F A Q
Learn why your search for the best advertising agency in Toronto for small business is not over until you have seen what we have to offer
What makes Words at Work the best advertising agency for my small business?
Request your free introductory consultation today with Small Business Advertising Guru Wolfgang Franke.
Good question. We are the one small business advertising agency in Toronto that gives you the same insights and services a big business gets. That means we don't just look at your advertising.
We look at everything that influences your ability to attract and retain new customers: marketing, messaging, sales. And we deliver all that at a price that is very affordable for the average small business.
For a complete review of what’s available, go to our Services section.
Do you offer free advertising tips and ideas for a small business owner?
Yes. Check out our marketing blog, WolfBites. It is full of tips on how market a small business, plus it addresses all the questions normally raised by a small business owner: is social media a good option for my business? do I need a marketing plan? what are the most common mistakes made by small business owners? when is the right time to start an advertising campaign?
What is a reasonable annual advertising budget for a small business?
It depends on multiple factors. Here are a just a few: do you have an existing small business or are you launching a new venture? is your business growing, flat, declining? have you regularly invested in new business development? what are your sale targets? All that -- and more -- needs to be addressed before your budget is set.
We can work with almost any "reasonable" marketing budget, and while it is impossible to put upper and lower limits on what is reasonable, we can tell
you what isn't reasonable:
1) If you are a start-up, you can't base your budget on a percentage of sales,because start ups, by definition, don't have a customer base. Moreover, start-ups typically need more – not less – money for advertising because they are unknown and have little or no existing advertising materials. Indeed, the lack of advertising budgets is a key reason (along with no marketing plan) why so many start ups fail.
2) If you are a mature business and your sales have taken a big dip, it's not reasonable to assume there are any quick fixes. Even if you still have a very competitive product or service, you won't make major gains with a minor advertising program.
You could try the percentage of sales route, but if your sales are low, you have a big problem. Either you come up with the money necessary to win back market share or you go into the death spiral, where declining sales lead to declining advertising, which leads to declining sales which leads to...
What constitutes a small business?
Any business with 1-50 employees. Many of our clients have 1-10 employees. But our longest business relationship is with a company that started in Canada with about 30 employees and now has more than 75 employees and operates in both Canada and the U.S.
Do you recommend video marketing?
Yes. You need a video to be on YouTube, and you need to be on YouTube because it is now the second most popular search egnine (Google remains number one). You also need to know that website visitors now expect to see a video (ideally on the Home Page) and many have a preference for consuming content by video. Best results are achieved when every aspect of the video is professional. That means the length is less than two minutes (we recommend 60 seconds), the production values (imagery, music, sound effects) are first rate and the script is engaging. And we have left the best to the last: the cost is much less than you think.
Why is social media ideal for one small business and completely wrong for another?
We get this question all the time. The answer depends on the target market. If, for example, you are in retail and want to target women over the age of 30 (BtoC), social media is going to be part of your advertising plan. Conversely, if you make industrial parts and want to sell to another business (BtoB), social media options such as Facebook and Instagram makes no sense because buyers of industrial parts never use those media channels.
What is the best way to do Facebook ads?
Good question. The first and most important thing to remember is that hard sell does not work on Facebook. What does work is an ad that is built on the three Es (Educate, Engage, Entertain) and takes full advantage of the advanced targetting offered by Facebook. This is not easy, especially if you lack a basic understanding of marketing and do not have a lot of free time to study the Facebook advertising system. For example, if you do not understand how and when to do A-B testing, you are not ready to do your first Facebook advertising campaign.
Do you work in any particular market segment?
No. Some of our clients are in the business to business (btob) sector, others are in the business to consumer (btoc) segment. Our current roster of clients includes businesses in retail, manufacturing and professional services. They all represent different challenges, but our primary marketing strategy (Start with the customer, End with Sale), always applies.
Do you work with high tech IT companies?
Yes, over the years we have worked with multiple information technology companies, mostly based in Markham, Ontario. It's ironic that companies focused on innovation and forward thinking typically become very conservative when it comes to marketing and advertising. We fix that, which is vital because it is hard to convince someone that you are innovative when your websites, videos and webinars are just the opposite. Ask how our Start with the Customer, End with the Sale methodology can help you break into a market, create a market or win a key pitch (business to business).
What proof do you have that Words at Work Advertising and Marketing is successful?
Typical reaction when a small business owner has discovered why Words at Work is the best advertising agency for his company.
You don't last in the advertising and marketing business for over a quarter century without delivering results for your clients.
More specifically, you have to generate measurable response. We do – and that's why we have earned the trust of a wide range of businesses and organizations in Canada and the U.S.
Some had big ad budgets. Some had no idea how to even set an advertising budget. Some were advertising for the first time. Some were looking for new advertising strategies or new ways to advertise a business. We helped them all.
How do the fees charged by Words at Work compare with the rates demanded by competitors who claim to be among the best advertising agencies in Toronto?
Expect to pay less. A lot less. You also get better value for your marketing dollar because you never have to pay for expensive "suits" or pricey downtown offices. If you have a specific project and require a quote, you will get one – fast. On the other hand, if you have more general needs or require ongoing support to boost your sales, it’s best to determine your budget first. Then we can talk about what is possible with that budget.
How long does it take to complete a project?
Guess how fast you think we could be. Cut that time in half and you will be – more often than not – close to the turn around time we require.
What if I am launching a new business for the first time and need help to set my marketing budget, develop marketing strategies and get tips on how to advertise my business?
We are a perfect choice because we regularly provide all that and more for business start ups and entrepreneurs with new products. We have seen what works and what does not work. Most important, you have the confidence and peace of mind that comes with knowing this is not our first rodeo.
Remember that you are trying to generate a response from a business owner, not a consumer. Don't focus on product features and instead focus on the metrics that matter to a business owner: attracting new customers, generating revenue, creating leads and the classic: grow your business. The one similarity with b-to-c advertising is that you need to be creative and helpful. Avoid hard sell and instead focus on education and demonstration. The best b-to-b ads will prompt the reader to say, "I didn't know that" and, even more important, "I need to know that."
Can you help develop a marketing plan for an entreprenuer who is getting ready to launch a new business?
Yes. The best time to call us is when you are at the planning stage and we have an opportunity to point out challenges and opportunites you might miss. We can also help you determine how much money you need to devote to advertising and, equally important, where to put those dollars. Chances are you have only one chance to launch your business. Make the most of that one-time opportunity by getting professional marketing and advertising help from day one.
Will my Google AdWords campaign be done by someone who is Google Search Certified?
Yes, Wolfgang Franke, the President & Creative Director of Words at Work, has the Google Search Certification.
What are some of the most common Google Adwords mistakes?
Many of the most common Google Adwords mistakes can be traced back to the initial campaign setup, especially if this work is done by a business owner with no Google Adwords experience. We have seen Google Adwords campaigns that generated virtually zero response because the geo targeting was completely wrong. Other campaigns failed because the wrong keywords were programmed. Google Adwords provides exceptionally useful data that can be used to fix a failing campaign or make a good Google advertising campaign even better. But you need to know where to look.
How can a Google Adwords advertising professional help me get a better result?
A non professional will post one Google ad and hope it works. A Google Adwords professional will post multiple ads and monitor the results to identify which one is delivering the best result (best response at least cost). The weak ads get dropped, which means more of your budget is funneled into the best performing ads. A Google Adwords professional will also save you money by ensuring you are not over bidding for a keyword, yet another in the long list of biggest Google advertising mistakes.
Is Words at Work a good choice for a company in the U.S. that is searching for a Canadian advertising agency that delivers results at lower cost than advertising agencies in the United States?
Yes. The highly favorable exchange is reason enough to buy your advertising services in Canada. You will be even more impressed when you see our creative and we will prove it by doing a makeover of one of your existing ads. Or ask us to rework a page on your website. There is no cost or obligation. None. Just send the ad and we will do the rest.
How much emphasis should I place on Social Media?
Here is an answer you are not going to get from the typical Internet Advertising or Online Marketing company: Social Media is not a magic bullet and for many businesses it is either a waste of time or a very low priority.
Now let's consider your business. Should it be on Twitter? Only if you have something new and interesting to announce every day and, more important, your postings will be of interest to hundreds or thousands of followers. For example, if you are operating one or more food service trucks and need to communicate things like menu choices and the location of each truck daily, Twitter could be your very best option because it allows you to build, at no cost, an audience that is interested in following your Tweets.
What about Facebook? If you are selling to consumers, it might be a good option. YouTube and other video sharing platforms can work for almost anyone, provided the video is educational, entertaining or, better still, both educational and entertaining. Avoid overly long productions – one minute is about right. And remember that posting videos has both SEO and search benefits (ask us why). Don't get started on your Social Media plan until you have read these words of caution:
- Social Media is usually cheaper than traditional media (Newspaper, TV, Radio, Outdoor) but it requires a lot of sweat equity (time spent making postings).
- Being on Social Media is not the same as being successful on Social Media.
- You need some copywriting and creative skills (nobody reads boring posts) or you need to hire somebody to ghost write your Social Media posts.
- It takes months or even years to build an audience, especially if you have not first built up a profile with traditional media.
Do you have any creative sales collateral ideas?
Many business owners waste valuable advertising dollars on overly produced sales collateral materials that are largely useless. Many are out of date by the time they are printed. Others are filled with me-too messaging that makes no impression on the reader. Vast quantities of sales collateral never even get out of the box used to deliver the sales materials. Plus just about everyone is forgetting that the need and purpose of sales collateral materials has been altered, but not eliminated, by the easy access to company information on the internet.
Is there any value in using digital marketing collateral materials?
There are almost endless options with digital technology. For example, printed sales collateral materials can be produced on demand, not in bulk. Digital technology also allows you to have a print run of "one", meaning you can print a single customized piece for a specific prospect or customer (remember the value of cross selling and upselling).
Give some thought, as well, to the form of any promotional collateral piece. Could it be altered to reninforce or highlight some important aspect of your product or service (the medium is the message)? What about appealing to more than just one sense (sight)? Start by looking at your competitor's sales collaterals and then doing everything possible to make your sales collateral different – and better.
Does Words at Work Advertising and Marketing offer seminar training?
How can I get started?
You can complete and forward our Getting Started form, or you can call our offices (905-940-6610) to book a training session.
I am looking for small business advertising tips and small business marketing ideas. Can you help?
Yes, over the last twenty-five years, we have been a trusted small business advertising agency for a variety of companies, organizations and non profits in Ontario, Canada and the U.S.A. Remember to ask about our market expanding small business internet online advertising services, including guidance on how to create an advertising and marketing plan for a small business.
You can also expect sales boosting marketing strategies for new or emerging small businesses, market expanding advertising campaigns custom designed for small business advertising budgets, plus free tips on how to reduce small business advertising costs (traditional media ad campaigns and online internet advertising) whether you are selling direct to consumers or need help with business to business advertising.
And remember to ask us about our unmatched website design and copywriting development services – the right choice if you want a profit boosting website that is a lead generation machine.
What are the best marketing, advertising and branding ideas for a new business?
Here is a tip you are not going to get from the typical Toronto marketing advertising company or any of the agencies that want you to believe they are among the top ad agencies and marketing companies in Toronto, Ontario or Canada – branding could be a very low priority, especially in the critically important first 6-12 months when many new businesses fail because the owners spend on the wrong things.
For example, if you are selling a packaged good, branding is vital because the buying decision is heavily influenced by things such as color choice and logo design, but if you are in the business to business category, logo design is far less pivotal and it is therefore a big mistake to invest a lot of time and money on logo design. See where you stand by asking us to review your existing spending on advertising. There is no cost or obligation – and at the very least you will get a free evaluation of your ads by an advertising professional with over 30 years of communications experience.
Where can I see examples of good and bad ads?
What can you do for a company in Canada or the U.S. that wants to outsource marketing and advertising?
We offer two outsourcing options – ongoing and project support. Ongoing support is the right choice for companies that want (need?) to make meaningful changes in marketing strategy. Project support is ideal for companies that need help with specific deliverables completed in a defined time frame. We have clients on both programs. Some have in-house marketing staff and are looking for leadership as well as guidance. Others have no in-house marketing staff and, as such, rely on us to deliver both marketing and advertising services.
Can you help if an individual, business or agency is looking for a Top Toronto copywriter?
Yes, Wolfgang Franke, President & Creative Director of Words at Work Advertising & Marketing, regularly accepts copywriting assignments from Canada and the U.S. Learn more about Toronto copywriter Wolfgang Franke by reading his copywriting blog WolfBites.
Does Words at Work ever partner with other advertising agencies, marketing companies, internet online advertising firms or web designers?
Yes, we often work with other Canadian and U.S. companies in the marketing and advertising sector, provided there is no conflict with one of our existing clients. Most often, companies come to us because they need creative concepts and copywriting help on a wide variety of communications projects, ranging from radio and video scripts to direct mail and outdoor advertising. Learn more about the copywriting talents of Wolfgang Franke, President & Creative Director of Words at Work, by reading his og, WolfBites.
We are also the perfect partner for web design and development companies that lack copywriting services or need a more senior writer to attract more clients – a business model that was proven to be very profitable for our existing partners in the Canadian website development sector. We could do the same for a partner in the U.S. and are particularly interested in establishing a partnership with web developers in or near Phoenix, Arizona.