Adapting and finding new ways to drive revenue amid the pandemic could be the key to businesses surviving.
Digital marketing, social media marketing and online reputation management are just part of that strategy. Pivoting, adjusting and modifying business strategies are a must to reach this new business normal, said Dan Vonderheide, director of national accounts for Digital Air Strike.
“We need to look at what’s next,” Vonderheide said during a recent Digital Air Strike-hosted webinar, “10 Ways to Over Deliver & Drive Revenue After COVID-19.” “I don’t think it will be business as usual. I think everybody needs to pivot and change. Literally everything has changed around us.”
Here are 10 strategies, with some added bonuses, of how Digital Air Strike is helping businesses pivot and drive more revenue:
- 1. Connect with your customers on social media. Now more than ever most people are on social media, especially during quarantine and shelter-in-place mandates. It’s important to take advantage of that. Facebook use has increased 53%. Instagram use has increased 32%. Twitter’s daily usage jumped 23% during Q1 of this year. “If your business is not actively on social media, I think that’s a real problem,” Vonderheide said. “Your customers are on there so let’s make sure you are too, and actively engaging with them. Let them know you’re open, what your new hours are, what you’re doing to sanitize and keep your employees and customers safe.”
- 2. Respond to all comments on social media. Create posts that encourage engagement to make sure you respond to all comments and messages. If you’re not responding to your customers, it’s just awkward. “Dedicate an employee to respond to and engage with all comments on social media,” he said. “The cost of ignoring social media can turn prospects away without businesses even knowing it.”
- 3. Promote all specials and announcements on your Google My Business Listing. The free Google Tiles show star ratings, your business address and your hours of operation, but they also show your competitors. You don’t want to push customers to the competition. “The first page of Google is the pristine real estate to be on,” Vonderheide said. “You can put tons of different things in these tiles: your safety measures, staff, products and services, display coupons, specials and offers.” Each item can take customers to a landing page with more information. Be unique and use silent, short, timely videos in your tiles to keep customers further engaged and share helpful content. DAS has a free webinar that shows businesses how to optimize their Google My Business page, click here to see the webinar. “It’s not a set-it-up and forget it,” he said. “Over 50% of these customers may never make it to your website. Optimizing it and updating it is very important. This should be a zero-click search. The only click they should be making is the click to call your business. Put as many things as you can on that page to push the competition down.”
- 4. Monitor Your Online Reputation. When you go online looking for a product or service, most people look at reviews. Star ratings impact which business a customer chooses, but also affects how high your business ranks in results. Having positive reviews about your business makes it more likely to show up in the coveted local pack of results. Make sure you’re posting fun and exciting content to get engagement from your customers. Ask for feedback and give out something free. “People love free things,” Vonderheide said. “You want people talking and sharing your content. That’s a great way to see if things are really working for you.”
- 5. Survey your customers and get actionable feedback. Customers appreciate your efforts to keep them safe and respond to their questions and concerns. It’s important to have the highest five-star rating and have fresh, current, positive reviews. “DAS has lots of tools to get those positive rules and push them across the internet,” he said. Make sure to send your customers a survey that is short and concise, with five questions max. Questions could include: How likely are you to refer a friend to our business? Please tell us what you liked about your experience. Please tell us if there is anything we can improve upon.
- 6. Respond to all online reviews. Address any customer issues and show you care about resolving them. If people write a positive review, you should also respond. That person gave you major kudos, took time out of their day, so don’t let that fact go unnoticed. “We educate and help clients respond to all reviews. It shows you’re actually listening and shows that you actually care,” Vonderheide said. “Be conscious of what your reputation is online. According to consumers, businesses that respond to reviews are two times more trustworthy than businesses that don’t, according to Google.” When fixing any issues, show your customers how you fixed the problem. Turn those consumers into faithful reviewers. Knowing how to respond to negative reviews and the do’s and don’ts when responding to reviews is key. Find out how to respond to negative reviews the right way by reading this blog.
- 7. Use targeted advertising on social media to reach the right people with the right message. 67% of consumers find ads on social media helpful, and 51% of consumers have bought something via a social ad. “These ads are so targeted now. It’s great from a digital marketing standpoint,” he said. “It’s important because you can push out a specific, targeted message. Whatever type of business you have, you can find that targeted demographic.” Figure out what your business’ lookalike audience is. Target similar users with similar attributes as your contacts that are more likely to convert. Use the Facebook pixel on your website to target active shoppers that have previously visited your website. “Retargeting is a really cool way to track customers who were interested in buying something on your site,” Vonderheide said. “You can also do geofencing, so if someone drives by or walks by a specific business they can get nearby ads, specials and/or events. You can get so specific and granular.”
- 8. Use video to communicate with customers. Digital Air Strike works with a lot of senior living communities, which unfortunately, have been one of the hardest hit with this pandemic. While a lot of family members can’t do tours or see their loved ones staying at the facility, they can send real-time videos for welcome checks. This is just one example of how to use targeted, customized videos in your business. Videos should be 60 seconds or less. “Video is a cool way to communicate with your customers. Show customers your business is open and safe,” he said. “Highlight your offers and incentives. Include testimonials, product and service details. Make it easy for customers to engage with your business from the video.” DAS hosted a recent webinar with Google showing how consumers prefer video over almost everything else. Watch that here. Users consume over 1 billion hours of video a day on YouTube. Placing a video on your landing page will increase conversions by more than 80%. 71% of consumers who viewed a video ended up making a purchase. Learn five easy ways to add video to your business by clicking here.
- 9. Leverage intelligent chatbots to assist customers and nurture leads 24/7. Use your website chat to promote that you’re open for business and display your online options. More than 80% of shoppers go to your website when you’re closed. Capture that data with a chatbot. Add artificial intelligence that answers and asks qualifying questions. Use an integrated calendar so customers can schedule appointments. “What’s better than waking up and seeing a full schedule of appointments?” Vonderheide asked. “Use a vendor like DAS, that offers chatbot services. Employees can jump into that chat in real time. Turn those customers on the chatbot into clients. It’s really neat to capture that.” Ensure that you are tracking all conversations and leads.
- 10. Use text messaging to communicate with consumers. People get a lot of emails, but companies rarely get an email response. “People are inundated with emails, but boy, when you get that text, you pick up that phone and check,” he said. Ninety-five percent of text messages are read within three minutes, but consumers only open one in five emails. Bulk text messages help you stay in front of your customers and prospects. Ensure you have a team or technology to respond. You can also put video in your text messages to make it even more customized.
- Bonus tip: Review your budget and stop what’s not working. Look at monthly digital marketing spends to see what you’re spending. Are you really getting a good return on that? It’s important to analyze and see if your spending is working? Is it time to change it up? “We have yet to find one of our clients that wasn’t wasting money somewhere, sometimes thousands of dollars in one month,” he said. “A lot of companies are doubling up on services. They were paying two different people to do the same thing on certain services. Make sure you’re not overspending.” Request a free, no-obligation cost savings analysis here.
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