Online Marketing and Sales are Essential During COVID-19
Posted by Sarah Wai on Mar 20, 2020 7:45:00 AM
Web marketing services are more essential than ever for businesses right now. With the markets crashing and businesses closing their physical doors left and right, having an online presence is the only thing that will keep businesses generating revenue. Before the Coronavirus pandemic made its entrance, roughly 80% of business focus was on brick-and-mortar efforts and (if a company was mindful of this digital age) roughly 20% of their business efforts were spent on digital advertising and web marketing. So, what happens now that brick-and-mortar businesses have to close their doors? How do they keep employees employed and continue to see cash flow?
The easy answer- put 90% of your business efforts into web marketing, online advertising, and digital platforms (like your website or app).
The digital age was already here, but now, even those who resisted it are being forced to embrace it. So, why not make the most of it?
Embrace the Globally Digitized Age
We are all being forced to move operations online for the safety of our loved ones, communities, and fellow citizens. If you are unsure of how to make that happen, it's time to sit down and brainstorm, learn from others who are already operating online, and get a web marketing checkup to explore your options for moving operations online.
For at least this season we find ourselves in, these are not the days to rely on walk-in business, in-house sales, etc. These are the days of online sales, subscription services, telecommunication, and online marketing. Changing your business model, at least during this season, is going to be a critical move to ensure that you stay in business. Flexibility is key during this time.
If you haven't focused much energy on search engine optimization (SEO) or worked with Google Ads for Pay-Per-Click advertising (PPC), we have a great resource to help you understand those two tactics and how they can work together when it's more important than ever to get found online.
Things to Consider Moving Online During this Pandemic
There are a few key things you are going to need to move online at this time to stay in business, including:
- Your Salespeople: It's time to get set up with a CRM (we can help you with that), and set your salespeople up to make sales through phones, emails, etc. Move them entirely online and ensure that they have a way to track their contacts and sales.
- Your Marketing Efforts: All web marketing efforts should be designed to support sales, especially now. You are going to need to start focusing on search engine optimization and Google Ads to be found in search engines. You will need to optimize your social media accounts and start a regular posting schedule of valuable content to generate leads (including a plan for social ads to ensure you're seen). Instead of all those mailers that people throw away (and especially don't want to touch right now), transition to email drip campaigns that nurture people into doing business with you.
- Your Storefront: If you have a physical store that you've had to close at this time, move everything online. Ecommerce sites can be a powerful way to keep cash flowing during this time. I'm already seeing many local coffee shops increase their efforts to sell their coffee beans and merchandise online. That's a perfect example of this adaptation in action.
Make Your Business Look Good Online
If there was ever a time to make sure you look good online, it's now. Here are a few things to focus on improving right now:
- Your Website: Right now, your website is all the impression your potential customers will have of you, so you better make sure it's good! Be thinking through the user experience, content (it should provide solutions and answer the questions of your buyer personas), load time (if it loads too slow, people will leave), the value that it provides visitors, etc.
- Take a Look at Your Online Reputation: There's a reason reputation management is a service businesses pay for. If your online reputation is poor, then you're going to lose a lot of potential business. Now's the time to beef up your online reviews from customers that loved you, and clean up any reviews that may be fake. Oh, and make sure your Google My Business profile is updated with your modified hours and services or any specials you're running.
- Optimize Your Social Media Profiles: Many times, social media profiles are the first thing people see of you before they even make it to your website. If they aren't impressed by your social media profiles, what would entice them to check out your website? Now is the time to make yourself look the best you possibly can on social media.
- Establish Email Etiquette: You would not believe how many "professional" emails I have seen where they use slang or just sound uneducated. Make sure you establish guidelines for anyone in your company sending emails and make sure you abide by CAN-SPAM laws while you're at it.
This Season is What You Make of It
Don't let this pandemic be the reason you stop conducting business.
Sit down with your teams or departments and talk through how you can change your focus to online efforts and continue to operate in the digital space.
Written by Sarah Wai
Content, Email, and Social Media Marketing Specialist of Tribute Media. Bachelor of Science in Digital Communication Arts and Master in Business Administration. Holds HubSpot Certifications in Inbound Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing, and Contextual Marketing.