As the Canadian government roles out its plan to reopen the economy, businesses are struggling. Brick-and-mortar businesses are still undecided as to whether or not to open. The CoVID-19 pandemic is having an injurious effect on business owners, but the bad times will eventually pass. Meanwhile, businesses and service providers should shift their focus online. This will allow them to still manage their clients, generate sales and boost brand awareness without shutting down operations.
In this week’s feature blog post, our online digital marketing course instructors and corporate training specialists highlight the benefits to shifting from traditional to digital media during CoVID and beyond. It will also explore 3 ways to make the transition smoother and more productive.
Why Shift from Traditional to Digital Media Today
No business or industry has been unhurt by CoVID-19. Those most affected by the pandemic are smaller startups that may not have the funds to stay afloat and businesses that rely heavily on face-to-face interactions, such as clothing retailers, hair salons, and athletic centers. Accustomed to foot traffic and word-of-mouth marketing, these businesses have experienced such high revenue losses that their instinctive reaction has been to cut marketing costs or to close their business entirely.
All businesses, including the ones listed above, can benefit from the shift to digital marketing. Even if you do not have a Facebook page or a Google ads account, it is not too late to join the ranks of the businesses that are thriving online. The process is simple, and the results are instantaneous – increased brand awareness and improved sales figures.
Customer needs have not changed during the pandemic, they still need your business to stay open and your products and services to be sold and offered. Accessibility is what prevents them from doing business with you. Social distancing rules are also stopping them from setting up face-to-face meetings and shopping through traditional means. However, this will all change the moment that accessibility to products and services improves.
Here are 5 reasons why businesses should ramp up their digital efforts now:
1. To maintain your competitive advantage in your industry.
2. To improve your business branding.
3. To reach an enormous audience in a way that is both cost-effective and measurable.
4. To engage your customers who are stuck at home and are unable to meet in person due to social distancing rules.
5. To look for the future, not the past.
The CoVID-19 pandemic has accelerated brands’ move to the digital realm. It also served as an eye-opener for businesses that were hesitant to make the move before the pandemic. Digital Marketing is essentially the glue that helps businesses retain their strength and is preventing them from shutting their doors.
3 Tips for Transitioning Over to Digital Marketing in the Post-CoVID World
1. Do Your Market Research
Conducting detailed market research is important. It will help you effectively understand the needs and demands of your customers about your business. It will also help you weed out some of the barriers they may face when you decide to move online.
One important thing to remember is that the marketing needs of an offline business are different then the marketing needs of an online business. You will need to learn about the different digital marketing techniques that are available to you, including social media marketing, pay-per-click advertising and search engine optimization. You will also need to know what the options are and what is best suited for your business and target audience before you launch your online presence. By conducting market research, you can ensure that your marketing campaigns are placing your brand in front of potential customers in the most efficient way possible.
2. Optimize Your Downtime
Being stuck in a sales slump because of a pandemic is unfortunate. But never be sorry. Things will get better. Use the current downtime to plan ahead and look for ways to spruce up your current online presence. You will experience a major business boost when things are back to normal as a result of your efforts during downtime.
Build (or Redesign) Your Website
Use the current downtime period to fix your current website or to create a new one from scratch. 9 in 10 website first impressions are design and accessibility related, so giving your webpages a much-needed makeover could prove lucrative in the post CoVID world. This means:
• Optimizing your website for search engines, such as Google and Bing.
• Setting up e-commerce solutions that serve your business.
• Optimizing your website for mobile customers and ensuring it is accessible on all devices.
• Making your website more visually appealing with images, videos, headers, menus etc.
Create Fresh Web Content
As of today, there are more people at home than at any other time in our history – and many of these people are using the internet. Online traffic has increased by as much as 60 per cent in many areas of Canada as people hunker down and shelter in place. The good thing about this is that there are more people to engage with.
Even if sales are down, content marketing is a clever investment. There are tons of great ways to connect with consumers during the pandemic, including writing blog posts, crafting e-newsletters and posting social media messages.
3 great ways to connect with consumers using content marketing:
1. Advertise promotions and sales on your website and social media platforms to improve cash flow.
2. Keep customers informed about any store closures, delays in shipping and the steps you are taking to ensure their safety.
3. Remind customers of how they can order from you during the pandemic period.
3. Investing in Paid Advertising Campaigns
A month or two into digital marketing you may start to think about allocating some of your budget to paid advertising and lead generation. Paid advertising is a cost-effective way to drive traffic to your website, regardless of your budget. As the name suggests, you only pay the publisher when your ad is clicked on or viewed. Ad prices are set by bidding, which allows you to be flexible with your ad spend. And unlike many other marketing strategies, paid advertising also allows you to reach and engage your target audience with ease and expand your existing organic efforts during months with low traffic or little sales.
How Digital Marketing Academy of Canada is Assisting Businesses with Navigating these Tough Waters
Digital Marketing Academy of Canada (DMAC) continues to implement new measures and programs to support businesses and entrepreneurs during these challenging times. Launched just last month, our newly updated Facebook and Instagram Marketing crash course provides free training and mentorship opportunities to anyone interested in learning how to adapt to changing environments caused by the CoVID pandemic.
The free online social media marketing crash course is open to both novice and experienced professionals, including:
• Traditional marketers who want to learn more about Facebook and Instagram marketing quickly.
• Recent marketing graduates who want to stand out with recruiters when applying for a job.
• Business owners looking to leverage Facebook and Instagram’s advertising power to engage customers online.
• People looking for certification in social media marketing.
Some of the topics covered in the course are:
• Importance of Social Media in today’s world of advertising
• Creating Facebook and Instagram marketing strategies
• Defining your Social Media marketing goals
• Running successful Facebook and Instagram ad campaigns
• Monitoring Facebook and Instagram marketing performance and analytics.
In addition to updating our course materials, our team of corporate trainers has also updated our training manuals and programming to better help our corporate executive clients and their employees obtain and hone knowledge and skills they need to progress their business. Topics covered through our programs include honing digital marketing strategies, launching or improving an e-commerce store, developing new product lines or services, developing new revenue models, such as curbside pickup or drop-shipping, and building resiliency.