How can businesses reach their customers during lockdown?

Posted on April 3, 2020

Safety measures that have been implemented to help combat the coronavirus outbreak, such as social distancing and lockdowns, have had a significant impact on the day-to-day running of many local businesses. Any changes that have taken place may have caught customers off-guard, especially in the early days.

As part of Live with Search Engine Land, which took place last Friday, members of the search community shared their tips, advice and strategies for business owners about how they can keep their customers up-to-date and informed.

Use your website

The first port of call should be to update your website. Most people have access to the internet and should be able to find your website. Google has recommended that businesses should display a pop-up message or distinct banner that informs visitors about any COVID-19 announcements and the effects it is having on everyday operations, such as whether the business is still operating, delivery options, opening times and delays to orders. This will help to both keep customers informed and set the right expectations.

Further to these announcements, business owners can add any prominent updates to their FAQ pages and should continue to monitor product availability statuses, and update any events or sales taking place.

Email campaigns

In the early days of lockdown, many consumers were being inundated with a wave of coronavirus emails from businesses explaining their stance on the pandemic. Search experts recommend that businesses should resist sending messages to customers with irrelevant and bland updates and should take a more creative approach to break the chain of dry emails. This can help to humanise communications and stand out against the rest.

Update Google My Business Listings

Google has created a coronavirus post category on its Google My Business service that enables businesses to make changes to how they are operating during the pandemic, including whether they are open, temporary closures, updated opening hours and any safety updates.

Take to social media

With more people spending time at home instead of out and about, this has translated to people spending more time on social media sites. Facebook has reported that it has had a spike in use of its Live streaming service. Businesses should take note that social media is being even more heavily used these days and they should use this to their advantage. Product giveaways and competitions, meme creation and customer interaction through sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can be ways to keep in contact with clientele while bolstering your online presence and brand image, yet still keeping to social distancing rules.

For help with your online strategy in these unprecedented times, why not get in touch with Engage Web and see how we can turn a negative situation into positive results?

Posted by Alan Littler

Pandemic prompts sudden shift of focus from Facebook

Posted on March 31, 2020

Social media site Facebook is to abruptly modify its product development focus towards live streaming as government lockdowns due to coronavirus lead to a spike in demand.

The head of Facebook’s app, Fidji Simo, told Bloomberg that Facebook Live is currently experiencing a massive boom in usage. He explained that the company has had to adjust quickly and reshape its roadmap. The number of users watching live videos on the platform in the US alone has increased by 50% since the start of the year.

The main catalyst in this spike is no doubt the lockdowns governments are sanctioning on people all around the world in a bid to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, leaving millions of people stuck at home.

In a response to the increased usage to Facebook Live, the social site has accelerated the development of a number of features for the service. Firstly, it plans on making live streaming services accessible to more users as well as making the video streams more lucrative for broadcasters.

It is believed that new features to be introduced in the coming weeks include allowing those without a Facebook account to watch Live videos, hence making them available to a wider audience. It will also look at automatic closed captioning and rolling out a new dashboard for managing these live broadcasts.

Facebook has also introduced Live Producer, a tool that will let page managers take control of their live broadcasts. The tool has been designed to give page owners the ability to produce higher-end posts and integrate interactive features such as polls, as well as scheduling features and production software.

While it turns its attention to live streaming, Facebook is now halting its work on other projects, such as those that encourage face-to-face gatherings. As part of this, it has already started to show fewer reminders for upcoming events. Furthermore, it is considering Marketplace as a service of lesser importance at present, as it does not want to promote meeting up with people to exchange goods.

The employees assigned to work on projects such as this have now been reassigned to help smaller businesses during this time. It is believed to be developing new methods for these businesses to generate revenues through Facebook.

If your business is looking to generate more sales and enquiries through Facebook marketing, get in touch with Engage Web to see how we can help you explore new opportunities in these uncertain times.

Posted by Alan Littler

How are big tech companies responding to coronavirus?

Posted on March 20, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has been dominating news headlines around the world for the past three months, and with even more vigour in the UK as the situation intensifies. Schools are (more…)

Posted by Alan Littler

How Alya could prove Geoff was behind fake reviews on Coronation Street

Posted on March 16, 2020

On last week’s Coronation Street, restaurant owner Alya Nazir had an issue with fake reviews being posted online about her and her restaurant, Speed Daal. Knowing the reviews were fake, she suspected the owner of a rival business, Ray Connor, as being the author of the reviews.

This is common in the restaurant trade, where fake reviews are posted online in an attempt to damage a (more…)

Posted by Darren Jamieson

Take these two digital marketing steps in response to coronavirus

Posted on March 13, 2020

The link between the COVID-19 pandemic and digital marketing may not seem an obvious one, but with news and advice on the virus changing by the day, there are two digital marketing steps businesses can take to help at this challenging time.

Here are two suggestions we’ve picked up on as the world responds to spread of the virus:

1. Update your Google My Business listing

This week, Google has added a new section to its Google My Business help guide, specifically addressing the outbreak of the virus.

The search giant has advised that companies should manage their information closely and ensure it is up to date. For example, some businesses may be temporarily closed or shortening their working day, in which case they should change their business hours.

Google also suggests to create regular posts giving the latest information, such as stock levels and links to relevant sources. It may still be worth doing this even if your business is unaffected, as this way, people know in advance if it’s business as usual.

As of today, Facebook has also issued advice for small businesses related to the virus.

2. Consider reallocating your budget

A compilation of analysts’ observations published on Search Engine Land shows differing attitudes to digital spend. Sectors like travel and retail are being hit hard by the outbreak, so naturally their spending on the likes of Google and Facebook advertising is reflecting this. On the other hand, it appears that plenty of businesses are investing money they would have used elsewhere into their digital marketing.

An example given in the piece is of an exhibitor who expects to lose leads due to the cancellation of upcoming trade shows, so is pumping more into digital to make up for this. Another cites a small food company that wants to get the edge over competitors by outperforming them online, in keeping with the high growth goals it has for the year.

The coronavirus is causing plenty of uncertainty, but patterns we’re seeing so far, such as cancellation of public events and more people working from home, only put more emphasis on our reliance on the internet as a source of information and business.

At Engage Web, our search engine optimisation and content development strategies keep pace with both the digital and physical world. If digital marketing is the direction you’re looking towards at this testing time, why not speak to us?

Posted by John Murray

US trust in social falls, but tech companies remain favourable

Posted on March 5, 2020

According to a study conducted by The Verge, the public is becoming increasingly sceptical of social media sites but are still reliant on their services. However, they still look favourably at tech companies such as (more…)

Posted by Alan Littler

How to use Facebook Insights to monitor your competitors

Posted on February 14, 2020

If you have a Facebook Page for your business, it can be difficult to know how well you’re doing with it. Are you posting the right content? Is your engagement high enough? Do you have enough Facebook likes? Is your page growing at (more…)

Posted by Darren Jamieson

Government appoints Ofcom to regulate online content

Posted on February 13, 2020

The government has revealed a set of ambitious plans to regulate the online world, and will give website owners a duty of care to protect their users from illegal and harmful content.

The new proposals state that (more…)

Posted by Alan Littler
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