This is the third blog of a four-part series from Alkaloid Networks member, Matt Schwartz of Inspry, a digital web design agency specializing in web site design, web development, and e-Commerce in Joomla, WordPress, and Shopify. Matt and his team develop and maintain the sites for many Alkaloids including Alkaloid Networks, ArtsATL, and the Atlanta Coworking Alliance to name just a few. In an effort to help other Alkaloid Networks members minimize disruption, we offer his tips to the broader community.
Internet traffic has spiked while more people are at home these days. You may rely on either business-to-business or direct consumer sales. Right now is a great opportunity to increase your business marketing with more online advertising. For businesses hardest hit by local pandemic restrictions, it may be necessary to temporarily suspend any paid advertising campaigns. Time to focus on free methods for building organic reach. If you find yourself in a stable position, invest a more in smart marketing strategies. Consider reallocating existing advertising budgets by shifting away from in-person events or similar campaigns in order to meet your customers where they are today.
Invest in PPC Campaigns
Depending on your industry, and your budget, it could be the perfect time to invest in Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. With PPC marketing campaigns, you set an amount you’re willing to spend when your ad is clicked. Like an auction, the more you’re willing to pay for clicks, the more likely your ads are to show up when someone searches for one of your keywords. Normally, there’s a lot of competition for prime search terms. Many companies are suspending their ad campaigns right now, even some of the big brands. Develop a short term PPC campaign that carefully targets your primary audience with relevant keywords You can build extra leads more effectively for much less than you’d normally spend. Check out Google AdWords, widely considered the King of PPC, for an easy walkthrough. Consider exploring your options with Amazon Sponsored Results to help get your products in front of customers cheaply and effectively.
With many service industries shut down for the short term, get creative with your business marketing. Use your paid ad campaigns to promote those products whenever possible. For example, restaurants might begin to offer meal kits assembled from existing inventory, spas might start selling skin or beauty treatments previously only offered in-house. We already have clothing retailers like StitchFix providing personal shoppers who create and ship outfits customized for individual sizes and styles. And don’t forget to look for co-marketing opportunities. A small plant shop may be deemed non-essential, but a local restaurant might be willing to rent unused dining space for small displays, allowing customers to browse for impulse purchases while waiting for takeout. Whether you repackage your existing stock, create new products, or partner with complimentary businesses, promote consumable goods whenever possible to help generate revenue.
Build Better Branding
With thoughtful content creation and compelling calls to action you can build a better brand and take advantage of the opportunity for free advertising. Blogging, for example, is a long term strategy. Give your company a voice and contribute to expanding your organic reach. While you’re out of the office, create engaging, shareable posts that connect customers. Schedule publication for future dates to keep fresh, relevant content on your site for weeks or months to come.
Step It Up
Interested in taking it a step further? People are looking to pick up new skills or learn advanced methods while they have free time at home. Educational and professional training materials are becoming a valuable marketing tool, and a potential source of revenue. The Vimeo Pro Plan offers simple options for creating and hosting video content that can be shared or sold on your website or social media. Teachable makes it easy to monetize your knowledge by selling courses, digital products, or services. Alkaloid Networks partnered with online education leader, Un.Inc, to bring quality learning to members. What makes it even better is that the monthly sessions are included with all levels of membership. Whether you offer paid or public lessons, informative content creation is an effective way to build brand authority. Promoting branded material has real value to your customers and your business. If your custom bakery is temporarily sidelined, you might offer an intermediate cake decorating course online. Direct viewers to your e-commerce site for special tools and ingredients, or provide affiliate links that earn a commission.
Perhaps you aren’t interested in developing a script or stepping in front of the camera just yet. Build an online resource page for your niche is another strategy for creating useful content. This can help boost your brand and improve organic marketing reach. Depending on your industry, you might assemble a list of recommended tools or apps, promote products or brands you love. Considering providing a write-up outlining methods and procedures you’ve found useful. With platform specific plugins, it’s easy to create affiliate links that can help boost your income, especially if you’re able to promote your page and increase views.
Stay in Touch, Stay Relevant
While you should avoid spamming customers, it’s important to stay in touch while operations are subject to change. With services like Mailchimp, small businesses can easily manage email marketing campaigns. Use the opportunity to highlight your value, whether you’re promoting products, content, resources, or other services. You can offer free video consultations, discounts on future service, and much more. Email campaigns are a convenient marketing tool to advertise new offerings customers can take advantage of today. As well as helping to maintain the relationship you’ve built. Considering remarketing campaigns as well as they can boost sales by as much as 107%.
Business marketing during COVID-19 may require a bit of creativity. With strategic online ad spending, relevant promotions, and free advertising tools, you’re more likely to see an increase in clicks and conversions. If you’d like to learn more about digital methods, tools, or resources for marketing during times of crisis, Alkaloid Networks member, Inspry, has web solutions that work for you.