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If you’re in the UK like we are, you may have already been open a few weeks now. It’s great to be getting back to the high street again, especially when so many retailers have been struggling due to the crisis.
But we’re not out of the woods yet. The competition that were already established on digital before the crisis rank higher than you. Your website doesn’t bring in as many sales as footfall. Especially for small independent shops that rely on the high street, it has been a real struggle. It may be still quiet in your high street anyway, especially with local lockdowns.
Here are five actionable things you can do now to help your efforts and moving the needle when it comes to your marketing in the short term.
Tip 1: Reduce your ad spend if they’re not converting
Needs change. Your audience may not be ready to purchase especially in some industries. If you’re selling suitcases for travel, then you’re probably struggling right now. Even if you’re selling them for business with no one heading into the office or out to conferences, there’s not as big of a need there as before.
So say you owned this suitcase company. You come back to the office, fire up all the ads. You hope to see that people are going to flood back. You expect that your cost/conversion to get back to normal. But that hasn’t happened.
It might be worth pausing those campaigns. If your ads aren’t converting well, then don’t just keep running them. Look at your data now. These are unprecedented times; don’t look at the data you had before. Does the data you have now show those ads are going to be converting and returning that spend? If not, consider pausing them or reducing your spend.
Keep branded keywords on. If we ran PPC, we’d be bidding on [Waterdown Media] as our keyword. It’s good to not make all your campaigns dark straight away, and here are some reasons to bid on branded keywords. (https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2013/03/19/why-bid-on-branded-terms-ppc)
Be selective with what you turn back on. I’ve used Google Ads as an example here, but this applies to all PPC such as socials (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc), as well as Google and Bing.
Tip 2: Optimising your copy
If you’ve just started your ad campaigns, it’s worth optimising your copy to make it relevant. While you may not want to make it cheesy, like all the work from home adverts I’m sure we’ve seen, you may want to make more subtle references.
Being relatable and being in the moment is one way you can do this. Depending on where you are, and what stage your company is into returning to normal, make sure that comes across in your copy. Let your customers know what they can expect, and change any references to non-socially distanced things that you still can’t do.
But this doesn’t just apply to your ads. This could be your website, CTAs, landing page, whatever it may be. Just make sure it’s relatable in this moment. So when people come and land on your page, they see content that applies to them now.
Tip 3: Post on social media
I usually see social media accounts fall into three categories when it comes to there level of activity.
There are the active and engaged profiles that are continually putting out content and have been during this entire pandemic.
There’s the as and when accounts that only post when something big happens. Their last post may have been “We’re going to be closing we’ll keep you updated.” published back in March.
And then there are the accounts that don’t post at all or don’t even have social in category number 3.
Now is the time to be in category 1. Now is the time to be active and engaged on your social profiles. You want to let your customers know that you’re open, that you’re safe and ready and wanting them to come back. So keep your customers updated as to what they can expect if there’s anything they’d need to do such as booking in advance and how they’d go about doing that.
Maybe you want to do a video on how you’re COVID-secure. Whatever it may be make sure you update your social profiles (and start them). Even if you haven’t posted in years, this is in the moment content that you can post out. You can work long-term on a social media strategy, but right now you want to add info and bring info to connect to your customers and encourage them to come back.
Make sure you keep your Google My Business profile up to date especially if you’ve changed your hours on there or done a post to say you’re closed. Add one to say you’ve reopened and kept your profile up to date in changing circumstances. You could even add a few new photos of how things look different (such as perspex screens between tables).
Tip 4: Optimise your website
Now, this is something I’d recommend if you’re getting back to the office and your website hasn’t been updated since March. Your team could have been on furlough, you may have had to let a few staff go. But now you’re back, and it’s time to start moving things forward.
This can be a cost-effective way of improving your SEO without having to work on a new marketing campaign. Working with what you’ve got can be as simple as updating old blogs with fresh content and removing outdated parts.
Make sure you’ve got you’ve not got any broken links (https://www.deadlinkchecker.com/website-dead-link-checker.asp), and your website is working as it should be. If you’ve got an eCommerce store, run a couple of test orders to make sure it’s functioning, and there are no hindrances at checkout. Don’t just look at your data and assume it’s down to the pandemic; make sure to test your site.
We use SEMRush here at Waterdown Media, you’ve also got Ahrefs, Moz and Screaming Frog that crawl sites and look for errors. If you’ve got a website with thousands of pages, it’s essential to have a system in place to report back issues to fix.
Tip 5: Focus on the short term.
This is something we’re doing here at Waterdown Media from our own business perspective. This is what’s going to help move us forward today. To help with that, we’re offering a lot of free services to business to build up our portfolio and help businesses like yours get back their marketing feet.
This, of course, depends on what stage you are in your business, this is what we’re doing personally. We don’t know what’s going to happen long term, especially in some industries like travel, there’s a lot of destinations that could be added to the quarantine list which may result in a drop in sales.
What’s going to bring revenue in today? That may be running PPC on things that are selling. It may be engaging in PR or on social media. Push forward on what will bring the revenue today.
We’ve got this breathing space. Let’s make the most of this moment and keep hustling. That’s five tips we recommend here at Waterdown Media for making the most out of this time. If you like to suggest a topic to cover or any help with our marketing, you can contact us below.