Digital Marketing In The Vancouver Area

Vancouver is a major Canadian hot spot that is home to many different industries and fields. The eclectic diversity of the city is represented from one end to another, and opportunity continues to abound as growth continues to take shape. Businesses operating in the Vancouver area are actively involved in a highly competitive economic sphere, which makes it very important to find the right digital marketing agency that is capable of increasing your presence.

 In fact, without a good digital marketing team on your side, it’s extremely difficult to stand apart in a sea of talented competitors. What should companies in the Vancouver area be looking out for when considering digital marketing? Let’s examine.

#1) Be Confident About Your Role In Your Industry

It’s important to seek to seek out a digital marketing agency that is confident in how to operate within specific industries. For instance, many digital marketing entities narrow their field of operation to only a specific few industries in order to stay on top of evolving trends and changes within. This prevents an agency from spreading themselves too thin over too wide an area, which can have negative side effects for their clients. 

For this reason, it’s important to identify and reach out to digital marketing firms that know your particular industry inside and out. Don’t fall for the trap of going with a particular agency that cannot demonstrate their track record and level of experience in your particular field. Some firms will pay lip service to score a contract and then attempt to deliver after the fact. While there’s no guarantee they won’t succeed, the risks of wasting your money and time are greatly increased.

#2) Understand Your Goals

As a business owner, you can’t be blamed for not understanding how the world of digital marketing works. After all, it’s a highly complex ecosphere that can instantly turn on a dime from something as simple as a Google search algorithm change. That being said, every company should have a basic idea of what they wish to accomplish through digital marketing. The specifics of “how” are not as important as the end goal. The best way to accomplish this is to reach out to digital marketing agencies that catch your eye, and arrange a sit-down or a conference call. 

Let them into your world so they can get to know you, your business and its history. By identifying where you wish to take your company over the next 6-12 months, the digital marketing firm can devise a basic overview of their plan to help you achieve it. In other words, start with a broader eagle-eyed view of your overall goals, and tighten the microscope as your relationship with your agency of choice moves forward. With so much to keep tabs on, from SEO to social media marketing and paid advertising, it can be a lot to ingest. Don’t get overwhelmed at the start. Rather, allow your digital marketing agency to educate you piecemeal as you go along.

#3) Ask For A Track Record

A good digital marketing agency will sell you on their services, not the other way around. Be on the lookout for agencies that have a lot to show you in terms of stats that demonstrate real-world ROI. It’s one thing to promise the world, but it’s quite another to show a stat-based breakdown of their accomplishments. Confident and successful agencies won’t be afraid to hide anything. In fact, they’ll be anxious to show off their victories and help you achieve your very own. 

Vancouver is a bustling city with an equally energized market, and there are a lot of digital marketing agencies across Canada that are well suited to assist in your endeavors. Bear in mind that it is not necessary for a digital marketing agency to reside within Vancouver in order to generate excellent results. This particular kind of agency can operate remotely from across the nation, provided they understand your business and what you seek to accomplish. The digital marketing sphere is interconnected over the worldwide web, which means it’s easy for them to quickly identify your standing in relation to your target market. This is another opportunity to see their proven track record with remote-based clients, and the success they’ve brought to the table.

#4) If It Sounds Too Good To Be True…

Gone are the days when digital marketing and SEO companies were operating in a shady manner and fibbing to clients about organic growth. Nowadays, it’s very difficult for these agencies to operate, given the changes in web standards and search engines that have come down the pipe in recent years. Still, it’s not impossible for companies to stretch the truth in order to secure your contract, so stick to the old saying “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” 

Strike a balance with this tip, however. Many digital marketing agencies are simply very confident that they can deliver fantastic results for your company, and you shouldn’t shy away from that enthusiasm, provided they can prove their worth. However, companies that promise digital marketing miracles in the space of 2-4 weeks are probably up to no good. Digital marketing is a process that requires patience, calculation and careful execution. There is no magic button for success. A good digital marketing agency will let you know that this process involves constant monitoring of your campaign, re-evaluation of techniques, and the ability to chuck out what isn’t working, while beefing up the techniques that are generating results. This may sound like a con, but it’s actually part of the fun. Not only will your company grow its business organically, but the foundation of your relationship with your customer base will be strengthened tenfold. Remember – customers are keeping a close eye on companies!

#5) Biggest Isn’t Always Better

This goes back to a previous point about digital marketing agencies operating out of Vancouver, as opposed to the rest of Canada, but it is a poignant one. Many companies make the mistake of thinking that greater success is derived through dealing with major multimillion dollar agencies. Actually, that’s usually the opposite of how things work. These large firms have contracts with iconic international brands, and they will freely admit that they are probably not the best fit for your company. 

This is a good thing. Not only does it save your company a ton of money, but it can open the door for a talented, savvy and highly dedicated digital marketing agency to focus specifically on your needs, and your business, without anything else getting in the way. Just as a great agency doesn’t have to be physically situated in the Vancouver area, neither do they have to be a major international firm. Digital marketing ROI is achieved by having a team with eyeballs on your company’s SEO, advertising and online reputation. Your success runs parallel to theirs, which means they have a vested interest in making sure you hit the top spot and are able to stand apart from your competition. 

#6) Grill Your Agency

Your money is on the line, which means you have full rights to question your digital marketing agency and see the progress being made. A good agency will be proactive in this regard and be more inclined to share data and results with you before you even ask it. They will set up a schedule that constantly keeps you up to date on how well your digital marketing campaigns and initiatives are going. They also won’t be afraid to show what isn’t working, and recommend a course change if required. 

Always bear in mind that digital marketing agencies are not clairvoyant, but the good ones have analyzed the shifts in market trends and patterns, and will be in a better position to predict which way the prevailing winds are blowing. It’s not an exact science, which means alterations will need to be done in order to keep your company at the top of its game. However, if you suspect that an agency doesn’t have what it takes to pull it off, or is lagging behind in terms of results, don’t be afraid to put the microscope on them. A proper agency will understand!Operatio Marketing loves working with clients right across Canada, and we specialize in identifying market trends in specific areas such as Vancouver, where we have experience. If you’re ready to move your company forward in the digital marketing space, we invite you to reach out to us so we can get to know you, your company, and where you’d like to take it.

Tips For Franchise Lead Generation

Lead generation is one of the biggest challenges franchises face, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, finding new sales leads is one of the more enjoyable aspects of franchising, as it represents an opportunity to grow your franchise alongside enthusiastic people who want to change their lives for the better. As these franchisees build their own portfolio, so too can you build yours. There’s a lot of competition in the Canadian franchise market right now, which means it pays to take heed of a few tips on how to better your franchise lead generation. How, exactly?  Read on.

THE MILLENNIAL FACTOR

Millennials bear the unfortunate brunt of a lot of social jokes nowadays, but the truth is they’re the driving force behind the workplace, and that number is growing. Millennials are now in an age bracket where they’re poised to spend some money, especially if they’ve made it big within their day jobs. This younger demographic has also been culturally influenced to pursue a greater work/life balance, which means marketing to this group can yield more growth for your franchise. 

Millennials are typically pretty savvy when it comes to business as well, and with an experienced franchisor on their side to smooth out any rough edges and inexperience, the recipe is primed for success. Don’t focus all your attention on millennials, as other demographics (especially in the 40-50 year old range) have just as much, if not more business savviness and startup capital than millennials. That being said, millennials shouldn’t be ignored.

UTILIZE THE ONLINE SECTOR FOR GROWTH

It goes without saying that we are living in the digital age, but sometimes franchises forget the power of this medium, and neglect harnessing it effectively. Make sure your franchise is staying absolutely up to date on website design trends and vectors of message transmission. Having a mobile-friendly website is key to hooking the attention of potential franchisees, and keeping them engaged while you make your digital pitch. Similarly, reducing the complexity of application forms can go a long way to getting those leads into your inbox, which you can always cultivate later. It’s important to get people signing up for more info, rather than checking all the right boxes on the very first shot.

Finally, don’t neglect the power of video. This is an oft-overlooked transmission medium that has high impact among viewers who have grown up in the YouTube era. Video engages people in a way that static imagery and text simply does not. Utilizing it as an attention-grabber can vastly reduce the effort needed to hook and reel in possible interest towards your proposal.

THE RIGHT TOOL FOR THE JOB

Another mistake many franchises make is utilizing the same marketing expert they have hired to attract patrons, and turning them loose on franchise development and lead generation. While it is possible that a savvy marketing executive might understand how to generate both kinds of leads, oftentimes it’s better to invest in a franchise expert. 

Marketing gurus tend to focus on key demographics, and what works for visiting patrons and customers may not work for potential franchisees, since they are attracted by an entirely different set of criteria. It involves more than just providing a great experience. It requires speaking to their pocketbook and their long-term aspirations and goals, as well.

SPENDING MONEY WHERE IT COUNTS

Like most marketing and advertising ventures, you have to pay in to get back. This statement is rather generic however, and requires a bit of dissection. Many think that social media, portal lead generation, drip campaigns and paid searches involve simply tossing large amounts of money at each one, and hoping for the best. The experts will tell you when and how to apply your money to these kinds of digital marketing ventures to generate the best ROI. 

For instance, social media feeds are great ways to engage potential franchisees, especially if you’re paying for promoted posts to increase visibility. Portal leads are often viewed as less important, but they still deserve a bit of attention in order to push traffic to your website. Paid searches tend to cost more, but they also yield high results by increasing web traffic, and therefore your chances of engaging them on the franchising front. Finally, Email drip campaigns are widely regarded as one of the most effective lead generation methods for franchises, since they interact directly with potential investors. 

UNDERSTAND CONVERSIONS

Last but not least, do not automatically assume that potential franchise applications will translate into sales. Often, prospects will test the waters to see what franchising is all about, while seasoned franchisees might be curious about diversifying their portfolio with another brand. It might go without saying, but the final step will involve pitching the potential franchisee directly, so make sure your game is on. 

A great digital marketing company knows the importance of lead generation when it comes to building your franchise. Fortunately, Operatio Marketing has tons of experience in the field, and we’re ready and able to help you find the right leads to expand your franchise’s reach. Call us today so we can have a one on one conversation and get to know your franchise, and its ambition for growth!

The Importance Of SEO In A Post-COVID Recovery Phase

The Coronavirus pandemic waged war on the global economy by forcing entire countries into lockdown, and disrupting multiple supply chains. During that time, many businesses were thrown into a state of limbo where the business week came to a grinding halt, forcing them to rely on government aid packages to pay employees and maintain cash flow. Some businesses managed to weather the storm and develop new methods of serving their customers, which helped offset the damage, but many more were incapable of operating at all.

 

Whatever side of the spectrum your company fell on, there’s no denying the importance of a strong strategy for jump-starting your business as we begin returning to normal operations. One of the most important (yet overlooked) facets of this strategy is SEO, or search engine optimization. Neglecting this can have a dramatic impact on your company’s bottom line, especially as we begin making headway against the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

Most companies tend to think of SEO as the search rankings on popular engines such as Google, DuckDuckGo or Bing, but that’s a generic take on the formula. The true premise behind SEO lies in organic traffic that moves as naturally as possible through the search engine formula, and is tied directly to your company’s website. These search engines take an analytical snapshot of your website, and the content within it, such as videos, images and text to determine if the information is relevant to the audience. These methods are becoming more sophisticated by the day, especially as companies like Google continue to fine-tune their search algorithms. For example, this blog article was typed on Google Docs, and within this single paragraph, Google was able to accurately predict what my phrasing would be.

 

For this reason, it’s important to understand that these search engines are difficult to fool. This is good for the consumer, as companies are continually forced to refine their website content, and keep abreast of modern design standards. Failure to abide by these ever-changing guidelines can result in your company ranking lower in search results, or being stuck on that dreaded second page!

 

Years ago, SEO was considered the wild west of the digital marketing sphere. Rules were scarce and rarely supported, which led to an emergence of “Black Hat” SEO techniques that were designed to artificially boost a company’s search rankings in order to achieve the top spot. Those days are largely over. Google and other search engines can now determine if disreputable digital marketing companies are using these techniques, and can punish them outright through a variety of methods which can have disastrous consequences for your business. Fear not – this is a good thing. It has caused most digital marketing companies to maintain impeccable standards, while weeding out the bad ones entirely.

 

SEO is so important, especially on the heels of a unique disaster such as the Covid-19 pandemic. There’s still plenty of time to optimize your company’s SEO in preparation for a full re-opening of the economy, but those days are coming to a close. Even the threat of a possible second wave won’t be enough to force countries to adopt the exact same lockdown procedures as before, which means your company needs to be ready for an influx of business. Working with the right digital marketing agency will allow your company to not only optimize its SEO rankings, but beef up your website’s impact at the same time. Many companies don’t realize that the aforementioned website content plays such a huge role in overall SEO rankings, which means it pays to have the right digital marketing firm taking a long, hard look at your site.

 

Keep in mind that some companies have taken the Covid-19 lockdowns as a sign that the business world was put on PAUSE. This is actually the wrong way to view the situation, as these companies will have a much harder time regaining the traction they might have had, before Covid-19 hit. Proactive companies have maintained their SEO rankings through a combination of organic content, website optimization and a strong social media presence, all of which tie together. If your company failed to take these steps over the last 3 months, don’t fret! There’s still time to reverse the situation, and the results can be seen in as little as 1-2 months, if you act now.

 

The early bird gets the worm, as the old saying goes. This goes double for prepping your company to emerge as an industry leader in comparison to your competition. Covid-19 will soon be a thing of the past, especially with multiple vaccines already in development. Though we will feel the economic effects for at least another 2 years, things will largely return to normal. A year out from today, we’ll be back to normal operations. Waiting for that time period is a mistake, however. There’s plenty of opportunity to take advantage of the missed opportunities left open by your competitors, and rise to the top. Make sure your customers know you’re there, and you mean business! A strong SEO strategy is paramount in achieving this goal.

 

For more information on how Operatio Marketing can help you optimize your SEO rankings and prepare you for a post-Coronavirus recovery phase, please contact us today. Let’s work together for the betterment of your goals.

Operatio Marketing: Sensyst Case Study

The benefits of having a fully functional and dedicated digital marketing agency at your disposal are self-evident only when the numbers are there to back it up. By investing in a digital marketing agency, you have an opportunity to see, in real time the organic ROI that can be generated from online campaigns and advertising initiatives that drive traffic to your website, spur lead growth, and provide more business opportunities.

 

At Operatio Marketing, we’ve always been firmly committed to working with our clients at their level, by acting as an extension of their existing team. By striving to understand a client’s business model, company culture and customer base, we effectively become attuned to their needs, while providing them with much-needed advice and guidance when it comes to strengthening their online digital presence.

 

This is evident in the relationship we have developed and maintained with Sensyst, a very popular consultancy which helps customers design trendy, attractive and functional office spaces that meet their demands and needs. Sensyst understands the importance of identifying the internal cultures of the companies they work with, including their employees, corporate creed and business goals. Meanwhile, Operatio Marketing mirrors this approach by working directly with Sensyst as an add-on module to their existing operations, which is designed to fit seamlessly into their team roster.

 

Sensyst President Rod Perry recognizes the importance of this kind of working relationship between consultant-style firms. After all, hiring an agency with such a particular specialization is entirely the point. From Sensyst’s perspective, they wish to help their clients plan out the most effective and striking office space designs imaginable, for the benefit of their customer’s internal culture, employee morale and operational efficiency. At Operatio Marketing, our perspective is to put Sensyst’s name in lights by highlighting their already established reputation, and driving organic traffic to their site, while generating new lead prospects. While discussing the topic with Mr. Perry, he replied “[Operatio Marketing] was the first company that actually came to us with a plan and a strategy, and tried to understand our business first, rather than treating us like just another account.”

 

Mr. Perry was able to see the results of his partnership with our team at Operatio after Sensyst’s ad traffic increased by 200 percent, not to mention an increase in web traffic. Our digital marketing strategy with Sensyst was designed to be fluid, and able to change on a dime, depending on market conditions and shifting industry trends. By throwing the one-size-fits-all approach out of the window, we were able to concentrate on Sensyst’s needs, and give them a clear path towards opening up new business by talking specifically to the customers most interested in their services.

 

A key component in the success of Sensyst’s digital marketing strategy involved being able to control when we spoke to these customers, as well. By strategizing pay-per-click, social media campaigns and SEO search rankings, we were able to reach Sensyst’s target market and communicate directly with them when the moment was most opportune.

Though not impossible, it’s difficult for any company, no matter how talented, to run an internal marketing and advertising campaign. Every company wants to focus on what they do best, and deliver the greatest standards to their customers. Reaching those customers however, is the real challenge. Running advertising and marketing campaigns internally presents an exceptionally difficult set of circumstances to overcome. After all, it’s much harder for companies to distract themselves with shifting patterns in the digital space, from adjustments in Google search algorithms, to changes in responsive website trends. By the time a company decides to wade into the tricky waters of SEO and social media, it’s easy to get lost.

 

Mr. Perry experienced this first hand when Sensyst attempted to run their own marketing strategy, which quickly mushroomed into an endeavor that was very difficult to keep up with. That says nothing about Sensyst’s competence, and everything about being forced to juggle everyday operations with the side business of running a marketing campaign. By off-loading this particular part of the business to a dedicated digital marketing agency, Sensyst (like any company) was free to focus on the excellent, dynamic service and skill set they provide to companies. Meanwhile, in the background, Operatio Marketing was busy maintaining Sensyst’s search rankings, social media content, blogs and digital ads, which continued to interact with new and existing customers on a personal level.

 

Sensyst continues to enjoy the success of working with Operatio Marketing, as we in turn continue to deliver for them without shirking our responsibility, and our commitment to that success. The mark of a great digital marketing agency lies in how they treat their clients. Unfortunately, many agencies are more interested in landing the contract, rather than delivering on the promise. We refuse to go down this road. Instead, we maintain a close, transparent working relationship with our clients, and communicate with them consistently via regular meetings, where we can discuss changes to their existing marketing strategy, develop new ways for them to adapt in their marketplace, and (most importantly) provide real, tangible numbers and results they can see, in real-time. This helps Sensyst gauge the level of ROI they’ve made on their initial investment, which is great news for everyone involved.

 

For more information on how Operatio Marketing can help work closely with your company to deliver a professional, polished digital marketing campaign that yields true results, why not get in touch with us today? We’d love to speak to you!

A Case Study: The Effect Of COVID-19 On The Real Estate Industry, And How To Cope

Like many industries and economic sectors, the Real Estate market has taken a hit over the last few months as the Coronavirus pandemic swept through across the world, triggering a series of economic landslides. While the nature of the issues surrounding the world economy are unique, they have nevertheless created an anomaly in the form of a rather unorthodox recession that could last up to 2 years.

 

With government mandated lockdowns in effect, and social distancing measures put into place, there was really nowhere for the Real Estate market to go. Banks lowered interest rates, which served no true purpose, as nobody was willing to invest during such an economically unstable period. What we were left with was a housing market on hiatus, even though the Canadian government deemed Real Estate agents as an essential service.

 

One of the major hits against the Real Estate market involved the timing of the COVID-19 pandemic breakout. The spring season was effectively a wash, after estimates had predicted a record-breaking season. In February, housing sales were already higher than normal, signaling an early start to a very profitable season. That all came to a screeching halt when Coronavirus struck, and people were forced to stay indoors while businesses were shuttered (some for good).

 

To compensate, some Real Estate agents got creative by prioritizing the digital space. Virtual meetings between agents and prospective buyers and sellers became a top priority, much the same as other industries had leveraged the online sphere in an attempt to craft new ways of doing business. Open House demonstrations largely ceased in favor of virtual showings, especially after the Real Estate Council of Ontario and the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board weighed in.

 

Big cities like Toronto will weather the storm, even through the longer term, however. The mixture of limited inventory and pent-up demand means that the market in Southern Ontario will spring back much quicker than predicted, if the numbers prove to be correct. Other parts of Canada will see fluctuating results, especially when it comes to smaller municipalities largely dependent on small businesses that may, or may not have gone under.

 

As we climb out of the tail-end of the Coronavirus pandemic and enter the recovery stage, things will largely get back on track as they were before. The fallout will remain for the next 12-24 months, but it’s a great time to leverage digital marketing in preparation for the economic rebound. Real Estate agents should plan ahead when it comes to their digital presence, their websites and advertising mediums, such as social media. Planning an effective digital marketing strategy right now will help boost business when buyers regain a stable financial footing. Many are willing to buy right now, provided the market shows signs of recovery. That means lining all your ducks up in a row to take advantage of the massive consumer demand in places like Southern Ontario.

 

Having a strong social media presence is again, key to effecting an excellent digital marketing strategy. Real Estate agents work best when they’re down-to-earth, personable and friendly, which means keeping in touch with potential clients on various social media platforms is an absolute must. It’s also a great medium for showing off houses available for purchase.

 

Similarly, all social media accounts should backtrack to a Real Estate agent’s website, with an easy to access list of available homes for purchase. This is where SEO becomes an important and vital component of the process. Real Estate SEO is particularly competitive, which means getting the right digital marketing team on the job is crucial for standing out from the competition. They know the ins and outs of the SEO sphere, and they’ll work with you to push your name higher in search rankings, while continuously monitoring patterns and trends to maintain your standing. A great digital marketing company will provide tangible, real-world results that you can see via regular reports, to track your progress.

 

Similarly, Pay-Per-Click marketing can be beneficial for Real Estate agents, especially since rates are still down due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Take advantage right now, to boost your leads! Again, your digital marketing company plays a huge role here. Managing PPC campaigns can be complex and time-consuming, so it’s better to hand it off to those who understand how it fits together with the scale of your overall campaign. By tying everything together into a cohesive platform, Real Estate agents will be ready to get back to work, and put buyers into new homes.

 

For more information on how the right digital marketing campaign can jump-start your post-Coronavirus Real Estate sales boom, get in touch with us today!

A Case Study: The Effect Of COVID-19 On The Franchise Industry, And How To Cope

During the Great Depression, Henry Ford pulled out all the stops to prevent his company from going under, which meant rallying shareholders (40% of which were made up of family) to a common banner. He was able to use the Ford name as collateral for an economic aid package to keep Ford’s engine running long enough to make it out of the tunnel. The rest is history.

 

Similarly, today’s franchises share a similar challenge as the Coronavirus pandemic continues to batter markets around the world. Crisis tends to breed innovation, a fact all-too obvious in an age where more employees are working from home, and practicing social distancing methods to stem the flow of the virus’s reach. In order for franchises to survive, they’ve had to adapt to the pains of a sickened economy, while innovating in new ways. Thankfully, advancements in digital technologies have helped give many franchises a life line when it comes to keeping operations moving forward.

 

Restaurant franchises have had it toughest of all. In an industry dependent on customers walking through the front door and filling up tables, they’ve had to adapt to full-scale closures without a single soul in a chair. The creation of digital apps has allowed many restaurants to shift their business model to deliveries, where customers can order take-out sent to their home. While a far cry from having customers in chairs which can be upsold on drinks and desserts, it’s still an excellent avenue for franchises to maintain operation.

 

The practice isn’t perfect, however. In an age when restaurants are struggling to keep cash coming in, delivery apps like Uber Eats aren’t exactly making it easy. In April of 2020, the company decided to waive delivery fees in an attempt to help out restaurant clients who were paying upwards of 30% in fees. Many restaurant franchises were incensed that Uber Eats was taking such a huge percentage of each order, calling for a temporary reduction to 15%, in order to weather the crisis. This brings up an interesting point – namely, whether digital delivery services like Uber Eats will experience a backlash in a post-Coronavirus world.

 

As of May 14th, 2020, many parts of the world have reopened for business. This is the first step in a recovery phase that may have to endure a small (and wholly unique) recession, before the economy manages to return to normalcy. The next step will be to open restaurants for business all over again, perhaps with stipulations in mind (such as 50% capacity and adequate spacing to abide by social distancing guidelines). That still leaves half of customers without the ability to dine out with their families. While they could theoretically springboard to different restaurants, it’s far more likely many will simply stay in and take advantage of digital delivery services. As restaurants gain more traction and independence, they may begin looking to competing digital delivery apps to do business with.

 

Naturally, digital marketing will play a huge role during the COVID-19 recovery period, and franchises will definitely need to ramp up their advertising budget in order to bring people back into the fold. It’s not enough to maintain a physical standing at your old address. Franchises will need to reach out to their customers and entice them back, without scaring them off. This means letting them know that social distancing guidelines will remain in effect (if operating at reduced capacity), that enhanced cleaning of a franchise location is top priority, and the well-being of customers is the most important focus. Temper that with some cheer and optimism that things are (and will be) slowly going back to normal, and they’ve got a recipe for success. Many franchises have taken advantage of the lockdown period to reassess their operations, expenditures and workflow in order to trim any fat that may have lingered around the belt before COVID-19 hit. Expect many to come out of this tribulation with a hot new game plan in effect, designed to increase revenue and make up for lost sales.

 

Social media, PPC and an optimized, informative website are all key players when it comes to communicating with customers, and it’s never been more important for franchise owners to utilize all three. Many have made the mistake of assuming an economic shutdown is a hiatus, when in fact it’s a time of bustling activity. Silence will have a detrimental effect on a franchise’s bottom line. Open, constant communication with customers is what will truly make or break many franchise owners. This goes double for the economic recovery period. In the coming weeks, more portions of the economy will reopen, sending people back to work, and stimulating local economies everywhere. The more people out and about, the more will take advantage of what franchises have to offer. After such a long period of lockdown, they’re eager to spend, and get back to normal. This goes double for the arrival of the summer months.

 

For more information on how digital marketing can play a vital role in stimulating your franchise during the COVID-19 pandemic (and recovery phase), contact us today. We’re experts when it comes to maintaining brand reputation, customer interactions and franchise growth.

How To Prepare For A Roaring Digital Marketing Comeback After Coronavirus Ends

It seems like Coronavirus might finally be running the final leg of its course. Every virus has a shelf life, and COVID-19 is no exception. While caution is still the order of the day, the United States and Canada are now entering the re-opening phase, which is the first step towards an economic recovery.

 

If your company has managed to maintain a digital presence for itself through the COVID-19 lockdown, you’ll be in a prime position to hit the ground running. Customers will start spending again, going out to eat, and engaging in summer activities. Expect a dramatic upswing in spending, even with social distancing methods still in place. With talk of Oxford University potentially shipping millions of vaccinations as early as September, that could trigger an even larger and more positive economic rebound.

 

Your company should remain vigilant, and be ready for anything. Don’t be afraid to think bigger than you may already have. After all, people have been in lockdown for months, and recent reports suggest that it’s taking a psychological toll. Folks will want a return to normalcy, and your business will be instrumental in providing it.

 

If you’re working with a great digital marketing company, it’s a safe bet they’ve been managing your corporate reputation, and keeping your name in lights throughout this entire thing. Communication with clients in a time of mass isolation is paramount not only to everyone’s well being, but your bottom end, as well. If you’ve kept conversing with your clients, you’ve already taken the first step.

 

The next step is to consider how you’re going to embrace the economic restart. This will obviously vary depending on your business, but your next step should be to welcome your customers back into the fold. Here, you have the opportunity to get creative. Consider offering an extended welcome back deal designed to give customers time to take advantage after so much economic uncertainty. Remember, some have lost jobs and businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the right sale or welcome back gift can yield huge benefits.

 

We recently touched upon the need to maintain your company’s digital presence during the breakout. That included touching up your website and taking advantage of downtime to lock down any specific changes you might have wanted to implement. If you haven’t already done so, consider doing it now, before the re-opening is in its final phase. If you have the money to spend, this is a great time for your customers to return back to you and have something fresh and vibrant waiting for them.

 

Don’t neglect social media, either. Even now, it’s not too early to send some encouraging notes to your customers, sharing news of the potential end to the lockdowns, and the first signs of recovery. The News cycle is saturated with negative information, which is feeding the public stress. Be accurate, but be positive, and your customers will remember it. Don’t be afraid to invest in creating a short video that you can post on your social media channels. This kind of gesture goes a long way.

 

At the moment, online ad revenues seem to be down; a symptom of the economic pinch. That’s a good indicator to be mindful how much you spend with your pay-per-click campaigns. Some businesses can benefit from this right now, but it’s wise to check with your digital marketing agency to see if you’re structured to score a hit with your target audience. PPC costs are still down from where they were 6 months ago, so be sure to get an accurate read from an expert.

 

And finally, prepare for the comeback. Once customers are out and about again, it’ll feel like a whole new experience after so many weeks in quarantine. Enjoy it, and let your enthusiasm show to your customers, as well. The need for solidarity and fellowship has never been stronger than it is now. With a combination of a great digital online presence and some good old fashioned humanism, we’ll be back up to speed before you know it!

 

If you need a hand figuring out what steps you should take as we move forward into the economic recovery period, now’s the time to contact us. We’d be happy to give you advice on where you should be putting your company’s focus.

What Coronavirus Means For Your Company’s Digital Marketing Strategy

The old saying “it gets worse before it gets better” seems to be playing out on the international stage in the wake of the Coronavirus epidemic. With experts now predicting that the virus will begin to die off in June, people continue to hold out as cases rise in some parts of the world, while falling in others. It’s obvious that COVID-19 is hitting its apex, and once the hardest period is over, things will start going back to normal.

 

In the meantime, you’re probably thinking about the long-term well-being of your company, your employees and your brand image. Digital marketing never stops, and it can be used not only to keep your company strong during the height of this pandemic, but after the danger has passed. Here’s a few things to remember.

 

Pay-Per-Click Works

With millions of people stuck in limbo as businesses remain in shutdown, more are at home surfing the web, checking the news and doing a little light shopping. Now’s the time to engage them with pay-per-click advertising methods. As PPC rates continue to drop during the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s a smart move to save money and get your company’s name out there for everyone to see. A reduction in competition during the lockdown era is an opportunity for your company to take advantage, and outpace your rivals.

 

Use SEO To Stay Ahead

Being at the top of search engine results is vital on a good day. Think how much more important it is during a crisis! By utilizing SEO at this time, you can remain relevant and high ranking in search results, which is a vital cog in the marketing scheme of your overall business plan. The last thing any company wants is to neglect this avenue, only to drop in ranking once the crisis has passed. Many companies are making the mistake of putting the brakes on their SEO campaign altogether, while Coronavirus runs its course. In reality, it should be the opposite. Don’t make the mistake of losing your SEO footing, or it could have detrimental effects later on. Remember the old saying “Out of sight, out of mind,” and keep it at the forefront of your thoughts.

 

Prepare For The Recovery

When COVID-19 passes within the next few months, we may see the most incredible economic bounce-back in history, driven largely by consumers who have been pent-up in their homes for what feels like an eternity. They’re going to want a return to normalcy, and with that comes purchasing power. Plan well enough in advance to account for a boom in customer spending, and don’t forget things like sales campaigns, Welcome Back offers, or flexibility in your services. When this is all over, you don’t want to be caught with an influx of business that you didn’t prepare for!

 

Keep Your Messaging Positive

It should go without saying that you should never capitalize on the fear and uncertainty revolving around COVID-19. Not only is it immoral, but it will speak untold negative volumes about your company’s ethics and reputation. Your brand messaging should be positive, inspiring and encouraging at all times. This is the right climate in which to engage your customer base on a human level, rather than a corporate one. Talk to them as if they were your neighbor, rather than a paying customer, and remind them that things are going to be Okay.

 

Tie Up Any Loose Digital Marketing Ends

Before COVID-19 hit, you may have had plans to work with your digital marketing agency on particular weak points, but never had the time. That time has now come. Before the recovery kicks in, take advantage and give yourself a few weeks with your digital marketing agency to patch anything up that needs work. This could include website optimization, your Email marketing strategy, or even a video ad. The trick here is to identify the things you wanted to fix before the virus hit, and amalgamate those fixes with an updated strategy that will put your company ahead of the pack once the virus is gone. For instance, an update to your website could strengthen its weak points, while also giving you a chance to implement that Blog section you’ve been meaning to add. Your first article? It could be a positive message to your customers after the danger has passed, which sets a great precedent moving forward.

 

One thing is certain – Coronavirus has hit its peak. We’re seeing the worst of it right now, but the numbers will drop in the coming weeks before there’s a return to normalcy. The fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic will be felt for a long time, but with the right digital marketing strategy, your company can recover faster, easier and with less stress than your competitors. For more information on how the right digital marketing strategy can aid you during the Coronavirus outbreak, please contact us today.

Why Your Digital Marketing Agency Can Work Remotely Without Sacrificing Efficiency

The digital age has given rise to teams who quite often work remotely as part as a large whole. This isn’t simply an issue of convenience. It’s a method by which digital marketing companies can access a much broader and more diverse pool of skilled workers. Some digital marketing firms are largely made up of workers collaborating across the country, or even around the world.

 

In fact, digital marketing agencies are one of the prime candidates for remote teams, simply because it allows them to maintain their level of service 24/7, without a drop in quality. The recent outbreak of Coronavirus has the world on edge, and while many markets and industries are being affected, your digital marketing agency is probably weathering the storm quite well.

 

Think for a moment about the advantages for your business. With no lull in service or delivery quality, your digital marketing agency is always on call to help you deal with the fallout of a situation like the Coronavirus epidemic. In the coming weeks, the outbreak will begin to taper off as certain measures begin yielding a drastic reduction in new cases. An economic bounce-back is practically guaranteed, which means companies will need to ramp up their workloads in order to get back to a normal routine. In the meantime, your digital marketing agency plays a vital role not only in managing your reputation during this crisis, but preparing you for when it eventually comes to an end.

 

Consider the many moving parts of a digital marketing agency. Account reps, website devs and content writers are just a few cogs in the machine, but each one works within a digital space. In our age of ultra high-speed internet and a plethora of team management apps, it’s never been easier for a digital marketing agency’s employees to coordinate remotely, without missing a beat. Facetime, Skype and Google Hangouts make it easy for project leads to set up regular meetings and stay on top of current projects. Digital delivery of finished products is a breeze, thanks to website servers, business Cloud storage and other mediums.

 

The world may have slowed during the Coronavirus outbreak, but your digital marketing agency has not. They realize the importance of communication between your company and your clients, and their job never ends. That’s a good thing, not just for them, but for your company as well. A digital marketing agency can show you how to turn a negative into a positive, and spin the Coronavirus situation into an opportunity to spread a little cheer once it all goes away. As market certainty rebounds, so too will the economic engine begin picking up steam.

 

A recent Gallup poll revealed that three-quarters of Americans believe remote workers are just as, if not more productive than office workers. Make of this what you will, but it does lend credence to the notion that a digital marketing agency can easily maintain its level of service and quality through any situation. They have the tools, the experience and the know-how to stay on top of things, even when the team has been separated. Technology has evolved to a point where we’re one step away from virtual conference rooms, which means the future of digital marketing is going to get even better; a definite boon for businesses!

 

It’s also great for the employees, as well. Remote workers report a happier health/life balance, and feel the company both trusts and cares about their well being. Happier employees translates to better work, and greater quality for you, the customer. Plus, the advantage of a digital marketing agency having access to such a wide range of talent can only spell great things for everyone. It’s a win/win, right across the board.

 

To summarize, you shouldn’t worry that your digital marketing agency will be affected negatively by Coronavirus, or any other troublesome event. They’re ready to go when you are, and while the world struggles to get a stable foot-hold, they can show you ways to prepare for that recovery period, and the benefits still yet to come! If you’d like more information on how digital marketing agencies operate, and how they can be of benefit to you, we invite you to get in touch with us today. We’ll be happy to work with you.

The Six Stages Involved In Website Design

There are plenty of articles that dive into what makes a great company website, but many forget the core fundamentals of the process and instead focus on the technical aspects. There’s more to a great website than its coding, platform and graphics. How it functions will determine its success rate, and that requires forethought and planning.

Read along to learn about the six stages of website design, and why each one is so vitally important in creating the proper user experience for your customers.

 

#1) Research

Many companies claim they want a website, but they haven’t a single idea about how it’s supposed to function, or what its main purpose will be. If you find yourself in this boat, don’t fret! It’s easy to assume that simply having an online presence is enough in our digital age. The truth is, your website needs to stand apart, and that means you’re going to have to get involved.

First, you must define the goals of your website, and what you wish to see it accomplish. While having an online presence will give customers a means to learn more about you, it should also work as a soft sales tool. Are you attempting to drive traffic, sales, or both? What would you like to see the website do for your company over the course of 6-12 months, and beyond? A competitive analysis can work wonders here, by giving you a little more context from which to move forward on.

 

#2) Outline Of Scope

The key to crafting a good website user experience is to put yourself in the shoes of multiple customer types. They’re not all visiting for the same reason, and that can have a dramatic effect on your overall design. The right website will cater to many different kinds of visitors, so it’s important to think ahead, and ascertain what they’ll do when they reach your site.

Break down your target customer base and section them off into sub-groups that you can cater to. If you’re selling products, you may put a lot of your focus on buying customers, but what about pushing a competitive edge in relation to your peers? Creating incentive to browse your site, learn about your corporate culture, and even job opportunities can help serve a diverse array of visitors who may have different reasons for showing up.

 

#3) Information Architecture

It’s never wise to enter the design phase of a website build without properly creating a site map. This hierarchical structure can help you branch off from your homepage and determine what sub-pages you can link to.

The key here is to maintain consistency and ease of use across your entire site. Too many pages can be overwhelming, while too little can stifle the impressiveness of the site, overall.

By creating a site map, you can quickly compartmentalize appropriate information into a nicely rounded set of pages that are easy to browse, informative to the viewer, and tidy.

 

#4) Wireframes

Creating wireframe mockups of a site can quickly give you an idea of its layout and functionality. It helps to identify image and text placement, but don’t neglect the website header, either. This top-most section usually includes static links that visitors will use for main navigation to important sections of your site.

Overburdening your site with too many elements can cause chaos and drive visitors away, so it’s important to keep things neat, clean and well laid out. If your first wireframe sketch seems too busy, refine it with a secondary draft so you can reach a better level of balance. Not everyone is a designer, so if you need help, it pays to consult a digital marketing agency that understands the core tenants of good website design, and can custom tailor them to your company. That doesn’t mean your wireframes are worthless, however. Bring them in and share them with your digital marketing agency so they can understand your vision, and help shape it.

 

#5) Visual Mockups

This is where things start to get interesting! Visual mockups can be created by a graphic artist in a program like Photoshop, or a web mockup tool like Adobe XD. It’s good to have a seasoned expert lead the charge here, as they understand important criteria such as screen resolutions, colors and other technical requirements.

This mockup phase will help narrow down the final website design to the point where you’ll be ready to get started. Keep in mind that the design will most certainly change during the building process, but that will depend heavily on the accuracy of your mockup. Regardless, it’s vital to have a solid vision laid out before attempting to move forward with the building phase.

 

#6) Development

Unless you’re a coding pro, you might want to sit this one out and have the experts take over! A great website coder will build out your site in real time using important coding languages like HTML5, CSS and Javascript (among others). They will have already identified your vision and determined what is needed for particular elements on the website.

The end goal is to get as close as possible to your vision, and make the entire thing run like a well oiled machine. By adhering to these 6 steps, not only will you have a greater understanding of how websites work, but why they work that way. It might seem intimidating, but your input is vital in crafting a website that speaks directly to your visitors, from the heart and soul of the company.

We’re well versed in company website design, so if you’ve enjoyed this article and you’re interested in developing a site of your own, please contact us! We’ll be glad to help!