So many small businesses have moved online over the pandemic. Now that restrictions have eased, business owners may be wondering how they’re going to maintain the momentum they’ve built online during lockdown.
In the fourth and final GoDaddy virtual event, former track and field Olympian, Goldie Sayers, joined the team to discuss how having a strong online presence helps her run her property investment and executive coaching businesses.
Watch Back to Business Masterclass 4: Maintaining your online presence post pandemic below.
GoDaddy content manager, Frankie Palatt, also hosts a panel discussion with:
- Lucy Stone, founder and director of Meditation Rocks
- Sara West, creative director of Tall Tales Mysteries
Here are some of the tips that Stone, West and Sayers had to share.
Choose the right social platforms
Social media has been a business essential for communicating with customers during Covid-19. However, there is a temptation to maximise your reach by being on every platform. You’re better off choosing the platform where your audience – target or existing – is. The best way to find out is through market research and experimenting with how your content plays out on different platforms.
Stone says that she regularly reviews performance by looking at how many opens her newsletters get and engagement on social media posts.
Demographics are key but Stone also advises looking for psychographics. “What do your audience have in common?” she said.
Produce valuable content
Content is central to attracting customers, while knowing what people are searching for and consuming will guide you in creating your content.
Stone started doing a live meditation every day during lockdown which evolved into Meditation Rocks. As she offered so much content for free, it became tricky to create content she could charge for. She decided to create a blog to dispel myths around meditation.
There’s also value in resharing your previous content and sharing content from others if it’s relevant to your audience. Whichever content you use, Stone advised business owners to keep it short. “Bulletpoints are great, images bring content to life,” she said.
West added that video is really popular. “Go with the new features on social media,” she said. She discovered Reels on Instagram, which have been ‘phenomenal’. On that note, learn what the algorithms are on the platforms you use. Reels are favoured on Instagram’s algorithm. Stone said that on LinkedIn, you’re better off writing a short post and putting a link in the first comment. Finally, reply to people who comment. Not only does this show followers and potential customers that you take the time to hear their comments and concerns, attracting comments boosts your standing with social media algorithms.
Both businesses on the panel had different streams to their businesses divided between members, non-members and corporate packages. “Every weekday we post puzzles,” said West. “Members get free content – mini puzzles each week. It takes more work for me, but it builds engagement and gives something back to community who buy tickets.”
It can help to think laterally here. West created a club for regular guest detectives to get together and chat. It was valuable to them because they live too far away and/or have young children and they can’t get to physical shows.
Stand out in competitive marketplace
Your content and your whole brand must stand out in what can be a hugely competitive marketplace.
“People buy from people,” said Stone, who has many customers who are mums like herself. “Be true to who you are. Be brave and be different,” she added.
Once you’ve got your authentic and brave branding set, make sure that your website and social media mirror each to make yourself easily recognisable. West spoke of her experiences of bringing on an employee to do social media management without explaining the brand colours and font. “If you bring someone on to do social media, make sure you explain your branding properly,” she said. Her advice is to get recommendations from your network and take a look at work on sites that your candidates have worked on previously.
Things needn’t get jumbled if you run multiple business. Stone has another two businesses alongside Meditation Rocks. “Use different tones of voice for different businesses,” she said. This is especially important when you’re cross-promoting businesses.
Make regular updates and manage your time
For a lot of business owners, the greater concern is fitting it all into an incredibly busy schedule. “Make what you do work hard for you – if you create a blog post, post it on social and reschedule a revisit of the blog post in a months’ time,” said Stone.
West is also in favour of getting more out of content by using it multiple times. “Club members get mini mysteries first, but then it’ll be available to non-members,” she said.
They both agree that tools to help you streamline processes like social media scheduling are valuable. It’s also wise to block similar tasks together.
Convert visitors into customers
Making it easy to find you and purchase from you is key.
Easy website navigation leads to easy payment. “Initially we had too many clicks to make a payment,” said West. Remember to optimise your keywords regularly based on what people are searching for on search engines and Google.
Regular content is central to building a loyal following who are more likely to become customers.
“Constantly drip-feed stuff into people’s consciousness so that when they decide to do the service, they come to you,” said Sayers. “Consistent efforts build up over a long period of time. While you might not get that custom right now, you might potentially get it in future.”
Having a newsletter is another method of drip-feeding which can turn visitors into customers. Stone gives newsletter subscribers discount codes if they sign up.
Plan for the longer term
Long-term planning gives you measurable goals to work towards.
West said that Tall Tales Mysteries will carry on doing online shows once a month, with more set up in winter when it’s colder. She also said that team building will continue for businesses with remote teams who have become a new market.
Get extra help with your website by visiting GoDaddy UK.