Justin Deaville is Managing Director at Receptional, a multi-award winning digital marketing agency, based in Bedford. Founded in 1999, Receptional has been committed to driving more traffic, sales and profits for Bedfordshire businesses for over twenty years.
In a recent webinar hosted by the Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce, Justin shared his advice on how businesses can get the most out of their marketing budget and come "roaring out of" the COVID-19 crisis.
Justin outlined ten tactics - all free or very cost-effective - that you can use right away.
1. Invest in your data
There are a number of free or cost-effective tools available that can provide you with valuable insights into your website traffic. Here are some examples:
- Google Search Console - helps you measure your site's search traffic and performance and identify issues that need fixing
- Google Analytics - lets you measure your advertising ROI as well as your Flash, video and social networking sites and apps - all in one place
- LinkedIn - provides free, valuable insights into your website traffic
- Facebook pixel - this is code you place on your website that allows you to track conversions from Facebook ads
- Google Data Studio - turns your data into informative, easy to read reports and dashboards that can be shared across your business
2. Refocus your ad spend
Understanding your target audience is key - and the best ad campaigns are those led by data and research. LinkedIn’s website demographic tool is a powerful free tool to better understand your audience. Discover the job titles, seniority, function, industry, company, company size and location of visitors to your website. And you can filter by website area or traffic source.
If you are interested in learning more, Receptional has created a free eBook all about LinkedIn website demographics, including how to set it up and make the most of it.
3. Invest in SEO
Fixing broken pages, optimising images, reviewing and updating your robots.txt file are all quick wins for improving your search engine optimisation (SEO). If you want to delve deeper, you may want to optimise for keywords, add more internal links, and fix mobile UX issues. The more you invest in SEO, the more traffic you will drive to your site.
4. Optimise your existing content
With businesses producing content of all types at an accelerated rate, you need to ensure your content is doing everything it can to stand out. So go back and review your existing content - how could you optimise it further? Here are a few things you should focus on:
- Metadata - make sure your title and metadescription are optimised for keywords to improve your chance of appearing on search engine results pages
- Structure & layout - make sure your content is easy to read and digest
- Schema markup - adding schema markup to your content will help Google understand your content better and faster so you can increase rankings and earn featured snippets
- Call to action - ensure your content includes a call to action so you can convert visitors to leads
5. Steal from your competitors
There’s no such thing as an original idea. If you’re short on inspiration, check out your competitors’ marketing:
- What’s working well? What’s not?
- What ideas are you missing out on?
One tactic that often works well: audit your competitors’ web content. Chances are your competition will have created content that their audience loves. So ‘borrow’ their ideas. By recreating their best content - and improving on it - you should be able to steal a portion of their audience.
An agency like Receptional can help, or you can DIY with tools such as SEMRush.
6. Look beyond Search to Display
Google search traffic has dropped 20% since the beginning of March due to COVID-19. Google Display Network, on the other hand, is up 13%, and YouTube traffic is up by 21%. So if there was ever a time to start looking at these opportunities, it’s now.
“Google Display Network reaches 95% of global internet users, user journeys are more complex than ever before, with people searching across multiple devices. And responsive Display Ads have lowered the bar to entry.”
7. Run YouTube tests
Ofcom data from 2018 shows that 18-34 year-olds in the UK spend over 60 minutes per day on YouTube. That’s more than any other streaming channel - including Netflix and Amazon Prime. And as we've just seen, people are spending more time on YouTube than ever. Could YouTube present a previously untapped opportunity for your business? Why not give it a go and see.
8. Invest in remarketing
If you need to temporarily cut back on ad spend, consider leaving the lights on with remarketing. Hold onto trust built with customers and warm-prospects.
“Adapt your remarketing message to the current climate, leverage increased social media usage with Facebook and LinkedIn Ads, and remember your easiest source of new business will be referrals and upselling.”
9. Test Lookalike audiences
Now available for LinkedIn ads, Lookalike Audiences combines the traits of your ideal customer with your company data to help you market to new audiences similar to your existing customers, visitors and target accounts.
“Leave audience building to machine learning and create ‘lookalike’ audiences from your best data sets. Stare with your customer lists and see what results you get.”
10. Invest in conversions
There are simple ways you can improve your conversion rates. Are your CTAs and forms as clear and easy to understand as they can be? Is the layout and design of the page doing enough to draw people in? Is the copywriting clear and compelling?
Justin ended the webinar with this final note;
“We know from past downturns that some businesses will embrace the changes we’re seeing and emerge stronger. As we know from experience, the key to roaring out of any crisis is to improve operational efficiency and invest in R&D and marketing.”