5 digital marketing tactics helping our clients navigate lockdown
When the lockdown was announced back in March, most businesses fell into one of two groups. Some were lucky enough to be able to close the office and start working from home (like us). Others had to shut down operations and temporarily close their doors (like many of our clients).
You probably heard about many businesses who halted their digital marketing activity overnight. You may be one of them. Money is, of course, the overriding factor in this decision. But, wherever possible, we urged our clients to continue some level of marketing activity if they could.
How digital marketing changed for small businesses in lockdown
For businesses who needed to close temporarily, we recommended a slowing down of their digital marketing activity. It was important it did not cease to exist overnight, which would negatively impact their website rankings, social reach, and online visibility in general.
The process of slowing down looked a little different for each client, but some common tactics helped across the board. Here’s the team to explain what they are.
First up is Sean – our resident SEO and web wizard
TACTIC 1: Communicating changes via the website and google listings
The main priority for me when lockdown was announced was finding out what disruption there was to business operations, services, opening hours and ordering, and making this immediately apparent on client websites.
One effective way we did this was by creating custom homepage popups with information for web visitors.
For our client BASI Bathrooms, we designed a pop up explaining they were no longer taking new bookings. It was clear for customers and visitors to the website, and stopped people calling to find out.
The popup included a link to a free downloadable bathroom planning guide, providing a reason for visitors to remember BASI and an incentive for them to return.
TACTIC 2: Keeping websites healthy and maintained
Maintaining search rankings and keeping websites in good health has been hugely important, particularly where paid search campaigns and/or social media advertising has paused.
It takes daily maintenance to keep websites active and secure. This wasn’t something that should stop because clients couldn’t fulfil orders.
Where it may not have been appropriate to continue producing the same level of new content, we’ve made sure websites are fast, responsive, and still bringing in visitors. When it’s possible to start taking new orders, clients will be prepared to do so.
Next is me – Amy – copywriter and content lead
TACTIC 3: How-tos and tips led content for at home
We plan content for clients three months in advance and much of this became redundant as the pandemic took hold. With people at home and looking for ways to occupy themselves, we changed tact to tap into this.
My immediate priority was amending client content plans, proposing new email schedules, and researching new blog topics. I resubmitted these plans to clients and continued tweaking them as the situation progressed.
The new plans included some essential COVID-19 communications. But, for the most part, we concentrated on keeping audiences interested and engaged during the interim. How-to guides and tips articles were central to this strategy.
Have you tried any DIY recently? https://t.co/pBAwANfKTJ
— BASI Bathrooms (@BasiBathrooms) June 14, 2020
We created home coffee making guides for mobile coffee supplier, The Barista, and easy DIY projects for heating and bathrooms installer, BASI. For clients able to contribute to the frontline effort, we concentrated on sharing these stories.
It wasn’t easy to know what to say at first, but we found ways to keeps websites and social feeds active using helpful guides, ideas, and behind the scenes stories.
Ben explains his top tactic on social media
TACTIC 4: LinkedIn articles from the MD
Writing LinkedIn articles is a great way of filling in your customers on the latest developments and changes going on in your business.
Business owners and managers have a lot on right now. With less time and fewer resources, marketing is something that inevitably slips down the list. But, with uncertainty sweeping every industry, communicating with customers and prospects is even more important.
I help clients to communicate clearly with their audience in the right tone, via ghost-writing first-person LinkedIn articles. 97% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn for content marketing and that’s down to engagement. When users browse LinkedIn, they are ‘on duty’ so to speak, making them responsive to ideas that can help them succeed in their roles.
In the days and weeks following the start of lockdown, we used the LinkedIn profiles of senior leaders to talk directly to their audiences and wider industries. It helped them stay a part of the conversation, even when they couldn’t find time or words themselves.
It’s times like these that you learn a lot about yourself, your business and those you work with every day.
Here’s what Managing Director, Peter Sharpe, has learned… https://t.co/182MlykSPw
— Invicta Attachments (@Invicta_attach) April 24, 2020
Finally, we hear from our in-house graphic designer, Aymeelee
TACTIC 5: Clear and eye-catching visual messages
The past few months have seen an avalanche of daily information. We need to share key messages and announcements with audiences – without them getting lost.
Following the lockdown announcement, I spent time creating and updating graphics for social media that could be pinned to the top of social pages. These contained information about current operations, making it immediately clear what services were available to customers and how they could access them.
We designed graphics to promote one-off campaigns and initiatives too, like this NHS donation campaign from FASTSIGNS Leeds. These graphics are simple in format but travel further than text alone.
We’ve created a number of banners celebrating the everyday heroes making a real difference! ?♂️?♀️
Order one for your business and we’ll make a donation straight to the NHS and related charities.?
Call on 0113 248 3500 or email us at email@example.com.
* Price +VAT & carriage pic.twitter.com/e0qR85Kqe4
— FASTSIGNS Leeds (@FASTSIGNSLeeds) April 16, 2020
We hope you’ve found these digital marketing tactics useful. They aren’t new or groundbreaking ideas, but they are practical ways we’ve found to keep our client’s online marketing alive during these rapidly changing times.