When advertising digitally during the uncertain times of a recession, every business, every situation is different. Strategy recommendations, suggestions, and changes should all be reviewed through your lens and your data. However, the one constant is the need to position your company as an authority in your industry.
The United States continues the national lockdown for non-essential businesses. And those businesses like yours (and ours) are feeling the effects of people being asked to stay home. The government has developed a stimulus package for small businesses to help them keep their employees and pay rent and utilities for the near term. And it’s easy and necessary in times like this to focus on cash flow, revenue, and income to keep the business running.
So, the marketing budget is a typical target for businesses to cut or put on hold, especially for businesses that can not service the new inquiries they may receive during this time. Many of our clients are seeking suggestions and guidance during this time. And our response varies depending on each situation.
For businesses that have the budget and the means to continue servicing their customers, we encourage them to push forward in their marketing investment to keep filling their funnel of potential new clients who are at home spending more time than ever researching, learning, or just browsing the internet. For other businesses who have greater budgetary needs in other areas, we may suggest slowing down or even pausing their campaigns.
Whether you slow down, stop, or increase your marketing depending on how your individual situation is up to you. However, remember, short-term strategies only address the near term. Successful companies are going to determine how to minimize the short-term loss and see the opportunity to build for the future, beyond the next 30 or 60 days.
If you don’t have a marketing agency partner, digital or traditional, find one that fits your culture and shares what’s behind their curtain. You can read our blog on finding an agency to help identify a good fit for your organization. If you are working with an agency, have them take a new look at your strategy — both for now in these uncertain times, as well as to build for the future. Now is the time to develop a strategy that will benefit your business when this lockdown is over.
Get help, get knowledgeable, and get it done.
Our clients are asking for help developing a strategy that will be the most cost-effective for them. At Xcite, we are in close communication with our partners, Google and Facebook, staying abreast of best marketing practices during this pandemic. Our blog about marketing trends we are seeing during this pandemic, which was our first in a series of communication pieces for our clients, highlighted stats and recommendations why businesses should continue their Pay Per Click (PPC) strategies.
We are also highly recommending that all of our clients use this time to build up the trust and reputation of your business in the eyes of Google by taking the necessary steps to become an industry authority.
Building trust and your online reputation includes a variety of different steps, tasks, and tactics.
- Writing (or ghost writing) blogs for your site and for your industry to use.
- Linking to other articles and blogs from well-known and trusted authors that will help your audience.
- Creating web pages on your site that are specific to what your audience needs to read and know.
- Managing the ever-changing directory listings information about your company (there are software platforms that make this attainable)
- Managing reviews of your business, mentions on social media, and what others are saying about your product or services.
These are time-consuming, busy-work efforts, but reputable agencies can help lead and manage the process.
Why does becoming an industry authority in the eyes of Google matter? Being seen as an authority in your space improves your rank in search engine results. Providing reliable and relevant information to your audience matches Google’s mission to provide reliable information and relevant results to their users.
Two ways to bolster your presence are garnering links from other trusted authoritative sites to yours, and producing your own relative and informative content for others to read, share, and benefit.
Now more than ever customers want information, which is the perfect time for you to engage your audience to provide answers they can use. For example, customers want to know how your business and industry in general are managing through this challenging period, or in some cases, suggestions on what to do when we can leave our homes again. Engage your audience now and they will become customers later.
Developing a reputation plan is a relatively easy and cost-effective way to build your business’ awareness throughout Google’s organic listings and complement your Paid Search and Social strategies. The more of an authority Google perceives you, the more prominent you’ll show up in their search results.
Get it done
Content should be relevant, novel, and available. It’s not enough for it to just be factual. Provide information that is unique to your industry and wanted by your peers, partners, and potential customers. Create new insights for readers, giving them detailed information and reasons to keep visiting your site. Build a new audience, satisfy your current audience, and get ready for the future of your business when it happens.
Start by creating a content calendar that will help you stay organized and consistent in your postings. Schedule as far as six months out and plan for holidays, seasonality information, promotions, and other factors. A schedule of topics and release dates will help guide your writers, or your agency, and direct your research articles for backlinks to offer additional information for your audience.
Content and topics should be related to how the audience can interact with your industry, including novel and unique information of “how to”, research, or ideas about your industry’s special take. For example, a cleaning company can educate its audience about the easiest ways to keep appliances clean or how to sanitize groceries. It can also offer expert thoughts on the best cleaning products for classrooms, businesses, and more. Write about topics that you can provide educational value to your audience based on your knowledge in the industry.
Setting the expectation
The strategy of becoming an authoritative and trusted website in Google’s eyes is not a quick fix. It takes time and a concerted effort. Companies that consistently post relevant information on a regular basis, offer quality links to other sites with authoritative content, and follow their content calendar will see stronger results up and down their multi-channel attribution model.
So now it’s time to act
Communicate your objectives, needs, and concerns to your agency so it can help and transparently teach you about the strategy. Depending on your needs, there are many ways to take advantage of this uncertain time where businesses and your competition are cancelling ads or pausing their marketing. Growing your online trust and authority is one way to get a leg up on your competition. Consider engaging with an expert digital agency to help you implement a plan that will help now and well into the future.