Digital Marketing in Challenging Times

Digital Marketing in Challenging Times

You know the drill by now.

Stay at home. Don’t leave the house. Unless, of course, you need basic provisions, one session of exercise, to collect medications, or to tend to a vulnerable relative or neighbour.

The effects of the coronavirus outbreak have been massive, both on a personal level and for businesses too. So, what advice does Clever Marketing have for firms in this current climate?

Is it a Good Idea to Cut My Marketing Budget?

As a business we understand that firms need to look at saving costs during challenging times. We saw this during the financial crisis of 2009 and, right now, there’s still a lot of uncertainty over Brexit. Now, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, there are even deeper and more immediate concerns.

Right now is a good time to take a step back, and have a clear look at your business. Are you thriving or are you just surviving in the wake of COVID-19?

For some industries, particularly travel, hospitality, retail and leisure, the current situation is extremely challenging. Flights have been grounded, rail firms have sought government support, and the treasury has drawn up extraordinary plans of financial assistance for businesses and workers.

But can you secure your future through marketing?

If your business is quiet on the marketing front you may be forgotten or overlooked. Marketing visibility is crucial during a time when so many businesses have gone full digital and all employees are working from home where possible. If you don’t look after your brand it may not benefit when we all come through “the other side”. It is this very notion that forward-thinking businesses are focusing on right now.

A quote from a study by Harvard Business Review back in 2010 says:

“Firms that cut costs faster and deeper than rivals don’t necessarily flourish. They have the lowest probability — 21% — of pulling ahead of the competition when times get better…”

Let’s look at the pros of thriving through continued marketing spend…

Pay Per Click (PPC)

Pay Per Click campaigns get your message in front of the right internet searchers at the right time. PPC allows your product or service to stand above all others in a competitive and crowded marketplace.

At a time when your competitors may be reducing their ad spend on PPC, there is an opportunity here to make gains.

In terms of awareness alone, you can protect your brand through PPC. Brand campaigns will ensure that your intellectual property stays yours in the search engines, and they also make bidding on your terms expensive for your competitors.

Or how about the fact that you may actually just now have fewer competitors and so your ads may be cheaper? With fewer competitive bids, your PPC ad budget may stretch a lot further than it once did.

We manage individual PPC accounts with budgets over many thousands and have seen great successes over the years. From doubling enquiries for £100,000 products (and on the way to quadrupling these) to reducing effective ad spend from £5,000, with another agency, to just £1,000 a month. One client actually has too much work due to the sheer number of leads we generate for them every month.

PPC is a winning channel whether it be Google Ads or Bing Ads, we have a track record of success in paid search.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

More complex than PPC, Search Engine Optimisation gets you “free” organic results in search. If you keep up all the hard work that’s been invested in optimising your website then you will maintain rankings and keep ahead of the competition.

Anecdotally, our Digital Marketing Manager once worked on a large business advice website where he optimised the site daily. When he left there were no daily site updates in Google Webmaster Tools. Without the highly qualified staff, and no more attention to detail, a decade’s worth of effort was lost. The site tanked in the SERPs and eventually the project was abandoned.

The moral of the story here is look after your website, and your website will look after you. Keeping it in good shape means the search engines will appreciate your efforts and you’ll enjoy as much success as you’re prepared to put in.

Social Media

Remote working means that everyone is online right now. Your staff, your competitors, your clients and potential customers are all now digitally connected. For the benefit of everyone’s mental and social welfare, it’s good to talk.

Continuing to work on social media means that you keep talking, keep having those conversations. Whether it’s paid or organic, there’s never been a better time to be social.

Brands that have embraced social media and are regularly active, are the brands that people will engage with.

Updates to inform the world that you’re still open for business, that your staff are safe and to enquire on the well-being of your clients is a major positive. Use every social media channel that you feel comfortable with. And within those channels again use whatever tools are most appropriate – have you tried LinkedIn Conversation Ads for instance?

Inform, entertain, reassure. There is so much your business can be doing on social, so take to the airwaves or make sure your agency does for you.

To a Brighter Future

When we step out into the brave new world, things will be different. The world will be a different place and how you’ve readied and adapted for that change is key.

Businesses that are proactive now will be ahead of the curve when the new era comes. Necessity is the mother of invention and rising to the current challenges will make you stronger.

Clever Marketing, Hampshire Digital Agency.If you want to maintain your digital marketing in challenging times then speak to us now on 01276 534 680.

We’re here to assist with your SEO, PPC and social media, paid and organic, so take a look at our digital marketing services.

Time to Go Full Digital

Time to Go Full Digital

The current situation with the coronavirus is absolutely unprecedented. People are experiencing a great deal of anxiety on two fronts. There’s the health and well-being of themselves and loved ones, and the uncertainty in terms of their jobs, businesses and livelihoods.

We’ve outlined some steps for businesses to take and work around the physical restrictions that may impact them – whether government-mandated or as a result of more caution exercised by clients or the public generally. Your business can navigate and take advantage of the always-on digital world.

Digital Comms

With so many people now working from home, there’s been a sudden uptick in digital communications. Where once you’d shout across an office or walk to a colleague’s desk, we’re now going full digital.

Keeping in touch with your team is crucial, not just for staying on top of projects but also for maintaining morale too.

Beyond email and phone calls, you can FaceTime and WhatsApp your colleagues. Video calls add an extra dimension to voice communications especially when we’re confined to home working.

Better still, use Skype, or the more commercial Skype for Business or now Microsoft Teams (It’s already started to supersede Skype for Business). Your team can be sat at their home desks, on their laptops, with some great group calling features.

Other tools you can use for better digital comms are Slack, which is popular amongst web teams, Zoom and Cisco’s Webex. Ultimately, what you use is down to availability, cost etc. So see what digital communication tools you already have and might not have been using before.

It’s good to talk.

Cancelled Events

If your company or organisation has cancelled one or more of its scheduled events, provide delegates with an alternative digital experience. This can take the form of streamed presentations, online workshops or forum/Q&A discussions.

Set up a series of webinars that reflect the content of the conference, festival or event. Webinars are informative, engaging and interactive – as well as flexible. They can be effective as a learning tool, especially when accompanied by supplementary digital materials. Webinars add benefits to your participants in a way that face-to-face sessions are not always able to do.

However, just as you would provide directions to a live event, your delegates will need to know that the webinar is available and how to find it. Manage communications via email, social media, digital advertisements, and drive traffic to the webinar on your website.

Revisit and Audit Your Own Website

With much of the world going full digital to conduct business, it’s a great time to audit your website. Taking the time to conduct a website audit allows your business to take stock of its role and successes.

  • Is your website up to date? What do you need to add and how often in this time of digital-only transactions?
  • Does your website do what it’s supposed to do? Is it fit for purpose?
  • Are there goods or services that are not usually available online that can be posted or downloaded?
  • Does your website express the ethos and message of your company to its online audience in the best possible way?

Completing these vital steps now is essential for when business picks up, meaning your company and your website will be ahead of the game.

If your business is short on resources or knowledge, let us know and we’ll be happy to help you audit your website.

Digital Marketing

With staff having to work from home, businesses are spending more time online. Activity has fallen for some industries, like travel, but generally there’s been an uptick in digital activity as workers stay indoors and away from offices and public places. Some service providers have released unlimited broadband to help consumers and businesses alike.

Digital marketing is perfect to reach out to your clients and customers whilst they spend more time online. Use the digital marketing channels at your disposal to create and maintain brand awareness, order online, earn discounts for recommendations and referrals, or sign up to online video classes.

If there are ways you can help your clients or customers let them know. Do you have useful information they can act upon, or guidance and advice relevant to their life or work?

All this information can be distributed via emails and social media. Remember that people are bombarded with information at this time, so you will need make your message stand out.

Digital Brochures

Digital brochures are a great way to get information and news out to clients and customers, especially in a visual way. These can be sent out as links in an email campaign or signposted in your website.

A digital brochure acts like a mini website, with integrated forms, animation and videos, and it is a proven way to keep business flowing and maintaining a connection with those served by your business.

Clever Marketing - Hampshire Digital AgencyClever Marketing takes the coronavirus and its impact very seriously, however our team are all working remotely and open for business as usual.  We’re passionate about helping businesses during these tough times and keen to help you go full digital.

If you need help please call Clever Marketing on 01276 534680 or fill in our easy contact form.

The Coronavirus, Our Digital Agency and Working From Home Tips

The Coronavirus, Our Digital Agency and Working From Home Tips

It’s all over the news all over the world, you can’t avoid it – COVID-19.

Here at our digital marketing agency in Farnborough, we first noticed the effect on business of the Novel Coronavirus on Monday 16th March when the business centre we operate from was quieter than normal. By Tuesday the car park and building were almost empty, and that evening the decision was made that it was safer to work from home.

Now all the Clever team are all working remotely and still providing the same exceptional service you’ve come to expect from us.

The very first thing we did was ready our business continuity plan to assure our customers and visitors that we’re open and it’s business as usual. We will publish this as soon as it’s ready. Edit: From March 19th you can see our business continuity statement.

As an agile business we’re used to remote working practices and so we thought we’d share with you some tips for working from home.

1) Keep the Work Mindset.

Maintaining your professional mindset is the first thing you should be doing. You still have an excellent job to do and the only thing that has fundamentally changed is your working environment.

Just because you can work from your bed, in your PJs, on the couch etc. you should be able to maintain the excellent level of expertise and customer service that you usually offer.

Also, if you’re on a Webex, Skype, Zoom or Microsoft Teams call, your colleagues and clients can see what you’re wearing, so bear that in mind.

By continuing to project your skilled attitude you’ll be setting an example to all your colleagues and showing your clients and suppliers your masterful ability.

2) Set up your Home Working Space.

It may certainly be a novelty to some staff, emailing from the bedroom, video conferencing in the lounge, or doing marketing at the dining table.

Whatever your preference, it’s good to have a dedicated working space if you can. At a desk in a spare room, at the table in the dining room, on the spare sofa in the playroom or out in the summer house in the garden.

Whichever place you choose to work from, make it comfortable, make sure there’s enough light, have a strong, reliable WIFI connection and have your phone to hand. Have your desktop apps on your phone too as a backup.

Remember, if you’re teleconferencing, people on video chat can see what’s behind you, so make sure you’re sitting somewhere pleasant and clutter free. Make your work-space conducive to producing brilliant work and you’ll be as productive, if not more, than you were in your office.

Other things to consider are that you keep your work-space quiet and distraction-free. Keep any children, pets, family members and lodgers away from “your area” and let them know that the time and space needs to be respected so that you can continue to work in professionalism.

3) Stay Connected with the World.

Having your communications set up correctly and reliably is so vitally important. As above, in setting up your working environment, have a good seat and make sure all your communications tools are at hand.

Your broadband or wireless is your number one tool, so make sure you have a good signal and a sound connection.

Choose a place in your home where you get the best connection or use a CAT-5/Ethernet cable and plug straight in to your router for the most dependable internet access. Make sure you have the speediest fibre that you can and call your provider if you need an upgrade.

Email is probably your next most important necessity. Make sure you’re set up to access your email from home. Also ensure you have some shareable storage for collaborating with your team on those shared attachments.

Then you’ll need all your teleconferencing tools: Skype, Skype for Business, MS Teams, Slack… whichever tool you use, set it up and make sure you test it. Have a few options in your comms toolbox because, if you use Teams, others may not – so have Zoom as an optional extra.

4) Have a Daily Routine and Stick to it.

You probably had a good routine when you went to the office so try and replicate that whilst working from home.

Get up at a regular time, get up early. Go through the same motions you used to and, instead of a drive or train journey, go out for a walk (Government advice pending) or have an exercise plan. Lunchtime is the same, make sure you’re not stuck at your desk, so get up, get exercise and actually have a break. Finish on time too. Working remotely can often mean the hours whizz by and you may not realise the time. So make sure you finish at a good time.

5) Get Prepared for the Hybrid Working Model.

Working with clients in the financial services industry (And a number of other STEM businesses), the new hybrid working model is becoming increasingly important. We will all go back to work eventually but the benefits of working from home remain, so we will see methodologies where we mix home and office-based working.

Be ready for that change because being dynamic and at the forefront of our increasingly technocratic society is a competitive edge for businesses, large and small.

Working from home isn’t for everybody but there’s not much choice at the moment – we’re all in this together.

Look after yourself, your mental health and support your clients and suppliers too. Make sure you spare some time for your family and relatives too, seeing as you’re all at home together. Check in on colleagues who may be on their own, they may be in more need of moral support than anyone, being alone.

Ultimately, working from home can be a massively positive experience – reducing pollution, being able to focus and dedicating yourself more than ever to projects is a huge bonus. Make the most of it too, because things will return to normal someday soon.

Also, if you’re finding so many positives from remote working, make sure that this becomes an intelligent part of your routine once we’re all out of the lockdown.

Clever Marketing - Hampshire Digital AgencyIf you have additional tips, feel free to comment, we’d love to hear what you’ve done to increase productivity and better serve your clients.

Do you need excellent SEO consultants,  strong PPC campaigns or a digital strategy? Call Clever Marketing on 01276 534 680 or complete our easy contact form.

Clever Marketing Business Continuity Statement

Clever Marketing Business Continuity Statement

In light of current developments regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Clever Marketing has taken a series of measures to ensure uninterrupted services to all our customers.

Our primary objective is to provide every single one of our customers with business continuity at a time when you need us most. These are unprecedented times and we continue to deliver agile and adaptable solutions for you.

Clever Marketing initiated the business continuity plan on Monday March 16th. This was after closely monitoring news and official government advice about the worldwide pandemic. By Tuesday we had mitigated risks to your health and welfare by immediately postponing all face-to-face meetings.

On Wednesday March 18th we took the decision for all Clever Marketing staff to work remotely. This was an immediate success and, again, there has been a seamless and uninterrupted service to all our clients.

Our agency takes the risk to public health and business very seriously. Rest assured we continue to closely monitor the situation and are ready to adapt to your business needs. We are maintaining all of our digital services as normal. However there may be changes to print services dependent on our suppliers.

Should you have any questions at all please feel free to get in touch. Your account manager or anyone else in the Clever Marketing team are always here for you. You can still call us on 01276 534 680 or via any of the channels on our contact page.

Clever Marketing - Hampshire Digital AgencyOur digital agency continues to provide top drawer SEO, PPC and paid social services despite the current situation. Web design and development also continues uninterrupted.

If you’re new to Clever Marketing, do call us for any eCommerce or digital marketing you need, we’re open for business if you are too.

Why Clever Marketing is Your Digital and Marketing Agency This Decade

Why Clever Marketing is Your Digital Marketing Agency This Decade

Maybe you’ve considered outsourcing your digital marketing but decided against it because you feel you know your organisation better than any outsider? That’s probably true.

But do you know the best way to market your business? Do you know how to explain what you do to someone who’s never heard of you? It’s for this very reason that outsourcing pays off.

What’s your elevator pitch?

Do you have a brief, prepared statement that clearly and succinctly explains what you do and why you’re better than the competition?

Does your statement immediately spark interest? Will someone listening to it be persuaded that you can solve their problems?

It’s not easy to prepare a pitch. That’s why it makes sense to call in the experts. You carry on doing what you do best. And we’ll do what we do best – marketing your business.

Why outsource your marketing?

Even if you have your own in-house marketing team, you can end up wasting time and money on unsuccessful campaigns.

If you outsource, you get more for less. You’re paying for creativity, concepts, marketing and digital expertise.

Clever Marketing is a full-service digital marketing agency. We have a team of experts under one roof – covering every aspect of creative marketing and digital wizardry.

What is a full-service digital marketing agency?

Full service means we cover every aspect of marketing, whether traditional or digital – from concept to delivery.

You can pick and choose the marketing and digital package you want from the long list of services we offer:

Digital Marketing Graphic Design Marketing Solutions Website Design & Development
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Creative Design Digital Brochures Bespoke Websites
Pay Per Click (PPC) Branding/guidelines Email Campaigns WordPress Websites
Digital Management Artworking Tele-Marketing HubSpot Websites
Content Marketing Print Management Video & Animation Landing Pages
Social Media Digital Design Videobooks .Net Development

You name it, we do.

Why we’re different to other marketing agencies

At Clever Marketing, we work collaboratively and transparently with our clients. Our team is an extension of your business, working equally hard for both large and small companies.

If you enquire about a service that we don’t believe your company needs, we’ll tell you why and offer a better solution. Ultimately, our team is determined to make a difference to your business – which is why our customers keep coming back to us.

Over the last fourteen years, Clever Marketing has offered unrivalled services with premium results – without charging the premium prices of London agencies.

Why work with an agency close to you? Because you can see who you’re working with and enjoy better communication. You’ll have a dedicated account manager to see your project through from beginning to end. [See also The Benefits of Working with a Local Design Agency – Ed]

Change the way you market your business with Clever Marketing

If you’re not happy with the response you’re getting from your current marketing efforts, isn’t it time to take a new approach?

In the ten years since our inception, we’ve embraced every new advance in technology to evolve into the creative, full service digital marketing agency we are today. Our heads of department have 100+ years of combined experience in marketing, design, digital, technical and print.

Let us become your creative partner, and we’ll show you the difference we can make to your business. Our hungry young team loves a challenge!

Clever Marketing - Hampshire Digital AgencyReady to take your digital marketing to the next level?

We are experts in PPC, Hampshire SEO consultants, marketing masters and the agency you need this decade.

Call Clever Marketing, your digital agency, on 01276 534 680 or fill on the easy contact form.