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digital marketing during covid

Decreasing revenue and uncertainty about the future might be forcing you to reconsider your marketing strategy. After all, when you see your competitors cutting their marketing budgets, you start to wonder if you should do it as well. In a study, 69% of the brands surveyed said they expected to decrease their ad spend. 

No surprise there. Times are tough. Many businesses are relying on the state for help.

If you decide to cease marketing altogether, you close all your channels of communication with your customers. Even small marketing efforts by your competitors will put them in front of your customers. You run the risk of losing your "share of mind".

If you decide to spend money on marketing, you need to take the guesswork out of the equation. The consequence of an investment gone wrong can be bitter.

Should small businesses reduce their marketing budget?

Cutting your marketing budget will make you lose your competitive edge. Your customers might start questioning the stability of your business, and you’ll miss crucial information about what your customers are looking for.

Cutting your marketing budget will also affect your post-pandemic sales. You’ll have a lot of catching up to do.

It's the right time to show your customers you care about them. Inform them about your sales and promotions, and what you’re doing to make your business place safer for customers.

Your best course of action is to direct your marketing budget towards the most suitable marketing channel. Something that’s flexible, has proven ROI and allows you to measure the impact in real-time. 

Is Digital Marketing a viable option?

Keep offline and traditional marketing on the back burner for now. If you want the highest ROI, digital marketing is your best option. In a survey, 62% of US shoppers said that they now shop online more as compared to pre-Covid. 

You can't go wrong with the affordability and versatility that digital marketing offers. For instance, you can:

  • Join local FB groups and start building relationships with people. Let the human aspect of your business shine through.
  • Email your customers and try to start an honest, empathy-based relationship with them.
  • Post on social media about what your business sells and how you can help the community.
  • Write and share helpful blog posts with your community.

The best thing about digital marketing is that you can track the results of your efforts in real-time. It allows you to:

  • See the number of impressions that your FB ads are getting.
  • Track the number of visits to your website.
  • Track the most viewed products on your website.
  • Track the number of emails that are getting opened.
  • Pay only when customers click on your ad.

Digital marketing can significantly boost your sales, visibility, and number of followers. Our clients have seen results like:

  • #1 rankings on Google in just 2.5 months and 70% increases in sales.
  • 107% increases in page views and a 98% decrease in bounce rates. This means the website is attracting ideal customers who are interested in the business’s value proposition.
  • An increase of 18,000 subscribers on YouTube. It means more exposure to new potential customers.

How to ensure the best results?

Make a strategy and clarify what you want out of your marketing efforts. The lack of a solid plan can ruin things. 

Do you want to reach out to new customers, or build rapport with existing ones? Remember, retaining customers is 5X times cheaper and easier than attracting new ones.

Other questions also need to be answered, for example:

  • Which digital channel will serve your business the most?
  • Do you offer services or FMCG products?
  • Are you a service professional?
  • Have you defined your target audience? 

Studio1c consults with business owners in Utah and around the US and helps them figure these things out. 

Tailor your marketing strategy and communication to your customers’ needs and challenges. Hiring a professional can be massively beneficial because you can outsource all or part of your marketing process – for instance, you can do social media, and let a professional handle the SEO. 

Five Brands that Changed their Policy and Messaging in the Pandemic

Sisense
Sisense, a data and analytics platform, has redesigned its banner to remind people about the need for social distancing. To show gratitude to their customers, they’re offering a relief package with some free services.

Quasar
Quasar, a medical device company, is communicating its response to COVID-19 by displaying its concern for the safety of its employees and customers and assuring its customers that the company’s production schedule is right on time.

Cottonelle
Cottonelle uploaded a video on YouTube appealing to people to stock up on generosity instead of toilet paper

Victoria Plum
Victoria Plum increased their display advertising spend to gain traffic. Once the lockdown is over, this online bathroom retailer can retarget these visitors.

Ridge Cafe
With the help of studio1c, the Ridge Cafe was able to experience traffic comparable to last year’s, even during the COVID shutdown. Our team helped the Ridge Cafe with an aggressive marketing and retargeting local campaigns. 

Find Opportunity in Adversity

Things certainly can't continue the way they were before. This applies to the marketing of your business as well. You need to rethink the flow of your marketing budget and adapt your strategy to suit the present situation. 

If you’re ready to choose digital marketing, we’re ready to help you invest your money wisely. Contact us here.

seo fraud

For many SEO companies, ripping off business owners is so profitable that they’ve built a business model around it. 

Fraudulent SEO companies offer cookie-cutter plans, dupe easy targets, make you sign contracts with confusing fine print, and move on to the next target after their victim realizes they’ve been ripped off. 

It’s enough to make any business owner bitter and develop contempt of SEO.

Just read some SEO horror stories on Reddit. You’ll quickly see that SEO agency rip-offs are a real thing (which explains terms like 'SEO is evil', which you’ll see being tossed around). 

Fortunately, even if you have minimal SEO knowledge (which is just a Google search away), you can use these indicators to tell whether your SEO Company is fraudulent.

They Offer a Cookie-Cutter Approach and Don’t Ask You for Information 

We can’t stress enough that each business requires a unique SEO strategy. There are just so many factors involved in good SEO that one size can’t possibly fit all. If you bought an SEO package from a company, reconsider your decision. 

  • A typical example of a package would look like:
  • 1,000 backlinks
  • 100 blog posts
  • 1,000 blog comments
  • 1,000 forum comments
  • 200 directory submissions
  • 600 article submissions

The numbers and deliverables may be different, but you get the idea. This approach doesn't require the SEO company to know anything about your business needs.

SEO requires you and your SEO company’s combined efforts. Your SEO company will require access to your Google Analytics, Google Webmaster tools, previous audits of your website, your current strategy, and what your previous SEO company has done (if you worked with one).

 A great SEO company will offer you lots of advice on how to increase your rankings, such as:

  • Disavow spammy links
  • Integrate your social media profiles
  • Optimize your site for mobile
  • Add alt tags to images 

Without a discussion, an SEO company can’t know your needs. If you start working with such an SEO company, be aware that they may not have your best interests at heart.

They Keep You in the Dark About Their Work

A good SEO company will be completely transparent with you. Reputable agencies have ways to keep clients up to date with the work they’ve done, such as:

  • Online collaboration tools like Asana and Trello
  • Their CRM
  • Online spreadsheets

If an SEO company says they can’t share the details of their methods, it’s a major red flag. You don’t want spammy links from irrelevant and shady websites, as they might give an initial boost to your website traffic but will hurt your rankings in the long run.

Google updates ensure that only websites that employ ethical SEO practices rise to the top, which leads to our third point:

Suspicious Backlinks and the Wrong Incoming Traffic

Link-building is a common tactic used by SEO agencies to increase a website’s authority.

When done right, your website will get a major boost. But doing it requires a lot of effort. And putting in the effort is just what shady SEO companies don’t want to do.

To get you quick results and a transient increase in traffic, some SEO companies resort to spammy suspicious link-building sites. If you see links coming from websites that are entirely outside of your niche and language, then it’s almost certain that your SEO company is ripping you off.

Many SEO companies own these domains and stuff lots of links into your website, which doesn’t require a lot of effort and isn’t worth your money.

Owing to spammy link-building and ranking for the wrong (read: low competition and low conversion) keywords, the traffic to their website can increase, but your conversion rate will remain the same or decrease. That means the people coming to your website are not your ideal customers. 

Ranking higher does not mean more sales. Period.

They Guarantee You the #1 Spot in the Search Engines 

No legit SEO company will guarantee the #1 or even the #2 or #3 spot in search results. SEO is dynamic, and your rankings can change (go up or down) overnight due to:

  • Google updates
  • The SEO efforts of your SEO company
  • The SEO efforts of your competitors 

If you hired an SEO company because they guaranteed you the #1 spot, they’re probably ripping you off. You can be sure you won't be ranking at the top anytime soon. 

A good SEO company will inform you about your ranking potential and work hard to give you better conversions, higher rankings, and maximum ROI. 

The best SEO agencies are transparent and honest with their clients. They will tell you about your potential clearly and upfront.

You’re paying them to be the expert. A knowledgeable SEO expert will drive the conversation about improving the ranking and conversion rate of your website.

Good SEO agencies never evade any questions you ask and explain everything to you in simple terms.

At studio1c, we’re motivated by the possibility of your success. We’ll custom-design a plan to suit the unique needs of your business. If you have any questions, feel free to call or email us and start the conversation.

how to choose a web design company

While the term "website design" is self explanatory, the design work itself might differ based on the needs of the business. Some websites might require an aesthetic update, others might need a complete overhaul from SEO to content and social media integration. Since it is an important investment for the future of your business and the best means to boost brand image and improve conversion rate for your products and services, it is recommended that you choose the best website design company. Are you wondering how to choose the right web design company? Let us help you with the factors to consider.

They understand responsive web design: This is not a fad and is in fact emerging to be one of the best ways to design a website. Simply put, responsive web design is a setup wherein the design and development of the website responds to your website user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation that they are using. Google has also recommended responsive web design as it makes it easy for your users to share and link to your content and helps the search engine’s algorithms accurately assign indexing properties to the page. When you are trying to answer the question - how to choose the right web design company, make sure that you consider the fact that the agency you choose is well-versed with responsive web design and can create the same for your website.

Backing of a marketing team: Along with looking at all the work that the design company has undertaken in the past (read customer testimonials), it is important to determine if they have sufficient marketing experience. The Internet has evolved and it takes a full-fledged digital marketing agency to ensure that your website design performs. The design agency that you choose should have good experience designing responsive, user-centric websites, and build sites that are both beautiful and successful. Together with marketing inputs, they should be able to convert you marketing goals into an optimized marketing site that maximizes the impact of your brand.

Portfolio of their work: Wondering how to choose the best web design company? Always work backwards from your website design plan to research, evaluate, get quotes and set up meetings with agencies that are made up of web strategists, designers, developers, project managers, writers, analysts and digital marketers. An extensive team such as this ensures that the agency has an impressive portfolio of case studies that spans various categories of businesses and services. Get to know who you are hiring as you are hiring a technology partner for your business. While the portfolio of their work will surely give you a glimpse into the quality and efficacy of their work, setting up time to meet them can help you understand what they value and how they work on their projects.

On-going support: Beyond the initial website design and development tasks, there are a number of ongoing updates that might be required based on the nature of your business. While a lot of web design companies will include a certain level of support in their budget, other companies might differ in their approach towards on-going support. Since the website project has a number of moving parts, you will need to ensure that there is a transition plan in place in case you would be taking care of these aspects in-house after the web design project is completed. For this, you will need to assemble a core team and have them trained by the agency and assign responsibility for the different elements of the website, including design, navigation, content, and more.

Studio1c is the right web design company that you can trust to achieve your goals, make your job much easier and focus on what you do best.

signs your website needs a redesign

It is important to have your business website and its content updated from time to time. If your company has an old website with outdated information, your customers might reconsider business options with you. Wondering what’s the general consensus on how often should you redesign your website? With technology changes and newer web design techniques emerging, it might be important to update your website sooner than you think. Read on to find out more about the tell tale signs or reasons to redesign your website.

Sign #1: Your website does not function on mobile devices
Statistics show that one in three of web users login from their mobile devices. If your website does not load properly on a mobile device, users may abandon it. A mobile-friendly website specifically means a website that looks and functions great on any mobile handset that is internet-enabled. Google has a number of interesting tools and findings that help you find out more about how mobile speed can impact your bottom line, get advice from mobile industry leaders, and learn how to build stronger mobile experiences for consumers.

Sign #2: No longer represents your brand
From the logo and the header to the content and the font, every element of your website must reflect your brand. Apart from giving it a unique identity online, it helps your user remember your business and what you offer. They subconsciously begin to associate the brand elements that they see with your business. It’s likely that you have had a business leadership change or staff changes which are not reflected on your website. Perhaps you are offering more services or streamlining your system to offer less than before. Whatever your reason for change, it is essential to update your website accordingly. Remember that adopting and embracing new technology shows growth and stability on behalf of your brand.

Sign #3: It’s not secured with HTTPS
Your users expect a secure and private online experience when using your website and they are particularly concerned about the integrity and confidentiality of data between their system and your site. When you adopt HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) an internet communication protocol, you are assuring your users three layers of protection including encryption, data integrity and authentication. If you migrate your site from HTTP to HTTPS, this is considered to be a site move with URL changes by Google and this might impact your website traffic. It is recommended that you follow all the necessary steps for site movies.

Sign #4: You have a unique problem - bounce rate, site hack or others
Outside of the factors mentioned above, one of the main reasons for website redesign is the need to solve a problem that you are facing. It might be related to building your online presence and dealing with the increasing bounce rate (working on identifying your user’s needs and providing them the right product or service solution as quickly and conveniently as possible on your site) or even a dramatic event such as a site hack. When redesigning your site, it is important to discuss all the challenges that you want to overcome.

Sign #5: It needs fresh content
Your website is your business tool, a sales pitch and a business card that displays your products and services. It is essential for your brand’s success. When you have concluded that your website needs fresh content to enhance marketing efforts or showcase the added products and services, you can consider switching to a content management system such as WordPress or Drupal. You can turnaround your content into meaningful, informative and optimized for SEO.

Whatever tell tale sign for a website redesign, you need to choose the right web developer for this job. If you’re looking for an agency to build your new website or help you with answers on how to redesign your website, speak to us today!

 

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