Most countries are lifting their stay-at-home orders as life gradually returns to normal amidst the coronavirus pandemic. In Ireland, the orders are expected to expire on the 5th of May. But that will depend on how the country is responding to the situation. This is the best time to start preparing your business for when things get back to normal. However, economic experts warn that this is not going to be a walk in the park for most businesses.
The Irish economy is expected to shrink by 6.8% this year. The industries expected to be worst hit by the pandemic include construction, travel and hospitality, manufacturing, and retail.
The Impact Of COVID-19 On Irish Businesses
One area of business operation, regardless of the industry you are in, that is going to be largely affected by social distancing is sales and marketing. Your sales and marketing team are no longer able to go out can no longer go out and meet potential customers and sign them up to your products. Even if you can get your staff personal protective equipment (PPEs), it is unlikely that your prospects would be willing to open their doors to them. What does this mean for your marketing strategy? Is all hope lost? No, all hope is not lost. It just means that you are going to need digital marketing now more than ever if you are to have any hopes of your business surviving the pandemic.
How To Survive Covid-19 Aftershocks
This is the best time to start preparing your business for life after the coronavirus pandemic. It may be too late if you wait for everything to calm down to get back on your feet. Here are a few tips that can help with your digital marketing strategy as you prepare for a post-COVID-19 business environment;
1. Your website is a good place to start
This is the time to take a good look at your business website and make improvements to it. Is it a smart website with the following 12 essential features? A 2019 survey by PwC showed that 20% of consumers in Ireland prefer shopping online through their mobile devices. With social distancing in place and reduced in-store traffic, the percentage is likely to be even higher this year. If you don’t have a smart website, you will lose out to your competition. Other features you will need to incorporate include artificial intelligence, SEO, and marketing automation.
You can also add extra services such as online payment integration, product customization, and scheduled delivery at the customer’s convenience. This will put you ahead of the competition. You can also try to expand into other areas besides your locality to increase your customer base. There are reliable shipping services such as DPD so you shouldn’t worry about international orders.
If you don’t have the budget to upgrade your website, you can advantage of the Trading Online Voucher by the Dublin Local Enterprise Office.
2. Focus On Your Sales Funnel
Lead generation won’t mean much to your business if you are not making conversions. Improving your sales funnel will help you to nurture your leads and have high rates of conversion. You need to personalize and make smooth the customer journey if you are to make any sales from your sales funnel. Here are tips on how to improve your sales funnel;
- Start at the top of the sales funnel and analyze your lead generation tactics and tools. Are you generating enough leads? And are they quality leads? You can use analytics platforms such as Google Analytics to understand the key metrics of lead generation. If it’s your lead generation strategy that’s letting you down, then it is time to attract the right traffic to your website.
- After working on the Awareness stage, turn your attention to the middle stages (Interest and Desire stages). You will need to nurture your leads through targeted messaging personalized to your web visitors’ buyer personas. Besides that, you will also need to provide them with educative content.
- The last stage is the most important in your sales funnel. It needs to be effective for the other stages to be of any use. The best way to get prospects to get through a purchase is through retargeting campaigns.
3. Strive For Customer Retention
If your business is to survive after the crisis, you will need to ensure minimal loss of your current customers. Customer retention is the secret to the survival of your business. This will improve your chances of profitability by up to 95%. Retaining your existing customers will also help you keep down your customer acquisition costs (CAC). With the right retention marketing strategy, you can keep your customer base intact. In such uncertain times, one of the ways of retaining your customers is by keeping them updated on any business changes you make and explaining how it will improve their customer experience.
4. Get Customer Reviews
Ensure that you integrate major review sites such as TrustPilot and Yelp on your website. Majority of online shoppers rely on reviews to make purchasing decisions. According to Spiegel Research Center, online reviews can increase your chances of conversion by up to 270%. Customers are not just looking to buy your products, they are also paying for a positive experience. And they want first-hand information about the customer experience when dealing with your brand. This is where online reviews come in. Your existing customers will be your biggest marketers. Their positive reviews will earn you more customers.
This does not mean that you should delete negative reviews from customers. When customers leave negative reviews, here’s how you can use it to your advantage.
5. Invest in online ads
Paid adverts will not only get you traffic but also leads and sales if done the right way. Paid ads will help you reach your target audience and improve your sales. Your focus should be on both social media ads and pay-per-click (PPC) ads such as Google Ads. The trick with achieving success with PPC ads is to use long-tail keywords that will help you reach a specific audience.
Social media ads can also grow your sales in the face of the pandemic. The use of social media is expected to grow by 8% during the crisis. This means that there are increased chances of reaching your target audience through social media ads. The major social platforms you should advertise on include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
6. Automate your marketing
You are likely going to operate on a lean staff for a long period of time even after the pandemic has been put under control. Instead of stretching your staff thin by adding digital marketing to their workload, it would be more effective if you automated your marketing channels. It will make marketing less time-consuming, more robust, and more productive. Marketing automation will also enable you to create personalized and consistent messaging and customer experience.
There are a lot of other steps you can take to protect your business from the aftermath of COVID-19. But the most important is to ensure that you have a refined digital marketing strategy that will enable you to reach your audiences effectively. Get in touch with us for creative and innovative goal-driven digital marketing strategies that will enhance your online visibility and keep your business going post-coronavirus.