Business Advertising Budgets and DIY Tips

If you own a small to medium sized business, you may wonder how much to spend on advertising. What return on investment can you expect from hiring professionals with years of experience in the game? You may also be considering what aspects of marketing may be worth pursuing “in-house”?

First of all, depending on which industry your business is in, companies should spend approximately 5% of total revenues on marketing to maintain their current position.

If you would like to grow your business, the marketing budget needs to increase, usually to at least 10% of revenues.

Highly competitive markets such as retail and consumer products will need to fork out many more dollars to keep and grow their market shares – more like 20-50%.

Using this general rule of thumb, you can calculate a reasonable marketing and advertising budget for your business that fits with your business plan and goals.

Advertising Budgets

This is the equation from

  • Total Revenue x 5% = Marketing budget required to maintain current awareness and visibility
  • Total Revenue x 10% = Marketing budget required to grow and gain market share

Implementing a solid online marketing strategy that includes components such as PPC advertising, search engine optimization, mobile apps and a responsive website, can yield massive market gains.

Take this testimonial from Oracast clients Shell Canada for example:

“The web application that Oracast built us has paid for itself hundreds of times over, and we continue to add features each year to improve our operations.”

Or this testimonial from Snowvalley:

“The build of our new website better reflects our company and is much more helpful to our customer base, as seen by the growth in the number of website viewers increasing by 20%!”

There is no doubt getting experts to work on your business for you can produce profitable results, but what if you have a very limited budget? What can realistically be done in-house?

We recommend that if you do have the time and in-house resources, some aspects of marketing can be achieved successfully. These include an email marketing campaign, social media marketing, such as regularly posting on your Facebook and Twitter pages, and regularly posting on your blog.

No one knows your business better than you do, and positioning yourself as an expert in the field via content marketing can go a long way. If you need to find or create graphics or video to go with the content marketing, we recommend tapping into the endless resources and advice online. A word of caution: do your research and get some basic skills down before going ahead on your own. Take a copywriting class. Learn how to handle graphics, file formats and file transfer protocols if you haven’t had a lot of experience with that already.

Creating a great website or mobile app, doing SEO well, running a PPC ad campaign all involve steep learning curves that usually require a whole team of diverse and skilled individuals that have years of experience to execute well. These aspects of marketing are better left to a well-rounded team.

Good luck! And if you do need a little help along the way, Oracast has the years of experience and diverse team you may just be looking for.

Get The Most Out Of Google My Business (for free!)

What is Google My Business? It is an upgraded version of Google+, and it allows you to show up in listings, Google maps and more. Having an account also helps your business rank better on Google.

As an example, you can see in the screen shot below I’ve typed in “dentist Calgary”. You will want your business to show up in Google’s listings for your keywords:


If you have a Google+ account, then Google will have already upgraded this to the newer platform. All you need to do is login and make sure everything is appearing correctly and up-to-date.

If you don’t already have a Google My Business or Google+ account, this is a must-do FREE way to boost your online business presence. All you need to do is sign in to Google with your existing Google account login details (your Gmail email address), or set up a new Gmail account, and get started!


To create a Google My Business account click here.

How to set up an account:

  1. Visit Google My Business Locations.
  2. In the top left corner of the page, click the three dash menu icon  >  Create business account.
  3. Enter a business account name and click Done.

Once you’ve set up your account, you will want to login and make sure that your profile is 100% complete.

Google My Business

You will want to upload as many photos as you can to get the most out of your account. Make sure you’ve titled your photos correctly and add an Alt Tag for the keywords you would like to optimize for your business. To upload photos, click on the “Add Photos” icon.


Write up a solid introduction to your business in this section, and fill in your business name, address and phone number. Make sure this information is consistent across all directories. Search engines will index you easier this way.


You can check out the insights section of Google My Business for stats and reports. This section is similar to Google Analytics where you will be able to see insights into your traffic.

stats and reports

Reviews are an important part of Google My Business. Ask your clients to review your products and services. Send them a link to your Google My Business account so they can post it directly to your page.


It may take some time (possibly up to a week) for Google to get all of your information live on Google maps, so make sure you check back and ensure everything is displaying correctly once it’s live.

If you’d like us to add a Google+ link to your website, simply send us an email or give us a phone call and we’d be happy to add that for you.

We love hearing from our clients! To write a review or testimonial on the Oracast Google My Business page, simply click here.

All the best with your online marketing!!

Email Marketing Software For Lead Nurturing

Email is a great way to turn “on the fence” prospects into buyers. Automated lead nurturing is the process of sending a series of automated emails to prospects. The idea is you set up your emails in advance within an email marketing program, and once your campaign is launched, emails are sent periodically to your list.

The emails can be triggered to send based on an action taken by online visitors, or on a specific time you’ve chosen. Once your email workflow is created and launched, it’s “hand’s off” for you. If set up right, it should provide your potential clients with the right information at the right time, right to their inbox! The email workflow can continue sending emails to new prospects for an unlimited time period (forever!) with no extra effort on your part. (Or you could easily login at any time and update emails with any changing information to keep it current.)

Studies show lead nurturing (also known as drip marketing) pays off. It’s a very effective addition to your online marketing strategy.

“2013 research found that companies excelling at lead nurturing generated 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost (Forrester Research), and that nurtured leads make, on average, 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads (The Annuitas Group).” (

Automated lead nurturing is easy and inexpensive to set-up. There are a number of fantastic email marketing software companies on the market. Over the years, I have used MailChimp, Campaign Monitor and Constant Contact. These 3 companies are the most widely used email marketing programs on the market. Today I will point out the highlights and a few differences.
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Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing

Outbound marketing is the traditional form of marketing, which is sending messages out. Examples of outbound marketing include cold calls, TV commercials, radio, newspaper ads, direct mail and billboards.

These marketing strategies can still be effective, however return on investment for most companies is usually low and costs can be out of reach. Outbound marketing can also be impossible to track and you may be missing an opportunity to capture your potential clients where they are searching for you… which is usually online.
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Valentines Day Marketing Tips To Capture The Heart 2016

Valentines Day is less than one month away. Traditional Valentines day gifts are cards, flowers, jewelry and chocolates, however even if your business doesn’t fit into that category, many industries are finding Valentines Day an important opportunity to capture the heart of their clients. Here are a few simple marketing strategies for 2016.

Know Your Audience

According to, men spend twice as much as women on Valentines Day, and many of those men are branching out into online shopping, travel, electronics and other less traditional gifts to surprise their sweet hearts, treat themselves, or even their pets.

You may already have a great idea of who your target audience is. Now is a good time to review your customer profiles. Know what marital status, gender, age group, location, preferences and wealth status your customers fall into and tailor your visuals, messaging and offers for the appropriate group. You can create detailed profiles for several customer types using facebook:

Whether your messaging is sweet or spicy, make sure it will jive with your target audience. Romance doesn’t work so well if all your customers are single. Knowing your target audience will score you more brownie points with your buyers.

Social Media Campaigns

Optimize all of your social media platforms with themed visuals for Valentines Day. Have strong calls to action and create content your specific audience will enjoy so that you can increase the number of shares. Humor or statistics are a great way to engage your audience. Ikea, Gap and Heineken have all dished out humorous advertising leading up to Valentines and can be a source of inspiration. A heartfelt message that connects clients to your business can be touching and memorable. It can also be an awareness month for charity.

valentines day beer ad

ikea valentines day ad

coke ad

Email Campaign

Create a Valentines Day email with a personalized greeting (adding the first name of your customer to the email is effective and can be easily done with a short code).

Include visuals and an interactive element to spark interest. Consider adding a bold call to action button in your email to drive traffic to a specific landing page, or to your special Valentines Day discount. Don’t make readers scroll to the bottom of the email for the call to action, as 80 -90% of readers don’t scroll down. Short and sweet is usually best. For Valentines Day, sending out your email marketing campaign just a few days in advance and leading up to the day is usually the most effective. Unlike Christmas, most businesses don’t gain a lot from sending out emails for this holiday months in advance.

A Unique Landing Page

Set-up a specific landing page devoted to your Valentines Day offer. This is where your social media campaign and emails will drive traffic. This page will be consistent in messaging and imagery as your social media and emails. It’s very import the sales funnel is seamless from one platform to another and the action step you would like your visitors to take is crystal clear and offers real value.

Creating a unique holiday page can be great value for your overall SEO (search engine optimization) as well. As you continue to promote holiday offers every year, customers will come to expect and look forward to your discounts and your landing page will continue to rank well year after year. Just keep it fresh.

It’s About Love!

Most importantly, offer your clients excellent customer service and make them feel special! This is a great time to turn a one-time buyer into a lifer. Reward top clients and send thank-you cards. Share the story of your business and create a connection point. Ensure the shopping experience is a great one from start to finish.

PPC Advertising: The Basics

Would you like to bring more traffic to your website? Wondering if you’re missing out on sales that are going to your competitors instead? One way to drive traffic to your website online is through Pay-Per-Click advertising (PPC). PPC advertising is a great way to get visitors to your website quickly, but in order to receive a high return on investment, your campaign needs to be managed well.

In this article we will highlight the high level ins-and-outs of PPC advertising and reveal a few tricks to determine if PPC is right for your business.

What is PPC Advertising

In a nut shell, you pay Google / Bing each time a searcher clicks your ad and they will be directed to your website or a specific landing page.

The paid ads are sold in auction. There are several factors that come into play for ranking high in the paid ad category. Your bid for each click, and your website’s quality score.

You will see in the diagram below which search results are paid, and which ones are organic.



Organic search results are free, however, it can be very competitive and challenging to rank on the first few pages of Google in the organic search, and it can take months. Ideally you would like to rank in the organic rankings as well as PPC by making sure your site is well optimized, however there are some real benefits to PPC advertising that organic results can’t get you such as instant and very targeted traffic.

Is It Right For You?

One quick and simple way to get an idea of the PPC landscape in your industry is to type in a few keywords relating to your business into Google. For example, if you sell dog clothes, type in dog clothes and pay attention to the ads that come up. If your competitors are advertising, that is a great indication it could be profitable for you as well.

Also, with pay per click advertising, you can run short sales campaigns, and then run the numbers. Your longer term goal would be to bid on keywords that will yield you a return on your investment and this will allow you to determine how cost effective this type of advertising is for your business.

Other Benefits

  • PPC ads can be a great way to generate a buzz for your business by running a blitz campaign. It quickly generates leads.
  • If you have an online store, sending targeted customers to your website can be very profitable.
  • If you have a niche business, you can often find cheap keywords which can result in the most cost effective form of advertising.
  • If your business has seasonal sales, you can run PPC ads during those busy seasons to attract more sales
  • PPC advertising will bring you instant brand visibility.

PPC advertising is really a numbers game at the end of the day and there are many tricks to ensure that your campaign is performing well. Knowing how to manage your campaigns is the difference between success and failure and it can be a steep learning curve.

Oracast is proud to be a certified Google partner. Our team is trained in managing PPC ad campaigns and we’re here to help!

SEO Audit for better website performance

How is your website performing from a technical standpoint? Does it have structural problems or broken links? Are you being punished by Google? Do you even know? Business owners and marketers are constantly striving for better performance with their website, yet many of them do not take the time to “look under the hood” and check for problems that might be holding back their website.

Here are some symptoms that an SEO Audit can help cure:

  • Few visitors
  • High bounce rate
  • Low lead generation
  • Low conversions
  • Slow website

Conducting an SEO Audit at least once per year will identify issues with your website, provide solutions to fix those issues, and keep your website as optimized as possible. Not only will your visitors have a better experience when visiting your website, search engines like Google will reward you for having a well-optimized website.

How is your website performing? Want more online leads and better organic ranking? Give us a call and let our experts conduct an SEO Audit on your website today.