Marketing in a post-pandemic world – tools to help
The UK is set to leave lockdown on 21st June 2021
The official roadmap out of lockdown has been revealed, and the Government has outlined a clear plan on when different restrictions are due to be lifted.
Outdoor hospitality, non-essential retail, indoor leisure centres and more could open as early as April 12th 2021. Whereas, indoor hospitality is due to open on May 17th at the earliest.
This means that now is the time to make sure your digital marketing strategy is ready for the steady return to pre-pandemic life.
Assess your business’ current position
Before you get started, you need to assess your business’ current position. Many businesses have been negatively affected by the pandemic, and making money and staying afloat is now the number one priority.
On the other hand, some businesses have seen massive growth over the course of the pandemic, and stakeholders now have to think about how to maintain this.
Analysing your business’ current position will help to guide you on the next steps to take to help you prepare for society to re-open. To do this, you can ask yourself and your team questions such as:
- Have you made changes to your digital strategy during the pandemic?
- Have you increased or decreased marketing spend during this time?
- Is your business in a better or worse position than prior to lockdown?
Rebuild your business with a tailored digital strategy
It’s important to use a blended approach when it comes to your marketing strategy. This involves using a combination of quick-wins, like PPC ads and Facebook ads, as well as strategies that generate results over the longer-term, such as content marketing campaigns.
This approach will help you to boost your business and generate revenue in the short-term, whilst also helping you to grow your business on a long-term basis. In the current era of unpredictability, it’s essential to cover all bases to make sure your business and your digital strategy is protected at all times.
Digital marketing strategies that deliver quick results
Short-term digital strategies are beneficial for businesses that need to see instant results. This includes:
- Increased conversions
- More enquiries
- More leads
- More sales
- A faster ROI
With short-term strategies, you don’t need to wait for your organic traffic or SERP rankings to increase before you see any of the above changes. Instead, your results are based on your available budget, your target audience and your competitors’ ad spend.
For paid social media and retargeting, however, it’s crucial that your ads are visually engaging to ensure that people click through to your site.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
PPC ads are a great way to generate quick results for your business, and there are two main types to choose from. This includes:
- Google AdWords
- Bing Ads
There are other PPC ad platforms on the market, however, Google and Bing are amongst the most popular.
How does PPC work?
When you set up a PPC ad campaign, your site will be positioned at the top of the organic search results for a given search term or keyword. You will then pay a pre-determined fee each time someone clicks on your ad.
In order to extract the maximum value from your campaign, you’ll also need to optimise:
- PPC landing pages
- Ad copy
Benefits of PPC advertising
There are a number of benefits to this advertising method. Including:
- Suitable for B2B and B2C businesses
- Offers quick online visibility
- It can generate significant returns when executed well
How to decide on your PPC budget
Deciding on the optimum budget for your PPC campaign is no mean feat. In these turbulent times, we understand that every pound counts, and it’s all about making your marketing budget stretch as far as possible.
There are many factors that you need to consider when deciding on your budget. This includes:
- The competitiveness of your niche
- Keyword research and keyword intent
- Website conversion rate
- Geographic area
Read our guide on landing page optimisation and PPC for more information.
Google Shopping is another method many businesses uses to boost their online visibility quickly.
As of April 2020, you can list your products on Google Shopping for free, helping you to open your business up to even more potential customers. However, you can also use Google Shopping ads to position your products at the top of SERPs.
How do Google Shopping ads work?
Google Shopping ads work in a similar way to AdWords and Bing Ads. You only pay when an individual clicks on your ad. However, unlike other PPC platforms, Google Shopping uses product images as well as copy.
Google Shopping benefits
There a whole host of benefits to using the Google Shopping platform. This includes:
- More clicks – The use of images helps to increase the number of clicks through to your site
- Improved UX – Google shopping takes you straight to the product page
- Customer intent is more clear – Shopping ads are shown to people who are ready to buy
Retargeting can help you to bring relevant traffic to your site, and it can increase your chances of securing conversions. This is another great option for those who want to see results as quickly as possible.
How does retargeting work?
Retargeting, or remarketing, involves showing targeted ads to people who have already visited your site.
When you set up a retargeting campaign, this data will be used to create an audience to advertise to. This is also known as a lookalike audience.
The benefits of retargeting campaigns
There are a number of benefits to doing this. This includes:
- Reaching prospects that are already interested in your product or services
- Improved conversion rates
- Increased click-through rates
- Builds brand recognition
- Works for both B2B and B2C audiences
Read our guide on the benefits of remarketing for more information.
How much does a retargeting campaign cost?
Typically, a retargeting campaign requires a smaller budget, when compared to a PPC campaign. However, there are a variety of factors that will influence your retargeting campaign budget and costs. This includes:
- Bid strategy
- Ad schedule
- Target audience size
- Click-through rate
- Frequency cap settings
- Audience membership duration
- Your landing page experience
It’s important to remember that if you’re a newly established business, retargeting may not bring you the best ROI. This is because you won’t have enough website traffic to be able to retarget effectively in the initial stages of your campaign.
However, if your business generates a good level of traffic, retargeting can help you generate more sales by reaching out to audiences who are already interested in your products or services.
Paid Social Media
Paid social media adverts come in all shapes and sizes. This includes:
With a wealth of options out there to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start. Generally, social media adverts work well for e-commerce businesses. On the other hand, service-based businesses may benefit more from PPC search ads.
The platform you choose will largely depend on the type of people you want to target.
How do paid social media ads work?
With paid social media ads, you pay a certain amount to get your advertisement in front of your intended audience. This could take the form of an Instagram story ad, a promoted LinkedIn post, a Facebook banner ad or more.
With paid social media ads, you can create a target audience from variables such as:
- Age range
- Geographical location
- Interests e.g. Liked Facebook pages, Pinterest posts etc.
This is known as a custom audience, and this helps you to put your brand, product or service in front of the right people.
Types of paid social media ads
There is a wide range of paid social media formats to choose from, however, they are all visual. This means that you’ll need to design an ad that is as engaging as possible to encourage people to click. Some of the most common social media ad formats include:
- Image ads
- Carousel ads
- Product ads
- Collection ads
- Interactive ads
- Lead form ads
- Video ads
- Text ads
Benefits of paid social media marketing
Some of the main benefits of social media advertisements include:
- Increases brand awareness – This is useful for new businesses
- Cost-effective – You only pay when someone clicks on an ad
- Many different formats to choose from – You can experiment with the ad formats that work best with your audience
- Clear success metrics e.g. cost per click, cost per add to basket etc.
Long-term digital strategies for business growth
On the other hand, some digital strategies take longer to take effect – but this doesn’t mean that they’re any less valuable! Using long-term strategies alongside short-term ones can help you to future-proof your business and achieve continued growth.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
There are many different components of SEO. This includes:
- Technical SEO e.g. Site speed, site structure and more.
- On-page SEO e.g. On-site content
- Off-page SEO e.g. Backlinks
Focusing above points will help to boost your site’s rankings and organic traffic.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and similarly, an SEO campaign is a long term strategy. Although you won’t see instantaneous results, your investment can lead to long-term business growth. It takes a minimum of 6 months to gain traction on an SEO campaign. However, depending on the competitiveness of the keywords you target and the current state of your website, this can take upwards of 12 months. Therefore, it’s important to consistently review your SEO strategy to maintain rankings and generate traffic.
Take a look at our complete guide to SEO for more information.
Benefits of SEO for your business
You could experience a whole host of benefits by honing your SEO strategy in the final stages of lockdown. This includes:
- Long-term traffic growth
- Qualified traffic results in more conversions
- Helps to build brand trust and credibility
When combined with a successful paid ad campaign, SEO can boost your business in a significant way. Read our guide on the benefits of a combined PPC and SEO strategy to learn more.
Content marketing is a tried-and-tested means of generating new business, and it’s utilised by leading brands such as P&G, Microsoft and more. This involves creating different types of content, that don’t explicitly promote your product or service but will help to generate website traffic, boost brand awareness or stimulate interest in your offering.
It typically takes 6 to 9 months before you start seeing results from a content marketing campaign. Therefore, now is the time to start implementing a robust content marketing plan, so you can reap the rewards when lockdown ends.
The benefits of content marketing
Outside of financial rewards, there are many more advantages to using content marketing for your business. This includes:
- Boosting your organic traffic
- Improving brand reputation
- Increased referral traffic
- Establishes trust with your audience
Not only this, but you can choose the type of content that resonates best with your audience. No matter whether it’s blog posts, videos, social media posts or more, you can easily use content marketing to rebuild your business after the pandemic.
Still not converting?
If you’re not getting the results you need from paid or organic campaigns, you may need to take a closer look at your site to see why website visitors aren’t converting.
Web Design & UI
Your website’s design, UX (user experience) and UI (user interface) can all play a part in whether your website visitors convert.
It’s important to remember people’s priorities have changed significantly over the course of the pandemic. Many people have been impacted financially, mentally and physically in some way, therefore, your website design may need some changes to ensure that you’re still serving your customers in the best way.
CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation)
Driving traffic to a website with a poor UX and UI means that your efforts may not give you the results you need. At this point, you may need to look to CRO to provide an insight into why your newly generated traffic is not converting as well as it should be.
This can provide a wealth of benefits for your business, including:
- Helping you to improve your website’s customer journey
- Providing a better user experience
- Helping you to understand what’s blocking conversions
- Boosts website conversions
Some CRO changes can have a significant impact in the short term, however, A/B testing, generating heatmaps and data analysis can take a lot of time. It is generally recommended to wait at least 2 weeks before analysing the data from your heatmaps. Whereas, A/B tests can generate results in 3 weeks or less, depending on how much traffic your website gets.
You can only test or change one variable at a time when running an A/B test. Therefore, the number of tests you run will depend on how many aspects of your site you want to change. This can include anything from CTA button colours and product page layout to the navigation menu structure.
You also want the results of your A/B test to be trustworthy, therefore, you’ll need a statistically significant sample size. This can involve some complicated calculations, but you can also use this sample size calculator to find out how big your sample should be.
For small businesses with few website visitors, it can take several months to generate enough data to analyse for CRO. Whereas, large websites may generate the same amount of traffic in a matter of weeks. To find out how long to run your A/B test for, use this calculator.
Once you’ve run your tests, you’ll need to analyse their results to see what’s blocking conversions, or to see how your website could be improved.
Heat map results can easily show you any pain points in your website users’ journey, and they can highlight which areas of your site are not receiving clicks. A/B test results are also instantaneous, so when the test is complete, you’ll find out which variant produced the desired action.
Download our guide to get started
We’ve put together a handy guide to help you, your business and your digital strategy get back on-track after the pandemic. In this guide, we cover everything from data analysis and SEO to PPC and more to give you all the tools you need to boost your business.
Fill in your name and email address below to get our FREE guide!
We can help with your post-pandemic bounceback strategy
Here at CandidSky, we understand just how tough the pandemic has been on businesses, and we’re here to help set things right.
We can help you to prepare your digital marketing strategy for the reopening of society, so you can bounce back with a bang. Get in touch with a member of our team today to see how we can help you.