The world of marketing has rapidly changed during 2020 - in fact, the world of business has completely altered.
Many of you won’t have been able to work or run your businesses in the traditional way. And this situation may still continue for quite a while yet. You need to think about what you do that could help your audience. Helping them will leave a lasting impression, going forward.
I’ll tell you a little about my business and you might understand what I mean by this. Prior to lockdown in March 2020, we were doing well as a company. We were getting our name known in the world of video, which is where most of our income came from. We also did other types of marketing, as it all links together, but we started specialising more and more in videos and content creation, as we found we had a real talent for it in the office.
However, as soon as lockdown occurred, we saw cancellation after cancellation (understandably), because of Covid-19. We lost pretty much all the work we had booked in as well as projects planned a few months ahead with our recurring clients. In one week we went from having the best month ever to having no income - even the invoices I’d issued I assumed wouldn’t be paid as everyone was in the same situation. And payroll was due.
I figured that we could either stick our heads in the sand and call it a day or we could adapt.
We thought about how our products and services could help our customers right at that moment. Not a few months later, when things could have eased, but then and there.
Our audience’s biggest issue was earning an income, as theirs had also instantly disappeared. They needed to find a way to keep income coming in - that way was via e-commerce and moving everything possible online. Within a week we shifted gear and focused on creating e-commerce websites for our clients. Despite having no income as lockdown launched, we turned over more during that month than we’d predicted before the crisis - simply because we’d tailored what we offered to what our clients absolutely needed at that time.
“The only thing that is constant is change.” ~ Heraclitus
The change of direction brought new life to our business. We’re still doing most of what we did before, we’re just emphasising certain aspects and changing the message, so that our clients can also see what they could gain from shifting their focus.
A lot of businesses are still living week to week even now, and can’t think about what will happen in 2021. They need to adapt, however, to the new world we’re living in.
Consumers, certainly during the Christmas period, are trying to buy as locally as possible. Businesses need to capitalise on this through localised SEO.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation; let me show you what this means.
Enter the following term into Google: Dog groomers
The results will differ, depending on your locality - this relates to localised SEO.
Your SEO will determine how far up or down the rankings you are on Google; the lower your SEO, the further down the list you will be. The aim, of course, is to be at the top of Google’s listings for words your customers will likely enter into the search bar to find you; however, depending on your industry, this can be very difficult. It’s much easier to focus on specific areas and specific search terms.
The top two to three posts on Google tend to be paid adverts - also known as Google ads or PPC campaigns - this will be stated next to the listing. These ads are pretty much what they say on the tin. You pay each time someone clicks on your ad (as this is Google proactively directing someone to your site). The idea being that this small cost will be reaped back when that visitor places a sale. When measuring an advert’s success, you should aim to make more money in sales than you spend on PPC advertising.
Underneath the paid ads you’ll find directory results. Directories are great for SEO - we’ll explain why in a second. Then there are the results from Google Maps. For a bricks and mortar business, this is very important, as it will show your potential clients exactly how close you are to them, and it will also highlight your Google reviews. I often use this information in my decision-making process.
This information is backed up by something called NACs: name, address and correspondence. This is where directories come in...the more places you have your NACs, the better it is for your website in terms of SEO, as each of these are classed as ‘backlinks’.
I recently added my business to 25 directories, for free. If you send me an email, I’ll pop the list of free directories over to you. It’s a time-consuming process to add your information, but you only need to do it once (unless your NAC information changes). We can do this for you if you don’t have the time, just get in touch with us.
Maybe you’ve added your NACs to other online directories, such as your local chamber. Make sure all entries are up to date - otherwise, Google will see this as a negative.
SEO is a huge, complicated subject that constantly changes and develops. Make sure you subscribe to our website to keep ‘in the know’ concerning new hints and tips.
Backlinks are a huge help to your website. Like directories, backlinks are formed when other websites link back to your site. Should these websites have ‘high domain authority’, this will prove particularly fruitful. The easiest way to check domain authority (DA) is via https://moz.com/domain-analysis. The highest DA is 100 and the lowest is 1; the higher up this scale you appear, you will more likely rank higher on Google for your chosen search terms. However, it’s significantly easier to go from a DA of 1 to 10 than it is to go from a DA of 30 to 40. It’s based on a logarithm that means you will, over time, be required to do more for fewer benefits.
Another crucial aspect of ranking more highly in Google results involves social media. If you scroll further down the listings, you will see videos appear.
Google owns YouTube. Having videos on YouTube that point back to your website is really useful. You’d typically use this platform to stream your videos onto your site anyway.
As well as YouTube, being active on other social media platforms helps your ranking, as they all have high Domain Authority.
I cannot stress enough that the normal world has gone. Whilst we may see remnants of the old world returning when we get on top of this virus, consumers’ buying behaviours and people’s working routines will have completely altered.
The end of a year is usually a time of reflection for everyone. Some people may not return to their jobs as they follow a different career path or launch their own business. Companies will permanently incorporate an element of remote working, now that the crisis has shown them the benefits around this. More of us than ever before are buying online and Zoom is the go-to app in any business’s toolbox. Why would anyone travel an hour to have an in-person meeting if it can be done via a screen?
You have survived 2020 (which is fantastic, as a good number of businesses haven’t been able to do this). Going forwards, however, you need to learn to thrive, which is all about adapting to your surroundings and finding new opportunities. After a crash or crisis, and the ensuing redundancies these can bring, lots of start-up businesses launch. This means more competition for the money in customers’ pockets.
It’s not all doom and gloom. Such an experience can give people the impetus to do what they’ve always wanted to do. For some, it’s the perfect time to revolutionise their business and put in new processes and procedures that will allow them to live the life they would like.
Covid-19 has been one of the biggest disasters of the modern world and, as much as we all wish it had never happened, it has happened.
In a few years’ time we’ll look back at this as a defining moment in our lives.
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