When COVID-19 hit, businesses were forced to pivot their marketing strategies in a major way — and online marketing secured its spot as the cornerstone of running a successful business during the pandemic. Now, as the country is reopening and in-person business is ramping up, business owners will have to pivot once again.
From search engine optimization to content marketing and social media marketing, smart business owners have capitalized on these powerful and useful strategies over the duration of the pandemic in order to take their marketing to the next level. How can businesses continue these practices while incorporating new strategies for a post-pandemic future? Here’s some ways to maximize your content and grow your reach as the country starts to reopen.
1. Connect With Your Community
The pandemic led many business owners to connect with their community like never before in order to survive. As we shift into a post-pandemic future, it’s more important than ever to remain connected to the community that showed you support during trying times. Consider attending neighborhood events and local festivals, join Facebook groups or local networking groups, and participate in community apps like Nextdoor.
Support your community and in exchange secure local links from your own neighborhood. For example, try supporting community websites (like an athletic sponsorship page at the school, to name one of many examples). These pages will often have sections dedicated to local businesses that make donations – with links to your page.
This is just one example of many possibilities to integrate with your community and have your business listed (and linked) as often as possible. In a post-pandemic world, where people want to support local businesses, there’s no better time to connect.
2. Keep the content coming!
During the pandemic, companies ramped up their digital marketing in a number of ways in an effort to increase sales. Many businesses have used this time to generate content up the wazoo, and rightly so — content is truly the fuel that keeps your business running! Whether it be a video, blog post, infographic or e-book, content keeps visitors interested and helps them better understand your products, services, and offerings. Building engaging and interesting content helps better define your brand and set your business apart from the competition. And if you haven’t started writing content, don’t worry. It’s never too late to start!
But producing the content is only one part of the equation. Once you’ve revamped your website, increased your marketing budget, and invested in content – it’s time to track and measure the content you produce. Doing so will help you understand the way customers interact with your website and your content. Having accurate analytics can help you better invest in your content in the future. What search engines lead to your site? What blog posts are most popular? What products do people search for? This sort of insight is invaluable for making future decisions.
3. Follow the 70-20-10 Formula on Social Media
More than 70 percent of Americans are active on at least one social network, whether that be Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, according to a 2015 study. That’s why social media is so important to your brand. Following the 70-20-10 approach is a great way to ensure you keep engaging with your audience!
What’s 70-20-10? It means that 70% of your posts on any social network should be tried and true content that builds your brand. 20% should be content shared by others, like promoting another business or sharing interesting articles. The remaining 10% should be sales posts.
Choosing the right mix of content for your social channels is crucial in the post pandemic future. Overtime, you may find it more effective for your business to post more sales content and fewer external articles, but using the 70-20-10 strategy as a starting place is one of the best ways to keep your social media marketing on point, especially as the world opens back up. Using social media, you can better engage your audience, build your brand, and encourage people to interact with your products.
4. Use Discounts to Your Advantage
During the pandemic, discounts for services and products became a lifeline for many businesses in order to increase sales and keep their business afloat. In a post-pandemic future, discounts — when done right — can continue to be a powerful tool for B2B and B2C companies alike.
For example, discounts can help with getting customers over the conversion hump. When timed right, a discount can push potential customers to make the leap and buy your product or service. Limited-time-offer discounts are also great purchase motivators, for example, promotions offered around the holidays and events relevant to your industry.
However, moving forward, you may want to use discounts sparingly. Discounts can affect the perception of your brand, affect operations, and reduce profit margins.
When using discounts, try these techniques:
- Build a tailored strategy according to your brand and its identity
- Make sure to set a time limit to ensure customers don’t take the discounts for granted
- Provide a high-quality product or service
5. Focus on Online Reputation Management
As businesses start to open back up, there’s no better time to make you have all your ducks in a row when it comes to your online reputation. That means you’ll need to claim your business online (if you haven’t already done so) through local directories like Bing Places, Google My Business, Yahoo Local, Yelp, and more. Then, make sure all of the information is correct and up-to-date. Wondering how to optimize your business profiles? Read our local SEO tips here.
Once you’ve claimed your businesses and refreshed your profiles online, engage with reviewers on Yelp, Facebook, and other platforms. Address negative reviews with polite, considerate and helpful responses, and thank others for their positive review. Customer reviews really are the holy grail of internet search, and engaging with customers in this way is a great way to build trust in your business, boost your SEO rankings and put you ahead of the local competition.
To capture online reviews quickly and easily on a budget, consider setting up a review funnel. Review funnels streamline and automate the collection of positive online reviews for your business. The more positive reviews, the better!