The growth of online shopping in Canada has been astounding, with retail e-commerce sales now accounting for more than 5% of total Canadian retail sales as of 2016.
This is great news for online marketeers, e-commerce managers, and business owners who want to sell and promote their products or services online in Canada.
However, simply having a website or selling products online isn’t enough to make money online in Canada. You need to have an effective strategy in place if you want to succeed.
Many entrepreneurs and businesses have discovered the countless advantages of digital marketing and online marketing, and have taken the plunge, establishing themselves as an online marketing agency in Canada.
This type of agency can take on a variety of marketing roles, from SEO to PPC, email marketing to social media marketing, and more.
Agency owners and senior managers typically have at least a decade of marketing experience, and may possess both business and digital marketing expertise.
Established in 2015, the Toronto agency Impress Hub specializes in SEO, PPC, and content marketing for medium and small businesses. Clients include startup businesses, companies, and brands seeking to establish a strong brand voice across all platforms, as well as existing businesses seeking to drive more leads and sales online.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, digital marketing and online marketing have taken on a new significance, as businesses seek to protect and grow their businesses online during these unprecedented times.
During this time, experts are imploring marketers to take a digital marketing approach to not only survive, but to thrive in an online world.
As a marketer, business owner, or entrepreneur who wants to sell and promote your products or services online in Canada, where do you start?
Create A Marketing Plan
As the name would suggest, an online marketing agency in Canada is responsible for generating relevant, valuable, and hopefully profitable leads and sales for their clients.
To do this, they will implement a digital marketing strategy which includes a set of carefully chosen tactics, such as SEO, to attract customers to your website and convince them to make a purchase, or reach out to you for more information.
A senior leader at an agency will typically work with the agency’s owner to develop a marketing plan, which sets out the objectives of the agency, the products or services it will promote, and the targets – specific numerical goals – for the plan.
The marketing plan will then be put into action, and the processes for tracking its progress will be established.
An essential part of establishing an online marketing agency in Canada is to secure the right to represent clients. Most agencies in this space offer both traditional and digital marketing, with a focus on SEO and PPC (Pay-Per-Click Advertising).
Find The Right People To Build Your Team
Having the right people is critical to the success of any business, and applying this maxim to your online marketing agency in Canada is important to establishing a successful operation.
You must find digital marketing partners who are passionate about your industry, willing to work on your behalf, and able to implement your chosen tactics.
An agency’s ability to generate revenue for their clients is dependent on their ability to put together effective marketing campaigns, and the quality of those campaigns is dependent on the expertise of their team.
If you decide to partner with an agency, be sure to negotiate terms that are favorable to your business. For example, ask the agency to commit to providing monthly reports outlining the progress of your campaign, or to ensure that their marketing team is highly skilled and experienced.
Create And Maintain A Customer Database
An effective digital marketing agency in Canada will have a solid database of customer information, which they can utilize to target future marketing efforts at likely buyers.
The collection of relevant information about your customers, such as their purchase history, demographics, and lifestyles, allows you to identify marketing segments which may have been previously under-served, and allows you to build a more accurate and targeted marketing plan.
Customer relationship management (CRM) is one of the essential aspects of operating an online marketing agency in Canada. Without a proper tool for keeping track of your customers, lead generation and sales drops dramatically.
Use Technology To Your Advantage
While we’re always striving for more efficient ways to do business, technology can also be an advantage when utilized effectively.
One of the biggest advantages of utilizing technology is the ability to reach the right audience at the right time with the right message.
For example, when someone visits your website, a message about your product may pop up, or the website may redirect the user to a landing page containing valuable information about your product or service.
Keeping up with the latest advancements in technology is key to being effective online, and being able to take advantage of the many benefits it can offer.
SEO: Search Engine Optimization
SEO is a form of digital marketing that can be utilized to drive traffic to a website, by improving the performance of a website or web page in Google search results. SEO often involves using various techniques to get listed higher in search engine results for a given search term or keyword.
This is achieved through a combination of tactics, including keyword research, analysis of competing websites and platforms, and optimization of content – all designed to make your site more appealing to the search engine itself.
Since the beginning of SEO, there has been ongoing debate about the effectiveness of this type of marketing. Some marketing professionals argue that the ROI (Return On Investment) for SEO can be quite high, while others warn that the effort may not be worth the investment.
PPC: Pay-Per-Click Advertising
Unlike SEO, which is free, PPC is an advertising method that is paid for each time someone clicks a link or makes a purchase after being exposed to a paid advertisement.
PPC advertising can be used to promote your products or services, or those of your chosen partner websites, on the internet.
PPC advertising can be very effective when used correctly, and many professional marketers and business owners swear by it. However, just as with SEO, PPC can also be quite expensive, and depending on the industry and niche, returns on investment can be quite low.
The pros and cons of both SEO and PPC will depend on your personal situation, and you should consult with both a marketing professional and an experienced business owner who is in a similar situation to you.
If you’re new to the world of digital marketing, content may be the ideal place to start. When someone discovers your website by accident or through a linked article, they may simply stay on your site for a while, reading more articles or watching a video series related to their interests.
Having high-quality, informative content is a great way to attract and retain customers, and establish your expertise in your chosen field. Content marketing doesn’t need to be expensive, and you can use a variety of storytelling methods to create compelling, engaging content that will keep your audience interested.
The Content Marketing blueprint
- Understand your customer
- Create great content
- Measure the results of your content
- Repeat as needed
- Develop a knowledge base
- Pro-actively communicate with existing and potential customers
You should use content to supplement your email marketing and social media marketing efforts. Content can also be used to draw in new customers, establish yourself as an expert in your industry, and to promote your products or services.
While we’re always striving for more efficient ways to do business, email marketing still has one of the highest conversion rates among digital marketing methods.
Just like with social media, email marketing can be a great way to connect with your customers, establish your expertise in your industry, and promote your products or services.
The most effective way to utilize email marketing is to utilize it as a tool in your CRM system. When a customer signs up for your email list, they should receive a welcome email which introduces them to the purpose of the list, along with a link to confirm their email address.