When Covid-19 struck, no industry was left unscathed. Yet, any crisis can be a golden opportunity for innovation, if responded to with reflection, planning, and initiative.
Small business owners may feel like they don’t have the answers. We understand. Working with such a diverse client base has allowed us to see what is and isn’t working when it comes to business recovery. With our no-cost, no-obligation analysis, we’re able to not only analyze your current state online, but also how you stack up against your competitors. We offer a variety of strategies to emulate what’s working within your industry. WebLocal is here to help you navigate these trying times.
A majority of companies are turning to digital marketing. According to Forbes magazine, it could even be the deciding factor in whether or not a business survives, and for industries that aren’t digital-native, that challenge is even greater. Professional guidance and implementation of online marketing strategies will give you the best chance at getting the ROI you’ll need.
Let’s take a look at 5 online marketing strategies that will help businesses combat the shutdown.
1. Improving Your Online Presence
Improving your online presence has been our driving message from the beginning. This isn’t exactly a new idea – what’s new is the position many businesses are now in. Businesses that can successfully adapt and improve their online presence at a time like this will be steps ahead of their competitors.
The world is experiencing a new way of conducting business. With increasing barriers to in-person interaction, people are turning to the internet more than ever. Communicating through your website, social media, and other online tools is critical during this time.
Change is difficult for everyone, however, adapting really isn’t an option right now – it’s a necessity. Here are some questions you may want to consider:
- Is our website up to date?
- Is it user-friendly?
- Is it secure?
- Have we been active on social media?
- Have we updated our hours on our website, Google Business listing, or other directories?
Look across all online platforms and ask yourself, “is this the best, most accurate representation of my business?” If the answer is no, it’s time to re-evaluate and make some adjustments.
During the Covid-19 shutdown, you want people to know how you’re conducting business as well as your long-term plan.
We don’t know how long the affects of this shutdown will last. People want to know if you’re open, or if you’re offering delivery or curbside pick-up. Your website might be the first place they check. A secure, up-to-date website can make the difference right now. It’ll show your customers how much you care by making sure their questions are answered.
2. Increasing Your Online Exposure
You might be happy with your online presence – your website is up-to-date and user-friendly, you’re active on your Facebook page, etc. Unfortunately, the time and money you’ve invested in creating that image is wasted if you’re not getting seen.
If you’ve been updating your website in regard to Covid-19 but it’s not on page one of search results, your message may not be getting seen like you think it is. Now, more than ever, you need people to find you. This might be the only way an existing or potential customer finds out you’re still open for business.
How confident are you in the following?
- Is your business showing up in front of potential customers?
- Do you know how your potential customers are seeking out your products or services?
- Where are your potential customers going to find what they need?
- Do you know what your competitors are doing online?
- What is the current demand for your products or services?
If you’re not completely confident or satisfied with the answers above – we can provide clarity. Our no-cost analysis is designed to provide businesses with this information. We can tell you exactly what people are searching for and where you’re showing up. We can also tell you how your competitors are performing. Understanding what other businesses are doing will give you an edge on your competition. Take advantage of all the available real estate online and increase your online exposure.
3. Remote Communication – Rethinking Communication Channels With Customers
Remote communication has been around for awhile – some businesses use it, some don’t. However, right now, it may be crucial.
This style of communication comes in several forms:
- Website chat functions
- Video conferencing
- Social media
If you’ve already been using one of these methods, it’s time to step it up a notch or two!
For most of us, in-person business has been practically eliminated. Remote communication is becoming the primary form of communication for businesses and their customers.
We’ve implemented website chat functions and email notifications for our clients before, but not everyone found it necessary. Now, it’s essential. It’s a way of streamlining communication with your customers. As soon as someone emails you or starts a chat through your website, you’ll be notified instantly. We thought people were inpatient before – it’s a whole different ball game now. That’s why it’s important to provide quick and easy communication options for your customers.
If you were to miss a phone call from a customer, you wouldn’t wait a few days to respond. The same applies to remote communication. If they reach out and don’t get a response, don’t expect them to still be there days later. Your online etiquette should be synonymous with your phone etiquette.
Tips to remember for remote communication:
- If you aren’t doing it, start now!
- Do it more.
- Respond quickly, like immediately.
- Utilize different platforms.
Rethinking communication channels with customers is just another way of adapting during a time like this. It may seem intimidating, but that’s what we’re here for!
4. Selling Online
Covid-19 has forced many businesses into online sales one way or another. Maybe you’re trying to figure out what you should do – is it time to start selling online where you didn’t before? Would it be easier to process transactions online for your product or service? After all, both of these things don’t require face-to-face interaction. And without the option of selling online, you may not be able to sell at all.
Some businesses have rapidly adjusted to making online sales where others are still trying to figure it out. Those who’ve successfully integrated online sales into their new way of conducting business are making sales. Whereas those who have not are losing business.
There are different ways of catering to consumer demands during the Covid-19 shutdown.
- Implementing an online store on your website where orders, payments, and delivery can be processed.
- Processing orders online for items only available for curbside pick-up.
- Implementing payment processing on your website and nothing more.
- Facebook marketplace – with targeted ads, you can get your products in front of a large audience this way.
Additionally, if you currently have a POS system that isn’t fully integrated with your website, now is the time to make that change. That way, you can keep everything streamlined so you don’t skip a beat.
All the different ways of selling online can be easily implemented. And when you hire a professional to do this for you, security and functionality aren’t concerns.
You don’t have to figure it out alone – we’re here to help. A no-cost analysis can tell us what businesses in your own industry are doing and what is and isn’t working. This puts you in a powerful position to make decisions that’ll set you apart from the rest.
5. Boosting Your Online Advertising Budget
We’ve come full circle. The first strategies we discussed, improving your online presence and exposure, are hard to do without boosting your online advertising budget.
With a sudden halt to in-person business and a lack of commuting, now isn’t exactly the time to invest in offline marketing, like a billboard or newspaper ad.
It’s time to put that billboard online.
Covid-19 has changed our lifestyles. More and more people are finding themselves with extra time on their hands. With this extra time, people are flocking to the internet. Whether they’re looking for updates from local businesses, online shopping, or perusing social media, they’re spending more time online. And it makes sense to advertise where the people are.
Why is now the time to boost your online advertising budget?
Because people are looking for certainty in an uncertain time. They want to know which businesses are open and how they’re handling this situation. They want to feel confident that when they need your product or service, you’ll still be able to provide it to them.
You may be wondering why you should hire experts to help with your online advertising. Well, because right now, you want to get the most you possibly can out of your advertising efforts. We understand you may feel like it’s going to cost you a lot to hire professionals, but it’ll cost you more if something goes amiss in your own efforts.
Some advantages of boosting your online advertising budget:
- Get in front of more potential customers.
- Create awareness.
- Create new buzz.
- Educate customers.
- GENERATE MORE SALES!
You want to make sure you’re getting in front of the right people and you’re getting your message across. We can make that happen. If you’re not sure that boosting your online advertising right now is right for you, we invite you to contact us to learn more.
We understand how challenging this time is, and we’re here to provide you with the answers you’re looking for. You can trust that we have your best interest at heart. After all, our success depends on your success.
Click here to request a no-cost, no-obligation online analysis and consultation of your business!