Nanaimo businesses are planning more online marketing for 2016 in conjunction with local networking.
Business owners and managers say they continue to put effort into online marketing using social media such as facebook and their own websites as well as video to bring in customers. This is often coupled with local face to face marketing in business groups or by making other connections.
Photographer Dirk Heydemann says he has been using social media in connection with local groups and sponsoring events such as CIBC Run for the Cure, the Economic Summit, Vancouver Island Symphony and Child Development Centre.
“Most of my marketing has been networking groups as well as through the chamber of commerce and social media using facebook.”
Heydemann has close to 1,000 likes on his facebook fan page and posts almost every day.
“Mostly what I’m looking for there is to get some engagement and to provide some value to help people improve their own photography,” he says.
He also uses LinkedIn but, “I probably don’t use it to its full potential. My networking and facebook give me the best results. I believe that networking is key. People like to recommend who they know, that seems to work the best.”
This is a strategy he will continue to use for 2016. The rise of facebook advertising and having responsive websites can impact a local business’s success.
“Digital Marketing continues to be where most people are spending their marketing and advertising money these days,” says Chris Cathers of Evolution Business Media Group. “Businesses are finally understanding lead generation, knowing that their website acts as a funnel to attract new and retain existing customers. By having a well optimized and responsive designed website, businesses can ensure they are getting a piece of the market share as people turn more to the Internet to seek products and services as a funnel to attract new and retain existing customers.”
Alison Donaghey of Sonshine Girls Painting also uses facebook for marketing as well as several other strategies.
“I’m definitely doing more targeted marketing this year, as opposed to more broader marketing,” says Donaghey. “Now I’m targeting more specifically to my demographic.”
She says 80% of her demographic is in the 40 plus category which she reaches through social media and recently started doing videos as well as connecting through radio and Yellow Pages.
“I don’t do a lot of online social media marketing, I still do radio, been doing radio for 8 years, maybe 10. That’s more branding,” says Donaghey. “Yellow Pages is still something I have a presence on. I started doing some youtube stuff in the past couple months and will probably do more of that. People like what they know.”
Donaghey says she isn’t making a lot of changes for 2016 but one thing she has dropped is advertising on buses and bus benches. She plans to evaluate her marketing in January and make any changes then.
Bonnie Swackhamer of Shades Esthetics and Wellness Spa says she has done some facebook marketing and hired a company to drive the numbers up.
“Yes they did drive our numbers up but not clientele,” says Swackhamer.
She says she tried Yellow Pages but dropped that because it was too expensive and also found that newspaper advertising did not work either.
Swackhamer says she will concentrate on making changes online for 2016.
“I will probably get my website updated, used facebook a little bit more,” she says.
Cathers says businesses that use online marketing strategies into 2016 will develop an edge over other businesses.
“Trends that will continue to dominate marketing budgets in 2016 are web development, video, online advertising, social media, and content development. The key is to position your business as the authority in your market segment with quality content then promote that content through social media,” says Cathers. “Combine social media with strategic online advertising such as Google Adwords and Facebook Advertising and you can be sure to be attracting and retaining clients. Lastly, use video, it tells a powerful story and just having video on your website will boast your search rankings online.”