How to Stay Essential in a Socially Distant World
If the Coronavirus has taught us anything it is that “essential” has staying power. Amidst the challenges of trying to preserve one’s health, trying to be socially responsible, and trying to not seem too casual or too dramatic, we also have to deal with the question as to whether our businesses can survive the separation of the human race as a whole. There has been no better example over the course of the history of the internet to solidify and powerfully prove how important online presence is, regardless of the size of the business. In fact, when the American economy starts slipping, a strong internet presence with decent search engine rankings completely trumps location, business size, or clout.
The New, Post COVID-19, Normal
The question on everyone’s minds seems to be whether or not everything will return to normal when everyone returns to work. My guess - probably not everything. One of the things that makes human beings so unique and successful as a creature is our adaptability, but that same adaptability can be the killer of how things used to be. Still, change is not always a bad thing; change allows us to grow, to progress, to create and innovate. Within these times we have a unique opportunity to slow down, rework our strategy, and try to find better, stronger, more successful ways to grow going forward.
Be Here. Be There. Be Everywhere. Be.
A part of that go-forward strategy should be the incorporation of or improvement of communicating to our customer base, on a regular basis, so they understand how products and services can be accessed, purchased, or ordered in a way that best meets their needs. Also to keep in touch on a regular schedule so customers remember us when the time is right for them. In an effort to gain a competitive edge, we will begin to see businesses putting a greater effort to improve how they look online versus making physical, on-location improvements as many companies elect to make their temporary remote workforce a more permanent thing. If we just move forward with that one idea, that online presence is going to be the single most important factor as to whether a business flourishes or dies on the vine, then how is it that going to impact you? The good news is that online is a space where everyone is allowed to play, and small business can seem as big as they like; they don’t call it virtual for nothing.
How to Reach Out and Not Touch Someone
Of all of the most recent improvements in technology, I’d have to say the one that holds the most promise, especially to small businesses with a small workforce, is the advancements in the Digital Marketing arena. With Digital Marketing Automation, rules can be created to grab a contact’s information from many different triggers, like site activity, and send out messaging and offers when engagement is found to be high, low, or stagnant. For businesses that sell products, many online ecommerce platforms automatically tie into some of the better Digital Marketing platforms so customer communications and product activities can be captured and automatically acted upon. When done right, a good Digital Marketing platform is like getting a marketing employee for free.
Making Your Website Work for You
There are two, diametrically opposed, goals happening with every website: Your goals. Your site visitor’s goals.
For your site visitor, your website is your online threshold. When a site visitor visits your site they have come there for a reason, they want to know information, want to buy something, want to know what you can do for them, and, importantly, want to know that you are credible. They are going to spend as little of their very valuable time on your website trying to get what they need so that they can go on to do something else equally important.
But for you, you are trying to get them to convert, that is, to do some specific thing so that your business can continue on to the next day. Yes, your website is your way of introducing yourself, telling them how wonderful you are, showing them what great products or services you have, and, importantly, showing them that you are credible. However, there is more that your website could be doing for you. If you treat your website visitor like they are at a garden party and just simply allow them to mull about they may not actually stumble upon the information that they need to find before their interest wanes, which is usually about 10 seconds. In order to turn a site visit into a conversion you must have a plan and a path to that conversion. You should know what it is that you want your website visitor to do and what pieces of information they need in order for them to make that conversion happen. Then you need to present them with the final step they need to take to make the selection.
Future Proofing Your Business
When you combine the power of Digital Marketing Automation with a well structured website you can create a well-oiled machine that produces far more than what the results would be for each piece individually. By recognizing patterns, creating automations, and delivering the contact to a well defined path that leads to a new client or customer you build for yourself the opportunity to prosper, to grow, and, ultimately, to survive.