Online marketing has had to adapt this year. With the whole COVID-19 pandemic, all businesses have been affected in one way or another. Some, just because of their nature, have seen increased business. Many have had to adapt and adjust to ecommerce and delivery and some have closed and have no idea when or if they’re going to open again especially if you’re dependent on industry like travel and hospitality.
Nobody knows when things will get “back to normal”. We don’t even know what that looks like. What is important for small businesses is if you want to stay open or reopen, you’re probably forced to rethink and reinvent your business. The Magic Formula hasn’t changed, but some of the strategies and tactics have. Here you’ll learn what’s new and what you have to do keep your business going in these crazy times.
Social Media Usage is Up!
- Facebook up by 27% on their website & 1% on the app
- YouTube is up by 15% on the website & 4.5% on the app
- Snapchat has seen a 50% increase in video calls
- Twitter has seen a 24% increase in usage to 166 million daily users
- Pinterest is now at 367 million monthly active users (MAUs) up globally by 26%
- TikTok has 800m (MAUs) — an increase of over 27%; it was the 2nd most downloaded app in 2019
- LinkedIn is over 700 million members with an increase of 22% — voted the most trusted network among users
Facebook reports that with all their platforms combined — Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp — have 2.3 Billion Daily Active Users. WhatsApp has seen a 40% increase alone! Facebook says that people are spending 70% more time on the network.
Google Still Owns Search
Google has over 89% of all search globally.
Google’s goal is to give the searcher exactly what they’re searching for. Google still wants fresh, relevant content written for the human reader in natural language = Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
You need to think like the searcher
- The consumer is in control
- What are they searching for?
- How will they find you?
- What comes up in search?
- Website – capture leads
- Blog/Video – content
- Social Media – promote
- Put yourself in their shoes
- Pain points and problems have changed!
Keywords Matter in Online Marketing
What are people searching for these days? Have the phrases and keywords changed in your industry? Use the Google Keyword planner which is part of Google Ads. It’s free to use, but you need a Google account to use it.
- Using the Google Keyword Planner
- enter 10 phrases or keywords related to your business
- Select the Geographic area
- Look for high monthly searches with…
- Low to Medium Competition
You can then download the keyword list. Sort it by monthly searches so the highest ones are on top. These are the keywords and phrases you need to use in your headings and sub-headings. Moreover, these help you know what to blog about. Write for the human reader, but with the search engine — and these keywords — in mind.
This is a keyword and phrase search in the US for 10 keywords for my website. Look at the 2nd one. It has 100-1000 monthly searches with low competition. And there are others with 10K – 100K with low competition. Those are the ones I want to use in my headlines and within my website copy as well as blog articles. Also, think about what questions people are asking on your topic.
The Magic Formula for Successful Online Marketing
It starts with content — a blog, videos, podcasts or a gallery providing the fresh material that Google is looking for. Plus you want to become a content magnet. How do you do that? You promote that content and engage with your potential customers on social media. That’s the formula! Content + social media = SEO or traffic to your website. Given that, you must have a website that’s set up to capture leads. You want to convert a visitor into a lead with an enticing offer. Then have them in some sort of email automation system to nurture them into a sale. Without content AND social media together, you won’t get the traffic to your website.
Building Trust and Credibility
All this effort is to build trust and credibility because people buy from whom they know and trust. That hasn’t changed. And we know in today’s world a reputation can be lost in seconds. Especially in these days. Taking advantage of COVID-19 to get attention is a major no-no. Everyone who has tried, has failed. Have you noticed that commercials are softer and more mellow than ever before. No more in-your-face shouting. Being compassionate, caring and understanding with what your target market is going through is how you build trust and credibility. And credibility is the most important aspect of your business that you can build. How do you do that? By participating and building relationships – being active on the social networks and creating and sharing content that shows you are an authority in your industry or field and that you care.
Who’s Your Target Market?
Before you start doing anything, you have to clearly define your target market niche. You can have more than one target audience. Your target audience may have changed. Their pain points certainly have.
B2B – Business-to-Business
Are you Business to Business? Your main targets are other businesses, but you still have to deal with people in the business. Who is the decision-maker in the company? This person becomes your “consumer”; What’s their size, location, goals, objectives? What’s their main service or product? Most important, what is their problem – or pain point that you’re going to solve? How are you going to make their lives easier, more productive or successful? How has the pandemic crisis and the economic downturn affected them? Maybe you want to reach businesses that are thriving in the crisis and need help with the sudden demand.
B2C – Business-to-Consumer
Business to consumer: your main customer is the average consumer who would buy your products or hire your services. You could have more than one “persona”. What are their interests, desires, wants and needs? What are their pain points? How have they changed? Are they working from home now? They are shopping online more. They are using apps. How is the crisis affecting them personally?
A company can have both B2B and B2C targets. Consider what percentage is business and consumer so you can split your marketing efforts accordingly.
Which Network should you use in your Online Marketing?
So, which network should you use? You should have a presence in the major ones: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube; if you’re trying to reach the younger crowed — Snapchat and TikTok – they’re free billboards & listings!
But focus on the ones that your target market frequents the most, the ones that are driving traffic to your website & where you’re building valuable relationships. You learn this by doing target market research and checking your analytics monthly.
How Online Marketing all Works Together…
This is how it all works together. The “W” is WordPress – that’s your blog and website together. You can be on other platforms like ecommerce sites Shopify or Etsy. Let’s go around the wheel clockwise. You write your blog post, share it on the social networks, encourage comments, put excerpts in your e-newsletter with a link back to the blog and website to read more. Talk to your target market and reach them in groups like those on LinkedIn and Facebook and of course, Google will index it in the search engine.
Content is Key
If you don’t put out content daily that is of interest to your target audience, no one will follow you or visit your website. Just doing paid ads is not enough.
- Blog – at least once a week! Anything less & Google thinks you’re stagnant & will ignore you!
- Videos – put them everywhere! Embed them in a blog post.
- Graphics & Pictures – both informational & promotional
- Podcasts – embed them in your blog & include the transcript.
At any time of the day you can log on to Twitter and see what thousands of people are talking about – or what’s trending. OK, some of what trends on Twitter may seem stupid, but sometimes, they give you a gift and you can ride on the trend’s coattails. However, always check to see WHY something is trending to make sure that it’s not some crisis.
I publish a list of the upcoming awareness and observance days each month. Search for “What’s Trending” for the latest one. Plan ahead so you can spin your marketing message to get extra exposure and SEO.
There are certain hashtags that trend each week, like #MondayMotivation, #TuesdayThoughts, #WednesdayWisdom, etc. Watch and plan for them and spin your marketing message around them. Use a scheduling tool like TweetDeck to schedule out posts to take advantage of these trends. You do this for both SEO and for exposure!
A hashtag is the # sign in front of a word or phrase that makes it clickable and searchable. If you click on a hashtag, all the posts with that hashtag come up. They work on all the networks. They only use letters and numbers and are not case-sensitive. Use them consistently and have a strategy, especially for your major keywords and for events. This article goes into more details on how to use them effectively.
Know Your Competition
- Who are your competitors?
- What makes you, your product or service different?
- How many followers to do they have?
- How often are they blogging?
- Where do they come up compared to you on Google?
- Who is at the bottom of the 1st page?
If they’re not doing everything: blogging, active in social media, you can knock them off by just doing more than what they are doing.
Be aware, also that you’re not just competing against your direct competition. You’re competing for your target audience’s attention among a lot of other content out there — a lot of noise. You need to standout among the crowd.
It’s a Marathon, not a Sprint
Today’s online marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. The problem is that the road or track changes constantly — and without warning. You have to be prepared for change.
The Steps to Getting Started with Effective Online Marketing
- Define Your Target Market’s Persona – Clearly define your target market – you can have more than one.
- Research – where are they hanging out online? What are their habits? What keywords are they going to enter into the search engine to find you?
- Set SMART Goals – Each goal must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.
- Strategic Plan – this outlines the strategies to accomplish your goals.
- Tactical Plan – that’s how you’re going to implement the strategies.
- Set-up, Brand & Optimize Everything for SEO – have share and follow buttons on your website. Make it easy for people to follow you.
- Learn How to Properly — and EFFECTIVELY — Use the Tools.
- Create & Curate Content -write blog posts, record videos or podcasts, don’t share just your stuff.
- Implement, Engage & Build a Following – by sharing not selling. Just do it! It takes about 90 minutes a day for the first 30 days to build a following if starting from scratch. If you don’t spend that time up front, it will take you longer to start seeing results. Afterwards you can manage your social media in 30-minutes a day with the free tools.
- Monitor & measure monthly – check your analytics and insights to see what’s working and not working, adjust your strategic and tactical plans accordingly.
The Best Online Marketing DIY Guide!
AND if you’re attempting to do all your marketing by yourself, you’ll need my ebook: The Blueprint: Strategies for Effective Social Media and Digital Marketing. It takes you step-by-step with detailed instructions through all this so you can have a strong, strategic marketing plan that will be effective for your business. It’s now on Amazon Kindle!Follow Me: