Where to Start? A beginners Guide.

Online marketing is leveraging web-based formats to inform potential clients about a company’s brand, products and services. This guide to Local Online Marketing Strategy will get you started.

Many business owners struggle with where to start when it comes to online marketing. What are the options, and what are the best choices for your business?

In this guide, you will learn:

Which Customers to Target First?


Business owners often don’t know which customers are the ones who generate the most revenue. They advertise to the wrong audience without understanding one of the fundamental principles of advertising.

Target your existing customers first.

They are the most likely to convert into revenue and recommend you to someone else—existing customers are your most important audience.

So how do you target your current customer base? 

1. Make it easy for them to do business with you. Optimize your website for speed, ease of navigation, quality of information, and straightforward communication. Give people visiting your site simple driving directions, hours of operation, phone numbers, addresses, and product offerings.

2. Ensure your information is correct on directive sites. Directive sites include Google My Business, YELP, Foursquare, and so on. There are thousands of sites listing your information.  Make sure it’s correct and sending the message you want to send.

3. Give your customers engaging content. Create new and engaging content to give your customers a reason to engage with you. Share that content with them through email, social media, your website, or directive sites. Remind them of who you are and give them a reason to choose you again.

4. Ask for referrals. Nothing is more powerful in driving sales than referrals. There are two main types of referrals. Personal and online.  For personal referrals, give your customers incentives to tell their network about you. An online referral can also be called online reputation management.  Make sure you are asking for online reviews.  Respond to both negative and positive reviews and show the world that you are engaged.

Marketing strategy
What Are the Different Types of Online Marketing?


There are many types of online marketing out there. Here are our top choices:

These online advertising strategies are highly effective in the Canadian marketplace and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Here are some brief descriptions of each to get you started.

Digital marketing Strategy

Social Media

Social media is almost too broad a heading to encompass all it entails. It functions in many of the same ways the other types of online marketing do. Businesses are displayed, clients can discuss them, promote their listings to specific demographics, and retarget people who have tracking pixels. Social media is also powerful from a content dissemination perspective.

Directive Sites

These sites share information on their platform about your business and often list your hours, products, services, location, and descriptions of your business. They are another avenue to inform potential clients about your business. These sites are often entirely free to update and only cost money if you want to sponsor your listing for general searches. We recommend that you claim your listings for free and discuss sponsoring listings with an expert as the value proposition can quickly become muddied.


SEO, or Search Engine Optimization drives your organic placement on Google. When a client or a potential client searches for a term that you would like to appear, SEO can put you at, or near the top of the list.  It encompasses both the SERP organic section (Search Engine Results Page) and the maps section.  The factors involved in who appears at the top are many, and SEO requires considerable work on your site’s content and expert technical skills.


A website is a collection of publicly accessible interlinked pages that share a single domain name. Your website is your virtual 24/7 storefront and often carries more weight to potential clients than your actual location. It is your chance to make a good first impression for potential clients.


Pay Per Click, or Search Engine Marketing is the primary way companies like Google make their money. When a potential client searches a term, there is an instant online auction. Whoever bids the highest and is most relevant to that search term appears at the top and has the highest chance of being selected. It is a method of advertising that requires a statistician’s touch to be most effective as there are many ways a person can search for the same thing, and many companies are bidding on the same terms.

Display Advertising

This format of online marketing is the online version of a billboard. These ads appear on many sites displaying a small amount of information or graphics. They tend to have a low CTR (click-through rate) but are very inexpensive per impression. The price of the display ad varies by where we show it and who it targets. Another more effective form of display advertising is retargeting.  By using a tracking pixel, businesses can retarget people who have visited their site. Websites display ads to those customers who have already shown intent, increasing the chance that they will return and make a transaction.

ROI Focused Marketing Strategy


With so many options, what strategy should business owners employ? A return on investment strategy is the best choice.  When considering ROI based strategy, some fundamental pieces must be in place.

With the knowledge of what drives interactions and how those interactions convert into revenue, marketers can form a marketing strategy based on ROI.

Businesses should use this information to choose the most efficient mixture of online marketing strategies. Understanding how they work together and enhance each other is the “secret sauce” to a genuinely efficient strategy.

How Different Forms of Marketing Interact


Trying to understand how online marketing works as a whole takes experience and education. Simply put, it’s time to consult an expert. Some fundamentals of marketing interactions:

There are two primary forms of advertising: Directive and Creative.

Directive advertising is giving someone information about something they are searching for.  For example, if someone wants to have a beer with friends, they might search for local pubs.  Directive advertising could give them information on local Edmonton pubs.

Creative advertising attempts to give someone the desire or idea to investigate a product or service. For example, a beer ad on tv gives someone the desire to have a beer.  They might then proceed to look for liquor stores in the area to get a six-pack.

They work together, and sometimes the line is blurry, but a comprehensive marketing strategy targets both.

How to Get Started?

There are a couple of ways people get started with online marketing.

  1. Try it yourself. Most business owners start marketing by trying something they think will work. There isn’t a wrong way to do it; try it out, get some experience and learn more.
  2. Get expert help. Find a marketing expert and ask for guidance. Even if a business tries marketing out eventually, they will ask an expert for advice.

Expert help gives businesses guidance on the most effective and efficient forms of advertising. It is difficult to determine who is an expert, so we would advise doing some homework.  Check reviews, interview a few different experts and ask for references.

Online marketing funnel
Final Thoughts

Online Marketing can be a complicated proposition. Consulting a qualified expert will help your company create positive advertising ROI. Advertising can grow your business in the direction you want. Every business should invest some effort into marketing, and the best way to do that is with a  comprehensive marketing plan.

If you want to learn more, contact our team at Leads Marketing Group, and we would be happy to set you on the right track.

Schedule a Free Consultation!