The power of digital marketing – COVID-19 has proven it By David Smith on Jul 10, 2020
In the early days of the COVID-19 crisis, some firms quickly got on the front foot and ramped up their digital marketing activities. For many it has been a highly successful experience with new clients being won and relationships with existing clients deepened. Many other firms have been highly sceptical that new business can be won from digital marketing but there are clear examples that successful outcomes can be achieved.
Quite a number of firms launched webinars during the COVID-19 crisis on a range of topics including government stimulus activities, cashflow management, people management and investment markets. These webinars were promoted on social media, to existing clients and other firm contacts. Good numbers registered including a high proportion of people who were not current clients of the firm. Webinars don’t need to be long. Thirty minutes works well with time for questions afterwards.
A further advantage of webinars is that they can be recorded with the recordings placed on the firm’s website, social media and podcast platforms. At Smithink we have found that we often have more people listening to our webinar podcast recordings than those that attend live.
Many firms are yet to dip their toes in the water and try paid advertising yet many of those who have tried have had positive outcomes.
Google ads is the place to start. Think of it as the modern day equivalent of advertising in the yellow pages (millennials, ask someone older what yellow pages are). The power of Google Ads is that its reporting enables you to monitor the impact of your advertising and modify your activities as you find the more successful strategies. I can assure you that there are businesses out there searching for “Best Accountant in xxxxx” or other similar searches. You need to be high on the list.
But just advertising is not enough if you wish to achieve success. You need a quality “Google my Business” profile set up and you need a strategy to generate Google Reviews of your business. These reviews are a very powerful confirmation of quality for anyone who is unfamiliar with your business. Remember as well that the purpose of the Google Ad is to take the searcher to your website. So the question that needs to be asked is whether you have website content that captures people and encourages them to engage further with your firm.
Video is an important engagement tool. Services such as www.loom.com provide an easy to use and effective environment to create videos. Practice makes perfect. The more you do, the better you’ll get. However, they don’t need to be professionally produced to be effective. Communicating as genuine, professional and knowledgeable is key to success. The videos don’t need to be long – just a few minutes with a call to action at the end to encourage them to contact the firm.
Other firms have found success advertising on Facebook. One of the advantages is that prospects can be targeted by age, interests, occupation, geography and other criteria. A piece of content you have created can be “boosted” to appear in the Facebook feeds of others that fit the criteria you have selected. This has been very effective when promoting activities such as webinars, seminars and other events or targeting a particular service such as cloud accounting.
Key to digital marketing is to ensure that the performance monitoring functionality the services provide is regularly reviewed with activities and spend tweaked to optimise success.
While there are many services who will assist you in creating and monitoring your digital marketing activities it is not extraordinarily difficult to do it yourself. There are lots of “how to” content online.
Over time you can get more sophisticated looking at Google’s remarketing (your ads appear on other companies’ websites) or using LinkedIn or even Twitter. While all of this is going on it is critical that you have a plan that regular content is created by you and your team for the firm’s website and social media platforms. Regular content brings people back and continues to put your brand in front of people.
So give it a go! What do you have to lose? You might be surprised by the results.