The BDC is offering 0% interest rate loans to small business owners in Canada for an amount of up to $100,000 and a grant of up Hto $15000 to grow your business online.There is no doubt about it, businesses need an online presence to flourish in this digital age.With this excellent The Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP),the BDC aims at giving every Canadian small business a chance to create a digital presence of their own.
In this blog, we discuss the eligibility, cost covered and how to apply for CDAP.
The program includes two grants:
- Grow your business online
- Boost your business technology grant
What You Get
Boost Your Business Technology
- Get up to $15,000 in funding to plan.
- Get up to $7,300 to hire skilled youth to implement the technologies.
- Get up to $100,000 on 0%.
Grow Your Business Online
- Get up to $2,400 in funding to set up e-commerce.
- This helps in accessing a network of over 11 thousand e-commerce advisors.
CDAP Eligibility Criteria
- Be a for-profit business
- Be registered or an incorporated business
- Be a consumer-facing business
- The business has at least one employee on a payroll.
- Commit to maintaining a digital adoption strategy for 6 months after participating in the program
Agree to participate in follow-up surveys.
Still unsure about your eligibility?
Canada Digital Adoption Program— Grant assessment tool
The BDC have made a tool for you, head on and answer a few basic questions about your business to know which grant you’re eligible for.
How to Apply?
Boost Your Business Technology
- Register on Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s (ISED) website.
- Create your digital plan with the help of an ISED-approved partner.
- Submit your plan and invoices to ISED for approval.
- Once your plan is approved, login to the CDAP portal on ISED’s site to gain access to the link to apply for the grant.
Grow Your Business Online
- Read the eligibility criteria and make sure you meet the requirements.
- Get in touch with your local service provider.
- Apply for the grant.
Lead generation is of paramount importance for small businesses in the GTA as it serves as the cornerstone for customer acquisition and revenue growth. Generating a steady stream of leads allows businesses to expand their customer base, fostering competitive advantages in the market. Beyond merely acquiring contacts, effective lead generation involves building relationships, establishing brand awareness, and implementing targeted marketing strategies.
There are more than 58 million businesses registered on LinkedIn worldwide. If there is one social media platform where you can expect generating leads as a B2B company, its LinkedIn.
LinkedIn can be utilised for this purpose in two ways, you have your personal LinkedIn account ofcourse, and the company page. Both accounts require attention and efforts in order to actually create a brand identity on this platform and eventually start generating leads.
Owner’s Individual Account
For the individual’s account, put up LinkedIn articles giving valuable information to your target audience. Newsletters and poll questions are also great for engagement. Make sure your content here is hyper personalised. However, to have a network full of your target audience prospects you need a good LinkedIn outreach system.
Pull up a list of LinkedIn profiles of your target audience. LinkedIn Sales navigator makes this a lot easier. Draft a message to send out with a connection invite. Make sure this message is personalised with the person’s name and the company name. Send out connection invites regularly, 80 connection requests per week seems to be the sweet spot for us. Once your connection requests start getting accepted, send a follow up message introducing you and your company. Remember not to sell directly, try to start a valuable conversation, add value and take things from there.
Post regular content with your company’s account. This content should again be hyper personalised for your target audience. Try to add value.
You should also be sending page invite requests to your connections. That’s how you bring your audience from your network to your company page.
Here are a few LinkedIn best practices that you should always keep in mind!
- Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile
Ensure your LinkedIn profile is complete, professional, and aligned with your business objectives.
- Create a Company Page:
Establish a compelling LinkedIn Company Page with detailed information about your business, including a concise yet engaging company description.
- Logo and cover
Use a high-quality logo and cover image to enhance brand visibility.
- Leverage LinkedIn Analytics
Use LinkedIn Analytics to track the performance of your posts, ads, and overall engagement. Analyse the data to refine your strategy
- LinkedIn Events
Use LinkedIn Events to promote webinars, conferences, or product launches. This feature can help you reach a wider audience and track registrations.
- Build and Join Relevant Groups
Join and actively participate in LinkedIn groups related to your industry. Engage in discussions, share insights, and connect with group members.
With the given strategies and best practices, you can establish a lead generation system for your small business in the GTA. Need help? Visit https://www.marketingrow.com/services/linkedin-marketing/
One of the most common conflicts with small business owners in the GTA comes when they are supposed to allocate a budget for the marketing efforts in their company. There are no two ways to put it, marketing is one of the most important functions of any company. It’s how you expand your business and earn more revenue.
However, most of the GTA business owners are confused as to how to do it. As per a common rule of thumb by the BDC, a B2B company should invest anywhere between 2-5% of their annual revenue into their marketing efforts. As a Business owner in the GTA are you doing that?
First things first, know your target audience. Who is it that you what to reach through your marketing effort? Set a clear picture of it. What is the age that you want to target? What are their demographics? What are their likes and dislikes? Remember, when targeting a local area, hyper personalization is the key to your success.
Secondly, Set a clear marketing goal in your mind. What exactly do you want as a result of your marketing efforts. Do you want more website traffic? More social media engagement? And more leads of course. At the end of the day everything that you do through your marketing efforts is to get more leads and more revenue.
A BDC survey of more than 1400 Canadian businesses, small businesses’ marketing cost average at around $30000 a year. While those with 29-50 employees spend nearly $60000 on marketing annually. However, this is subjective. As discussed earlier, let’s apply the common rule of thumb of 2-5% of the revenue.
Assuming you generate a gross revenue of 1.5-2 Million Canadian Dollars, you should be spending anywhere between $30000 – 50000 in your marketing efforts.
|Over 10 Million
|Average Marketing Budget
|$30,000 – $50,000
|$50,000 – $80,000
This rule of thumb also checks out in the BDC survey of 1400 Canadian businesses.
How to spend your marketing budget?
Now you have a clear idea how much you should be investing in your marketing efforts. You must set a clear plan of where you will spend that budget. In today’s digital landscape the majority of every small company’s marketing budget goes into online marketing. Here are a few online marketing channels and you as a business owner has to decide what weighs more importance for your business so you can allocate your budget into these channels smartly and strategically.
Everyone is aware of how your website is your online storefront. It is where your target audience can reach out to you 24/7. Therefore, as a small business owner you need to make sure your online storefront is updated and attractive to pull in traffic.
2. Social Media
People of all age demographics use social media. Leveraging the power of social media can be your biggest advantage. However, make sure you know which social media channel is more beneficial for you and focus on that more than other channels.
3. Email Marketing
On average email marketing is known to pull in revenue of $36 for every $1 spent. That stat alone makes it impossible for any marketer to look beyond it.
4. LinkedIn Marketing
LinkedIn is the go-to platform when it comes to marketing of B2B companies. Your customers are actively looking for valuable information and business solutions on LinkedIn, make sure they find you there.
These are a few of the channels you can think about investing in. Remember, in the field of marketing nothing is concrete. The landscape changes regularly and so should your marketing efforts.
In a connected world, creating a strong online presence is of utmost importance. People go on the internet for information and solutions. Online branding provides companies with a global platform to reach out and engage with their target audience.
How does Online Branding help?
- Creates trust and credibility
- Allows you to reach a global audience
- Brand Consistency
- 24/7 Visibility
What is a brand makeover for holidays?
Brand makeover refers to a comprehensive overhaul of a brand’s visual identity. This includes changes in the logo, colours and overall design aesthetic of the brand. While keeping a consistent brand identity is important throughout the year, a brand makeover is very helpful during the holidays.
- Seasonal Relevance
A festive makeover helps your brand to stay on top of your audience’s mind when people are actively looking for and thinking about content related to holidays.
- Increased Engagement
A holiday related makeover increases the chances of engagement as it can easily capture the attention of your target audience.
- Emotional Connection
Holidays are a matter of emotion for everyone. They invoke the emotion of joy and warmth amongst people. Tapping into those feelings result in an emotional connection with the brand.
- Promoting seasonal offers and products
A seasonal makeover gives the company a chance to showcase limited edition or holiday related offers that they have to offer
- Differentiation from competitors
A holiday brand makeover allows your business to stand out from competitors by offering a unique and festive experience.
What can you do for a brand makeover during holidays?
A logo redesign can be the perfect way to start you brand makeover for holidays. Incorporate the holiday colours into your logo. Adding elements like snow, candy canes is also a great idea. However, make sure your logo is subtle for your audience to recognise your brand. You must find the perfect balance between maintaining a consistent brand identity for yourself and add the holiday essence to it.
Revamp your website
Your website is the most integral part of your brand and its identity, It is your companies’ virtual home, therefore its important to make sure your website is holiday ready as well. Make sure to add the holiday colours and elements to your website. You can also highlight some exclusive holiday deals or products that you might be offering. Apart from that, you can also an innovative CTA just for the holidays to attract leads, this can be a great way to increase your chances of converting.
Social media makeover
It is common knowledge how important social media is to create an online brand identity, any business that want to create one is already leveraging the power of social media and posting regularly. Adding the holiday essence to your social media posts is a great way for a social media makeover. You can create different campaigns incorporating holidays into them.
Create a series of festive email campaigns with holiday-themed templates. Consider sending personalized holiday greetings, exclusive offers, or a year-end review of your company’s achievements. Apart from emails you can also send out customized holiday cards to your contacts.
Embrace the spirit of change, unleash your brand’s festive charm, and witness the magic of a transformed online presence this holiday season and beyond.
What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing is a continuous ongoing process that can be very demanding if every single step of the process is done manually. Modern technology allows you to streamline and automate some steps of this process to make it faster and better. Marketing Automation allows you to reach out to a wider range of audiences that if done manually, just wouldn’t be possible.
Marketing Automation for SMB’s
Marketing Automation is often associated only with big companies, although that may be the assumption the reality is far from it. Marketing Automation helps small businesses just as much, if not more than corporates!
It gives small businesses the ability to scale quicker, reaching out to as many people as possible and as efficiently as possible. Ultimately, leading to more leads and sales.
Although it may be intimidating for a small business to start with, it is definitely worth setting up, given that the result will lead to more business for them.
Benefits of Marketing Automation
- Increases efficiency
- Helps make marketing more personalized
- Increases scalability
Types of Marketing Automation
According to Litmus, on average email marketing campaigns deliver an impressive ROI of $36 for every $1 spent. That is an incredible ROI of 3600%
Email Marketing automation enables you to send out customized emails to a large audience that if done manually would take a lot of time. It also lets you re-engage with customers that have already interacted with your business before
A few useful email marketing tools are –
Social Media Marketing Automation
Social media marketing automation is the process of reducing the work done manually in managing social media accounts and engaging an automation software with it. You can automate post scheduling, get your social media analytics and even a basic level of customer service can also be automated on social media.
A few useful social media automation tools are –
Marketing Analytics Automation
At any given point of time a company runs various marketing campaigns simultaneously. Tracking the performance of each and every campaign and how it is working for you can be difficult. You may have the data with you, but organizing and arranging that data into figures that are easy to understand is a tedious task. That is where Marketing Analytics Automation comes in. These tools help you collect and arrange your campaign in easy and understandable formats so you can know what’s working and what’s not for you.
A few Marketing Analytics Automation tools –
- Google Analytics 360
- Adobe Analytics
Lead Management Automation
Lead generation is always a priority task for any marketer. Leads are what give business to your company. Therefore, managing the leads that you have is equally important. The actual task here is to identify the quality of a lead and direct it to the appropriate place inside the sales funnel. Once the lead automation process is set, the lead nurturing process becomes a lot easier.
A few Lead Management Automation tools –
Investing in a good marketing automation system will not only make a marketers’ life easier, but also streamline the process in a way where you’d be able to make more impact and increase growth.