The Competitive Edge     I     May 2020     I     Issue 5

As many small business owners have had to close up shop due to stay at home orders, our online presence has become a top tool for staying in business, as well as driving in new business. This includes both our website as well as social media channels. Business owners need to take advantage of this time to develop a digital marketing strategy that allows them to not only survive but to thrive in the COVID-19 world. We need to continue to engage with our customers. To be able to do this, we must develop an optimized and integrated approach. This article will offer ways for you to do that.

Website: Your #1 Marketing Channel

While social media and email are strong ways for businesses owners to engage directly with clients, at the end of the day, your website is the face of your business. If your site is not functioning properly, if it does not reflect your professionalism, if it is loading slowly or includes broken links, your reputation will suffer. Now is a great time to conduct a site audit. Send your site link out to a varied group of people and ask for feedback. What’s their first impression of your business when they land on your page? How quickly does it load on various browsers? Does it view properly on different devices? Are any links or images broken? Are your lead magnets noticeable and working properly? Once you’ve collected the feedback, make any necessary changes (contact me if you need help). Also, if you haven’t already connected your website to Google Analytics, be sure to do that now. Knowing the analytics of how well (or not well) your site is performing is important. Not sure how to best utilize Google Analytics? Google actually offers online video training where you can learn basic features of Google Analytics for free. Just click the button below to access the website.

Social Media: Connect with Compelling Content

Many of us are on social media now more than ever, including your customers, so take this time to focus on how best to use these platforms. The most important thing here is to be sure you are offering valuable content to your followers. Connect with customers by offering compelling posts that are consistent in messaging. Show your business as a caring member of the community and stay positive. Consider who your target customer is and develop a plan around enticing them to interact with your postings. Video is an excellent way to communicate in a compelling way. Wondering which platforms to focus on? It’s nearly impossible to find the time to effectively post on all platforms so choose 1 or 2 that you feel the bulk of your target audience will be. Facebook, You Tube, and Instagram are great visual platforms where you can grab your viewers attention. LinkedIn and Twitter are good for B2B, while Pinterest has a strong niche market. Check out the article below by Digital Marketing Institute to learn which platforms are best for your business.

Email: The King of Direct Response Marketing

There’s no better way to be sure your message gets to your audience than an email sent right to their inbox. Many of us are inundated with email and it’s difficult to get to it all. So, how do you make yours stand out? First it’s important that you know your audience. Make sure the subscribers you have are actively engaging with your campaigns. Track your email metrics. If your open rate is consistently below 15%, clean up your list. A good way to increase your open rate is to make sure your newsletter offers valuable content, presents clear and concise calls to action, and utilizes interesting and effective slug lines. Your email also needs to align with your overall brand. Want to learn more about email marketing? Click below.

Connecting with Your Customer in the COVID-19 Era

Your existing customers offer the best opportunity for you to survive this unpredictable time. So find out what they are struggling with and offer them solutions to their problems. This is also a good time to take a look at what your competitors are doing to survive. Are they offering discounts? Special promotions? Pick your top 3 competitors and check out what they’re doing both on their website as well as their social media channels for inspiration. Next, analyze your digital marketing efforts. What’s converting the most? Paid ads? Leads on your website? Email campaigns? Knowing where to best focus your efforts will help you make the most of the money spent. Finally, take advantage of this time to develop a variety of lead magnets to engage with new customers. Lead magnets are valuable tools. They offer something free in exchange for something you value as a business owner (e.g., a new visitor’s email address). Suggestions for a lead magnet include:

  • Free eBook
  • Request a quote form
  • Audio book
  • Free webinar
  • Chat bot
  • White pages
  • Newsletter sign-up

If you’d like more ideas for creating lead magnets for your business, has some great suggestions.

Make the most of your time now to prepare for the uncertain future that lays ahead of us. Business owners are coming up with creative ways to make it through this uncertain time. Stay focused and have a plan to keep moving forward and maybe we’ll all actually come out a bit stronger than we were before.

Stay safe.