Many small businesses have taken a massive hit in sales due to the pandemic, with some having to cease trading altogether. Indeed, The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) predict that 250,000 small businesses in the UK are set to close in 2021.
However, with people spending more time at home and shopping online, having an effective social media and SEO strategy could be the difference between surviving and shutting up shop forever. If you want to survive in the post-pandemic digital marketplace harnessing social media and SEO is something you cannot afford to ignore.
Social Media is a cost-effective and relatively simple way to increase your brand profile, connect with customers, make new contacts in your field and win new business. But how do you do it?
1. Have a social media marketing strategy
Set some time aside to develop an effective and well thought out plan for using social media. It’s easy to post on Facebook and Instagram as most people do it all the time, but posting about your business is different. What do you want to achieve from posting? How often are you going to post? If you already use it, consider what works and what doesn’t. Think about who your demographic is and what will appeal to them.
2. Find the right platforms
Finding the right platforms that your customers will engage with is one of the most important considerations, and your target demographic will determine this. Despite the seeming popularity of TikTok and Snapchat among teenagers and young adults, research by Statista shows that Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp and Instagram have a far more significant reach (80% use Facebook compared with 24% using TikTok).
Clubhouse is a relatively new (launched April 2020) social networking app that is proving popular with businesses as a way to promote their brand and connect with potential customers and business contacts. Volunteering to host a room and announcing product launches are just two ways to increase your profile using Clubhouse.
3. Do your research
What do your competitors post on social media? Seeing what other brands post and how much interaction they have with their customers on social media could prove helpful when developing your strategy. You don’t want to copy your competitors but seeing what works (or doesn’t work) for others is valuable information. Platforms such as Sprout Social and Social Blade will do this competitor analysis for you, so it may be worth a look.
4. Post daily
Posting regularly (if not daily, then five times a week) is vital to keep your consumers engaged. The more engaged they are, the more likely they are to buy your product. People rarely buy a product the first time they see it. Indeed, the rule of 7 often applies – they need to see it seven times before they decide to buy.
5. Partner with influencers and other brands
Social Media is a great way to connect with other brands in your niche and use influencers to promote your business and products. Even nano-influencers (those with 1,000 or fewer followers) can positively impact your social media presence. By building relationships with influencers who will promote your brand on their page, you can reach more people, leading to a higher conversion rate.
Your online brand presence is more important than ever.
From setting up the right social accounts for your business, to creating high performing marketing content, learn how to effectively manage your community and reap the benefits of social media.
Down load our free Social Media Guide to find out more information and advice on how to use social media to gain more business.
Download our guide here!
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation / Marketing)
Along with a comprehensive social media strategy, ensuring that your website is search engine optimised could make all the difference to your online presence (and consequently help increase business and sales). SEO is one of the most cost-effective marketing tools, but how can you make it work for your business?
Improving your on-page SEO to make it more search engine and user friendly can be achieved relatively quickly. Ensuring that you use relevant keywords which will optimise your chances of consumers finding you and being ranked highly in the all-important SERP’s (Search Engine Results Page) is a vital first step.
Having well-written and relevant content that is equal to or better than your competitors is another must, as is utilising ‘call to action’ buttons in pertinent places. Call to Action buttons such as ‘Add to Cart’ or ‘Buy Now’ are an essential tool to guide your consumers to take the action you want them to take, i.e., buying your product.
Off-page SEO is the practice OF promoting your business on the wider web outside of your website. One of the primary methods of doing this is to ask other businesses to include a back-link to your site on theirs. Choose businesses that are complementary but not identical to yours, so you are aiming at the same customer base but not directly competing with your rivals.
Using Google AdWords and Facebook advertising as well as investing in PPC advertising are other off-site marketing strategies. Getting your business listed in an online directory and publishing your content on other websites are other valuable strategies you may want to consider.
It is worth bearing in mind that off-page SEO is only effective if your on-page SEO is up to scratch. There is no point in having links to your site from other websites if, when they get there, what they find was not worth clicking the link for.
Local SEO is the practice of optimising your site so it ranks highly in local searches. Nearly half the searches people make online are for something local (a restaurant, for example), and 76% of those searches result in that person visiting that local business. It is, therefore, easy to see why many businesses are putting more effort into local SEO. By including local keywords, having a local map on your website with your location pinned, including your address on your landing page and featuring local reviews are just a few ways of optimising your site for local SEO.
SEO is something that is crucial to the success of your business. SEO determines how easily people can find you based on your search engine rankings.
To build up your online presence, you should understand the best SEO practices so that you can achieve your goals.
Whether you want to improve your sales or raise your brand awareness, using the best SEO practices is the best approach.
Download our guide here!
Using Social Media and SEO are both vital to your marketing strategy if you want to win new customers both in the digital marketplace and in person. Use them wisely, and you will undoubtedly reap the rewards in conversions and footfall.