It’s been a while since the quarantine/lockdown was implemented here in the UK. Businesses were mandated to close their offices. Everyone was advised to stay at home to contain the COVID-19 virus and alleviate the number of infections.
Thankfully the UK can now look at easing its coronavirus lockdown restrictions and begin operating again, but let’s not be under any illusion, It’s going to be difficult achieving normality again!
After weeks of slowing down and dramatically changing your way of life, you might struggle to handle the ins and outs of your business. But don’t worry, you still have time before the lockdown is lifted to get yourself and your business back up to full speed! It won’t ever be ‘normal’ again and there will be a lot going through your mind, so, where do you need to start?
Well luckily, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, you will find some useful tips and tricks that will help you get your business ready for post-lockdown:-
1. Prepare Campaigns
More than a month has passed and you may feel rusty, but the long wait is finally over. You’ll once again be back in full flow and begin to prepare lead generating campaigns once more. At first, it will feel strange and new. You might not even feel confident in your marketing campaign, but there’s nothing to worry about and you’re not alone! Other businesses will also have the same experience. The trick here is to continue to inform your customers about the quality of your services/products.
Since none of us knows how and when this pandemic will end, you may want to consider incorporating some safety precautions into your marketing campaign - resolving pain points and providing workable and future-proofed solutions for your target audience should always be your top priority.
2. Tweak Some of Your SEO Efforts
‘Search Engine Optimisation’ is a very powerful tactic that helps improve your return on investment, boosts credibility, drives quality web traffic, targets all stages of your buying funnel, increases brand awareness, generates more leads, maximizes your PPC campaigns, helps you stand out from your competitors, makes your digital marketing technique stronger, decreases the advertising costs, and drives long-term success.
To ensure you reap the benefits of SEO, you need to have a good search engine ranking, you must have a content plan to ensure your site is keyword-rich. That doesn’t mean keyword stuffing, that can be the bane of your search engine optimisation performance. The trick is to create quality and relevant content specific to your audience e.g. providing a useful blog will encourage visitors to stay longer on your website, it proves to the likes of Google that your page is relevant to specific keywords and search terms.
Have you ever clicked on a link and opened a 404 page? It’s disappointing, right? Broken links result in poor usability. Search engines also consider broken links as a sign of a neglected or old website. This impacts your SEO ranking so you need to constantly manage your website and ensure that it's up to date, has relevant content and no broken links, conduct intensive and reliable testing via the numerous applications and tools available.
3. Setup Automation
As soon as the lockdown is lifted, you will be extremely busy when you go back. You will have to prepare new marketing campaigns, track employees, deal with the payroll, catch up with clients, rebuild your pipeline and handle many other tedious tasks.
However, there’s a way to take your business processes to the next level without compromising the quality of your services or affecting productivity - Automation!
By automating tasks, reminders, email workflows, reporting statistics etc. you will not only reduce workload and save time, but you will also be able to focus on the more important and pressing tasks giving yourself a much better chance of achieving success.
Some areas you can automate in detail below?
- Customer Support - It may be considered easy to answer customer questions and queries, but in reality, it's much more difficult. To help reduce hassle, consider automating your customer support as early as you can. Leveraging the tools available to you such as chatbots is one of the simplest ways to manage this.
- Marketing - While marketing requires lots of thought and manual input, there are aspects you can automate. Email marketing and content marketing are good examples. You can use content curation tools to send emails at strategic moments as well as for retargeting purposes. You can also take advantage of content scheduling tools such as HubSpot to help plan for the future.
Why Is Automation Worth It?
The automation of your business processes is a great investment - Implemented properly, it's cost-effective and efficient, will increase productivity, streamline communications, improve the quality of leads and provide greater visibility. Furthermore, it will deliver operational stability and provide greater customer satisfaction and ROI.
4. Digitally Transform Your Business
Digital transformation is a determining factor of business success. It can unlock the potential of a business. Transformative and cutting-edge technologies have already entered the workplace setting, enabling businesses of any size and type to survive and thrive.
Once a company has successfully achieved digital transformation, employees will become more effective in their job. Automating finance, HR, and other core business functions will be smooth and simple. Business owners can also focus on wider opportunities that can drive sales and ROI.
There are many areas within a business that lends itself to digital transformation and there are also as many different tools, applications and complete solutions to match. One such solution that we can highly recommend for sales and marketing (based on our very own experience) is HubSpot. Comprehensive automation and inbound marketing platform that delivers everything you and your business needs. It is specially tailored to help you execute, manage, and measure all of your inbound marketing activities without hassles or stress of multiple platforms.
An all-in-one tool, HubSpot takes your social presence to a new level, boosts conversions, promotes lead tracking, simplifies search engine optimisation, enables you to easily manage and edit your website and content. In addition to the comprehensive marketing tools, it seamlessly marries marketing and sales via the HubSpot CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool - Which leads us onto our next point.
5. Invest in a Quality CRM
When the lockdown was implemented in the UK, many businesses were investing their time wisely and looking at ways of streamlining and improving processes, especially in sales and ways of improving efficiency and of course sales themselves.
One of the many areas sales leaders/departments are looking to improve is data management and the sales process itself. Besides looking at people, other key focus areas are the CRM and how it can improve sales figures.
How does CRM work? Well, businesses of any size want to establish a solid and long-term relationship with their customers. But it is easier said than done. A feature-packed and effective CRM delivers many benefits. It functions as a centralised database where small, mid-sized, and large businesses can access and nurture information on their existing customers and leads. This can include recent purchases, current transactions, previous interactions and much more. Using a CRM allows you to streamline and optimise the entire sales process from cradle through to grave!
Now, what CRM should you use? Depending upon business complexities and required integrations to estimating software, accounts etc. tends to determine the CRM you choose. However, HubSpot CRM is ideal for beginners and experienced users alike. Simple, fast and effective, the HubSpot CRM is a platform that allows sales teams to get started without totally changing your internal working methods, it can be amended to suit your needs (without expensive charges) and work with your salespeople. Furthermore... there is a free version available so you can test drive without the risk of a failed investment!
6. Prepare ABM Campaigns
Once you have implemented your sales process and CRM, your job does not stop there. Consider investigating an ABM approach - Account-Based Marketing.
What is ABM?
As an alternative B2B strategy, ABM concentrates marketing resources and sales on a well-defined set of target accounts, then you employ personalised campaigns that respond to the needs and requirements of every possible lead.
To implement ABM, you should gather your entire sales team together and discuss your ideal customer targets, what are the best accounts you could win for your business? Define your goals and strategy and look at what success looks like so you can accurately measure all activity.
Why do you create an ABM campaign? Usually when marketing it’s best to segment your audience. Not all of your customers will have the same challenges or needs, and so your communications must reflect that in order to resonate. When it comes to ABM you’re segmenting and personalising your communications even further.
It’s a focused campaign aimed at engaging with the key decision-makers. And by having a defined, detailed prospect list you can ensure each and every communication is unique and relevant to the individual. From sending personalised emails to perhaps a unique direct mail piece to by-pass gatekeepers, every touch-point is valid, personal and relevant.
Upon setting your objectives, it’s imperative you select your ABM technology to scale your campaign. Will you be trying sequences and automated workflows? A LinkedIn campaign or perhaps direct mail? You may want to incorporate all three. Whichever it is, ensure you go with the right tools.
Now, identify your target accounts, pick your channels, craft your messaging, implement your campaigns, start your sales outreach, and evaluate.
7. Prepare Content
Prior to lockdown restrictions being removed and your business going back to normal, there are numerous tasks you have to complete, including the creation of lead generation campaigns and associated content. Since you still have time, prepare content such as blogs, guides, and videos that resonate with your audience. It’s worth identifying and reminding yourself of their needs, preferences, and requirements. If you don’t have the skills to write a web page or prepare other pieces of marketing content, it’s best to hire a qualified and certified specialist.
8. Grow Your Network
Growing a network is key to any business or individual. Strive to expand your reach through LinkedIn. Ensure sure your team members have consistent messaging and branding across their profiles. Avoid hard-selling, meaningful posts will resonate and matter more. Then, connect with your target market to build long-term relationships. If you have enough budget, automate the process to save your time while increasing your connections with quality and not quantity! There are many other social platforms you can use aside from LinkedIn. Ask your colleagues and customers what they use and even referrals to alternatives.
9. Develop Your Website
Finally, we have your website. You should ensure your website is developed and designed to be the best it can be, after all, it is your digital shop window that prospects and customers will go to when researching their options. It must represent your business in the best possible light - First impressions and all that!
If you’re unsure of what can be done to improve your site or even what your audience wants to see, then simply look at your top competitors, what are they doing well and what they're not, look at your analytics to see if your site is attracting the right type of visitor and how many, is your website geared for conversion, are there any drop off points. Use HotJar to see heat maps of where users scroll and interact the most.
But, if you’re still unsure on how to best improve your site or want to rebuild it then don’t worry! You’re currently reading this blog from one of the top marketing agencies in the country. We have a creative and diverse team that will build your business’ ideal website. We’re committed to providing bespoke and effective solutions that will drive business success.