COVID-19 has not just changed the way we think about germs but it has changed virtually every aspect of our buying choices. Many businesses are now having to think outside the box for creative ways to market their “widget” or services and so many are considering dipping their toes into the digital marketing fray.  All good? Well, maybe not for everyone.

 

Quiz time! If you have done any of the following then this blog is a must-read for you. Have you:

  1. Set up a Facebook page and then only posted once every two months;
  2. Never quite worked out how to change things on your website/ don’t know who to call if you need things changed/ haven’t made any changes to your website in the last 90 days;
  3. Decided that websites are irrelevant and all you need is your Facebook page;
  4. Ever wondered how other businesses get those fancy Google entries with their opening hours on them;
  5. Never gotten quite around to setting up anything digital for your bricks and mortar business;
  6. Decided that the Yellow Pages or a letterbox drop is the best way to reach your customers.

Now is not the time to be shamefaced and to be embarrassed, we have all been there! In the wake of coronavirus, with buyer behaviours being reestablished it is time to take action. There has never been a better time for your business to go digital, and you have just stumbled on the newbie’s guide, so let’s go.

 

So what exactly is digital marketing?

Digital marketing is the digital dissemination of information about your business or product to potential customers with the intention that they will, either now or in the future, become a customer. There are two cornerstones to digital marketing – a strategy and a plan.

If you have previously had a digital marketing presence or plan pre-COVID-19 then it is time to dust it off and take another look, perhaps even rethink it. Business has changed for everyone. From the corner store through to the solicitor’s office, the way we talk about our business needs to meet the changing needs of the people we serve. And if the way that people work, live, shop, study and play has changed with coronavirus, then your way of reaching them needs to change also. In many instances, coronavirus may mean you have to rethink even the basic tenets of your business, including who your customers are and how you communicate to them.

 

Who is your customer? Meet your new best buddy.

If you have a business that has an existing clientele, take a moment and give yourself a cheer! Many businesses fail even before they get to selling their inaugural yoyo or serving their first latte. When you speak with a marketing pro (like us here at Lee Paton Digital!) one of the first things that we do is help you work out exactly who your business’s customer is. It sounds simple – but trust me, it is a “pro hack”. We want to know about your customer; who they are, what they like, what their daily routine is, where they shop, what they drink, what they do for fun, all of it! And not because we are secretly voyeuristic stalkers but because if we can get to know our customers (actually your customers) we can work out how to spread the word and market to them. The more targeted our marketing can be, the further our marketing spend will go and the more likely you will get more of the customers you love to work with or serve coming in your door or clicking onto your website.

 

Content is King

If you wouldn’t {insert like/comment/share/read/interact} with it it is not good content.

Content marketing is the creation of useful information for potential customers and posting it within your network. The best thing about content marketing is that it is cheap. Because you create the content yourself and post it to your own channels it is only limited by the amount of spare time and creativity you or your team has. Another great thing about content marketing is that it is effective; not only does content marketing increase your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation or in plain speak, visibility on Google), but it also provides great information for your potential customers. Case in point, you are reading this article… and this article is our way of content marketing to you (#mindblown).

Great content makes the consumer want to engage with it; whether it is reading an article on a content-packed blog, liking a video of your staff dressed up for charity on Instagram or sharing your top tip that you posted on your Facebook page. Content must be inventive, informative or important for your potential customer.

 

Paid Digital Advertising has a place

Whilst content is great, and free is best, getting your message to the right people will often require some paid advertising. This is where a professional is a great help; making sure you are on the right track and not wasting your precious advertising dollars on ineffective campaigns.  And in a (soon to be) post coronavirus world, the options and opportunities to get the best value for your digital advertising spend is rapidly evolving.

 

Email is NOT dead

One of the best weapons a small to medium-sized business can have in its arsenal is a customer email list. A well-maintained list of customer and potential customer emails can be used in many ways; the most basic of which is to send an occasional email. Keeping your customers up to date on how your business is adapting in light of coronavirus is not just good business sense, it is actually expected by consumers at this time. Whilst good email protocols need to be adhered to such as privacy and the ability to unsubscribe, a regular newsy email, with relevant content can boost your sales like virtually no other digital marketing method and it is virtually free! #winning

 

Start. Now. Right Now.

And I really mean it. Like, right now! Dust off the old Facebook page, sweep the cobwebs off your Google profile, write a blog post for your website or create a crazy video for TikTok. The hardest thing is making the first step. With your new-found momentum remember that we are here to help. Whether it is assistance with Facebook Ads, starting a Google Adwords account or some advice as to where to start, we are just an email or phone call away.