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!

10 Tips For Creating A Killer Digital Marketing Strategy In 2020

Digital marketing is all about leveraging the online landscape to drive visitors and growth towards your business.  This might seem easy, but it’s actually a highly complex process with a lot of moving parts.  That being said, there’s no reason to fear venturing into the digital marketing space, provided you know a few things!  Let’s take a look at 10 tips for creating your next killer digital marketing campaign!

 

#10) User Experience Trumps Everything

Ask your digital marketing agency to evaluate your website’s UX (user experience) value, and you’ll probably learn a few humbling things.  Take heed – this is not a bad thing!  While nobody likes to have their flaws pointed out, it’s wise to acknowledge them so that you can grow.  Digital marketing agencies can identify the weak points of your website, most notably when it comes to user experience.  They’ll target portions of your site that take too many steps to perform an action, or a menu system that isn’t intuitive.  They examine the entire process from start to finish, to determine how best to optimize your site.  Sometimes this can mean a few tweaks, while other times it involves crushing your current site and starting from scratch.  Remember, there’s no such thing as a “good” or “bad” website – only functional, and non-functional. 

 

#9) Figure Out Your Market

Moving forward with a digital marketing strategy means acknowledging a simple truth – you cannot target everyone.  It’s wise to identify your target demographic, and create a campaign that will appeal to them directly.  The key to a good digital marketing campaign is being able to identify your target audience, while still attracting secondary clientele.  For instance, if you’re in the food business, it may not be advantageous to target car companies, but what about event venues?  Try to identify who else might be interested in your business besides your primary core market.

 

#8) Identify Your Budget

If the law of diminishing returns is any indication, there comes a time when a return on your investment isn’t enough to justify the amount of money you are investing into the action.  In the case of digital marketing, spending more money might lead you to think you’re reaching a wider audience, but it’s more important to focus on how you’re reaching them.  Staying strategic is paramount to maxing out the value of your budget, which will yield a greater ROI.  Your digital marketing agency can show you these results with regular reports, so you know exactly where your money is having the best impact, and where you can afford to pull back.

 

#7) Attack The Campaign From Many Different Angles

Many companies who don’t understand digital marketing will believe that one or two channels are all that’s necessary to focus on, in order to build brand awareness.  In truth, a strong digital marketing strategy is a web of many elements that must work harmoniously in order to generate the right ROI.  If you’re in B2B, then don’t advertise B2C.  If you’re neglecting Email campaigns, then make sure to rectify the situation.  A digital marketing agency will be able to coordinate all these elements at once, and execute the marketing strategy at your command.

 

#6) Focus On Ads

Yes, social media ads are still a great way to get your name out there, and this method of distribution shows no signs of slowing down.  Facebook and Google Ads are two of the heavy hitters here, but don’t neglect Twitter and Youtube.  If you’re in the entertainment field, it pays to have a YouTube or Vimeo channel to showcase your work and drive engagements.  One thing companies should remember is to create dynamic, interesting content.  Often times, this is where they trip up.  A digital marketing agency has access to graphic designers, videographers and social media ad experts who know what works, and what doesn’t.  You might wish to put this job in their hands.

 

#5) Maintain Your Reputation

If you have social media profiles online, they should be cleaned up and kept consistent.  This means the same look and feel across all the major platforms.  One mistake companies make is neglecting certain channels over others, which can create a sense of detachment and sloppiness on the part of the visitor.  The strength of your reputation means checking all the boxes so you look your best at all times.  Strike outdated info from your social media profiles, and stay current.  This is especially important when it comes to contact information!  Some platforms are more advantageous than others when it comes to certain things.  For instance, a LinkedIn account focuses more on the professional merits of a company and its staff, while Facebook or Instagram are better suited for sharing company culture and brand awareness with your audience.

 

#4) Remarket, And Remarket Again

A digital marketing agency will be able to deliver real-time results that let you see tangible data on who your visitors are, where they’re coming from, and what pages they’ve browsed on your website.  By analyzing hot-spots on your website, they can determine if a potential customer showed up, clicked on something, yet still navigated away from your page.  Remarketing is a great way of dropping a gentle reminder on your visitors to let them know that you’ve noticed their presence.  This has proven to be an excellent tool to drive sales, and increase company reputation.  Retail websites often employ cart abandonment emails which identify what a customer has placed into their cart, but didn’t end up buying.  If this item goes on sale, it could pay to send an Email so they’re aware.

 

#3) Create Rich, Organic Blogging Content

When done correctly, blogging can drive up your company’s reputation and “sell without selling.”  Many companies mistake blogging as a sales platform to push a company’s wares or services.  In truth, blogging is one of the most “human” parts of your website, and it speaks directly to your customers in a friendly, down-to-earth manner that puts them at ease.  The trick with blogging is to focus on relevant topics that your customer base might find interesting.  This could be a technological development within your field, or an organic list of tips and tricks they might find informative and entertaining.  The emphasis should be on friendly conversation, as opposed to selling yourself.  The former will lead directly to the latter.

 

#2) Less Is More

Many companies who decide to take on their own digital marketing often bite off way more than they can chew.  They open up a ton of social media accounts, create a LinkedIn profile, a YouTube page, and then have trouble managing it all.  While enthusiasm is great, it’s rarely effective without some strategic planning to go along with it.  A digital marketing agency recognizes that not every social media platform is going to suit every company.  Indeed, it pays to focus on just a handful of platforms as you start out, where you can focus your time and money to build your reputation. Let your digital marketing agency decide the best platforms for your company.  The result will be greater growth, in less time.

 

#1) Decide What You Want To Accomplish

Before you decide to move forward with a digital marketing strategy, you’re going to have to actually focus on being strategic.  Be sure you understand what you actually want to accomplish.  Many companies see only the coveted #1 spot on a Google search list, but what about the strength of your social media presence, or good ROI on your Email campaigns?  This is where hiring a digital marketing agency comes in handy.  If you communicate your desired goals, the agency will understand how best to move forward to achieve them.

 

At Operatio Marketing, we know digital marketing inside and out, which is why we’d love to talk to you!  If you’re looking to expand your company’s reach, reputation and success in the digital realm, contact us today, so we can discuss your goals!

5 Things to Look For in a Digital Marketing Agency in Toronto

Choosing a great digital marketing agency is tough!  There’s a lot to choose from, and not all are alike!  Finding a great digital marketing agency in Toronto is like finding a great mechanic.  Once you do, grab them and hold on!  That’s why it’s important to know what to look for in any agency that you’ll be trusting with your company’s reputation!  Here’s 5 key things to look for if you’re seeking a Toronto-based digital marketing agency.

 

#5) KNOW YOUR NEEDS

You can’t even begin to look for a online marketing agency unless you know your own needs.  That means analyzing your company goals so you’ll be prepared to walk into a meeting and lay your cards on the table.  For instance, many companies don’t understand the difference between SEO, paid advertising and social media marketing.  Some agencies focus on just one of the three, while others can tackle all at the same time.  Regardless, it’s important to do a bit of research so that you can narrow down your short-list of digital marketing agencies before you start driving all around the Toronto area.  You don’t have to be a seasoned digital marketing expert to move forward, however.  Sometimes it’s as simple as identifying your desired goals over a period of time.  Let the marketing agency know where you are, and where you eventually want to end up.  It’s their job to carve out a clear roadmap that can lead you towards that goal.

 

#4) KNOW YOUR INDUSTRY

A common misconception is that digital marketing agencies are a one-size-fits-all solution.  In fact, many online marketing agencies realize the importance of narrowing their services to a specific range of industries where they possess a lot of experience.  Knowing the market is vital for achieving excellent results, and an agency can’t do that if they’re flying by the seat of their pants.  Most online marketing agency websites will tell you what industries they have the most experience with, and that can save you a lot of time.  If you’re a mid-sized automotive company operating out of the Vaughan area, there’s no sense setting up a meeting in busy downtown Toronto with a high-rise agency that caters to major international restaurant chains.  Choose the right digital marketing agency that caters specifically to your world, and your needs.  This will establish a great working relationship that helps both sides grow and succeed.

 

#3) PROMISES, PROMISES

Beware of digital marketing agencies that promise you instant success and the entire world on a silver platter.  The truth is that digital marketing involves constant evaluation of both your company and your overall industry.  A great marketing agency will keep its ear to the ground when it comes to shifting trends.  It will analyze the data and determine whether your online marketing campaign needs a few course adjustments to remain optimized at all times.  There’s no single-set solution to any online marketing initiative.  Industries are constantly evolving and growing day by day.  Even something as simple as color trends can have a massive impact on your company’s marketability.  This is why it’s beneficial to work with a digital marketing agency that will eliminate this guesswork for you, and gladly take on the challenge of making sure your campaigns are up to par, all the time.  They will also provide you with tangible, real-world results in the form of weekly and monthly reports and data sheets that will track your progress and help identify any areas in need of improvement.  Talk is cheap.  Results take effort!

 

#2) SIZE DOESN’T MATTER

Some might think that a smaller online marketing agency will be less effective than a larger one.  In many cases, the opposite is true.  A small digital marketing company with 3-5 employees can end up being a better fit for your company than a large one with 300 employees.  This will vary depending on your company and your industry of course, but it’s important to take note of.  Even if a particular digital marketing agency doesn’t offer video production, they may work hand-i

n-hand with a video company that can be contracted out to create your next campaign ad, and there are plenty of those in the Toronto area.  When finished, it’s up to your online marketing agency to apply it across your marketing channels to maximize impact.  Never think that a smaller company lacks versatility.  More often than not, flexibility is one of their key advantages!

 

#1) ASK THE TOUGH QUESTIONS

Don’t be afraid to pummel a prospective marketing agency with a ton of hard questions!  That’s what the first initial meeting is for, so you can get a feel for the agency and determine whether you’ll enjoy a great working relationship.  The right marketing agency will be confident enough to take all your questions and provide honest answers with key points to back them up.  They also won’t be afraid to say “I don’t know” to some of your tougher questions, rather than lie to you in an attempt to court favor.  Working with a digital marketing agency means moving forward together, as a team.  The agency should be enthusiastic about attaching itself as part of your company team, to work alongside you and generate results.  You’ll be an active participant in this process, as well.  While the agency is there to take you to the next level, it’s no fun if you aren’t there to share in the rewards!

 

At Operatio Marketing, we love working with our clients in a down to earth, positive way that fosters trust and a great working relationship.  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 go in 2020!