A10 Fabrication’s high-quality product and exceptional customer service have always kept new leads flowing in. But, the owner of the McKerrow, Ontario metal fabrication and mechanical company, Marc Benoit, has never been one to sit back. For years, Benoit has found ways to leverage technology and innovation within his business and the next step was developing a strong social media strategy. He was curious to explore what digital marketing could do for his already booming business.
For over a decade, A10 Fabrication has been managing welding and millwright projects and creating custom artwork for residential and commercial properties. “We started very small in a garage-sized shop and are [now] working towards building our brand new shop. So it’s pretty exciting times,” says Benoit. The established business has spent a decade generating a strong referral network and often lands new customers through word-of-mouth.
The referral network was working well for A10 Fabrication, but Benoit noticed more and more businesses in his own industry and beyond incorporating social media into their marketing strategies. When he came across the Digital Transformation Grant (DTG) program offered by Digital Main Street (DMS), he thought “let’s take full advantage of it.” The program provides small businesses with a digital assessment, online training, and a $2,500 grant to implement their Digital Transformation Plan. Benoit says he has worked through a number of grant applications in the 10 years his company has been in business but this one was different. “Working with the [DMS] team, […] it was an amazing opportunity. It was stress free. And I think it definitely helped our business,” he says.
The educational component of the program was an important draw for Benoit who says he didn’t have a lot of experience with digital marketing. “Social media was never really my thing,” he admits. But, with social media usership growing at incredible rates, the impact of these platforms in the marketing world was something that Benoit felt he couldn’t ignore anymore. A recent Statista study, published in July 2022, estimates that there are approximately 34.47 million social media users in Canada alone. It is expected that there will be over 38 million social media users in the country by 2026.
After working through the DMS modules, Benoit was ready to test his social media marketing strategy. He decided to use the DTG funds to hire a social media agency to work on A10 Fabrication’s online presence. Equipped with a more comprehensive understanding of digital marketing, Benoit knew what to look for as he explored his options.
The agency Benoit selected began deploying content on A10 Fabrication’s Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn platforms and the DTG investment paid off big time. “I went from getting one new connection request on LinkedIn every week or so to almost daily [requests]. Now I’m connected with so many people in the area talking about future work, and it’s been quite amazing,” says Benoit.
This new marketing channel has been especially helpful to the business in the wake of the pandemic. Benoit says “even though COVID […] has dissipated quite a bit, there’s still people who are hesitant to just let you knock on their door and give you 15/20 minutes of their time.” With a strong social media presence in place, this door knocking strategy is no longer necessary. It’s safe to say that the tables have turned in the best way for Benoit and his team: “I’m getting message requests from people to ask me to go see their company and help them out rather than me knocking on the door saying we have the expertise and we can help.”
Benoit and his social media agency have only just scratched the surface of what social media can do for their business. They have yet to dabble in any paid advertisements or new platforms since they’ve been so successful in achieving organic reach on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. He said, “It’s been a very good choice to take this on. And I look forward to maintaining this kind of social presence for years.”