We are going through a time unlike any other and as business owners we are being affected by the pandemic both personally and financially.
For some of us, it feels wrong to promote our own services and products right now. We don't want to come across as insensitive people.
As long as we keep selling our products and services in an ethical way which most of us do, then we need to keep showing up. We need to make sure our messaging is responsive and sensitive but we need to keep showing up as it is our duty towards our customers, our teams and to ourselves as we need to provide for our families, too.
Carrying on with our marketing gives our audience the message that we are here to stay; our business is serious and it’s not going to be wiped out because of the current situation. We need to be pro-active rather than reactive and avoid making knee-jerk decisions.
Let’s face it, as most people are at home, we are going to spend more time online checking out the news, chatting with friends and family, trying to find activities for our children, and shopping online. As tradeshows, exhibitions and networking events are getting cancelled, more people may turn to online marketing to fill their sales pipelines.
This is not the time to stop your marketing. As I always say the key to success in social media marketing is consistency: Showing up consistently whether it is every day or three times a week, it is up to you but there needs to be a consistency. It is the same during this period.
Now if businesses stop their paid social marketing because of the uncertainity, the costs of advertising may go down. On the contrary, if more people start advertising, then competition increases and therefore the costs may increase.
Online marketing is agile, we can evaluate the ads and re-strategise. I am currently running Facebook and Instagram ads for three clients and none of them have been affected negatively so far.
If things don’t go well, if we are not reaching the KPIs that we want to reach, we can always switch things up.
For example if costs are increasing or clients have problems with getting there supplies in and therefore can’t meet the orders, then we could look at warming up audiences so that they have some prospective audiences a few months down the line.
The last thing you want is letting those relationships that you have been building drop off. There are still people out there who need your help whether it is through your products or services.
This is a time when all of us need to evaluate our current situations and think creatively about our offers and how we promote them, diversify and pivot if needed.
Strengthening your marketing efforts during this volatile time will help you maintain some sort of normality and will give you an edge over the businesses that are slower to react.
Facebook and Shopify has announced they will support small businesses through grants and ad credits, check out these links and see if you are eligible to apply:
Managing through and building resilience during the COVID-19 outbreak
Facebook Small Business Grants Program
Government Relief Programs for Small Businesses Affected by COVID-19
When it comes to managing an online store, it is really important that you optimise your store to be able to increase your conversion rates.
Having worked with a number of ecom businesses, I though it would be helpful to share a few tools to help boost your conversion rate. This is really important because at the end of the day, we all want more traffic, increased average basket value and more sales.
1. GT Mextrix : GTmetrix is one of the best tools to help you optimise your website by determining the parts of your website that are making the pages load slower.
2. Hotjar : When you first set up your an ecommerce business, it is hard to understand how your visitors are navigating your website and where drop offs happen. Hotjar records your visitors' visits so that you can identify usability issues and improve your website.
3. Google Mobile-Friendly Test The majority of users coming to your site are likely to be using a mobile device.Use this Google tool to understand if your website is mobile-friendly in a few seconds. Google will also give you suggestions on how to improve it.
4. Facebook Messenger: Use chatbots to boost your conversions. Give live support to your website visitors.
5. Use exit intent pop-ups and email marketing to reduce cart-abondonment. I personally like Active Campaign for e-mail marketing and have heard great things about Klaviyo as well.
Have you been using any of these tools or any others? Let me know in the comments.
We have come to the end of another year. It’s time to have a look at the trends for 2020 so that you can prepare your social media strategy for the year ahead.
Glossy, staged content, clickbaity headlines have had their day. People are looking for authentic content from the people and brands they follow. They are looking for honest conversations. Authenticity drives trust, loyalty and ultimately sales.
Being authentic doesn’t mean, you have to post on the go and in real-time only. Planning and scheduling your content is okay, you can’t be on social media all the time. Being strategic with your content, and automating it allows time for engagement with your followers.
2.Private chats & communities
In 2019 we have seen most of the social media platforms encouraging their users to have private discussions either in direct messages or in groups. The latest addition of Threads on Instagram is an example of this. As a small business owner, how can you encourage this? Is there an opportunity for you to create your own Facebook group?
You can also invite people to engage with you privately on Instagram. Stories is brilliant for this: ask questions, invite them to interact with you with the stickers, polls, etc. so that you can have more intimate conversations with your followers.
According to a study by Cisco, by 2022, 82 % of all online content will be video content. Use video for storytelling, for thought leadership, for adding value, for showing how your products work. For makers, sharing a timelapse video of you making your products works brilliantly.
We can also show behind the scenes in our businesses or share our life outside of our businesses. What problems are we having? What makes us excited? For small business owners, video can be a great tool for connecting with their followers on a personal level.
4. User-generated content (UGC)
These raw, unpolished videos or photos that are shared by your followers are very valuable because followers find them more trustworthy. UGC looks native to the platform and therefore doesn't look like a sales pitch. Even big brands started using UGC on their platforms.
IGTV will continue to grow. If you go the Explore page on Instagram, you can see how much emphasis is given to IGTV. The thumbnail of the IGTV video is much bigger compared to the photos on the page.
Last week I attended a workshop run by Paula from Marketing Vision and Helen Perry from Not About The Kids. Helen gave us a great tip about starting a series of a theme on IGTV. Consider what you want to share with your audience and create a series of videos. If you are looking for inspiration, Helen has great tips on her blog.
6.Removal of Number of Likes
Instagram has been testing the removal of likes in several countries. If likes no longer matter, what will? Deeper interactions and conversations with followers will become more important. Are people commenting on our posts, are they saving them for future reference? We will need to think about how we can create content that will enable these.
7. Social commerce
Social referral to retail e-commerce sites has grown 110% in two years, outpacing all other referral channels.** The primary players in social commerce are Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. In the UK, there are currently 8.4 million British consumers shopping via social media and the number of UK businesses selling products through social media is set to double in 6 months. *** If you have an e-commerce business and haven't started advertising yet, there can be a huge potential for you.
In the ever-evolving world of social media, we need to embrace the changes. Here's to an amazing 2020!
*** Paypal data via Social Chain
Need help? Get in touch to book a Power Hour or book a free discovery call. Don't forget to subscribe to my email list to get my FREE pdf that will give you ideas to use in your Instagram Stories.