Will you sell directly from your site and need an eCommerce store incorporated into the design? Do you have pictures of your products? Do you have a team of people from whom you need bios and headshots?
No matter what the design of your site, it needs to be optimized for mobile viewing. Is your site design responsive, and are you or your developer building it so that whatever the design, it renders properly, looks good, and is completely navigable on both a desktop and mobile phone?
It’s important to develop a color palette for use on the site that complements your logo. Design elements should not detract from the message but should be consistent across every space where your brand is visible.
Optimization is possibly the most important factor to consider in a website build. Each page and post should be carefully created with optimized copy that not only conveys your message and story but also allows the search engines, like Google to understand what the site is about.
Leverage Social Media
When marketing your small business in Canada, you cannot overlook the importance of including social media in your efforts. Not only do you need to be where your customers are – and one of those places is on social media – but social media also contributes to your overall SEO rank. If you are established on social media platforms already, ensure that the profiles are properly set up. If not, establish your accounts. At a minimum, most brands should be on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn (company page). Many brands, especially those with products that can be highlighted with imagery, should also be on Instagram and Pinterest. To make your social media work for you:
- Customize your content based on the platform
- Update your visuals to be consistent with your color palette, messaging, and branding on your website
- Fully complete your profiles and bios
- Use hashtags that match the keywords for which you’re optimizing your website
- Post regularly and consistently
Claim your Google My Business Listing
Did you know that anyone can create a listing for your business? Only the business owner can edit and only if you create or claim the Google My Business profile. This is an essential step to take whether you’re launching a new business or refreshing an existing business with plans to grow. Not only does your Google My Business listing give you the ability to post things like hours, menus, specials, and products but it also puts you in control of your reputation management and reviews and control the Q & A. In addition to claiming your Google My Business listing, you should also claim and build links from other top directories such as Yelp, YP, Bing Maps, Manta, and others.
Offer Coupons and Free Offers
To generate business and connect with your local community, create excitement about your business opening. Small businesses can connect with local customers by:
Creating coupons and special offers
- Offering discounts for following you on social media
- Hosting an open house
Advertise with Google Ads
To enhance your visibility and draw customers, Google Ads can put your heads and shoulders above your competition. Peak to Peak Marketing is a certified Google Ads partner. Google Ads can aid in marketing your small business and make you more visible and reach your target customers more effectively. Developing an effective ad strategy can be challenging. It takes time, research, and constant monitoring so that you can adjust your goals, keywords, and campaigns as you learn more about which ads are delivering the best return on investment (ROI).
Bonus Tip – Update Your Personal Profiles
As the owner of a small business, you are in the spotlight. It’s important to ensure that your personal social media accounts reflect the leader that you are. This can mean different things for different social media profiles.
LinkedIn – Make sure you have an updated photo on your profile. Your profile should be up to date and completely filled out. It should indicate that you are the owner or manager of the business and link to the business LinkedIn page.
Facebook – Your personal Facebook profile account, especially if you use it to post photos of your children, spouse your political views, or share personal information should be set to private. You can go into your security settings on Facebook and update who can see what and limit past posts to friends only.
Twitter – If you have a personal Twitter account, you must determine if you want it associated with your business or not. Business leaders often have personal Twitter accounts in addition to the company Twitter for sharing insightful quotes and thoughts.
Peak to Peak Marketing specializes in small business digital marketing strategies. We can help your small business be more visible to your target market. Get in touch for a no-obligation consultation to discover how our in-depth marketing knowledge and innovative online marketing strategies can help you gain a competitive advantage over your competition.
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