The need has arisen for some lockdown marketing tips. This is an uncertain time for everyone. All non-essential shops are closed and we should no longer leave our homes unless it is an absolute necessity. With the country locked down, it’s hard to know what next steps we can take to keep our businesses afloat. This is certainly a discussion that we have had as a company, between ourselves and with our staff.
We’ve asked ourselves, what paid services can we cut back on? What can we do to ensure that our staff still get paid if our clients can’t afford to carry on through this tough time. How do we ensure that the rent is still paid? How can we help other businesses who are struggling at this time?
Well, we’re all in the same boat. So, it’s easier said than done but, try not to let this pandemic get under your skin and cause you to make irrational decisions that could harm the future of your business. We’ve all seen the effects of the madness from afar. Redundancies, job losses, empty supermarket shelves and no delivery slots available for the vulnerable people who need them.
In the midst of this madness is the perfect time to take a breath and carry on marketing your business. It might seem like a budget that you could do with saving but marketing at any time is crucial. There is currently a high number of people self-isolating. That number is only going to increase as we get ever closer to the peak of this pandemic. Plus, there is so much that you can prepare for yourself!
So, doom and gloom aside, what can we all do?
Marketing your business in a lockdown
The advice we’re given is to stay at least 2 metres away from people outside our households. This means that traditional marketing methods may be on hold for a short while but the good news is that we have a whole world of internet out there that people use daily. (Even more so now). It’s the perfect time to ramp up on your digital marketing strategies, dreams of rebranding or even that new website you’ve been wanting to plan for a while.
- Audit your social media
- Planning new content
- Keeping on top of your SEO
- Rebranding your business
- Updating your website
Audit Your Social Media
If you’ve landed on this page, you’re probably in need of some inspiration. So, let’s start by auditing your social media. What’s a social media audit you ask? A social media audit is the process of reviewing your social media channels to determine what works, what doesn’t and what you can improve upon.
The word “audit” is usually associated with boring s**t. But, digging deeper into what works for your business and what doesn’t can really help you and open your eyes to new ways of portraying yourself to your customers. Don’t think of this as a chore, it’s something exciting!
A social media audit is going to take some time out of your day so set aside a few hours to thoroughly run through everything. Don’t worry though, you’ve got at least the next three weeks on your hands. If not more.
Find Your Socials
First things first, find all of your social media channels. Sounds silly right? Well, not really. You might have previously set up social media channels that you don’t use or that you don’t log into much. Make sure you get access to them all!
Keep Track of Your Findings
Now, you are going to need to make use of a spreadsheet to keep track of all this information you’re collecting. Don’t panic if you don’t have access to Microsoft applications. Google offers just as many easy and free alternatives. Carla recently wrote a blog on tools available to help you project manage your business when working from home, you can read it here.
You can easily create your own spreadsheet and get started with the following headers:
- Profile Linke.g.www.facebook.com/carlanamarketing
- Profile Handle e.g. @carlanamarketing
- Account Owner e.g. The member of Staff responsible for this account (if you have one)
- Account Aim e.g. The reason for this account, whether it’s to promote your company culture or provide customer service etc.
- Top Posts e.g. The posts with the most engagement from your followers
- Important Metrics e.g. Your Audience Growth Rate / Post Reach / Post Engagement etc
- Key Demographics e.g. Who follows your profile. This may vary depending on the channel you’re using.
Now that you have these headers in place, you can start to fill in the blanks. Once you’ve filled in all the blanks you should have a better understanding of who your audience is, what types of posts they most engage with, when they’re online and much more.
Having this key information to hand can help you to better plan your content to fit your audience.
Planning New Content
You should, by now, have a grasp on what sort of content your audience engages with, whether they’re male or female and what times they’re online. Assuming that you’ve got a bit of time on your hands now that you’re stuck at home, it’s the perfect time to plan your content and get ahead of the game.
Planning Social Content
At Carlana, we understand that there’s not always time during your day to quickly write a post and get it out on all your social channels. It’s not at the forefront of your mind. That’s why we recommend using a scheduling software like Hootsuite. They offer a free plan for small businesses that can help you stay on top of things. We also recommend SEMRush. This is what we use to schedule posts for our customers. It’s also a magnificent tool for tracking positions on Search Engines when it comes to SEO. It’s a costly tool but worth it if you can see how to improve your results.
Planning social media content in advance can take the strain off of the day to day and make it easier for you to stay at the forefront of your customers’ minds. It’s well known that if you don’t post very often, due to the algorithms of platforms like Facebook, you may drop off of your customers’ news feeds. This doesn’t need to happen. Use this time where you’re stuck indoors wisely!
Planning Blog Content
We’re huge fans of WordPress. We build all our websites using this platform because it’s easy for our customers to manage. It’s got a super friendly user interface and can be learned in no time as there are bundles of information out there to help you figure things out.
It’s also the perfect platform for writing and scheduling blogs. Blogs can be a bit labour intensive and take a good few hours to write sometimes. Now is the perfect time to get a couple in the bank to get out key information to your customers. They also make for great social content.
You can use Google Docs free software to write your blog and then when adding it to your WordPress website you can schedule it for exactly when you’d like it to be available to your audience! Convenient, right?
Keeping on top of your SEO
I can never stress enough, how important it is to stay on top of your SEO. Search engine optimisation is not something that provides results overnight. It takes time and effort to bring your website to the top of search engines for relevant keywords that you choose.
Stopping SEO in this time that you are in lockdown could potentially undo everything that you’ve been working on so far. Yes, even for a few weeks. It’s not as simple as just chucking a few keywords on your website and BAM you’re at the top of page one. SEO is iterative, search engines will send little “spiders” to crawl your website as and when they please. You can’t tell them when to do it, they just do.
We previously talked about planning blog content, this is a great and easy way for you to show the “spiders” that your website is being regularly updated. If you are providing relevant and informational content to your readers, this is very beneficial. Please don’t start posting random blogs about cats (I mean unless you’re a cattery!).
This time that we have in our hands is freeing us up to do those jobs that we haven’t thought about doing before. Keyword research is a really important part of SEO. Why? Well… how do you think people find stuff on the internet, they type in a few “key words”.
Google Trends is a great platform for finding out what people use to search for things on the internet. All you have to do is enter a keyword on Trends that you think people use to search foryour services or products, and then enter some more to compare it too. This way you can most effectively implement the keywords that are being searched for most.
Set up new Backlinks
A backlink is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a link back to your website from someone else’s website. Whether that be from your Yell, Bark or Check a Trade profiles, or whether it’s from the website of suppliers you use. Backlinks are great because they show a “vote of confidence” to search engines that other websites want to send people your way.
PLEASE whatever you do, don’t pay someone who says they can get you loads of backlinks. It is one of the worst business decisions that you can take. Your website could end up with backlinks to toxic websites that show dodgy porn and worse. We’ve seen it happen and we’ve also had to pick up the pieces afterwards! It’s a waste of money and can be detrimental to your SEO. Search engines will eventually come across these links and de-rank your website if it has links back from toxic sites. SEMRush, previously mentioned, can help you weed out the toxic links back to your site.
Take the time to speak to companies that you work alongside and set up a link for them on your website if they do one for you. It’s called barter trade! If you scratch their backs, they’ll scratch yours.
Rebranding Your Business
This part is the part that I, as a graphic designer, get most excited about. When you first set up a business, the logo and branding that you initially go with might need brushing up or finessing as the years go on because businesses evolve as they grow. It’s often one of those jobs that gets put to the bottom of the pile because you feel it’s not imperative to your current business needs.
Well… I’m telling you, NOW is the perfect time to start getting inspired. Download yourself Pinterest, create a board and pin away at anything that you like the look of that you think will suit your business.
You can then approach a logo designer with a good brief on what you want to see for your business. A re-brand is a great way to give your brand a fresh look and feel. Lots of big companies have done it over the years to keep up with the times.
Updating Your Website
Websites are key to all businesses. They are the face of the business when we’re not open or available. They are the first thing that people come to when they’re looking for something.
You should be asking yourself, does my website work well on mobiles and tablets? This is, after-all, how many people browse the net these days. Is my website easily found online? If it’s not, start looking into why.
Is your website slow? Run your URL through GTMetrix. This software will give you an idea of what you can do to speed up your website and make it easier to use.
It might even be time for you to get a new website. One that you can easily manage and stay on top of.
As always, we’re here to help. If there’s anything in this blog that you’d like some more information on please contact us and we’ll help where we can, free of charge. We are only at the beginning of what is about to be some of the hardest times seen in generations. It’s time to pull together and help each other as much as we can. Money isn’t everything and barter trade was around before they made the first physical money.
It’s not all bad, technology can connect us, and it doesn’t need to separate us from one another. Get in touch if you need a hand. ✌️