These past few weeks have indeed been hectic for all of us whether you’re a worker who has been laid off or a small business facing uncertainty due to this pandemic. With that comes big time changes in the Digital Marketing landscape that we’re already seeing happen. These changes will have an impact on how consumers go by satisfying their needs going forward. Even after the COVID-19 pandemic, the behavior of consumers will more than likely stick so this will make Digital Marketing crucial for those small businesses going forward. There are four key areas of Digital Marketing that small businesses need to get ahead of in order to thrive in these uncertain times. Let’s explore them shall we.
Whether you’re a recruiter looking for talent or a small business looking to show off your products, video is a great way in helping accomplish your goals. In fact, we are already seeing companies conducting their work meetings with their employees in increasing fashion via video conference calls. I know I’ve been in several of these myself with my potential Digital Marketing acquaintances near and far.
A great way small businesses can thrive even in these tough times is via live video streaming. Even before this pandemic, we are already seeing companies in southeast Asia try this and achieve success via this route. Video Streaming has helped in bringing that online shopping experience as if you were in-person at the actual store. South Korea’s LF Corp was able to achieve a 30% year over year sales increase since 2015. The way they accomplished that is by allowing their users to have real-time conversations with the presenter and other users with the ability to purchase the products with just one-click. Video Streaming is indeed a great way for brands to grow their presence in a big way.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
When it comes to building up your online presence during an economic downturn and pandemic like this, SEO is a great way to accomplish just that. Even before this crisis, SEO is heavily utilized by small businesses in order to help accomplish their long-term online goals. With the situation that we’re in now, SEO will be even more important going forward. The search term “SEO” and other related search terms have seen a big time increase in interest since February as Google Trends has indicated.
With these trends in mind, there’s no doubt that investing in your SEO game will be key to success during this pandemic and beyond. People these days are looking towards brands that they feel that they can trust. To build trust with your target audience, get away from those sales jargon and instead work to build content that follows the E.A.T. method. Building content that rallies around Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness will help your cause in helping grow your online presence in a positive way towards your desired customers. It also will help save you money in the long run assuming you continue to always stay ahead of the game in adjusting to the fast-changing needs of today’s consumers.
With consumers less willing to endanger their health by going in-person to crowded shopping centers and stores during a pandemic, they will be looking towards online options and that’s where E-Commerce comes into play. 42% of consumers are now shopping online more as a result of this pandemic according to a survey by Valassis. These changing shopping habits are more than likely here to stay even after this pandemic so it’s important for businesses to get ahead of the E-Commerce game.
To have success in your E-Commerce game during this time, what you must have to begin with is a banner at the top of your website talking about COVID-19 as far as shipping updates are concerned. Of course, it would also be a great idea to go a step further to keep in touch with your customers via email and social media talking about how your business is responding to this pandemic. This would help make your customers feel safe and in control in doing business with you.
In addition to that, it is important to also keep your site up to date and up to speed especially on mobile devices. Definitely work to give your customers a great shopping experience by having shopping cart/wish list options handy for your online customers as well as a search function and an easy-to-use payment feature to ensure that their online experience is quick, flexible and easy for them. After all, website experience is crucial now more than ever especially in E-Commerce.
During these unprecedented times, managing the reputation of your business and responding to adversity in a timely manner is important now more than ever. According to a recent study done by Bright Local, 71% of consumers are more likely to do business with brands that respond to reviews. Whether the reviews left by consumers are good or bad, it’s important to respond to them on each review site in a timely fashion. That’s especially true if it’s bad. The way to respond to them is by showing commitment towards resolving the situation at hand.
Today’s customers mean business. With some businesses trying to game the system by getting fake good reviews, customers are looking towards multiple review sites and their peers to ensure that what they’re getting into is legit and will advance their cause in a positive way. It’s also not a deal breaker if you get a negative review. All businesses get them as there are no perfect businesses. What customers pay attention to the most is how you respond to adversity. If you ignore it or are careless towards complaints, of course they won’t do business with your brand. If you show commitment in going beyond the ordinary to listen to the consumer inquiries and work towards solutions, consumers will be more than likely to do business with you. With that being said, it’s important now than ever to work on upping your game when it comes to Reputation Management. It will benefit you greatly long after this pandemic.
Stay Committed To Your Loyal Customers While Staying Safe
Indeed these are tough times for us worldwide whether you’re a customer or a small business looking to achieve great successes. Change is always upon us and this pandemic is another reminder that we must always be adaptive to the fast-changing needs of the customer. We just need to plan accordingly in these four key areas of Digital Marketing and always keep the needs of the customer first before anything else. People-Based Marketing is the name of the game today and every day. By staying true to your customers and showing commitment towards providing them a great customer experience, you will no doubt be set up for success in the long run.
On a special note, may you all stay safe during this pandemic and listen to all the safety measures put forth by our medical community. I look forward to posting even more Digital Marketing articles like these in these next few weeks and I value each and every one of my loyal readers.
What do you feel is important in keep your online presence active during these unprecedented times and setting it up for success in the long run?Questions? Comments? Feel free to share this article & don’t be afraid to share your thoughts below.