Largest hurdle is resources to allocate, planning key
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/04/2013 -- The First Foundation team, lead by Gordon McCallum, are doing what they can to help Alberta home buyers locate the best mortgage options available to them.
Yet, for the past five year McCallum's staffs have attempted to hone their skills at blogging, tweeting, and posting rather pithy commentary regarding topics that range within their business field and beyond.
“We now have over 700 pages of blog content written by me, my staff and sometimes by guest bloggers who are subject matter experts,” says Mr. McCallum, president of the mortgage broker, which has offices in Edmonton and Calgary. “In addition to our blog, we have a Twitter account that has multiple contributors, and we’re also on Facebook.”
First Foundation's digital strategy has been set up to have these social media activities within its workings. Online marketing plans require hundreds of hours of work that costs the company anywhere from $100,000 to $150,000 a year. It is not what most would consider small a investment for what is still an up-and-coming company. McCallum stands by his strategy and claims it is paying off. First Foundation's business has been experiencing growth, and has expanded by 40% since 2007, according to McCallum. His staff has also doubled in the number of employees, up to 14 total.
“Despite the fact that mortgage broker market share has been declining nationally, we’ve been able to go against the trend,” he says. “And part of our success is due to our business model and our digital strategy.”
Digital media marketing remains an afterthought for most businesses. The online marketing is given consideration only when a company puts concerted effort into a direct online campaign, or in spare time.
Marketing experts in the field say this is starting to change, one industry at a time. More companies report successes with online marketing efforts, and people spend more and more time on the Web and social channels such as every day.
“There is definitely an uptake,” says Gary Nugent, account director at Edmonton-based Bluetrain Inc., the online marketing company that helped First Foundation develop and implement its digital marketing plan. “Small business represents more than half of our account base, and small business inquiries outnumber big business inquiries by about four to one.”
Small businesses are not the only groups with a growing interest in digital marketing. According to the report published by the Canadian Marketing Association, the Internet is expected to gather around 26% of all overall spending by the year 2016.
The largest struggle for up-and-coming companies is the cost of online marketing campaigns. The importance than lies within companies to educate themselves, and to have a plan going into the campaigning process, says Nugent.
“Make sure you do your research so you’re not making false assumptions,” says Duane Brown, a digital strategist and consultant with Creative Traction in Toronto. “For example, you might think the best way to reach young people is on their mobile, but a lot of young people don’t have enough money to spend on a data plan for their mobile device.”
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