Just a decade ago, the way you might have marketed your small business in Mississauga was through print ads, TV commercials, and big billboard signs. That’s all changed in the digital era, as now the focus is on leveraging Google search, social media, and mobile as part of an integrated digital marketing campaign. Here are five online marketing tips for Mississauga businesses:
TIP 1: Embrace social media
If you’re not already on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, now is the time to start. Every small business needs to have a Facebook presence. And, in some cases – such as restaurants, bakeries, and hair salons – the Facebook presence may be more important than a formal website presence. the Autoglass-Mississauga Company learned it well after spending more than double their budget building a website only for their business.
That’s because people share photos and updates in their news feeds, and if someone just posted an incredible new profile photo on Facebook with their new hair style, people are going to want to know: Where did they get that done? The same thing goes with restaurants – people are posting photos of meals all the time on Facebook, and that’s more word-of-mouth buzz for you.
TIP 2: Seek out the digital influencers
Within every industry or market, there are “influencers” – the people who write all the leading blogs, the people who update their social media networks constantly, and the people who seem to be connected to everyone else. If you can get these influencers to become supporters – and even promoters – of your business, you could find a way to tap into their vast networks.
Say, for example, you running a small clothing store. You could invite leading fashion influencers to a special “preview sale” or give them special VIP coupons, in exchange for them hopefully writing about your business.
TIP 3: Invest in search engine optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization (SEO) is just a fancy way of saying “make it easy for Google to find you.” The rule of thumb these days is that potential customers only look at the first page of search results on Google. So, if your business is not appearing in the Top 10 results for searches like “top auto repair shops in Mississauga,” your business is basically invisible to people looking for you via search. At a very minimum, you need searches for your business to pull up your main website as the #1 or #2 search result on Google.
TIP 4: Optimize your website presence for mobile
There’s a key term within the mobile marketing world that you need to know – “responsive design” In essence, it means that your website looks just as good on a tiny iPhone screen as it does on a desktop or a laptop. We’ve already reached a tipping point, where mobile devices access 50 percent of all websites. That means customers need to be able to read your website quickly and easily by scrolling down or swiping left and right.
TIP 5: Advertise on Facebook
Once your Facebook presence is up and running, it’s time to really leverage its full potential. And one way to do that is by running targeted Facebook ads. Don’t worry; it only takes about 5 minutes to learn how to run a targeted campaign. For a very small amount of money – $5 – you can reach thousands of people on Facebook. Over time, you can ratchet that amount up, but first, test and learn. It’s easy to segment your audience by interests and by geography, so if you run an Irish pub in Mississauga, for example, you will only reach people on Facebook who live near Mississauga and are interested in topics like Ireland and Irish pubs.
Putting all five of these tips together, you’ll be able to run a comprehensive online marketing campaign that attracts plenty of potential new customers to your business.