Online Marketing in the Booming City of Toronto
Toronto is Canada’s largest city, and the major city of the province of Ontario. Of the 12.85 million people who live in Ontario, 2.7 million of them are residents of the Greater Toronto Area. With an average 6% population growth since the turn of the millennium, both the city and the province continue to perform as leading centres of business in the Western world.
In fact, the Toronto stock exchange is ranked as the 3rd largest in the Americas and the seventh largest globally. That’s quite an achievement, and underpins the position of Bay Street (Toronto’s equivalent to Wall St in New York) as one of world’s top ten most economically important financial and business centres.
Where does all this economic impetus come from? Apart from dominating Canada’s banking and financial sector, Toronto is the home of most of the nation’s manufacturing enterprises; its film and television industry; its tourism industry; fashion, pharmaceuticals; and advertising, among other fields. Toronto is a major distribution point for goods crossing Canada along the Quebec-Windsor Corridor, as well as seafreight imports coming in from the Atlantic Ocean via the St Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes.
So with all this economic power and business influence, how do Torontonian businesses reach their local customers? Traditional print and electronic media advertising is becoming less important, as Canadians in general and Toronto residents in particular make more and more use of the internet. Last year, Canada ranked number one in internet usage on a per capita basis amongst first world economies. The foresighted advertiser can see that with population tipped to grow to 3.5 million by 2016, and a continually falling unemployment rate (currently dipping below 8% and expected to be around 6% by 2020) the best investment of the advertising and marketing dollar is going to be made online.
E-Marketing means more than just placing banner ads on popular websites. These days, successful online advertising requires a strategic mix of tools and products. Two of the key elements in any strategy for online marketing must include a vibrant social media presence, and continual review of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) techniques.
Social media platforms range from the wildly successful (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, etc) to the commercially focussed (LinkedIn, Amazon.com etc). Savvy use of the features of social media can capture the attention of potential customers, who may have previously spent their discretionary time browsing print magazines but now browse the internet instead. For instance, uploading a short video to YouTube costs very little beyond production expenses, and immediately gives the advertiser a unique presence on the second most used search engine in the world. Engaging customers through the use of social media, by releasing important product update information or sale prices to Twitter subscribers, or managing customer service issues in real time through Facebook posts, informs the market that a business is modern, aware of its clientèle needs and habits, and ready to embrace their feedback.
Search Engine Optimization (“SEO”) is probably the single most important step your business will ever take in relation to static (i.e. non-interactive) advertising and marketing on the internet. In the constant evolutionary struggle between advertising dollars and customer awareness, SEO has proven itself to be a successful strategy. Whereas once, search engines such as Google and Yahoo concentrated on a website’s popularity to determine its ranking when suggesting possible results to web surfers, applicability has now become equally as important. Complex algorithms drive automated programs which assess website content for originality and relevance, and match the results to both search enquiries and previous browsing history of the user. Constant revision of the content of a company’s website is the only way to maintain a strong presence in search engine results.
Toronto businesses know this, and that’s why they are heavily invested in making sure their online marketing strategies are as world class as the rest of the city’s business sectors. The future belongs to those who embrace it, someone once said. Looking for an Online Marketing Consultant to give you a helping hand? Contact me today to setup a consultation.