The light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel is coming. It might be dim, but it’s there and with it is a population looking to get back into the world and do the things that they haven’t been able to for over a year. But as much as they are returning to old behavior, the new behaviors that they have gotten used to and liked aren’t going away any time soon. eCommerce has become the norm and not just for books, everything can now be ordered online and delivered to your door. Are your marketing tools ready for the summer? Here are three things to make sure are cleaned up and ready.
1. Review your website.
Your website is still one of your most important marketing tools and the pandemic has brought the focus back to your little corner of the web. The credibility and brand focus that comes with a well made and maintained website are still seen as very important by consumers*. Here are a few things to check and correct if needed:
Are the actions you want the consumer to take above “the fold”?
Website design isn’t one-size-fits-all. It is very important to make sure that your site is designed with your customer in mind. Do they visit from a desktop or from mobile? What are they coming to do? No matter what you’re hoping they take, it is important to make sure that you have the ability to interact “above the fold” which is the spot on the site that the customer can see without scrolling. The less work they have to do, the more likely you’ll get the interaction you want.
Does your UI follow the “3-clicks” rule?
Continuing on the theme of making your site easy for customers, make sure that they can get anywhere you want them to be no more than three clicks away. While the 3-click rule has had detractors in recent years, it’s still a solid rule of thumb for general ease of navigation and SEO, specifically for Google**. With consumers doing so much more online it is even more important to make sure that customers don’t get frustrated and navigate away.
Are your images up to date?
This one feels like a no brainer, but it is shocking how outdated many website images are. It’s worth looking at your product shots and confirming that they represent your current offerings. If you are the face of your company, make sure that your photos look like the current you. Pictures are worth a thousand words, so it’s really important that they are telling the story you want them to tell.
2. Have you ignored social media?
I’m sure you’re aware that social media is no longer just an option for marketing and hasn’t been for awhile***. Unfortunately, knowing that you need to have some kind of social media presence and doing it effectively are two different things.
Have you been responsive on your social channels?
Customers are reaching out more and via social media for customer service. In fact 42% of customers expect a response to a customer service question within 60 minutes****! It’s imperative that you monitor and respond to customers quickly and accurately. If you don’t already have a process in place to do that now is a great time to do so.
Have you kept your social media posts current and relevant?
Maintaining a consistent, authentic social media presence is essential, but doesn’t need to be overwhelming. There are many services now that allow you to schedule posts for events, products, and important dates that you can predict***. More important is making sure that what you post is authentic to your brand, product, or service and also that you’re not constantly selling to your audience, which leads us to…
Are you overdoing it with sales content?
Your audience doesn’t want to be sold to, they want to be a part of a community. So while it’s important that they know what you’re offering, you can’t only post sales calls to action. The rule of thumb is 80% should be content that is educational/information/entertaining and 20% direct promotion, but Tanya Hall recently wrote on Inc.com***** that,”…an increasing number of experts argue that the 80/20 rule is not as effective anymore. The perfect percentage of social media marketing is that… there isn’t one.” She followed up with, “The trick is to find a ratio that works for you and your brand.” So give those scheduled posts a once over and make sure the content is varied.
3. Can your customers buy online?
Due to the pandemic customers have become accustomed to buying everything from groceries to furniture online. Not being able to easily enter stores has reduced the customer’s need to go in them. Window shopping now happens on an Internet browser and we can schedule a no-contact pick-up from places we used to wander around in. If you’ve been resistant to making your product offering available online, now is the time to reconsider******.
Don’t think your product is eCommerce friendly? You’re probably wrong.
Just about anything can be found online now. Many industries that used to prefer being in-person only have had to pivot to remain in business due to the pandemic. An excellent example is restaurants. Over 50% of adults increased their online shopping and the most popular spend was on restaurant delivery*******. While restaurants were certainly one of the harder hit industries in 2020, those who create an online purchase option found the customers were there to take advantage of it.
Services can be sold online too.
It’s important to remember that buying online doesn’t just mean hard goods, eCommerce for services is equally valid. Maybe it’s for an online course or a scheduled video conference consultation, but technology has made it so that anyone can be anywhere in the world.
Payment Services are easy to add to any website.
Websites now offer easy plugins and widgets to make paying directly on the site easy to do********. With services like PayPal, Stripe, and Square offering free hardware and low transaction fees there are simple, low entry cost ways to start accepting payments making purchases easier for both you and your customer.
These probably aren’t mind blowing revelations for you, and they shouldn’t be. Remember this is spring cleaning, a deep dive and sprucing up of our marketing tools, not a revamp. It’s a good idea to review these elements every few months, so get to it!