Most small businesses have been experiencing major downtime as customers have been asked to stay away. Now restrictions are being lifted, it is the “What now?” question that has many of them scratching their heads.
Whether you are operating as usually as possible or are in wait-and-weather-the-storm’ mode, this is a great time to get post-pandemic ready and review your existing digital marketing strategy and prepare to grow amidst (or after) the disruption.
During the lockdown consumers have turned to digital, therefore, digital marketing is a “no-brainer” strategy to stay in touch with your existing customers, reach new ones and maximise conversion of traffic right throughout your online assets.
Here are my tips on getting your digital marketing streamlined and ready for the post-pandemic growth of your small business.
1. Existing customers
A monthly email (at least) to your existing customers will help your business stay top of mind. And if you have nothing to sell, just let your customers know what your plans are and how you are going to support them to bounce back. Just popping up in their inbox is enough to remind them about your products and services. Keep it conversational and real – not sales “RahRah” or doomsday talk!
2. The truth behind your website
When was the last time you checked out the performance of your website? Perused the stats on Google Analytics? Where are people coming to your site from? Do they drop off, and where? Take this time to check out your account, gain insight and figure out what is really going on. Likewise, if you haven’t installed Google Analytics or HotJar do so now.
3. Look at your competitors
Taking a peek at your strongest competitors can give you invaluable insight and know-how on what to do for your own website. Using tools such as WhatRuns or BuiltWith lets you see what plugins and tools your competition uses and replicate, or even improve, these features on your own site. You can also see how popular their website is with Similar Web.
4. Is your website current?
Use this time to update your content, images and refresh your blog, especially if you are like most small-business owners who have not actively done anything on their website since 1992! Are all your products and services listed and reflected in the best way? You can also use tools such as HotJar to heatmap and see where visitors go, not go or drop off. This can be crucial to maximise visitor capturing and conversion when traffic picks up again.
5. Keyword review
When was the last time you checked and updated your keywords for search marketing? With tools like Google Trends you can easily see if you can find stronger and related or rising keywords to bolster your search results. As consumer behaviour changes, so do search terms and you could be missing out on crucial traffic. This is the time to streamline your keywords and maximise ROI on your Google marketing.
6. Review your digital marketing budget
Are you spending on marketing efforts that don’t bring results or are not as strong as others? Assessing the most effective tools can be difficult so revisit your budget, your activities and gauge your investment ROI regularly. Check your marketing spend carefully – you may need to scale some activities down, shift funds to others or buckle down on expenses. Shift your reduced spending to the most effective marketing activities.
7. Boost your digital marketing know-how
Review areas of your marketing you are up-to-date with and which you could boost your skills in. This can be the deciding factor in getting the most from your marketing activities and spending. Research courses and programs, identify what area you want to learn more about and then make use of the extra time to “up” your skills and, most importantly, then implement newly-learned tools and insights. Staying abreast with the latest trends and how-to is one thing, but using these is another. Hands-on, step-by-step courses such as Digital Skills Advantage are better than theoretical learning or just signing up for digital tools if you don’t know how to use them.
Most importantly, use your time wisely. For most small businesses, time is usually in short supply, sometimes more so than cashflow. While things are a little slower, invest this time in ways that will pay off later. When the restrictions lift fully, and its back to business as usual, I bet you’ll wish you had more time to revise, invigorate and maximise your digital marketing strategy.
Russell Easther, Founder, digitalbrief