In this advice piece about digital marketing, eBusiness UK director Nasir Kothia explains how to navigate cost-cutting without harming your online visibility at a time when it’s never been more important.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected every organisation in one way or another: most of us will have to re-evaluate the way we do business and many of us have been forced to tighten our belts, at least temporarily.
When reducing your outgoings, it’s vitally important to ensure you don’t cut off the supply of marketing services that are integral to your success.
As the continuing lockdown has forced customers to browse and buy on their phones, tablets and computers rather than in person, your online visibility has never been more important.
Your presence in the digital realm will not only help you continue to trade during the lockdown, but will also leave you in a stronger position once the restrictions are lifted.
When it comes to digital marketing, not all of your costs can be treated the same. It’s easy to hit pause on a pay-per-click advertising campaign, for example. That’s a switch that you can turn on and off as you need it.
On the other hand, I urge every business I speak to not to pull the plug on their Search engine optimisation (SEO).
If you really are working on a threadbare budget, you can reduce the level of your activity. But there are two major reasons that you can’t afford to stop it altogether.
The first reason that SEO needs ongoing attention is that it is a long-term project which builds and builds. Any break in momentum and you will start to slide back down the rankings, losing any prime positions you worked so hard to achieve.
All the money you’ve spent, all the effort you’ve put in so far, and you’ll have nothing to show for it. Worse, you’ll have to spend more than you saved just to get back to where you were before.
The second reason is that any slip in your search engine rankings could see you easily overtaken by a competitor who will be more than happy to take your customers.
Studies of previous recessions and other difficult economic times have shown that it’s the organisations who continue to invest in marketing that not only improve their chances of survival, but continue to excel for months and years afterwards.
If you lose rankings on key search engines, it will be because you have been replaced by a competitor. And this is bad news because less than a third of search engine users look beyond the top five results, and only 5% look at the second page. You risk becoming virtually invisible to your customers and potential customers.
There are other low-cost alternatives to promoting your brand during the lockdown.
Social media has long been a great tool for connecting with large audiences, but is even more impactful now that it is one of the few ways people can communicate with the outside world.
To get the best results, research which platforms your customers prefer to use, as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the like each cater to different audiences and are used for different purposes. You may need to start engaging on a particular platform, even if it’s not your personal favourite.
B2B companies also have plenty of opportunities to engage in online networking, with events that are collated by geography, by sector or similar. With a webcam and Zoom software, you will be able to network, join debates, and raise your profile with like-minded business owners and decision-makers.
In summary, make sure you fully understand the implications before cancelling any part of your marketing, and if you’re struggling with your budget, give us a call, and we will be happy to help you make the most of your available resources.
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