It’s easier now than ever before for small businesses to use digital marketing to attract customers. In Canada, over half of small businesses use social media for branding and leads, and over 70 percent of Canadian consumers say they make purchasing decisions based on online reviews. Here are three digital marketing tips for small businesses using their website and social media to stand out.
1. If you don’t have a LinkedIn company page, what are you waiting for?
Canadian small businesses engaged on LinkedIn increased by 87 percent, which is no surprise since your LinkedIn profile and company page are often what shows up first in Google search. This means that even if you’re not a B2B small business, it still makes sense for you to claim your entitled digital space and accessorize your page with:
- Your company’s function, purpose, and products and services to appeal to the customer
- Recommendations from customers and employees to encourage referrals
- Relevant keywords for your industry to improve search
While joining and posting expert advice in LinkedIn groups are a given, you can also position yourself as an expert by creating a group in your industry and sharing insights on your company page.
2. More consumers are shopping Canadian, so let them know you’re Canadian!
The ‘buy-local’ movement is strong, especially in Atlantic Canada and Quebec, where 72 percent of consumers opt to buy made-in-Canada products. With over 80 percent of consumers researching products and services online before making a purchase online or in-store, it is important that your content marketing strategy emphasizes the qualities that attract paying customers:
- Beyond claiming your Google+ local page, you can submit your business to Canadian business directories like CanadaOne for increased visibility.
- Use free keyword tools like ubersuggest.com to find what Canadian consumers are searching for in your niche, and create content around these relevant keywords.
- If your product or service offers a high level of customization, say it. The majority of buy-local consumers want to buy exactly what they need, so make that clear in your content.
3. Make sure your website is mobile responsive.
In 2013, 89 percent of Canadian smartphone users have bought something online. This means that while you’re not an e-commerce store, customers are going to come across your website on their mobile device while researching on the go, which is a significant source of traffic for small brick-and-mortar retailers, shops, and restaurants. Having a mobile responsive site that appears clearly on a mobile device determines whether a customer can look up your store hours, contact information, and drop by. If you’re looking to become mobile responsive, consult the following checklist:
- Do you know how visitors are using the website? If they are mostly checking for your contact information, make sure that section reads clearly in your mobile responsive design.
- Do you have the resources for a mobile responsive website? After you understand how your visitors are using your website, perhaps it’s more worthwhile making incremental changes based on how they impact your visitors.
- Does a responsive website make sense? If your website gets lots of traffic from mobile users, it could be time for an upgrade.
It’s an exciting time for Canadian small business owners. With so many digital marketing options available, make sure that any changes you make relate to your overall strategy.