The pandemic (I refuse to call it by its proper name , in case, like Voldemort, it appears in my house) has knocked everyone and everything for six. Your business, your home life, your hobbies, plans, dreams and (in my case) your drinking habits. The mist is starting to clear, there is light at the end of the tunnel, starting to see the wood for the trees, etc etc. Lets hope so, no-one wants a false dawn. Whether you agree or disagree with the gradual easing of lock down and the relaxing on the social distancing rules – one thing is for certain , life and probably your business is not going to be the same again.
For many of us, this period has provided us with a chance to take a fresh look at our businesses, how we do things and how we might change things. It’s time to get up off the canvas, look Ivan Drago in the eye and start to prepare for the next fight. Ideally we would play some montage music now, get in the mental gym (physical ones are still shut) and bash through a series of exercises (plus drinking raw eggs/run up the steps in Philadelphia) to come back stronger. Sorry, we don’t have the music to hand and you are just going to have to hum “Eye of the Tiger” in your head while you read this.
Rocky Balboa got knocked down and got up again (cue Chumbawamba) , fought various challengers and always came out on top in the end (well apart from the end of the film franchise, when he was bankrupt, not to worry, lets gloss over that or my analogy doesn’t work) . He also also a rich back catalogue of “motivational” quotes – such as;
“It Ain’t How Hard You Hit… It’s How Hard You Can Get Hit and Keep Moving Forward”
“nobody is gonna hit as hard as life”
My personal favourite “Adriaaaaaaaaan”.
So, put on your silk stars and stripes shorts, put in your mouth-guard and pick up your skipping rope and lets look at the top 5 ways for you to “Come Back Stronger” online.
Ding, ding. Round 1. Your Social Media.
When Apollo Creed has you on the ropes and all you are thinking is, “hmmm would make a great Instagram pic.” Have word with yourself about your social media addiction.
Here are some housekeeping tips;
- Are you on the right platforms for your target audience? Does Facebook, Instagram and Twitter do it for you? How’s your LinkedIn presence? Do TikTok, Snapchat and WhatsAPP sound like tropical diseases ?
- Have you updated your Facebook Page with new opening times, reviews, welcome back offers, instant chat, new products and services?
- Have you explored video? A YouTube channel can be great for introductions, showing techniques, product launches, product reviews, walk throughs, “how to” videos.
Ding, ding. Have 2 minutes in the corner with Mickey patching up a cut eye and check out your Google My Business page.
A cold iron on the bruising and double vision. How often do you update and use your “Google My Business” page? This page is crucial to you being found in Google locally and is essential for being found on Google maps – critical on a mobile phone search.
Do you even have control over your “Google My Business” page? Get control.
- Update opening times and days.
- Request reviews.
- Keep critical business info updated — phone numbers, emails, addresses, contact details.
- Post images and videos.
- Update news, blog posts and provide updates
- Have virtual walk throughs of your premises.
- What is Google My Business.
Ding. ding. Round 2. Your back in the ring, Clubber Lang doesn’t look too happy about it. Review your Communications Strategy.
Clubber Lang has a very angry mohican. I think you are in trouble. Time to look at how you communicate with customers, new, old and potential.
How many channels do you use effectively ?
- eMail campaigns. How often, what do you want to achieve ? Can you push sales? Don’t underestimate the power of a regular email campaign.
- A blog or news section on your website. Great , snappy posts to keep everyone up to date, engaged and works wonders for your SEO (search engines – being found in Google and other search engines).
- SMS or text messaging – very much misunderstood – can be cost effective, immediate and personal. Read about the benefits of SMS.
- Social Media – instantly keep everyone updated with Twitter. Keep them engaged on Instagram and keep them looked after on Facebook messenger.
- Video updates on your YouTube channel.
Ding, ding. Back to your corner. Your Search Engine Optimisation.
One more round to go, you are getting your second wind. Or just wind. Who knows?
It’s an oldie but goodie. Your SEO. How are you being found in search engines? There is a lot more to think about these days – your local searches, searches on mobile devices, image searches – your social media (again) is it being picked up? According to the latest figures from Google a massive 86% of people look up business locations on Google. SEO is far from dead, your approach to SEO might be dead – how do you know where you’re appearing and who else is in the mix?
- Your website needs good regular content to keep relevant for search engines.
- Your website experience must be good for mobile users.
- You need to be running a secure website , even if you dont sell online.
- You content should. match your potential customers searches.
- You should be using Social Media.
- Learn about SEO.
Ding, ding. Final round. Digital Marketing Strategy.
If you can stay away from Ivan Drago long enough, I think you’ll win on points.
- What is your online strategy?
- Are there some quick wins you can implement immediately ?
- How often do you check your Google Analytics?
- Have you ever looked at your website through your customers eyes?
- What does a typical customer journey look like for you online?
So there you have it, You can come back stronger. You might be leaner, fitter and in better shape than you thought. Everything has changed, online is playing a bigger part in reaching out to your customers, don’t get knocked out.
My next post will also have a film theme, I will take a look at how Social Media should play a bigger part in your business, even if you don’t understand it. I’m thinking of calling it Jurassic Park. Don’t be a dinosaur – !
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