For small business owners across the country, the weight of COVID-19 has been crushing. In May of 2020, 23% of small businesses reported a temporary shutdown, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
If you're a small business owner or solopreneur, you know that the threat of the pandemic is far from over. As your business adapts to a post-COVID-19 world, your marketing strategy will play a key role in keeping your business doors open.
An adaptable strategy will enable you to connect with the right audience, tailor your messages, and remain profitable. Continue reading to learn how digital marketing will evolve post-COVID-19.
Paid media refers to any marketing strategy that requires paid media placements. Pay-per-click (PPC) ads are the most commonly used form of paid media. Paid media options also include:
Social media advertisements
As small businesses struggle to remain afloat, paid media has become a vital digital marketing strategy. Next, we'll dive deeper into how and why businesses are prioritizing this tactic.
The Advantages of PPC
As businesses grasp for survival, they're redirecting their focus on marketing strategies that hold a sense of urgency. When it comes to the debate of SEO or PPC, PPC produces faster results. While SEO can take weeks and even months to climb the organic ranks, paid media can reach your target audience immediately.
The Future of PPC
As a result of COVID-19, many businesses have reallocated their budget to short-term solutions. More people are bidding on ads and purchasing ad space on Google search results, Facebook, and additional high-traffic platforms.
However, you shouldn't eliminate SEO entirely. Instead, you'll have to adjust your existing PPC and SEO strategies to maintain a sense of urgency across the board.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the act of optimizing your website so that it ranks in top positions on Google search results. SEO is a complex component of digital marketing that comes in many forms. Techniques include but aren't limited to:
Although many businesses are investing more heavily in paid media, SEO hasn't become any less important. Instead, small businesses and solopreneurs need to adjust their approach to make their efforts worthwhile. If you operate a local business, local SEO, in particular, should be a priority moving forward.
The Advantages of Local SEO
Local SEO is the best way to target customers in a specific location. When a nearby user searches for the products and services you offer, they'll find your website in a few clicks. Local SEO helps you connect with customers in the correct geographic area without wasting time on the wrong audience.
The Future of Local SEO
As local SEO grows more prevalent, businesses will compete for top spots on local listings. Websites will also place emphasis on location-based keywords, geographical content, and local link building. They'll keep tabs on the latest local news and search for networking opportunities in their cities.
If you haven't already, boost your local SEO efforts by creating a Google My Business listing. Afterward, explore other business directories such as Yelp, Angie's List, and Bing Places.
Optimize your website with relevant location-based keywords that fall within your niche. Craft content that inspires nearby customers to take action.
Expertise, Authority, and Trust
Expertise, authority, and trust, also known as EAT, are an essential element to consider post-COVID-19. In a time when customers are feeling extra skeptical, make a greater effort to display yourself as an industry expert.
EAT refers to the steps that one must take to earn users' trust online. This element of digital marketing comes in many forms, such as:
As more customers are making purchases under duress, find ways to gain their trust and establish yourself as an authoritative source. We'll specifically focus on customer reviews for the remaining sections below.
The Advantages of Customer Reviews
Since a majority of users base their purchase decisions on other customer reviews, it's essential to gather online reviews for your business. Users that read positive reviews of your products or services will be more inclined to make a purchase and convert into a returning customer. Positive reviews will also reinforce the reputability of your business to Google, which can lead to higher SEO ranks.
The Future of Customer Reviews and EAT
As the importance of EAT prevails, businesses will prioritize customer reviews. They'll display customer reviews on their websites and encourage customers to leave reviews on third-party platforms. Businesses will also feature their testimonials and client case studies.
Launch your own efforts by contacting customers who recently did business with you. Request for them to write a review that you can feature on your website. Consider offering customers an incentive for their time, such as a coupon for their next purchase.
Next, contact third-party review platforms that align with your niche. Oftentimes, they'll offer programs where they'll contact your customers for you.
Once you have these processes in place, monitor the web for new reviews daily. Respond to reviews in a timely, attentive manner.
Pivot Your Digital Marketing Strategy
To connect with customers in the post-COVID-19 world, you must adapt your marketing efforts. Maximize your short-term and long-term results through paid media and SEO.
Encourage online reviews to increase customer trust. By pivoting your digital marketing strategy, you'll get your business back on track to success.
If you need further guidance, HAYWOOD SBS is here to support you every step of the way. Our team coaches solopreneurs like you to leverage digital marketing channels and connect with your target audience.
Visit our website to schedule a free discovery call today. We look forward to learning about your business goals.