Suite 151, Carmel, IN 46032
Over the last year, COVID-19 has changed and reshaped the world as we know it in many ways. The way we travel, how we communicate and interact with one another, and how we work has all changed. But perhaps the biggest impact has been on how we go about our daily lives and its functions. And in many respects, the pandemic has filled a generational gap that was created as a by-product of the advent of the digital era. Whereas so many people were left out of the loop of technology before, the pandemic created an excuse to pull us all in. In many cases, whether we liked it or not.
In the world of technology and the internet, almost all imaginable conveniences of modern living have been thought of. Apps, communication systems, and digital marketing make it possible for people to have exactly what they need or want, right at the tip of your fingers. Craving a burger but don’t want to drive out to get it yourself? Order UberEats. Need a special gadget that’s only available in Carmel, Indiana? Buy it online and have it delivered to your door in a matter of days. Want to cook fresh meals but don’t want to go through the hassle of grocery shopping? Sign up for one of many meal-prep kits online. Need a new hair trimmer but should have gotten it yesterday? Use Amazon Prime to skip the charges of express shipping. The list goes on and on.
If there is anything that COVID-19 did, it is that it showed us exactly how convenient convenience can be. More importantly, it newly introduced these solutions to people who we thought would pass on without ever taking advantage of them, like our parents and grandparents. As someone with a business, this should be welcome news to you. It means that COVID-19 has expanded the size of your market. Great, but what now?
For one thing, maybe it’s time to start rethinking who your customers and audience are. Are you still only relevant to one demography of people, or can your products or services be expanded to fit the needs of these new groups? Maybe your market has expanded already without you having done anything. How lucky is that?
However, with every boon comes a challenge. Almost everyone who’s a “someone” (or trying to be), knows the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), digital advertising, and site optimization. These are what keep your business above the competition, win customer loyalty, and make your platforms and streams of communication super easy for people to use. Whether you are a business in Indianapolis or India, the world of digital marketing is the same for all – because the digital world is the one thing that we now all have in common.
It is one thing to keep promoting your business online or get people to visit your site, but even more important to seamlessly take customers to the finishing line of buying into what you’re selling. This can mean making it easy to select, review, and cash out on your online store, or complete purchases and then arrange for curb-side pickup by a physical store. If you are even lucky enough to have your physical store open, how you operate your business may have been significantly impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. In these times, every bit of digital marketing advertising effort, interaction, and transaction with your customers matters.
To add to the challenge, your customers have almost as many options in this new market as you do shoppers. What’s going to make you stand out is having a system that not just catches attention and shows up on the top of search results, but one that holds your customers by the hand until the end of the service or receipt of the product. And in many cases, even after that. With your online customers, convenience matters as much as quality and price (if not more). This is what will convince people to buy from you when they have the option to purchase the same product at the same price from multiple different sellers.
However, unfortunately there is a decline in investments into digital marketing and SEO by small businesses amidst COVID-19. Whether this is due to financial restraints on the business, a mindset to cutback, or a lack of awareness, small businesses are simply not as present online as they should be. While not investing now may save you some cash over a few months, it will likely create pitfalls and room for competitors to provide people with exactly what you had to offer.
Our world has undoubtedly changed and in an unexpected way for many of us. But for anyone who has or needs a presence online (meaning pretty much anyone with a business in the current era), the changes to your business’s digital marketing and Search Engine Optimization are what you need to watch out for. Times have changed and so has the audience. The behavior of your competition has also likely changed. Now is the time to learn the new ropes to digital success. Stay relevant. Be needed. Stay safe.