The pandemic has caused losses to businesses around the world, especially local businesses that rely on regular foot traffic. During this period, having a solid digital strategy and gaining online visibility are more important than ever. Here, Jonathan Birch, Creative Director of Glass Digital, shared six ways that local businesses can ensure they are seen online during Covid-19 and are good at marketing.
with Covid-19 pushes businesses to adopt a purely online approach, For local companies, it is important to use digital channels to keep their audience informed. However, in addition to keeping the discussion open, it is also important for local companies to be prepared to make the necessary changes to compete in this rapidly changing new environment.
For some, this means taking new online sales initiatives, while for others, it may mean adjusting their SEO strategies to adapt to the current needs and demands of customers driven by the pandemic.
In this article, I will share the six main ways your local business gains online visibility in uncertain times, including how to market during Covid-19, instead of the usual Local search engine optimization strategy.
1. Quickly respond to the changing environment
The beginning of the pandemic has plunged companies into uncertainty as to what the best course of action for the company is and whether they can solve the obstacles in the future.
Fast forward one year, and at least to some extent, limited by Covid-19, companies still have to respond quickly to the changing situation in order to survive. Moreover, this is no easy task.
The life cycle of a pandemic can be confusing, and rules and regulations are always changing, and it can be difficult to keep up-but you need to! Thinking about methods that worked before Covid-19 does not guarantee that you will succeed now, even if you try to replicate something that succeeded at different times during the pandemic, it may fail. Instead, focus on the needs of current and potential customers.
For example, if your previous website was used to promote products that you only sell in stores, you may now want to switch to online sales. For example, Geppetto’s, a toy store in California Adjusted their website For the first time ever, online ordering and click-and-collect options are offered to compete. Although online sales did not restore the company to its original sales volume, they reported that the click-and-pick service helped them a lot. Since its launch in August last year, usage of this service has doubled every month.
2. Cooperate with other local companies
Many local companies have a difficult time now, so why not show your support and cooperate with another local company? In addition to reaching out to teams that may be in trouble, being versatile means more ideas, more contacts, and more customers. Therefore, both you and other businesses can thrive.
How you choose to establish a partnership depends entirely on you and the capabilities of your particular work line. But you need to make sure that any company you work with has the same values as you. Otherwise, you may send mixed messages to customers or postpone their visits. For example, if you are a small store specializing in the sale of environmentally friendly gifts, cooperating with a brand that produces a lot of waste and uses hazardous materials may cause some backlash online, which will further promote your business success. Instead, you can work with like-minded local companies to arrange deliveries and halve your total carbon footprint.
You may also want to join forces with local businesses that sell goods in the same category as you, whether it’s food, beverages, gifts, or other things. For example, if you own a local greengrocer, you can team up with the butcher around the corner to host a social media contest, and the winner can get ingredients for a grand barbecue dinner. No matter what you do, make sure you take the needs of your customers into consideration, whether it is to give them a little luxury or to help them solve their necessities in difficult times.
If you are keen to cooperate with other companies, you can get started in the following ways:
- Host a competition online together: Make sure you all promote the competition on social media and websites to attract more people.
- Organize joint events: Introduce yourself to each other’s audience by holding joint online events or master classes, where you can show your expertise and let others know about you. For example, if you both focus on organic products, you can make one element of a dish, and they can make another.
- Provide product package and service package at the same time: Combining your products and services and offering them as a more comprehensive package will definitely attract more customers, especially if you can offer good discounts for the bundle.
- Create collaborative product series: Take a moment to consider how to combine your expertise and products, and use it to create collaborative product series. For example, if you own a clothing company and want to join another clothing company, you can design your own product line and combine the appearance of the two companies.
- Start a fun social event together: Social media is the fastest and cheapest way to get news about your business. Maybe you will do some research around how the pandemic affects certain aspects of life, or you will predict trends and create product launches around this.
This can bring benefits in terms of increasing conversion rates and increasing online interaction with your business, especially if you are collaborating during peak periods. For example, two local Charleston restaurants, Lewis Barbecue and Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit, joined forces around Labor Day last year to provide two sets of selected best-selling products at affordable prices.
3. Focus on remarketing
It is often necessary to change the environment to make things better, and this epidemic has undoubtedly changed many business processes and caused owners to rethink their online marketing strategies. In particular, remarketing becomes more helpful in determining what customers are actually looking for during these uncertain times, and focusing on it can help you make more conversions.
This digital marketing strategy is a more savvy choice, rather than trying to target people who are not interested in or use the products or services you sell. Conversely, maximizing your media spending to retarget users who have already participated in advertising or at least left signs of interest to them will definitely be more beneficial.
In addition, since the pandemic has strained the marketing budgets of so many companies, this will be a more appropriate technology, rather than trying new things without reaching the right people.
There are a variety of tools that can help you determine the location of these customers. E.g, Facebook pixel It is a convenient application, if you use Facebook as one of the main advertising channels, you can use it. It can measure cross-device conversions and optimize advertisements to people who might participate.In addition, the Dynamic advertising features This means that Facebook will automatically show your website users the products they have already viewed on your website or related products they might like. All of these can increase the conversion rate.
4. Refresh your optimized elements
We all know how important it is to have a well-optimized website. By targeting relevant keywords in product descriptions, guides, and all other content on your website, you can help it get the attention it needs.
However, it’s important to check your analysis regularly to see if your conversion rate is as you want. If not, it may be time to refresh your optimization elements to see if there is any new content you should target.
Most importantly, you may also need to temporarily optimize your website for keywords that have risen due to Covid-19 to ensure that your website is up to date. For example, diners may want to know whether your restaurant offers roadside delivery services, so you can create an FAQ.
For this, it can be helpful to use keyword research tools, such as SEMrush or Google Keyword PlannerYou can enter a specific page URL in these tools to view the ranking of the page, and then you will be able to evaluate whether there are any new words to be positioned, or whether your page is accidentally ranked for the wrong content, which may be due to a rebound.
For the guide, you must have included a large number of inbound links to help users navigate the site easily. However, you also need to double check whether you have optimized the anchor text to improve its ranking.
5. Host live or virtual events
Given the current situation, both you and your customers may feel disconnected from reality, but you can make sure they know you are there by hosting live or virtual events. This will be a great opportunity to chat with your customers, learn what types of products or services are now helpful to them, and share any business news.
Your customers will definitely like to have a little time to get out of our new normal and focus on what they like to do. So, get creative. For example, if you own a small local gym that was forced to close temporarily, you can organize exercises or some relaxing yoga classes to help your clients relax. If your restaurant has been unable to open for a while, why not hold a live cooking class? You can show people how to make their favorite dishes or share your chef’s favorite cooking tips and tricks.
We have even met experts in gardening and household goods, such as Morbach’s Garden + Home, Go to Facebook Live to do virtual gardening tutorials, so the possibilities are really endless, no high-end software is required.
6. Create a knowledge center where you can share information
If you haven’t included the Evergreen Content Knowledge Center as part of your content strategy, now is a good time to complete it. Many companies have reduced downtime and operating time. You can use your time to improve work efficiency in other ways. Creating shared information is a good starting point.
Using the aforementioned keyword tool and Google’s “People Also Ask” feature can help you evaluate user questions and create meaningful content. Remember, for any content that is time-sensitive or seasonal, you need to put them on your blog and save the center as the content you always need.
All businesses have their own ideas about what they want to create, but if you are not sure where to start, you may want to consider the following:
- Manuals on how to use specific products (especially if they are multi-purpose items).
- A guide to topics related to the industry in which your business is located. For example, if you are an auto parts company, you can create an evergreen guide on how to inspect and repair vehicles.
- Inspirational clips surrounding certain events and trends. For example, a Mother’s Day gift guide or an indoor guide based on Pantone’s color of the year.
The pandemic forces all of us to think differently in terms of business. Therefore, taking the time to adjust your strategy according to the current crisis and new customer needs will help you continue to survive. Adopt my six tips on how to market during Covid-19, and you should see your online visibility continue to increase.