Archive for April, 2020

Email Marketing springs into action around COVID-19 pandemic

April 27th, 2020 by Heather Maloney

Since the launch of Enudge in 2006, email marketing has continued to be the single most cost effective digital marketing opportunity there is, bar none. It achieves the highest engagement, at the lowest cost per send.

Of course you can’t use email marketing alone because it relies on you having your own list of consenting subscribers in order to comply with Spam Act legislation, and therefore you need an alternate way to reach prospects and acquire leads. However, it is a well-known fact that it is a lot easier to inspire your existing customers to buy from you again, than it is to convince a new customer to try you. So for your existing clients, email marketing is of paramount importance.

The level of email marketing since the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic has grown significantly. Some email service providers are reporting increases in email volumes during March of 20% over normal levels, and anecdotally the level of communications has been obvious in our inbox.

The level of engagement with emails has also increased significantly, as people are highly motivated to understand the impact of the virus on their customers and suppliers, and to keep up to date on the latest news.

In March I wrote to our Enudge subscribers, providing tips on how to communicate during this difficult time.

As our governments start to move on bringing us back to some form of normality, we expect to see another shift in the use of email marketing by organisations as they:

  • Start to revert to business as usual, and encourage pre-virus behaviours to return. We expect to see special incentives to be included in the messaging to help spark activity again. Rather than focused on just surviving, we anticipate incentives around getting ready to capitalise on the return of activity, and getting ahead of the game.
  • Want to make sure that customers remember them first, as the economy turns around, and not get lost in the sea of communication that is present when everyone is doing well. However, care will need to be taken to remain empathetic, as for many the impact of the virus on infected loved ones, or the economic slowdown, will have long term effects.
  • Announce what they have been working on to help customers return to [the new] normal. Rather than stand down staff, some organisations are using this time to finally get around to the projects they were wanting to create to help better serve their customers.
  • Continue the goodwill that has been generated through the care shown to others during the pandemic. Of course, this needs to be genuine – any sign of profiteering will backfire!

We expect there will be a renewed flurry of email marketing actvity, as the wind back of restrictions takes effect, followed by a gradual reduction back to pre-virus levels of email marketing.

Have you planned your communications during the pathway out of the pandemic? We’re here to help, even if it’s just to toss some ideas around. Of course, if you have not yet wrestled your email database and regular email activities into submission, we can definitely help.

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Why Businesses Need to Keep Up with Search Engine Optimisation During COVID-19.

April 6th, 2020 by Vidhi Doshy

Just like Rome can’t be built in a day, the same goes for high performing search engine optimisation (‘SEO’).

Search Engine Optimisation isn’t a short-term tactic. Consequently, this is one area of your digital marketing where a long-term plan is required.

Businesses have been greatly impacted, either directly due to restrictions on the services they can supply, or indirectly due to overall dampening of the economy as a result of COVID-19. In such a time, it is understandable that businesses are looking for ways to reduce expenses. However, we feel that it is important to give a word of caution before you cut your spend on SEO.

Search engine ranks are grown, or are damaged, over time.

There are a large number of factors that Google’s algorithms take into consideration when determining whether or not to show your website as the best result for a search. These factors include:

  • The freshness of your content. That’s why blogs are so important. They are usually dated, and a way of providing the latest information to searchers. Google can tell if your content has been updated or not, including behind-the-page optimisation and adjustments. If you pause your SEO, it’s likely that your site will start to look less fresh and be given a lower rank.

    Now might be a great time for you to write the white papers that you have been gathering data for, over time, or to create the additional help documentation, or resources your clients need to better understand what you do for them.
  • Natural Growth. Growing your content in a natural way (slowly over time) is likely to look more like valuable, authoritative content compared to a sudden burst of new content.
  • Authority conferred by shares. If your new content is shared over social media, and the destination of back links, then your content is also deemed as more valuable for search results by Google. If you aren’t adding content, you are missing this opportunity to build your ranks and website authority.

Aside from the above factors, if you pause your search engine optimisation during the COVID-19 pandemic, you are unlikely to be aware if your competitor’s ranks are overtaking your website ranks. Perhaps they are adding new content or services, or are using new strategies to rank on the terms you are competing for ranks on. The sooner you are aware of the change in your competitive landscape, the more quickly you can take action.

One area Contactpoint addresses as part of search engine optimisation activities for our clients is their Google My Business account. Google My Business has recently offered various features in terms of post, revised opening hours for business, events and COVID 19 Business updates that you can add to your Google My Business account.

At a time when we’re all searching for more comfort, these features allow your organisation to provide your customers with additional help. Using Events and Offers could be beneficial to your business to promote your virtual event, consultation or a training course that you may be offering.

We have also seen that posting articles via Google My Business has increased traffic and visibility for our client’s businesses. Articles can only be 2-3 paragraphs in length, and so will likely point to the full article on your website. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like some help with utilising Google My Business to promote your organisation.

Another approach to help your local SEO during this time is to tap on the power of positive reviews. Online reputation management is very important during difficult times. Going out of your way to provide virtual consultation or virtual assistance to potential or existing customers when they need it most during this COVID-19 pandemic will likely reward your business with an encouraging review.

Undertaking monthly maintenance of your website to organically improve its ranks is like exercising to lose weight. You cannot experience the advantages of exercising in the short-term however if you keep at it diligently over time you see and experience the advantages. If you quit exercising you may not notice a lot of contrast in a couple of days or even a few weeks. But, to get back to being fit, after an extensive stretch of idleness is a lot harder than keeping up wellness over a similar timeframe. SEO is in many ways similar to this analogy of exercise.

If your competitors stop their SEO activities during this downturn, and you do not, it will be your competitors who are playing catch up in a few months’ time and you will be well prepared to keep your business growing.

“Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful”.
– Warren Buffet

If you are interested to learn more about how SEO strategies can help your business, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

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