There are many things in life that we can’t control, but what we’re all learning from these turbulent times is that the one thing we do have control of is how we respond to the various situations we find ourselves in.
In the world of digital marketing, things are constantly changing, so it’s an industry that is often more prepared than most for sudden variations in the landscape. Whether it’s keeping up with Google’s latest updates or adapting to take advantage of new tech, it’s an industry full of people who have learnt to plan and adapt. It can help your online business to do the same, ensuring that you’re in the best possible position to ride out any storms that come your way.
There may be a variety of potential threats out there, but they will normally fall within one of these three categories, each of which will require a different type of response:
– Those that you are aware of and can actively plan for, e.g. a business merger.
– Those that you should have on your radar and can mitigate, e.g. Google updates.
– Those that you’ll never see coming, like a global pandemic 👀
So how do you create a digital strategy that will help you navigate and manage these threats, both seen and unseen?
Make Sure You’re Doing the Right Thing From the Start
If you’re not making your website the best it can be for all customers at all times then you’re at more risk of being affected by any future Google updates and other potential threats.
As a first step to avoid this, make sure your SEO is as solid as it can be. Follow best practise and design a site that truly serves your customer’s needs. This will not only negate the risk of being penalised or badly affected by Google updates, but it will also create a solid base for a great performing site that customers will want to return to.
If you had a bricks and mortar store, you wouldn’t risk housing your products in a crumbling building, just hoping that it won’t collapse. I can’t imagine this would be the type of place customers would feel comfortable shopping in, so why take the risk with your website.
Having a loyal customer base can be vital when it comes to dealing with the impact of an issue as widescale and far reaching as a pandemic. It can sometimes mean the difference between surviving or going bust, so it’s crucial that you have a digital strategy which puts the customer’s needs first.
Identify Trends to Prepare for the Road Ahead
This relates to both positive and negative trends. Keeping an eye on consumer developments and what customers are searching for will help keep you one step ahead, enabling you to build a digital strategy to either take full advantage of an increase in demand or to mitigate the effects of any decreases in product popularity.
If you find that there’s been a steady decline in demand, it’s time to investigate what options you have.
Is there a way to attract more targeted customers to your site who are more likely to convert? Are there any other avenues you could explore, such as widening your product range to include more popular items?
Carrying out this investigation work and putting plans in place before you start to feel the pinch, is going to make life much less stressful and much more prosperous.
Embrace the New Reality and be Prepared to Adjust
Don’t be rigid; Adapt to the times.
There’s no point in sticking to a strategy which no longer reflects the environment in which it was devised.
Instead, it’s much more beneficial to be flexible and respond quickly to sudden changes in consumer habits and demand. This mirrors something I highlighted in a previous post back in June; When the environment around you has changed it’s time to “redefine your business goals so that they’re more in line with what customers want now”.
If consumer habits have shifted and you find that there’s a sudden decrease in demand for your products or services, then it’s important that you’re able to make the most of a bad situation.
Throughout the pandemic, many companies have already adopted this approach, with clothing companies focusing customer’s attention on their gym and loungewear ranges, while others have switched from face to face consultations to virtual appointments.
There’s usually a way to make any situation that little bit better, so match your messaging and ways of interacting with what customers want and need. Being responsive and removing any barriers can go a long way to helping you ride out some of those really tough patches.
Every business and industry will have numerous ways to pivot to make the best out of a bad situation, but a robust digital strategy needs to lead the way.
Make Sure You’ve Got the Best People Around to Support You
This not only applies to staff but also to external service providers.
It’s easy to lose your head in a crisis situation, so having a good support network with good service providers can help steer you in the right direction and help you to adjust and respond to a new situation much quicker and with less impact on the business.
We can’t always predict everything that’s going to happen, but it’s important to know that there are measures you can take to mitigate risk and make the most of the situation at hand.
Many future threats have the potential to impact everyone, not just your industry and not just your website, so it’s all about making sure that you’re in a position to recover quickly or be impacted as little as possible.
Putting all these measures in place can help you do that, ensuring that you’re in the most advantageous position, should disaster strike.
If the pandemic has led you to rethink your approach or want to work with specialists who’ve seen it all and can strategise accordingly, give us a shout.
We’d be happy to help you navigate whatever hurdle it might be and build a digital strategy that provides a foundation that’ll stay solid no matter the threat in future.