By J’Nel Wright
It’s been a long and challenging winter, especially for small businesses. As we venture into a post-pandemic business climate composed of an evolving audience, new marketing challenges, a desire for a flexible work environment, and remote employees, now is the time to give your business operations and goals a thorough spring cleaning.
These five game-changing tips will freshen up business strategies in a post-pandemic world and help your management team streamline work processes with clean, innovative concepts that ensure a safe work environment and a practical approach to business growth.
Take a Look at SEO
Your online user experience is vital for business success. But, in a way, it’s also a “living thing which requires regular attention. Statistics show that 53.3 percent of all website traffic comes from organic search. Are you sure those searches are correctly targeting your geographic location? And with almost 70 percent of search queries containing four words or more, how can you be sure you are accurately utilizing long-tail searches to broaden your brand’s reach?
“You always want to refresh and update things like security, performance, and compatibility,” explains Megan Ross, digital manager at Osmond Marketing. “It’s common for software to release updates in the spring, so you want to make sure your website can accommodate any software updates by developers.”
Understanding the role SEO plays in promoting your brand enhances your customers’ online experience, and providing guidelines to align sales strategies is an important first step. It also determines the most effective messaging approach for your target audience.
Make Sure Brand Messaging Measures Up
Effective marketing campaigns require consistent messaging at all levels of marketing. Take a look at your content to determine what you are saying and how you are saying it. Does it reinforce your brand? Is it pertinent to the digital space? Does it contribute to a pleasant customer experience?
“Brands produce similar feelings as the ones we feel when we like someone. So, we actually feel similarly about brands as we do about people,” explains Rebecca Riserbato at Hubspot. “That’s why marketers need to craft brand messaging that their audience can relate to.”
The pandemic caused many companies to address who they are and how their brand contributes to the new market space. But you can’t move forward until you know who you are trying to reach. The best place to start is a new buyer persona.
“Buyer personas should be updated as a company’s priorities, goals, business models, etc., change,” says Ross. “Once something within the company changes, the buyer persona is outdated.”
When you use a current buyer persona to develop consistent messaging and tone, you can be sure your marketing campaigns will reach the most receptive audience for your product.
Experts say there isn’t a specific metric for the ideal frequency of updating passwords. A strong password needn’t be changed unless you suspect it’s been compromised. But it’s not just the passwords themselves that need a spring cleaning; you should also check who has access to which accounts.
“Keeping passwords current and monitoring staff account access is standard practice for our marketing team,” says Emily Woll, MS, chief operating officer at Osmond Marketing, who sees the troubles a careless system creates for clients. “Prioritizing security also reassures our clients that we respect their intellectual property.”
For example, if your Twitter needs verification, whose phone number is listed as the contact? How many employees know the credentials for backend access to your website? Just imagine every password to your company’s website and social media channels walking out the door with a former employee who may or may not cooperate with your company. It happens a lot, and it torpedoes a company’s ability to seamlessly move forward with new marketing strategies.
“We recognize that organizations experience constant change through turnover, client onboarding, or a change in team member responsibilities,” says Emily. “Securing computer and software access ensures the workflow runs smoothly.”
Check on Your Employees
The pandemic has transformed how we work. With changes in the business environment happening seemingly overnight and paired with the pressure of keeping up on job responsibilities, we’ve blurred the lines between work and home. And it is taking an emotional toll on many employees.
In the Glint Crisis Report 2020, researchers found three factors that help employees feel a sense of belonging in the workplace:
- A shared sense of purpose
- Full acceptance for who they are
- A feeling of being cared for and offering care to their coworkers
Researchers recommend giving manager–employee conversations priority and using shared feedback to guide the needs of the team. “When meaningful conversations become a shared priority, they get done,” say Glint researchers. “Help your managers take action on their employees’ and teams’ needs.” They further explain that offering things like well-being benefits and flexible work schedules is an important step to maintaining open communication between managers and their teams.
You can call it a “new normal,” but the technology trends were already leaning toward workplace flexibility. The pandemic merely accelerated many of those plans. “Even before the pandemic companies were gradually adopting a wide variety of apps to support employees and office operations but now, they are playing a business-critical role,” says Mark Caskey, EMEA CEO.
Employee health and safety drive many implementations, including remote collaborative and virtual meeting software. Employers also need to redesign their infrastructure to accommodate both a remote and in-office workforce.
“When leaders can identify the touchpoint ‘hotspots,’ it will be easier to know where to implement technologies and tools,” says technology expert Asanke Abeysinghe in an interview with Lisa Ardill of SiliconRepublic.com. “Leaders will need to enforce governance and policies through automation, increase the digital channels and accelerate the internal and external digital transformation.”
If you are like most companies, you responded to the pandemic with quick decisions on a feasible working model. Now, evaluate how your company moves forward and what technology will support a new scalable model for your workplace.
By taking a fresh approach to new marketing strategies and an innovative work environment, your organization will be ready to spring into post-pandemic growth opportunities.
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