Why Your Digital Marketing is More Important Than Ever
Though the effects differ, COVID-19 has impacted practically all enterprises. Some have been pushed forward, while others have been pushed back and some have even been knocked down..
Over the past four to six weeks, I’ve had the chance to counsel with businesses and entrepreneurs in a wide range of industries and verticals on how to pivot, how to keep their doors open, or how to reopen when things return to normal.
We’ve discovered some significant lessons that the coronavirus, remote working, and stay-at-home directives have revealed together. It’s up to you whether you decide to acknowledge them and modify your strategy.
Your Digital Presence Is No Longer Important, It’s Critical
There’s a good chance your doors are closed right now. People aren’t coming in and out of your shop or office the way they did last year at this time. Even if you are “open for business,” your customers are staying at home.
They want to evaluate your products online. They desire to receive all of their clarifications and resolutions in the comfort and security of their own homes.
You have a website, of course, but can Google users find you if they are searching for something specific rather than your company name? Does your website walk the user through the complete purchasing process without your involvement? Does it fully handle all the issues raised by your ideal consumer in the same way as the websites of your rivals?
When you most need the business, you’re losing it if you discover it deficient in any of these areas.
A digital audit may be the best course of action at this point. Just a few things to think about are listed below:
Review the copy on your website. Is it still relevant and on brand?
Fill out your own contact forms and read the copy on your thank you pages and in your autoresponder. Does it still resonate?
Is it easy to sign up for your email newsletter? Do you offer a compelling reason? (You do have an email newsletter, right?)
Dive into your Google Analytics and determine how people are finding your site and what actions they’re taking when they arrive. Are there any weak spots that you can improve?
How are you ranking at the search engines? Are your paid search campaigns returning a positive ROI?
Are you active on all the social media platforms linked to from your website? Is the branding and voice at your social media profiles consistent with your website?
Your Message Needs to Change
These are challenging times, but for some people, they’re downright terrifying. Some people are scared because they’ve lost their jobs. Some people are scared because they or a loved one have a job, but they are risking their lives for low pay. And others are scared because they own a business and the pandemic may cause them to lose everything.
The fact is that you can’t possibly be aware of every audience member’s current emotional or mental state. It won’t be effective to promote a “buy, buy, buy!” attitude. It will come across as tone-deaf and be circulated as a statement from a business that “simply doesn’t get it.”
People want to know that you contribute to the neighborhood economy. They want to support local businesses, not those owned by a huge, faceless company.
People want to see that you are contributing. that you are ensuring the security of both your staff and your clients. that you have changed your production process to produce PPE or hand sanitizer. that a portion of your profits are being donated to help front-line employees
People want to see that you are experiencing things that are comparable to theirs. They want you to draw back the drapes and demonstrate that you’re taking cover, that you’ve set up your home office, or that you’re taking all reasonable steps to prevent the spread of the disease. They want you to have empathy, to be open, and to have hope.
Can you manage all that?
E-commerce Is No Longer Optional (But There Are Options)
Prior until now, I divided business websites into two groups: lead generation (generation) and e-commerce.
Even while some e-commerce sites and other lead generation websites had an order form, the goal of both was to either generate leads for potential customers or to get them to “purchase now.”
People are now looking to self-serve from home as we approach a new era. They just want to shop at your website, get a product delivered, or have a service scheduled — they don’t want to wait for a call back. They feel at ease using their credit card or another form of payment online. (Do you currently accept Venmo? ACH?)
Companies that are unable to accept payments on their websites are at a disadvantage to those who can. Sales friction has always been detrimental, and the absence of safe, online payment methods sands away at your chances of success.
However, there are options to how you can jump into e-commerce.
The majority of people see a shopping cart when they think about e-commerce. Product pages, category pages, cart pages, etc. This is the best course of action if you have many of goods or SKUs. You may create your shopping cart experience using platforms like Shopify and WordPress plugins like WooCommerce.
There is some setup work that has to be done, such as adding your products, obtaining a security certificate, verifying that your host is PCI compliant, and establishing a connection with a gateway processor.
If you only have a few things (physical or digital), or you need to get something up quickly, an order form is a decent option. Many online form builders (we choose Gravity Forms for WordPress) can be rapidly and securely integrated with a payment gateway to enable customers to make purchases on your website.
You must obtain a security certificate and be set up on a PCI compliant host, just like the Shopping Cart option.
Offsite Payment Solutions: Using an off-site processor could be a quick fix if you don’t want to invest in a security certificate or can’t switch to a PCI compliant host. You can have the transaction happen on a different website using PayPal, Square, or other similar services, saving you money by avoiding the need to add anything to your website.
Even though PayPal allows users to use their own credit cards, the user experience isn’t as fluid or attractive, but it will work in a hurry.
Delivery from a third party: For those in the restaurant business, using a service like DoorDash or UberEats can give your clients a secure way to make purchases from you without any extra work on your part. Additionally, you gain more exposure on their platforms and apps.
However, these 3rd party services take a big bite of your profits.
Online markets: A lot of businesses are content to sell on Amazon, Etsy, Ebay, and other online markets. They either direct traffic to these platforms or they take advantage of existing customers to a certain extent.
These are active markets, so there is obviously a lot of rivalry, and these markets can take a sizable portion of your profits in service fees.
Your Social Media Activity Needs to Double
Social media usage has greatly increased. This is brought on by a variety of factors, such as boredom, a drive to better oneself, and a yearning to connect in a period of social estrangement.
For networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, you should be producing and curating a tonne more content if you run a B2C business. You and your team need to work on your LinkedIn profiles, prospect more, and share more content in the feed if you work in the B2B sector.
Make sure people are aware if your doors are open. (Remember the updated messaging.) Make sure people remember you if your doors are locked.
The ideal platform for revealing your company’s “pandemic story” is social media.
Don’t forget to allocate additional money to social media advertising. Placing advertisements underneath some of your posts is a good use of your advertising budget because company posts, particularly on Facebook, don’t have the same prominence as posts from people.
Now is a Good Time to Be Storing Up Content
Nobody is certain of the precise timing of the economy’s reopening, or if it will occur abruptly or gradually. (Though they may believe they do, things are constantly evolving.)
Once things start to change, there may even be a pent-up demand for the goods or services your business offers. You might be directly filling orders, hiring individuals, and interacting with customers.
It is difficult to produce content when that is taking place. In order to have the type of content your prospects and customers expect from a business like yours available when you’re busiest, it’s a wonderful idea to start writing those blog posts, recording those podcast episodes, making those videos, or building whatever type of content you need to.
When things become hectic, you may queue them up and have them ready to go; all you have to do is press “publish.” You can even schedule them to publish, along with the proper social media and email advertising, once we know when the economy will be improving.
Now is a Good Time to be Rehabbing Old Content
New content creation is challenging. Because of this, we advise companies with a lot of content to concentrate on improving and updating their current content instead. Also, SEO benefits from this. You shouldn’t publish a new Halloween post every year and reduce your exposure for that search if you already have a seasonal blog post (for example, for Halloween). You simply want to add new content while retaining the previous URL.
You don’t need to write a fresh post about kitchen remodeling if you already have one that garners interest. Simply update it with fresh design concepts, new merchandise, and additional before and after pictures.
Although there are other venues as well, blogs are the most effective way to do this.
Other ways to improve an existing piece of content:
Google favours longer posts (correlation, not causation), so as necessary, think about adding extra substance to your post.
Include quotes from experts; let them know when you republish so they may tell their audience.
Replace any dated information with new statistics and charts.
Replace out-of-date photos with fresh, branded ones.
If you’re changing this content on a yearly basis, change the URL but add the year to the title. “The 10 Best Kettlebell Exercises,” for example.
Make sure your photographs are the appropriate sizes for social media so that when people share them, they will look beautiful.
New Normal Things will never go back to “the way things were,” but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Promote the information via email and social media as if it’s new Position Yourself for the “New”
At some point, much of life will go back to normal, but there will be “residue,” including:
at all stages of the sales process, a greater comfort level with digital interactions, a preference for self-serve/low-touch choices, and a comfort level with video conferencing.
Just a few examples. How are you changing your online presence to meet the demands of clients in a month or a year from now?
What’s the Next Step?
Business as usual is not an option because the coronavirus has affected you and your clients, whether your doors are open or closed, whether you’re slower than usual or busier than ever. The world must change, and only the adaptable will live. You should execute your plan right away.
You must decide for your business whether to put social media first rather than e-commerce, or whether to focus on producing fresh material rather than updating existing content.
We can assist you if you need assistance planning your course through this storm or if you require outside assistance with a digital audit. For a free video consultation, get in touch with Abloxic right away, and we’ll start you moving in the right direction.