Digital marketing & your small business during lockdown

Digital marketing & your small business during lockdown

Lockdown is presenting a challenge for many businesses, and as they show no signs of lifting in the near future, it’s important that all businesses are able to turn the situation to their advantage however possible. Digital marketing has many benefits to offer, but some elements of digital marketing can particularly benefit small businesses during a lockdown. Here are three key things about digital marketing that can benefit your small business specifically.

1. Affordability

Marketing has traditionally been something that requires a healthy budget – this can exclude small businesses at the best of times, but not least during lockdowns where cash flow is even tighter. Digital marketing reverses this trend, however, by offering a truly affordable and accessible way to market your business to the widest possible pool of potential customers.

2. Popularity

Technology is growing to be an increasingly larger part of everyone’s lives, but this is particularly true in lockdown. With a lack of other things to do, and often poor weather keeping people inside, there are more eyes than ever before on the internet. This means targeted digital marketing has the largest potential audience that it has ever had, all for you to benefit from.

3. Versatility

Digital marketing offers a diverse selection of tools for you to promote your business, and there’s no better time to experiment than in lockdown. Whether it’s social media marketing, targeted email drives, online promotions, Pay Per Click or creating advertising for use on popular platforms such as YouTube, you have a basically limitless range of options to advertise your business.

Getting professional help

To make the most of the many benefits that digital marketing has to offer your business, it’s important you use specialists. Contact West Country Media today to start formulating a marketing plan to help your business thrive through lockdown.
Why every small business needs to blog

Why every small business needs to blog

As a small business, you may not have a huge budget to spend on marketing and establishing your brand. In a crowded, and competitive field this could put you at a disadvantage compared to some of your better-resourced competitors.

There is one thing that every business can do to help it get noticed and engage with its customers, and it’s a lot more cost-effective than some of the alternatives.

When you’re running a business, finding time to blog might not seem like much of a priority, but the range of benefits it can bring means it’s something to invest some time in.

Supercharge your SEO

A company that has a regularly updated blog on their website will always outperform one that doesn’t when it comes to Google rankings. Search engines prioritise new, valuable content over static websites. The more frequently you post informative and interesting content on your website, the better your search engine performance will be.

Add value to your website

Why should an existing or potential customer visit your website? Do they want to find something out? Are they looking for information? By blogging about subjects that interest your customers you are giving them more reason to visit your website, buy your products or use your services. The kind of questions your customers are asking can be answered in your blog posts.

Strengthen your brand voice

Does your business have a distinct voice and way of looking at the world that marks you out from your competitors? What are the values that inform and underpin what you’re doing? How can you communicate those with your potential customers? A blog gives you the opportunity to build relationships with customers and express your distinctive business voice. Make that voice compelling and your content will be valued, read and shared.

Blogging is a powerful tool that helps small businesses level the marketing playing field.

4 simple tips to help you connect with your audience

4 simple tips to help you connect with your audience

When creating any content, it is absolutely essential that you appeal directly to your audience. At the end of the day, you can produce the best written work, infographics or videos known to mankind, but if it doesn’t actively make your target audience want to commit to a purchase, it’ll be for nothing.

So, with that in mind, what are the four key things you need to consider to ensure that your message hits home and appeals to the people that matter most?

1. Focus on solutions rather than products

When producing any marketing content, it seems intuitive that you would want to promote your own products. However, rarely is this the best option. Rather, you need to highlight the problems or challenges that your potential customers are facing, and tell them how you can help them overcome these issues.

2. Utilise research and trusted sources

In you’re writing you should, of course, speak from personal experience; you want to showcase your own knowledge and expertise after all. But it’s also essential to back up what you are saying with research and studies – this way your audience can be assured that you are giving them trusted information that they should consider valuable.

3. Use social media to engage with people

Social media is the marketer’s perfect tool. Not only is it the perfect way to disseminate information, but it also means you can talk directly to your consumers whenever they require it. If they have a question or query, and you are able to answer quickly, your customers will find your service even more valuable.

4. Don’t sound like a marketer!

This sounds like an odd tip, but it makes a lot of sense! Quite simply, you need to ensure that it doesn’t appear that your content is simply trying to sell your products. You need to offer genuine information, and give potential customers the space and time they need to make their own decisions. Don’t pressure them into making a purchase – if your offering is good enough, they’ll buy on their own accord.

If you need help with your digital marketing efforts, get in touch with us at Westcountry Media today.

The 3-step guide to jump-starting your SEO in 2019

The 3-step guide to jump-starting your SEO in 2019

Search Engine Optimisation has been changing rapidly over the past few years. So much so, in fact, that the tactics used even five years ago are likely to get your site penalised by search engines today. For this reason, it’s vital that your site is optimised the right way. If your business could do with an SEO jumpstart, don’t worry – we’ve put together a 3-step guide to get you off on the right foot. 

Step 1: Revisit all of your site content and tailor it to human beings

This may sound like an odd thing to say, but the main aim of your website should be to talk to humans – not search engine bots. A few years ago, SEO practitioners recommended filling your site content with keywords with no real regard to quality. In 2019, that’s all changed. Thanks to algorithm updates from Google, the search engine now tracks how long users stay on your site or bounce back to results, then boost rank accordingly. If you want to boost your rankings, you need to engage users with content they want to read. 

Step 2: Ensure you’re visible on the local level

Much of today’s SEO practices come down to local search. After all, the first place many of us will look for a business is online. This is why it’s essential that, if a user searches for either your service or your brand directly, they find you right at the top. To guarantee this, be sure that you’ve set up your “Google My Business” profile with the most up-to-date information. This will ensure that info like your opening hours, website, and phone number and delivered front and centre in search.

Step 3: Develop and deploy a content strategy

As we mentioned above, SEO today is all about content, relevance, and engagement. In order to attain (and, importantly, retain) your rankings on Google and other search engines, you need to be publishing regular content. This will do two things: first, it’ll show Google that your site is active; and second, it’ll create the opportunity for organic backlinks from other sites to your content – which are like SEO’s secret sauce – to start appearing. 

Don’t forget: this quick guide is just the beginning. If you’d like to discover what true SEO success looks like, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Westcountry Media today and we’ll show you how to do just that.

Five secrets to a super fast website design

Five secrets to a super fast website design

Many things help you drive and convert traffic on your website. The design has to offer good navigation that provides a clear, quick and convincing journey for visitors from first landing on your website to a final transaction.

That journey might have many stop points along the way, which is why it is important that the processes are fast. Websites that typically take more than four seconds to load a page are abandoned. User behaviour studies have found that for every 1 second of page loading, your website can lose 7% of revenue.

Yet there are many ways that you can increase your site’s speed. Here are five secrets to help you with your website design.

1. Use optimised images

Uploading images is important on website design. A good image can increase conversions and improve branding. However, they are also very memory intensive and some websites can see drastic improvements in speed by having more web-optimised images.

This can be done very cheaply yourself by using programs like RIOT.

2. Reduce HTTP requests

Yahoo reports that 80% of load time is due to the time downloading the different elements of a page. This includes images, scripts and stylesheets. Every element creates a need for an HTTP request. The more requests, the longer it takes for a page to render.

Reducing the number of HTTP requests is, therefore, another key way to improving website speeds.

3. Minifying resources

Sometimes coding in your website’s program can be very bulky. Every letter, word and instruction in your website’s build is something for it to download. However, these are important files as they determine the appearance of your website. When you are minifying, you can reduce the size of the files and therefore reduce the time it takes to download a particular file.

In addition, you can often combine some resources of the same type (JavaScript, HTML, CSS) into fewer files that reduce HTTP requests.

4. Enable browser caching

It is more than likely that your website won’t convert on the first visit. Sometimes, visitors will come multiple times to your site before completing a transaction. This is where browser caching can help because it can reduce the time it takes for the site to render on future visits.

Browser caching is a great option for e-commerce sites as well. But it doesn’t serve companies well that have a regularly changing web design.

5. Use external hosting platforms

If you host videos on your website, you can be sure that they are slowing down your website. Videos use a lot of memory. Instead, you need to use third-party hosting solutions, like YouTube, to host your video content to speed up your website but still offer top quality delivery on the content.

Videos on YouTube can also serve as an additional way to market your content. So using YouTube is highly encouraged.

By implementing the tips above, you can be sure to speed up your website. This will improve your website’s conversation rate and improve revenue from online sources.

5 offline activities to support your online marketing

5 offline activities to support your online marketing

When you look at your business’ marketing plans, it can be easy to get distracted by your online presence and neglect your offline marketing strategy. You could be missing out on a huge amount of opportunities that offline marketing can offer. Why not try some of these effective methods?

Leaflets

Leaflets can be a great way to get your business’ message across and let people know about your products or services. With a strong brand design, localised leaflet drops through doors could drive enquiries higher. Leaflet printing is relatively low cost and leaflet drops can be done in house or by a service, making it a very cost-effective marketing solution.

Van signs

One of the easiest forms of marketing is to advertise yourself on your van or car. Simply by displaying your company details, you can generate interest. Don’t forget to advertise any reputable associations or institutions that you are a member of for added gravitas. Once you make the initial investment on the print work, you could reap the rewards for years to come. 

Branded uniforms

As with van branding, your uniform speaks volumes. Wherever you or your staff go, your brand goes too. Make sure your company name is clearly visible on shirts, outerwear and other apparel to gain potential customers. This is another way of facilitating one spend to gain two positive outcomes: smartly dressed employees and the sales that will be driven by them.

Sponsorships

Sponsoring a community event or show can gain you access to a massive audience. You could also look at donating a product or service to a raffle to get your company name out there. Not only does this make your company look generous and charitable but it also gives you the perfect platform to generate consumer traffic. 

Newspaper or magazine advertising

Advertising in a local parish magazine or newspaper doesn’t have to cost the earth if you are clever about it. Utilise the space well and you could gain a huge amount of leads. Many older people prefer to get their news and information from newspapers, especially in local settings, so this could prove to be a valuable move.

If you’d like some more advice on how to hone your offline and online marketing strategies, contact us at Westcountry Media.

We offer a unique service, dedicated to seeing your company thrive so why not get in touch to find out more?