Since the pandemic began, digital marketing has become more of a need than an option for many businesses. Companies must have a web, social, or some kind of digital presence just to be relevant. They must also have a digital marketing campaign to gain new business.
March 2020 was the start of my 10th year running N2Q Consulting. I launched my agency soon after the economic collapse in 2008, as I lost my job at a social media start-up due to budget constraints. It was then started that I started digging into digital marketing and began to learn how to build an online presence and work with a lean budget.
Today, digital marketing has expanded. It includes all marketing efforts that use an electronic device, electronic communication, or the internet as the medium. Businesses use digital channels like search engines, social media sites, emails/newsletters, and other websites to connect with both current and potential customers.
There are a few things you can do to help you market your business during the pandemic.
1️. Use Digital Marketing to Connect with Customers in a Meaningful Way
If you rely 100% on in-person sales, you may have some tough times ahead. Most bars, restaurants, salons, and other person-to-person services are under restrictions meant to curb the spread of COVID-19. While some states allow some modified services like take-out, curbside pickup, or delivery, businesses that don’t have an effective way to digitally communicate with their customers may be losing sales if customers don’t know that they are open.
Digital channels like social media and email marketing can help to lessen the blow. The businesses that will experience the least pain are those who find ways to stay connected through digital marketing.
Find ways to keep a connection beyond the quick take-out and quick sale interaction. Here are a few, fun digital marketing ideas to keep you connected to your customers.
- If you are in the food/beverage industry, record a quick video showing your customers how to make a popular dish or cocktail. Share the video on social media and in emails.
- Salon owners, give a few tips on how to maintain hair color at home, or common chemicals to avoid in shampoo. Your clients will be happy for the tip and new clients will view you as the expert to call when it’s time for their next hair service.
- Owners of storefronts can share new products or unconventional ways to use conventional products (hacks). People love tips on ways to use things more ways than one. Keep doing this to build a loyal following that will turn into new customers.
2. Own Your Website and Use It for Digital Marketing
Services like Shopify or Squarespace are great for people without a lot of web design or development experience. It gets you up and running quickly. But there is a downside. Services like this do now allow you to own the website. All you own is your domain name. These services limit the ability to optimize your website the way it needs to be optimized if you want to have the SEO upper hand that’s needed for search engines.
My recommendation is to stop paying for something you’ll never own. It’s time to “buy the house” instead of “just renting”. This is an ideal time to convert your website to a CMS (customer management system) you fully own. WordPress is a great option and one that the search engines love to serve. There are plugins and tutorials available to help novices get off to a great start.
Once you own your site, promote it. Whether you promote your site on social media, with pay per click ads, or through an email campaign, digital marketing for a well-built website helps in two ways.
- Your digital marketing campaign draws potential customers to the website.
- The clicks your website gets from the digital marketing campaign tell Google that your website is popular so they will want to keep showing it in their search results.
3. Upload High-Quality Content
Search engines love great content, so feed the beast. This is the time to be uploading fresh content for your website and giving Google the articles, blog posts, lead magnets, whitepapers, infographics, and everything else you can do that you may have been putting off.
Businesses that don’t have to rely on ads to drive traffic to their website can weather a storm without seeing drastic drops in sales or rising costs in ad spend. They’ve created the quality content that is needed to position themselves to be at the top of search results and they’re going to see significant payoffs because of it.
If your website is lacking in this area, that doesn’t mean it’s too late for you. In fact, the opposite is true. It is never too late to add content to your site. We can help with this. Our digital marketing agency loves to create the kind of content that Google loves.
4. Optimize Your Content with SEO
Is your content well optimized for the search engines? Do you know how to find that out? Sure, there are basic, automated audits you can use to see where you are with your SEO (search engine optimization). But what you need to know are the real insights that go beyond basic tools. You need to know:
- How Google views your website vs. your competitor’s website.
- What keywords your site is ranking for vs. what your competitors are ranking for.
- How many visitors you are getting from your current keywords.
- How many potential visitors you could get from other keyword opportunities.
- Where your visitors are coming from (globally, nationally, and locally).
- And other key performance metrics.
Once you learn these things, you need an SEO game plan on how to overcome your competitors’ SERP (search engine results page) position. This is a key factor in establishing your business as a leader in your industry. If you are inexperienced or unfamiliar with SEO, call us for help with this. We love SEO.
The Time to Get Started Is Now.
This is the BEST time to be working on the foundational needs your business has, but it all starts with your website. If your site is nothing more than a glorified business card, and you let it stay that way, you are missing lots of opportunities.
The key is knowing where to start. If you need some recommendations, call us now. There’s no obligation. Let’s talk to come up with a digital marketing roadmap for your business that is outside of the status quo.
Digital Marketing N2Q Consulting