The recent outbreak of COVID-19 has, unfortunately, forced many businesses around the world to come to a halt. Although it’s natural to feel a little stuck now that your “business bus has stopped”, we urge you not to worry.
Rather than worry, we see it as a great chance to reassess, change the wheels and get back on track to achieving your long-term overall goals and objectives. That’s all well and good but it can be a little daunting knowing where to start and what kind of strategy is needed to kick back into gear.
That’s where we come into the picture - Red-Fern are here to help! This post will outline five crucial digital strategies to implement within your organisation during these uncertain times. We aim to shift your mindset from thoughts of panic and turn this into an opportunity for your business to rebuild even stronger.
- Carry out a website audit
- Set SMART goals for your overall strategy
- Redesign your website
- Focus on content marketing
- Outline your social media strategy
Carry out a website audit
Once your website is set up to a high standard, it can be tempting for businesses to leave it ticking over in the background while they focus on other high priority tasks. However, this is incredibly bad practice. Your website needs constant care and attention to perform at an optimum level - from the content displayed across the site to design updates and techniques.
Your website is what your potential clients will judge their first impressions of your business on. So, if it’s poor and outdated, that may reflect an inaccurate view of the service that you’re providing. First impressions are hard to overturn and a bad one can often leave prospects opting to use your competitors instead of your business.
So, this unavoidable downtime gives you the perfect opportunity to carry out a full website audit and bring it to an unassailable standard. But where do you start? Well, there are three main components to asses in a full website audit:
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) performance.
- Design and User Experience (UX).
- Website content.
Website audits allow you to identify and fix any problems to enhance performance. For example, you may find that your webpages are struggling to rank and index with Google. Therefore, you’ll need to look at your SEO performance and implement some of the best practices to help bolster your organic positioning.
Set SMART goals for your overall strategy
SMART goals and objectives are crucial to the success of any business - especially when rebuilding. Without goals, your efforts will be aimless and you’ll struggle to measure whether they were a success or failure. Overall goals ensure that your holistic efforts are aligned. If they’re all pulling in separate directions, your efforts will likely be ineffective.
Be sure to set specific goals. Vague and broad objectives are hard to keep track of and you can’t break them down into manageable chunks. For example, “improve website content” doesn’t highlight any areas that can be actioned directly. Whereas, “improve website content SEO performance”, you can immediately see which areas you need to focus on.
Your goals need to be measurable. Otherwise, how can you see whether you’re on track to smash them or you’re dwindling into the abyss? If your goals aren’t measurable, you won’t have any transparency on whether what you’re actually doing is working or not. So, you could be wasting time and money focusing all your efforts around a particular tactic that isn’t engaging any prospects.
Goals and objectives need to be attainable and realistic. If not, you run the risk of demotivating the wider team as they won’t be seeing any real progress month on month. Setting goals too high can be daunting. Although you want to be as successful as you can, you should break huge goals down into smaller attainable chunks that can be ticked off on your way to the top!
Time limits are necessary on your objectives too. These keep your team focused and working towards an end deadline. Incentives are an effective way of ensuring your team is hitting their monthly or quarterly goal targets.
Redesign your website
When conducting your website audit, if you aren’t producing the results that you desire, it could mean that your whole site needs a redesign. For clarity on whether you need to redesign your site, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- Does your call-to-action successfully convert visitors into leads and customers?
- Are your landing pages inspiring people to learn more, or do they just look good and convey little value?
- Is there too much text and not enough visual aid?
- Is your site typical of your brand values and ethics? And is it consistent with your typical voice?
Website redesigns are necessary when the information portrayed is no longer relevant. This could be due to your business adapting their purposes or, simply, old posts being outdated. Whilst a full redesign isn’t required every time you make small marketing direction changes, you should constantly update it to keep in line with all other channels.
If your website just doesn’t work, it’s time to go back to the drawing board. Functionality should be an important focus of your website. Otherwise, users are quickly going to get fed up and look elsewhere. To improve clear direction and clarity, you should answer the following questions with your site design:
- Can a visitor easily navigate and discover basic things on your site, for example, contact information?
- Is your integral content hidden or hard to find?
- Are your product or service offers completely true and up-to-date?
Focus on content marketing
At times like these, your content needs to be spot on throughout all channels. Not only is it a worrying time for businesses, but your customers and clients too. So, they need the reassurance from your business that you’re doing all you can to delight clients throughout the pandemic. Your messaging needs to be empathetic and understanding across all channels.
How you communicate to your audience in uncertain times is a reflection of how you’re acting. Despite the various posts you’ll have seen on LinkedIn, situations like these aren’t opportunities to push products and services. If you use the situation as a sales opportunity, you’ll be exposed as an extremely immoral business - and prospects will have very long memories once this is all over.
With content marketing, your efforts should still be long term as always. What you’re posting now isn’t going to automatically rank on Google the day after - we all know it doesn’t work like that. So, ensure that you’re thinking of new trends and ideas that’ll likely come into fruition once this has all blown over. Of course, we’re not saying disregard it at all but it shouldn’t be the pinnacle focus of your content efforts.
You should always outline a digital strategy for all of your content marketing efforts. That way, they’re always aligned and working towards an end goal. This ensures that each channel is in support of each other and that your messaging constantly dovetails nicely. Finally, remember it’s always quality over quantity - which is definitely something we can help with.
Outline your social media strategy
Social Media is an incredibly useful tool for businesses at the majority of times, but its importance is heightened with the current situation. Your various platforms are the most convenient place for prospects and clients to interact and spark conversations with your business - so you need to make sure that your messaging is empathetic and in line with your wider content marketing strategy.
As we mentioned, strategy gives a campaign definition. With this definition, you can see how all your individual posts are working together towards the same end goal, which you should aspire to do with every campaign. Contrasting messaging on social platforms leaves uncertainty and doubt over your brand values and vision.
Different social media platforms require different messaging - you can’t expect to post the same wording across the different mediums and have optimum engagement. Each platform has a different audience, so you need to tailor your wording towards their specific needs. For example, your LinkedIn messaging should be more professional than your Facebook posts.
When used in the right manner, social media can be a business's best friend. However, if used incorrectly, it can be a waste of time and effort.
Red-Fern can help action these five strategies
So, are you ready to change the wheels and get the bus back en route? Well, if you are, Red-Fern can help you with all of your website design and development, and marketing needs.
Our expert team are vastly experienced in delivering campaigns that can help you achieve your overall goals and objectives. We understand that during this tricky period, everyone could use a helping hand. So, we’re determined to work together to find the perfect solutions for your business to get back on track.
Why not book in a discovery call with us today to see how we can help your business move forwards? But most importantly of all, we hope all you’re all keeping safe and well during these worrying times.