What's in this article?
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, life goes on (to an extent). What can you do during lockdown to easily and cheaply promote your business online?
What's in this article?
Of course, there are many marketing companies (like us) out there still working and hungry for new business. But at the moment budgets might be restricted or you may find yourself with time to do some of the work yourself. With that in mind, here are some ideas.
Adding your website to directories can really help boost your traffic by getting your business seen. It also has a benefit when it comes to SEO because directory listings are "citations", which Google and other search engines will see and can give you an boost in their search rankings. You must always ensure your business name, address, email and phone number match exactly with your website to get maximum benefit.
A lot of directories are free or very low cost. Start by adding your business to quality local directories. To help gauge the quality of a directory, you can use the Moz bar to check the spam rating and Domain Authority of the directory before adding links back to your site.
It's quite an obvious inclusion here, but social media doesn't cost and you should definitely take this chance to up your social media game. However, before you start posting you will want to learn a bit about how to "do" social media properly and interact with others rather than just pitching to them.
Bear in mind it does take time to build a following, so if you haven't explored social media before then now is a great time to start.
If you have collected a legitimate list of GDPR compliant subscribers then email marketing can be a powerful tool for getting your products or services in front of your audience.
Your marketing list may also include existing customers or clients who already know you. Selling to these can be far easier than trying to win business, especially at the moment.
Many mass email services like Mailchimp and Mailerlite have a range of free templates that you can use to style and create your emails. By adding your images you can make these more bespoke to you and create compelling content pieces that you can then send our to your subscribers.
Email marketing is very cost effective and unless you want bespoke HTML email templates, (which we do!) you can do it on the cheap whilst in lockdown.
Many networking groups have turned to Zoom or Teams (or others) in order to keep in touch during lockdown. If you've been struggling to get away from your desk to go networking (sometimes my issue tbh) you can now do virtual networking from the comfort of your own desk.
It can take a little getting used to, these virtual meetings are not the same as face-to-face and can be quite taxing psychologically, but the more you do it the easier it becomes.
The Google My Business page is very important. Information from this is shown on the right hand side of the search results in Google:
You should contact existing clients and ask them to leave you a review here. This builds trust with new prospective clients and the stars show in the map pack at the top of the page too:
Make sure your contact details and opening hours are up to date and your NAP (Name Address Phone) matches your website perfectly. This is important to not confuse Google and give you maximum benefit.
You can also keep the world up to date by posting updates straight in your Google My Business page.
Direct mail is quite an easy way to reach customers/companies and can work for both B2C and B2B. You create a compelling letter, postcard etc and send it to your prospects.
According to Neil Patel, direct mail as a higher ROI compared to online search and display ads. It's a nice channel to use parallel to your digital marketing efforts.
I used this method a few years ago. I was able to get data of newly registered businesses and sent them letters. Had some good success and picked up a few clients. Might even have to do it again soon!
It'll take a while to collate your pitch, graphics and any offer that you want to include in your mail pack so I recommend thinking about that while in lockdown.
If you get a chance, then link building is one of the most important ways of pushing your website up the Google's search results.
If you manage to secure links from sites with a higher Domain Authority than yours then you should benefit and see improvements in your position in Google. It's not that easy to do and will require you to create content worthy of being linked to, whether that is through a blog or other types of landing pages.
Link building is extremely satisfying when you see your website jump up the rankings!
There is plenty to get on with whilst in lockdown. It may feel hopeless at the moment because a lot of customers / businesses won't be buying, but the current crisis will eventually pass and sometimes our marketing efforts have far reaching consequences. I have had clients get back to me years after meeting with them to say they want to go ahead.
You also need to remain active and not fall behind your competitors. Sure plenty of businesses will tighten up the purse strings and halt all spending, but when we come out the other side of Covid-19 they could find themselves playing catch-up.
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