Digital marketing solutions have become increasingly important since the pandemic began, with customers unable to visit stores or facilities in person. As a result, there has been a substantial shift for businesses to stay relevant and connected to their customers using digital platforms.

That’s why we’ve listed 7 ways that digital marketing has helped businesses get a leg up on their competition throughout the pandemic.

Boost your digital footprint

How your business presents itself online is known as your digital footprint, this includes places and sites your business is listed on. This encompasses your directory listings, website and social media channels.

Search engines have algorithms that combine all sites where your business is listed to help people find your brand online. Therefore, it is essential to make sure these site listings are optimised and all information is up to date to reflect the current status of your business.

Reviewing all the places your brand is currently listed online and setting reminders to check and update them every month (or so) is a useful tip. Search yourself and your company in an external window to check how easily customers are finding you.

Not only will your brand be present on a number of business listings, but you may also have links coming from other sources online. You may want to do a backlink analysis to see if your links are coming from reputable website sources.

Keeping in touch

Since the pandemic, communicating directly with customers has become crucial. Many Companies have used well-known techniques such as email marketing outreach, direct mail and social media platforms. However, content marketing for small businesses requires the most effort if consumers are spending less.

Cleaning up lists/CRM and directly contacting your top 20% of consumers via phone, Zoom or email can be highly beneficial to keeping your business relevant.

If you call customers to sell products or services, then take the time to check in; rather than hard-selling, as this can improve your relationship with your customer base. During the pandemic, the struggle with working, homeschooling and managing a work-life balance from home has affected many people. Checking in on clients can be a great way to strengthen relationships and stay relevant, even if you are not fully in business.

Consistency is key

Staying in touch with existing and prospective customers can seem daunting. However, in light of everything becoming virtual during the height of the pandemic, it proved to be one of the best ways to maintain your sales and customer loyalty. The same is true today as we begin to get back to ‘normal’.

As most in-person networking events have become virtual, the uncertainty over whether events would be available again has left a gap in communications with potential and existing clients.

Adopting a consistent approach to your digital communication with your customer base and partners can give your brand the edge over those that have lost touch.

Having an email blast once a month sharing all your latest news and info on deals or business-related projects can help you stay present as a brand. Creating emails that engage, sending out valuable content adds to your brand persona and helps build on relationships.

shutterstock_237493600.jpgCheck your keywords

As travelling is still somewhat restricted, there has been an increased focus on local business and sales. Its knock-on effect is a shift in the value of keywords traditionally used before lockdown. Some keywords you relied on previously for your search engine optimisation may have dropped in popularity and relevance. Instead, the number of hits for ‘local delivery’ or ‘virtual’ may have risen in popularity as search terms, depending on your business.

Using an SEO audit service to check and find relevant search terms can provide good insight into what your customers are looking for from brands at a given time. Depending on your business type, implementing additional keywords and phrases like ‘COVID-19’ or ‘coronavirus’ can also help keep your content and pages relevant to what people are currently searching online.

Reconsider your strategies

Delaying and shifting focus on marketing strategies has been necessary as the world has changed since the coronavirus outbreak, and companies have had to adapt. For example, Ford decided to delay their launch of the Bronco model. They felt that their customers might not be keen to buy a new vehicle when travel has been restricted.

KFC also pulled their ‘finger lickin’ good’ phrase as the messaging was deemed inappropriate due to the increased need for hand hygiene.

It is a balancing act to work out which campaigns to put on hold, scrap altogether or double down on. Take the opportunity to consider what is appropriate messaging and meets the needs of consumers when everyday living has changed so drastically.

Mention world events

Silence about a global crisis will not present your brand in a positive light. Trying to continue as ‘normal’ without addressing world issues will appear detached and not ethically driven.

No matter the type of business, customers will expect updates. Particularly on the actions you are taking to keep the public and employees safe. Crisis communication strategies are also important to address whether your day-to-day business activity will be affected, what customers can expect and how you will handle all customer service enquiries.

Alter your business model

As meetings and events became limited to virtual platforms, it affected how companies do business. For example, whilst Disney’s theme parks closed, they threw themselves into promoting other offerings like their Disney + Streaming service to continue as a business, but through digital methods.

As we emerge from the pandemic, completely replicating your services online may be challenging or not possible, but finding ways to adapt to digital pathways may still be worth considering, as customers now expect this.

Optimising your website to be informative and updating key search terms will boost your visibility online. Also, updating your Google My Business page with your latest operating information is crucial for people to know what services you can still offer them. You could also potentially employ a content marketing agency to improve your website user experience and generate blog posts to keep you relevant and in touch with the world.

We hope that these highlighted tips on digital marketing can help your business recover and make it through this challenging period of uncertainty. There is a whole range of digital marketing services available through agencies, as well as ways you can improve your digital presence yourself. Whether you choose to employ the help of an agency or not, the importance of being present across digital platforms has never been more crucial for all business types.

These 7 ways that digital marketing has helped sustain businesses through the pandemic should act as a helpful guide for all your digital business requirements. To find out more, call us on 01794 725 454 or visit https://www.jellyfishlivewire.co.uk/digital/.

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