COVID-19 has shifted how business is conducted and we all have seen how crucial online presence has become. Are you planning on launching an online store? Or have you thought about upgrading your current online store or booking system? If so, you can qualify for the Launch Online Grant Program for up to $7500.
What Is The Launch Online Grant Program?
The BC government has put aside $42 million of grant funding for small and medium-size businesses across BC to move their business online or enhance the existing business model. The Launch Online Grant Program funds up to 75% of eligible expenses if you launch or upgrade an online store or booking system within 12 weeks.
How Can The Launch Online Business Grant Program Help Me?
If your business model is mostly retail and product-based, YOU are in luck. The Launch Online Grant program is designed to help you integrate your business model from in-store, to an online e-commerce store, by assisting you in the costs of building a website, website hosting, web design, copywriting, SEO services and more.
Are You Eligible For The Grant?
If you meet the following criteria, then you will be eligible:
Eligible Expenses For The Launch Online Grant
Launch Online Grant Program will cover up to 75% of costs for the following expenses:
Service provider costs such as:
Successful applicants are required to use BC based service providers except for following:
Ineligible Expenses For The Launch Online Grant
Launch Online Grant Program Application Deadline
Launch Online Grant Program application intake is open until September 30th, 2021 or until the funds have been fully subscribed. Also note that up-to 30% of the funds will be reserved for Black, Indigenous and people of color and businesses that are operating outside of the lower mainland and greater Victoria.
Contact us for assistance in applying for the Launch Online Grant Program for YOUR business.
Get Help Applying For The Launch Online Program
The Launch Online Program may seem overwhelming at first. It’s a lot of paperwork to fill out, fine details, and information. Luckily the Launch Online Grant Application process is designed to make it easy for BC business owners looking to take their business online.
This opportunity is ideal for business owners in British Columbia who are looking to maintain their business during the pandemic. We’re happy to provide you with the resources available, and assist you in the application process for the Launch Online Program, and pair you with our trusted partners and referrals to build, launch, and optimize your online website.
Contact us today to get started on the process of applying for the Launch Online Program - only open until September 30th, 2021!
Have You Been Approved For The Launch Online Grant?
The next step after approval is to create a cohesive website strategy and create an online or digital marketing plan.
Fill out the form below and let's make the most of your Launch Online grant.
I get so excited every time I have a new inquiry or lead, or somebody asks for an audit. There's something about the thrill of the client discovery process that I love about digital marketing. Being that I dip my toes into all aspects of digital marketing, I'm able to assess all factors, channels, outlets, and come up with some really cool audits and proposals for my clients.
But it definitely takes a while to get a good rhythm going for software, subscriptions, resources, and programs when it comes to project management - especially when handling multiple clients at once! Here's a quick breakdown of my organization, and a few of my favorite resources for project management.
The first thing I do is create a client bucket in Google Drive, where I'll store all information - keyword research, blog topic planning, blogs, website copy, client notes, and all official documents such as our audit, strategy/proposal, and signed copies of contracts.
The greatest feature about Google Drive is its sharing abilities. You can add your clients to specific buckets/folders - whether its their entire client folder, or you can pick and choose where they have access to. You can store and share digital assets in folders.
You can even color-code your folders! I use a color-coding system for past clients, current active clients, and potential clients who have received a proposal, or are in the process of signing contracts.
Google Docs is an interactive resource where you can write blogs, share copywriting, create sheets of content between you and your client. You can choose from three modes of access when sharing the link - Editing, Viewing, and Commenting. If you're seeking insight on work, I would suggest granting them 'Commenting' access, so the original isn't destroyed. Luckily, Sheets keeps an edit history to reference as well.
Google Sheets is like Excel Lite. While it doesn't have all of the features of Excel, it has enough to make it extremely useful - and free, along with all of the Google Drive features. Sheets is great for line-by-line URL audits, keyword research and more. Sheets supports cell functions and are completely customizable.
Okay. I'm in love with time blocking. Have you ever heard of time blocking? I don't take it to the Elon Musk levels of 5-minute time-blocks, but usually from 8am - 6pm is blocked for me in 2-3-4 hour increments of projects for clients.
You can color-code your clients, you can add notes, URLs, any additional information. You get a desktop notification 10 minutes before your event. You can set up recurring tasks daily, weekly, or monthly. For time management and planning your days/weeks, Google Calendar is the bees knees.
I feel like I haven't even fully scratched the surface of Basecamp yet, but it has so many features that are incredibly helpful. The most helpful for me is the massive to-do list, and organization of projects.
Client > Task Category (Social, SEO, etc.) > Task Name > Due Date
You can copy and paste tasks, edit and adjust due dates as needed, and when you need a boost of confidence, go and look at your 'Completed Assignments' page for a quick rush of accomplishment.
You can grant your clients access so they see the full project schedule. They can add notes, access any uploaded documents and files, and make suggestions which are sent to your inbox. Speaking of inbox - Basecamp will remind you of daily notifications each morning so you always have a reminder of your workload for that day.
I know Harvest is GREAT, but when I first started time tracking I found Clockify, and I sort of have that lingering love for it. Clockify is a 'freemium' software, which offers a free version and a paid version. The free version sticks you to one rate across every client and doesn't allow for historical rate edits so if you're handling multiple clients, multiple prices for service offerings, or need to adjust most things, you have to upgrade. I went Standard for $6.99 a month, and it's definitely worth it for me.
WaveApps is excellent for invoicing and introductory bookkeeping. You can sync your bank account straight to it and it categorizes your spending (I opened a business account specifically to keep things easier), which helps you organize your expenses vs. profits, and keep things organized for tax time.
You send invoices to your clients directly through the interface, and retain a copy for yourself. It allows you to send reminders to clients if needed.
While it is free software, they do take a small fee when clients pay through WaveApps.
I really have to show some love here to Canva. When I was 11 I was first trained in Photoshop. We all know that Photoshop, Illustrator, and Corel are the best of the best when it comes to graphic design software.
But Canva has made graphic design software accessible to everybody, and for free. You can choose from thousands of templates, from pre-set sizes (Instagram feed, Stories, Facebook posts, legal documents, everything), with a complete library of fonts, graphics, stock photos and more.
You can create Brand Kits, custom folders for each client, you can save templates for future use and more.
Simply put, Canva is amazing. The beauty of Canva Pro is the access to its stock photography. Hundreds of thousands of photos for $16.99 a month. Yes, please!
There are two Chrome extensions I can't live without. If a client doesn't have an existing brand kit, it can be difficult to find out their brand font and color. Luckily we have:
An easy Chrome extension that you click, and hover over any font on the page and it will immediately tell you the font and its spacing/any edits done to the font. It's incredible.
Eye Dropper is excellent. It allows you to 'pick' any color from the current webpage, and it stores your last 28 picked colors. It shows you the hex values, RGB and more.
These two resources are essential when a client doesn't have an existing brand kit!
Let Me Manage Your Project
Want to become part of my hyper-obsessive organization of clients, tasks, resources, and programs? Perfect. I'd love that. I'm always happy to do an initial audit and consult to recommend the next steps for your digital marketing journey in your business.
Contact me today for your FREE audit!
Are you wondering if it is worth having a website optimized for your company? Do SEO and marketing really go hand in hand? The answer is yes! But why?
Search Engine Optimization - What Is It Really For?
SEO in marketing plays an incredibly important role when it comes to running your business - especially when your business is online-based, or reliant upon a website for traffic and information. Having a website optimized for search engines is one of the most important tools you should use to reach more customers for your company!
Competing against any other like businesses in any industry is difficult today, both online and offline. But nothing is impossible! So, in case you are thinking about whether or not you need to talk to an SEO consultant, here are benefits that search engine optimization offers. Once you optimize your website for search engines, you can literally put your business on the map.
1. SEO helps you reach more customers
The biggest advantage of having an optimized website is the ability to reach more customers.
Most people today look to the online medium to look for the products or services they need, gather information about the company, and review products before purchase. Having an online presence that people can easily find is very useful. Indeed, it is the key to reaching your target customers and, gradually, to grow your company. This is why SEO and marketing are essential aspects of any business
2. Your potential customers are always looking for information on companies like yours
Since the Internet has become a strong source of information, it is normal for people to want to get to know your company or offer better before coming to you.
Having said that, SEO optimization becomes very important. A well-optimized website can be found more easily and should offer your potential customers the opportunity to get to know you better, as a business.
3. Local SEO can put you on the map
Local SEO can be incredibly effective in increasing the visibility of your company in your city.
If your target customers are in a specific place - Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna ... etc. - they might be very happy to find that your small business is right nearby and can meet their needs!
Think about it. How many times have you searched online for terms such as "ice cream shop near me" or "restaurant open in Victoria" (or in any other city)? Regarding this type of research, it is no longer just about finding a specific place. Now it's about finding a specific thing, in a specific area and also in a specific period of time.
Today, people expect 'search technology' to immediately find places in their area where they can get what they need. Having said that, it goes without saying that having a well-optimized online presence can only help!
4. Search engine optimization pays off
Every small company that wants to appear among the first results in search engines needs an SEO consultant to make its business visible. And why? Because an SEO expert with experience in the sector could take care of the online presence of your business while you take care of your customers!
You might think that SEO optimization services cost a lot, but compared to the benefits, they are really a minimal investment, which pays off in the long run - and permanently.
5. A well-optimized online presence leads to better awareness of your brand
When your potential customers search for a product online, they will rarely click past the first page of a search engine. It's true! And if your brand needs more visibility, you should highly consider SEO optimization as your first option. People will trust more of your brand if it immediately appears among their searches, or among the first on the engines, creating brand familiarity and awareness.
6. Your business will be easier to find on mobile devices
Mobile devices are becoming increasingly a "must" and therefore, non-responsive website design could impede the visibility of your online business.
The explanation is simple. Google has already announced that they are moving towards a more mobile-focused indexing and from there, SEO has changed. Having a responsive website influences your SEO through positive user behavior signals. This means that NOT having a responsive website affects your SEO in a negative way.
Over the years, web traffic from mobile devices has continued to increase. And that's why having an optimized mobile presence is a huge benefit for your business.
7. Search engine optimization - or the "recipe" to overcome the competition
Even if you keep postponing your site's SEO, think about this: your competition won't do it for sure!
All companies, large or small, mainly rely on organic research to reach more customers. An advertising campaign can also work wonders, but never underestimate the power of SEO optimization because that is what will 'push' you to the top of the long term search engines.
8. Google prefers SEO-optimized websites
If your site is full of broken links, typos, missing alt text or title tags, Google will prefer your competitors fully optimized pages, and rank you lower.
Let's get your website fully optimized for SEO today! View my website content writing and strategy services page, and contact me today to get YOUR site's rank improved!
A digital marketing plan must be designed following specific steps to allow a company to achieve certain objectives.
Whatever the size of a company, the type of business, or the offer of products or services, learning how to create a digital marketing plan contributes to increasing business activity and obtaining benefits.
Indeed, more and more companies are entering this world, attracted by the new opportunities that specific digital marketing tools and activities allow to seize.
The reality of digital marketing is relatively new, constantly, and quickly changing . Consequently, companies often enter this world without a specific criterion, without a planned and thought out plan, running the risk of not exploiting their potential to the best, of not obtaining optimal results and of failing to create a digital marketing plan that integrates the digital plan to real business plan. In essence, a company that faces the world of digital marketing must face it as a real investment .
With this article, we, therefore, want to give you guidelines to create a digital marketing plan through all the fundamental steps and obtain measurable and positive results for your business.
How To Create A Digital Marketing Plan
If though the digital world changes rapidly, a company must be able to follow trends and news. The prerogative for the development of a digital marketing plan is an agile and innovative approach, that is able to adapt to changes, but also to the trend and developments that specific activities can take over time and based on the reaction of the public and the market.
Not only that, a digital plan must be conceived and designed as a plan in its own right, with its objectives and well-defined KPIs , but which must then be perfectly integrated with the business plan. It is true that Digital Marketing has its own levers, tools, and dynamics, but in order to be functional, they must be able to integrate with the strategic marketing plan: the company approach will, therefore, be integrated, using all the most appropriate tools to achieve the business objectives.
Let's see what steps to take to better define a digital marketing plan.
START WITH THE BASICS FOR DIGITAL MARKETING PLANS
As with the more traditional channels, competition in digital marketing is also quite high. For the definition of a plan that is best optimized for the company, it is, therefore, necessary to start from the analysis of the reference market, on the basis of which the market segment on which you want to position yourself, the reference target and its value proposition relating to the online reality.
Specifically, in this phase, once the reference market has been analyzed, the personas must be defined, the ideal customer journey of the customers must be planned and the competitors identified.
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE AND IDENTIFY THE BEST CHANNELS FOR REACH
Having defined objectives, targets, and reference markets, you move on to identify the most appropriate communication channels to reach the target audience. Not all channels are effective for every situation and business reality; using any online and offline channel is not the plan that will turn a business around. It is necessary to carry out a targeted communication on those channels that customers are used to using. In this way, it helps to increase brand awareness and to create quality traffic to the corporate institutional channels.
For each channel identified, specific communication must be managed . Reaching users through the most appropriate means is fundamental, but the correct message must also be communicated . If you reach a prospect or customer but are unable to attract his attention, every effort will be in vain. The value proposition of a company must, therefore, be declined according to the different medium used; only in this way is the public's interest stimulated and led to an action.
ACT AND ANALYZE YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE FOR BEST REACH
The challenge is not limited only to acquiring new customers, but to involving and maintaining them over time. Once a user arrives on a company's website or social profiles, it is crucial to find ways to retain and entertain him. With a specific content marketing activity, with updated, clear and relevant information, with a relevant social media marketing plan. Make sure that the customer is encouraged to continue in the customer journey and that the experience he experiences with the brand is worth the time spent.
In this phase, tools of Analytics run, which allow you to understand and analyze user behavior, review, and feedback tools, which allow you to listen to the direct voice of users, and an editorial plan, with which to program and monitor the publication of the content.
CONVERT YOUR CLIENTS WITH VALUE PROPOSITIONS
Conversion is the word that most digital marketing managers care most about. It's okay to run lead generation campaigns, it's fine to develop targeted engagement activities, but the best is obtained when a user 'converts' and can finally be defined as 'customer'.
Each different company can consider a different action as conversion, or even within the same company reality, a conversion can vary on the basis of different projects.
The objective, at this stage, is to bring the lead to action: purchase on the e-commerce store, request for information, booking a service or purchase at the physical store, and so on.
ENGAGE WITH FOLLOW-UPS, INCENTIVES, AND OUTREACH
In defining a digital marketing plan, the last step to be addressed is the engagement phase . The last phase, not because it ends a cycle, but because it consists of all those activities that must be developed once the customer is acquired and are aimed at nurturing the relationship between the company and the customer over time and increase the degree of loyalty of this customer towards the brand.
First of all, we mention customer care activity. A company that wants to prove proactive towards customers, interested in looking after the relationship and satisfying their needs, must be able to guarantee presence and assistance at any time. There are many channels to be activated for customer care, also in this case they must be chosen on the basis of their target audience, the sector of activity and also the available resources and budgets.
Customer satisfaction activities can also be added to customer care, i.e. engaging customers with questionnaires and surveys to detect the satisfaction with services and products, rather than contacting them directly by inviting them to leave a review, feedback and therefore give voice to their opinions.
Each of the phases that make up a digital marketing plan is essential for the success of a project. At any time, the user must be placed at the center of the plan, and of his own business. In this way, it is possible to develop a plan that knows how to satisfy the public on the basis of their real needs and which can provide them with value in the immediate term, but which at the same time knows how to lay the foundations for creating a relationship over time. There are many aspects to consider, but if all are dealt with in the same way, they will be able to give a business real added value and a push towards new markets.
Looking To Create Your Digital Marketing Plan?
Let's create the ideal digital marketing plan that's tailored to YOUR business needs. View all of my available digital marketing services, and contact me today to custom-tailor your digital marketing plan.
Digital marketing strategist in Victoria, BC. Lover of words, data, results, anything geeky and interesting. Ocean enthusiast, artist, and sunset-chaser in my spare time.