As one of the largest economies in the world, New York has an impressive GDP of around $1.67 trillion. Within the state, New York City steadily holds the spot as one of the top three richest states in the country.
Home to over 2 million small businesses and countless large organizations, the backbone of the country’s economy is now facing an overhaul due to the coronavirus pandemic. New York was hit the hardest by the COVID-19 outbreak and the subsequent business closures, limited working hours, mass unemployment, and the need for social distancing that followed.
With state-wide stay-at-home orders, business owners scramble to figure out what this means for their business. When demanding business goals, quarterly KPIs, and net profit targets are not being met, how can businesses continue to thrive?
For many in New York, this looming question has led business owners to find a long-term strategy that’ll help them stay afloat during these trying times.There’s no denying that these unforeseen circumstances have changed the way we do business. With the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reporting that one in four small businesses may permanently shut down due to the economic downturn, adapting to the changing dynamics seems to be the only way forward.
At the precipice of this global outbreak, going digital is the only way your business can continue to meet fixed business costs, boost sales revenue, avoid customer attrition, increase brand visibility, and drive up customer outreach.
While the advantages of digitalization are manifold for businesses of all sizes, many—a shocking 59%—who haven’t undergone a digital transformation fear it might be too late for them. Business owners who have resisted adopting these innovative strategies into their marketing efforts before are now struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic.
These vital business tools will help your companymake a place for itself in the local market at this time. Digital marketing entails the use of tools such as website design and development, social media management, SEO optimization, content marketing, and reputation management.
Weather The Storm With Effective Digital Marketing
Businesses of all sizes are struggling to manage their high costs and falling net profit margins at this time of uncertainty. While some are being forced to cut down on employees, others are finding innovative ways to continue business as usual.
The Harvard Business School reported that many small businesses only have 27 days’ worth of cash in reserves. After this money inevitably runs out during the indefinite lockdown, business owners may become strapped for cash.
It’s clear that businesses that want to recover after the virus has subsided need to find efficient, cost-effective strategies that’ll translate into high conversion rates and more sales.
That’s where digital marketing comes in.
With 64% of marketers stating they invest in Search Engine Optimization, the importance of a digital marketing strategy that works is evident. Just because your business isn’t functioning as usual doesn’t mean your marketing and communication strategies must too!
Adopt A Strategy That Works For You
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to digital marketing. Depending on your business’s needs, your shift to the virtual world of business can be tailored. For most businesses, however, the priorities are straightforward: focus on business continuity, retain existing customers, boost outreach to your local target market, and increase your brand’s visibility.
Let’s take a look at the ways you can optimize your digital platforms to reap its benefits during this time.
Develop a holistic digital strategy
When you’re putting money into your business’s online presence, you want to enjoy the highest return on your investment. Digital marketing entails a lot of components, all of which may not add to your business’s overall success and goals.
Between social media marketing, SEO services, email marketing, video advertising, pay per click advertising, content marketing, and affiliate marketing, you may be overwhelmed when making a choice. Choosing the digital channels that will help you reach out to your target market, foster relationships with your customers, and embrace your brand’s unique identity will be beneficial during this time.
While Google Ads yield a revenue of $2 for every $1 spent, email marketing could get an ROI of $40 forevery $1. Thus, it’s clear that the channels you choose to invest in will lead to varying results depending on your business model.
What’s important, however, is maintaining and synchronizing your digital marketing strategy across all channels. The same tone, type of content, and brand identity across all digital marketing channels ensure you solidify a brand identity and personality that makes an impression on your customers.
Provide relevant, SEO optimized content
If content is king, then context isits gilded crown. The ongoing pandemic has an impact on your business’s stakeholders—the customers—and they’re looking for answers at this time of uncertainty.
Will you be continuing your operations? What are your office hours? Are there any measures in place to ensure customer safety? People are looking for clarity and you can leverage this opportunity by giving them frequent updates and accurate information in the form of value-adding content.
An effective Search Engine Optimization strategy relies on content that utilizes relevant keywords, contributes to link building efforts, and offers high-quality content to your audience. This will help in sustaining your business by driving organic traffic to your website, encourage lead generation, boost conversion rates, and establish you as an industry authority.
The effect of an SEO optimized content marketing strategy that makes a mark on Search Engine Results Page (SERP) rankings will continue long after the pandemic has subsided. Since only 7% of search engine users end up on the third results page, a relevant SEO strategy will help you appear on the first few pages and gain traction.
SERP rankings are inextricably tied to organic traffic and lead generation—two of the main priorities if you’re looking to increase net profit even during trying times.
Weeks of isolation and social distancing can make anyone feel on edge. As a brand, you can set yourself apart by showing your customers that you care about them through a personalized communication strategy.
Social media marketing offers a viable opportunity to brands that are looking to engage with customers, stayin touch with their audience, and develop meaningful connections.
Using creative visual media, hashtags, and an empathetic approach to unique posts will attract customers—both existing and potential—to your social media channels. The rising traction will, eventually, drive referral traffic to your website, translate into sales, and drive up your conversion rates.
Now’s a good time to adopt a strategy that embraces your brand’s key values and shows your audience that you’re invested in their wellbeing. Maintaining an open discussion on your social media networks and fostering a sense of community will pay off in the long run because 53% of the people following brands on social media display a sense of loyalty to them. The connections you develop today will help your business stay afloat—both during the ongoing pandemic and after it!
Stay ahead of changing customer behaviors
The novel coronavirus outbreak hasn’t just changed the degree of web usage—it’s increased by a staggering 70%—it’s also changed the way customers use it. As people spend much of their day scrolling through social media networks online, they’re investing more time and money into online shopping.
Your e-commerce business can stand to benefit from this changing tide, and you can start by targeting local markets in New York. When customers are looking for local businesses nearby to cater to their needs, their search efforts should lead them to you.
With a 150% increase in “near me” searches, optimizing your online presence by leveraging location-specific marketing will result in organic traffic for you. By anticipating rising customer demand, you can double down on local search results and tailor a strategy to avail its benefits.
Customer outreach can be practically useless for your business if you’re not reaching the right audience—the ones located in New York!
Innovation is key
Not every company’s services can cater to the current needs of customers, but that doesn’t mean you should halt your services completely. Brands that have stayed ahead of the curve and innovated their practices can stay afloat and retain their audiences effectively.
Brands that pivoted their offerings and re-strategized how they’ll move forward in these trying times are able to reach new customers and retain existing customers, helping their business pull ahead. One such example of a brand venturing into a different domain to serve the needs of the evolving situation is H&M. The retail giant announced that it would make use of its supply chain capacity to deliver personal protective equipment to health workers.
Ride-hailing multinational company, Uber, has also taken this opportunity to offer a unique service to meet customer demands. The company expanded into grocery and convenience store delivery with a new venture, Uber Direct.
It’s this kind of innovation that allows brands to stay relevant and shift the focus of their services to offering help to a greater cause. Thinking outside the box to generate leads and engage clients doesn’t always require major investments. Successful online campaigns—such as KFC’s Picnic at Home giveaway or Ritz Cracker’s virtual picnic party—contribute to customer attraction and engagement considerably too!
It’s important to remember that there’s no right way to get through these trying times. As New York businesses like yours face closure and limited work hours, you need to leverage the tools available to you to stay afloat.
Luckily, digital marketing strategies can help you achieve these goals—no matter what the status of your business is at present. Continue to boost customer outreach, generate website traffic, and retain loyal customers with strategies that are proven to work!
An SEO specialist for Search Berg, the author has long dealt with SEO services for New York, as well as cities and states all across the U.S. and beyond.
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