The pandemic has no doubt changed the way your business operates. Suddenly, you have had to reorganize teams, focus on keeping people safe, and develop a tactical approach to survive the necessary restrictions imposed by the pandemic.
Yet, another inevitable change brought on by the worldwide health crisis is shifting consumer behavior and altering the way businesses market products and services.
Post-Pandemic Strategy: From Defense to Offense
When the virus first hit, your initial tactic may have been to make sure clients were made aware of your continued operation.
Today, however, the world is slowly moving toward a brighter future thanks to the distribution of vaccines, the projection that the economy will undergo a boom in 2021, and the fact that consumers are regaining confidence. The defensive strategy may have served you well in the previous months, but an offensive strategy may now be necessary to make the most of potential opportunities.
Since more spending is happening online, a robust digital marketing solution is crucial to your business increasing client acquisition, improving ROI, and boosting competitiveness.
Start with the following solutions:
1. Optimize Your Website’s User Experience
Recent research from MIT found that companies that are open to digital transformation became 26 percent more profitable. If you have not yet shifted your entire business or a part of it online, you could be missing out on lucrative opportunities. A critical part to making the most of those opportunities is to provide a smooth user experience for every bit of traffic that comes your way.
Here are five ways to improve your website’s user experience:
- Provide high-quality content: Users want more than just the plain purchasing experience. They have high expectations when visiting any website. One way to meet those expectations is by implementing an engaging content strategy, which must relay the brand’s message while establishing a connection between the business and the audience. Content such as blogs, landing pages, copy on service pages, an “about” page, and more should be created with the right strategy and customer journey in mind.
- Implement a strategic layout and web design: When it comes to web design, keep it clean and simple. You want the user to use as little brainpower as possible. Everything should come to them naturally; they shouldn’t have to learn anything to navigate and use your website.
- Keep it simple, efficient and concise: When it comes to navigation and providing information, make sure that navigation is simple, efficient, and concise. In other words, the user should get what they came for fairly quickly.
- Make sure your website loads quickly: Users exit pages that take more than three seconds to load. Therefore, make sure your website loads quickly and that all the elements on a page are rendered at good speed. Use Google’s Pagespeed Insights to check how quickly a page on your site loads. The tool also contains recommendations on how to improve elements on your pages for faster loading times.
- Make sure your website is responsive on all devices: Over 90 percent of global internet users go online using their mobile devices. This means that when checking how your website looks, you shouldn’t only focus on its desktop format, but its mobile version as well. Google is also now using mobile-first indexing, which means the mobile version of your content will be used for indexing and ranking purposes. You can check Google’s mobile-indexing guidelines to make sure that your content is properly indexed and crawled by Googlebots.
2. Have an Efficient Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Strategy
According to a Wall Street Journal article, internet usage increased by 25 percent just a few days after the pandemic started. Since then, it has only continued to grow. However, this also means that all your competition is also moving online. With as many as 4.4 million new webpages and blogs being published every day, how are you going to stand out? This is where SEO comes in. The purpose of SEO is to prime your website and all the pages in it so that they rank on search engines for the keywords of queries that you’re targeting.
The first page of Google alone captures 71 percent of all search traffic. Brands that rank on the first page of search capture consumer attention. That’s your goal – to land a spot on the first page of search results.
SEO is an effective lead generation strategy because it targets quality leads, which is also known as those who are bound to inquire or purchase. This is a strategy that requires strong analytical skills and patience. When done correctly, search engine optimization can deliver ROI and drive business growth.
3. Use Marketing Tools to Automate Your Processes
Digital marketing tools allow you to come up with the best strategies and implement them efficiently. Data gathering and analysis tools like Google Analytics or Google Search Console, keyword research and competitor analysis tools like Semrush, or CRM like Salesforce help you accurately create and execute a strategy.
These tools create market awareness and allow you to connect with your customers. You’ll also need them to monitor the performance of your marketing campaigns and make the necessary adjustments.
4. Invest in Paid Advertising
Paid ads are a great way to remind people, especially locals, that your business is still alive and operating.
You can choose to use Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, LinkedIn, or Google Ads, depending on where your target audience are located. To begin, only focus on a few channels where your clients are most active. This will mean doing market research before creating your ad strategy; when you know more about your target market, you’ll have a clearer idea about where to place your ads and the types of content that will capture potential readers.
5. Connect with Your Existing Audience
Most businesses have a hard time getting new clients. A study conducted by the NFIB Research Center suggests that nearly 25 percent of small business owners say that the pandemic affected their sales, supply chain, and staff performance.
Although new client acquisition is a good strategy to take your business from survival to success amid the pandemic, don’t overlook your loyal customers.
What can you do to keep them happy?
Design services, packages, or campaigns that target their new pain points or new needs. If you’ve been operating through paid memberships and your clients weren’t able to fully use their memberships because of the pandemic, issue refunds. It’ll tell clients how highly you value their situation. The money you return will come back when the economy recovers, and your loyal clients can start buying from you again.
Survive and Thrive Post-Pandemic
Large companies have long understood the importance of building their online presence. However, many brands and businesses were thrust into this transition the moment the pandemic hit.
To thrive, and not just survive, rebuild and strategize.
As the pandemic pushes more and more buyers online, digital marketing becomes an important factor that connects your business to customers. Finding the right process and strategy will not be an easy task. However, it’s not impossible either. It will require a lot of A/B tests, and trial and error; eventually, you’ll find the strategy that will deliver results for your business.
About the author: Dan Smink is the founder of C1 Partners, a Denver SEO company that helps small to medium-sized enterprises with their digital marketing strategy. Dan comes from a background of 20 years in business leadership and has a track record of helping businesses achieve million-dollar revenue values. He is an active community leader and a contributor to the Forbes.com’s Agency Council, spreading the word on how digital strategies can make a positive impact on today’s businesses. You may connect with him onLinkedIn.