For well over a year, the COVID-19 pandemic has been at the forefront of virtually every aspect of our lives. From mass layoffs and remote learning to canceled events, mask-wearing, and virtual dating, it’s likely that the developments that came out of this crisis will have long-lasting effects.
But now that vaccinations have become readily available and many businesses are reopening in some capacity, you’ll want to figure out how to approach the post-pandemic marketplace. If you haven’t yet thought about revamping your strategy for this forever-changed reality, there’s no time like the present.
While the novel coronavirus has certainly shaped consumer behavior (and, therefore, how we sell goods and services), the need for marketing isn’t going anywhere. As we prepare to transition into Life After COVID, how should you adjust the way in which you market your business? For starters, you’ll want to try out some of these tips.
Focus on Local SEO
Marketing during COVID proved a challenge for small businesses, many of which struggled to remain open during the worst part of the pandemic. In order to survive, it became essential for these businesses to become hyper-focused on the communities in which they were located. This ended up becoming a pivotal step for SMBs, in particular, because local customers became more inclined to show their support in order to keep these organizations afloat.
Now, as we head toward the light at the end of the tunnel, the need for local marketing still exists. Fortunately, there are a number of techniques and platforms to utilize in order to reach local consumers. Google My Business (GMB) became an essential tool for many smaller companies during the pandemic and will continue to play an important role in post-COVID marketing. Be sure to take full advantage of what GMB has to offer, especially in regards to sharing operational updates with customers and optimizing your content, and you’ll increase your chances of appearing in local search query results.
Along with GMB, other local listings directories can help increase your visibility online. You’ll also want to devote your energy to generating online reviews for your business, as this can boost your web presence, traffic, and overall perception.
Improve Online Experiences
The pandemic propelled digital innovation forward. But for businesses that didn’t already have much of an online experience to offer, 2020 was an extraordinarily difficult year. If you haven’t already done so, you’ll want to move all of your product and service offerings online. You might be in need of a website redesign or may want to devote a greater percentage of your advertising budget to PPC. No matter what, you’ll want to reach your customers where they already are: on the internet.
Improving the online experience provided by your brand may take a considerable amount of work. But doing so will help you reach customers more effectively by improving your search rankings and your brand perception. You’ll definitely want to make sure that your site is accessible to all. That may involve running an ADA compliance audit or making absolutely sure that your site is mobile friendly. You should also make any necessary changes to your site in advance of Google’s Page Experience algorithm update, which is set to launch in June 2021. Improving your site speed, removing intrusive pop-ups, and bolstering your site security can help your customers have a better experience when they visit your website — which Google may very well reward.
While redesigning your website or adding new product pages may not seem like marketing, per se, these steps will absolutely support your marketing efforts. After all, what’s the point of promoting a website that doesn’t address the needs of your customers? Plus, website improvements can have positive effects on your SEO.
Remember to Diversify
When you invest in the stock market, most experts will recommend that you diversify your portfolio. This can reduce your risk; if one stock (or an entire industry) performs poorly, you won’t necessarily lose it all.
You should consider applying that same principle to your marketing strategy. Not all channels will be equally effective — and what works now may not prove to be the best lead-generation tool later on. Taking a multi-pronged approach to digital marketing is often the best policy, particularly because most consumers will use more than one marketing channel when deciding to make a purchase. Display and paid search ads, social media, content creation, email marketing, SEO, and a multitude of other options can be highly effective on their own. But they’re often even stronger when they work together. Since these strategies don’t always follow the same timeline or address the same concerns, your approach to marketing will typically show better results if you’ve made the commitment to several options at once. Of course, you need to be smart about it and work with experienced professionals. But generally speaking, diversifying your marketing can help your brand’s visibility online — especially at a time when consumers are still spending a staggering amount of time on the web.
It’s true that this transition to post-COVID normalcy will be difficult for many of us. We’re all just figuring it out as we go along. But with these marketing tips in mind, your business can thrive.