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An in-depth guide to getting online

Prefer us to do it for you?

Survive & Thrive

We're helping you succeed in a digital world

With the wide-ranging business shutdowns due to the coronavirus, we wanted to provide a free resource to help you quickly move your brick-and-mortar store online.

Whether you're a retailer, call-out, or service provider, we can help you future-proof your company and make the most of this situation.

Introduction

For years, the team at Cube Online has been helping thousands of companies take their business online and showing them how to thrive in a digital world. In the wake of the Coronavirus, and the devastation it’s caused for Australian businesses, we’ve committed to sharing these proven digital strategies and some of our internal processes with any business owner for free. 

We’ve condensed our most useful and compelling resources which we’ve built over the years to help you weather the storms of recession, make smart moves when others are acting out of fear, build your business to take advantage of digital trends, and focus your marketing and business structure so that you not only survive online, but thrive! 

 

Due to Covid-19, we’ve been coaching our clients about how to manage their digital strategies in such a volatile environment, and it’d be fair to say these meetings have ranged from ‘panicky’ and ‘disaster recovery mode’ to being excited about the opportunities brought by the change and keen to learn how they can use this to come out on top after it’s over.

Disruption

Over the years we’ve seen big disruptions from changing tech and evolving market needs, but this has been by far the largest and fastest scale disruption to community and business we’ve ever seen. The need to transition online has suddenly become a lot more urgent and important, as pretty much nothing is business as usual. We’ve seen the biggest disruption to life and business in history. 

As the saying goes, ‘A tree that doesn’t bend in a storm will break’ is a true idiom for the current COVID-19 crisis. Everyone is impacted in some way and are experiencing varying degrees of pain and vulnerability. Some of the industries hardest hit by this crisis are the ones where there is the most opportunity. 

Good news

There’s a lot of bad news around, but the good news is that it’s also a unique opportunity that comes maybe once in a lifetime for your business. There is a lot to be gained if we stay focused on the opportunities and the future instead of getting too caught up in the fear and negativity circulating in the media. After all, it was during the 2009 GFC that some of the world’s leading companies were born, including the likes of Uber, Airbnb, Pinterest, Dropbox, Slack, Kickstarter, and Stripe. 

Times are uncertain and we’re doing everything we can to offer guidance to any businesses all around Australia. We will be constantly adding to this guide, and adapting it as we build our Bricks to Clicks service. As you can imagine, the paid service we provide to our clients includes much more than what is contained in this guide, so if you would like to have a team of digital experts on your side, and get us to do the hard work for you, get in touch for a free 30-minute consultation.   

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Learn the story behind Bricks to Clicks

For our founder, the story behind Bricks to Clicks is a personal one. In the first week of Australia's coronavirus lockdown, his dad's small business lost all of their foot traffic. Find out how Tony helped his dad pivot his business online. 

How has the market changed?

As we all know, foot traffic to physical stores have bottomed out since the virus hit, and for most retail stores this has led to huge cost-cutting, layoffs, and even closures. They have especially cut marketing budgets, and they just hope and pray that we go back to normal soon. However, online use has surged across many channels - in some cases up to 60% higher. As the traffic moves from offline to online, many companies have been caught with their pants down, and they are forced to make panicked decisions, which means there’s a distinct lack of strategy. 

The thing is, even before the lockdowns and social distancing, we know that the customer journey usually starts online, and in the 21st century it is essential for almost all businesses to have online strategies and functionality. Whether it’s simply advertising to boost your sales, retention and retargeting, being found online, or if you could benefit from a full e-commerce website, now is the time to take the plunge and discover the many benefits for your business online - it’s never been more important than now!  

Faster than ever

In our world of disruption, the speed at which changes happen is getting faster, and the time companies have to adapt is getting shorter. When the horse and cart industry was disrupted by the car industry, it didn't happen overnight. It took decades. But when the film-camera industry changed to digital cameras, it didn't take decades it took years. But when the hotel, taxi, and music industries were disrupted by Uber, Airbnb, Spotify... it didn't take years, it took months. We're living in a period of history where you must be agile and fast-moving in to adapt to an ever-changing business environment. This is as much an opportunity as it is a challenge. Bigger and more established business tend to be slower moving and less flexible, so it is easy to take the lead and predict the future. With this massive transition online, you have the opportunity to quickly own the space and create new avenues of business.    

Solve problems before they become problems

This rapid transition online is likely to create a new normal of digital services and online functionality for many industries. Many have been reluctant to go online, but now that they must, it’s likely we won’t ever fully go back to how it was. There will be short term and long term impacts on consumer behaviour, but it is evident from previous periods of upheaval that new behaviour tends to stick.

In short, the pronounced contraction in physical retail means mega growth online. This indicates a huge opportunity in how retailers can invest in optimising their online and instore relationships. We want to help you future-proof your business to adapt to this change. We want to teach you how to make the most of the coronavirus downtime and come out swinging on the other side. 

Moodys

“While doors are closing, we're opening windows”

― Tony Van-Eyk

What are the opportunities?

Over the coming months, you’ll find that many of your competitors are taking their foot off of the marketing pedal to save money, which means you may be able to sail right by them! Think of it like the hare taking a break while in the lead only to let the tortoise win the race with consistent effort. Almost regardless of your industry, a sizable proportion of your competitors also either won’t survive the downturn or simply won’t adapt. This means all of their customers will be looking for alternatives, and the sooner you act the better. 

Counter-intuitive but proven

It’s well documented that brands which increase and focus their marketing during a downturn can increase their market share and return on investment. It might seem counter-intuitive, but when you realise that many of your competitors do the exact opposite and cut their marketing spend, it means that there is a huge opportunity to fill the gap they leave. If they are leaving leads on the table, and taking the foot off the gas, you have a good chance to reach and convert the business they won’t. You should move forwards when others move backwards or stand still. Unless you really need to, now is not a time to cut your marketing budget. 

“Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.” - Warren Buffett

However, it’s not about just increasing marketing spend, but to try to better understand how the needs of your customers and partners change during a downturn. This is really important because this better equips your business to adapt its strategies in response to big changes like a recession. If you’re in a scarcity mindset thinking that you just need to hold on until it’s over, then you definitely won’t make the most of the situation. A lack of strategy isn’t a strategy. You should at least strive to understand how your customers are changing their patterns and what works and what doesn’t. 

Research and Focus

In a recession, people and businesses tend to do a lot more research for purchases, and this mostly happens online. Trusted brands and products are especially valued because they are less risky. This speaks to how important it is to have a good online reputation and how essential it is to be easily found online for the right search terms and in the areas you service. 

If we are indeed headed for a prolonged recession, the sooner you figure out how it’s going to affect your customers and your marketing, the better position you’ll be in over the long term. Remember, successful companies do not abandon their marketing strategies in a recession; they adapt them. 

We’ll go into some of the best strategies later on, such as offering extended financing, generous returns policies, or early-bird prices to motivate distributors to stock your products or customers to commit to purchasing. Price cuts also work better than promotions during a downturn, now might be a great time to re-negotiate your prices with advertising partners, rather than just stopping your spend altogether. We’ve even been seeing much cheaper bid prices on Google Adwords and Facebook ads etc for you to make the most of.

“A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time.”

― Henry Ford

Here's how the management consulting company Bain & Co describes how the very best companies respond in a recession.

"Think of a recession as a sharp curve on an auto racetrack—the best place to pass competitors, but requiring more skill than straightaways.

The best drivers apply the brakes just ahead of the curve (they take out excess costs), turn hard toward the apex of the curve (identify the shortlist of projects that will form the next business model), and accelerate hard out of the curve (spend and hire before markets have rebounded)."

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How have businesses taken the lead?

It’s been so interesting and inspiring to see how people and companies have been adapting to this potentially long-term and unprecedented situation. Whether it’s in how we support each other in communities, how we’ve adapted to see our friends and family, or how we’ve changed the way we do business, there’ve been many amazing examples of adapting to this situation.     

Some of the ways that business and marketing has pivoted has really shown which companies are leading the way and have good planning and agility to adapt. 

Here are our top 8 ways that we’ve seen amazing changes.

Leadership

We’ve especially seen which companies are leaders in their industry - adversity makes the leaders shine. It’s evident that they have researched and planned and are now sharing how they are making the most of this opportunity – and others are taking their lead. Especially those who think of novel and creative ways to help their customers or mitigate lockdowns.  

Innovation

Companies which were agile enough to immediately respond to the changing conditions, and had systems in place to reallocate resources or refocus priorities have already started accelerating and pushing into lucrative opportunities. Innovation is often a measure of the strength and longevity of a company. With consumer priorities and confidence shifting, brands really need to innovate. 

Communication

If things have changed at your business, communicate it with your customers. Be upfront and honest about how things have changed and what is going on. Putting people at the centre and highlighting the way we can all work together is so important. And in your communication ask your customers how you can help. It’s not a time to spam everyone on your list if things are much the same, but definitely put a notification on your website, update your opening hours, or add relevant questions to your FAQs. 

Helping

You could argue that business is all about helping, and being able to understand the needs of your customers. In such an unprecedented time, the needs of your customers will likely have changed, so the way that you help them needs to change too. Even during normal business evolution and growth, the needs of customers change - let alone in a rapidly changing environment like this. See a need, fill a need. 

Providing value

If your business requires customers to pay first before receiving anything of value from you, you might struggle over this period. If you can start the value exchange between your customers first, and prove to them the value your company provides, and give them some of this value before they pay instead, then you earn their trust and convert many more leads. 

Adapting

Companies which planned in the weeks before the shutdowns and quickly adapted to the changes have really shown that they can succeed in other areas of business change. Like working from home, or taking their business online, or change their products or delivery depending on demand. Adaption is a function of good management and thinking outside the box. Instead of sitting on their hands, we’ve seen many companies make pivots which they haven’t had time for until now.  

Building and training

Many companies have taken this opportunity of forced downtime to focus on training, R&D, product building, upgrading technology, restructuring teams, and remapping processes. After all, your competitors are in the same situation as you, so you’re not falling behind. During normal business, most companies don’t put aside time and resources to do these things, as they are too busy doing business. Now is the time for that investment. 

Humanity

As companies are put under pressure, it’s been a real test to see how they treat their customers and staff. It’s given companies an opportunity to show they authentically care about their customers and staff, or if they are just interested in bottom lines. It’s also shown how loyal and engaged their customer base is. Companies who have nurtured and fostered good relationships with their customers and staff are having much higher rates of support and retention. 

“Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we're curious...and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

― Walt Disney

Online has never been so important

If there has ever been a moment in history that should force you to be creative and proactive about your online presence and digital marketing, now is the time. There has never been a better combination of incentives and possibilities for taking your brand to the next level. 

Sir Martin Sorrell, founder of the worlds largest advertising and PR group, predicts that the Covid-19 outbreak would accelerate the digital revolution as it highlights the dependence on technology that consumers and businesses have. He says that consumers are going to change their habits rapidly, and businesses shift even more rapidly towards digital. 

  • Did you know that over 87% of shopping journeys start online? 
  • According to Australia Post, the number of online purchases jumped by 20.2% last calendar year and unsurprisingly, online shopping reached a 9% share of traditional retail.
  • ‘Buy online, pick up in-store’ (BOPIS) has exploded recently. It saves on shipping costs and cuts down on fulfilment times. 67% of shoppers in the US have used BOPIS in the past six months. 98% of retailers who have adopted these programs say they’re getting additional in-store purchases from their BOPIS customers.
  • Physical retail contracted 35% more than online retail did during the GFC. This time we believe the figures will be more extreme.
  • During the GFC, there was a 4.3% increase in profits during the recovery period for those businesses who invested in marketing and technology. Conversely, those who cut marketing spend saw a negative return of -0.8% in profits over the longer recovery period.
  • During the GFC, a study of 1,000 firms in the UK revealed that they maintained an average profitability of 8% if they increased their marketing spend during the downturn.
  • Meanwhile, in the UK, there are reports that e-commerce purchases could increase to as much as 40% of total retail spend, up from just over 10%.
  • Did you know, 91% of online shoppers use the internet because researching products online makes them feel more confident about their purchases? 
  • Guy Consterdine, a marketing and research consultancy commissioned by the Periodical Publishers Association of Ireland after the GFC, summarises this in saying that “contrary to most marketers behaviour, the evidence clearly shows that it pays to maintain advertising expenditure in an economic downturn”.

“Idle minds will worry. Keep busy and keep driving forward - the economy plans on it.”

― Tony Van-Eyk

Learning from history

The good news is that, unlike covid-19, recessions aren’t something new – they aren’t novel. We’ve lived through recessions before and we know a lot about how to manage them. If you don’t learn from history, all you’ve got left is guesswork and fear.

Time after time, the patterns of response and opportunities from recession have been remarkably similar. The way to win during a recession is to invest. If you ask any stock trader or fund manager, a market crash is not a time to panic and sell, it’s a time to buy and research. Provided that your industry or business isn’t under serious threat, history shows that this is a time to invest in your digital marketing and adapt your business strategies. Not only are advertising costs dropping substantially, and are a good way to increase your bottom line and cash flow, but they are also currently a good long-term strategy to win new customers from your competitors who may be cost-cutting. At the very least, if you can’t afford to spend money on advertising, at least spend time and effort on creating your advertising campaigns ready to boost when you do come out the other end. Branding is a long term game.

Excess Share Of Voice

All else being equal, the more money and time a company spends on marketing compared to its competitors, the more it will grow. Analysts call this proven relationship ESOV (Excess share of voice). For example, if a brand has a 10% share of the market, but has a 20% share of the voice, it has an excess of +10%. This is especially true during a recession. In most studies cases, a brand with a positive ESOV will gradually grow it’s share of the market to match it’s share of voice. The disruption of a recession allows good marketers to quickly increase their voice and share, as their competitors become wary and reluctant.  

Prior to our digital world, marketing was often seen as a nice-to-have for many businesses. The first place companies would cut-costs and the last place they would invest was their marketing and advertising. History has shown that

When the world is totally different, we have to be different too!

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Yes, the pandemic is unprecedented, and yes, things are likely to get worse before they get better, but over the long term, look how well the market recovers from all sorts of historical devastation. In the 20th century, the United States endured two world wars and other traumatic and expensive military conflicts; the Depression; a dozen or so recessions and financial panics; oil shocks; a flu epidemic; and the resignation of a disgraced president. Yet the Dow rose from 66 to 11,497.

Don't forget this is in a log scale and includes annotations of major world events!

 

“In short, bad news is an investor’s best friend. It lets you buy a slice of America’s future at a marked-down price.”

― Warren Buffet

Published in the New York Times during the darkest moments of the 2008 financial crisis.

Why should I be online?

In case you need any more reasons to expand your business online, here are the main reasons that companies are pushing even further into the digital world and become increasingly immune to downturns and less reliable on foot traffic. Here are our top 9 reasons you should be expanding your business online.

Always open

Any time of the day or night, and even on weekends and public holidays, your customers can find you, see your offering, purchase your products, make bookings, educate themselves about your brand, or solve their problems and questions. You don’t need to plan your life around the busy parts of the day, and you can stay open for everyone.  

Larger reach

Your brick-and-mortar store can really only reach people in the immediate vicinity, suburb, or those who drive past. However, with an online store, emails lists, social media advertising, Adwords, etc you can reach a much larger and much more targeted group of people. Theoretically, there is no limit to how many people you can reach.     

Retarget customers

It’s well-known that repeat and return customers are more valuable to a business than only trying to find and convert new customers - which is a more expensive and slow process. By using tried and tested retargeting and digital loyalty programs you can leverage your existing customers who already know and trust you and your products. 

Rent-free

Aside from minimal hosting and upkeep fees, you don’t need to pay huge rent or renovation fees for your site - especially if you need a big store. For about the same cost of your monthly electricity bill, you can have a fully functional digital store, fitted out how you like, with all the features you need, not relying on the foot traffic on your street.  

Savvy Shoppers

In the last decade, and especially after the GFC, consumers have changed to research companies and products online to find the best deals. Crisis or not, people love the ability the internet gives them to find the best deals. 91% of shoppers reported that they compare prices online to be reassured that they are getting the best deal.

Go where your customers are

Even during a weak economy, people don’t stop shopping, they just look for better deals and turn to online products and services instead. In some ways, the internet provides better access and more information about a product - all from the comfort of their couch. Well executed digital marketing allows you to break into new markets and retain existing share.

Measurable

They say “if you can measure it, you can manage it”. Digital marketing gives you valuable data and feedback about your products, advertising, and customers which you can use to improve and maximise - it offers more opportunity than any other channel. Customer loyalty, retention and improving the online experience were all paramount to the success of e-commerce.

Digital staff

The internet is always working for you 24/7 and you don’t need to pay it over-time. Especially in times of downturn or decrease in foot traffic, when in-store staff have less work to do, they can be working on your email campaigns, social media marketing, or creating new products or services online. You don’t need to be paying them to just stand around.  

Scalable

Unlike a physical store, if your business is doing well, you can easily scale your business and its offerings without needing to move premises, hire new staff, or upgrade equipment. Using the right tools, software, and expertise, you can reliably scale your traffic, leads, sales, and online reputation.

Searchable

Unlike a physical store, your customers can quickly find the product they are looking for or the information about your service they need before purchasing. It saves them searching in-store or asking a staff member - they can simply click to the right answer or search for a product.

“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been.”

― Wayne Gretzky
(Famous Canadian Professional ice hockey player)

Offline paired with online

On the face of it, you’d be forgiven for thinking that we’re advocating against having a physical store, but this is a misunderstanding. On the contrary - with the right approach, pairing your physical store, office, or service, with a comprehensive online presence and digital marketing strategy you will create a much better result than one or the other. This can be a great competitive advantage. It’s important to recognise the benefits of both online and offline, and that together you can enjoy the best of both worlds. 

It’s a huge advantage to your success to be able to offer Click & Collect, fast local delivery, local returns, try-before-you-buy, etc. There’s no doubt brick-and-mortar still has a place in the retail sector, but will only survive if it helps to drive e-commerce, rather than compete with it. When brands pick up and dispatch to online customers from the local store, it enables an accelerated fulfilment experience for the buyer without paying exorbitant fees in delivery - and customers can still buy in-store if preferred. 

It’s important to know that brick-and-mortar stores won’t be going anywhere anytime soon - in fact, they will actually start to drive e-commerce.

The advantages of pairing online and offline

We're Making Online Easy and profitable for small and medium business owners.
Replace foot traffic

Replace foot traffic

While there's been a huge decrease in foot traffic, online usage is up 66%

Convert Loyalty

Convert Loyalty

Keep your loyal customers engaged and still able to shop online

Doors Always Open

Doors Always Open

Your online store is open day and night all week, and operates without staff

Targeted Reach

Targeted Reach

Target ads to your local area and even reach surrounding suburbs too

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Best of both worlds

No matter your business, in today’s digital world it’s essential to have a robust online sales strategy to succeed and keep up with your competition.

If you have a physical store, you absolutely must also have an online presence.

It supports your customers, helps you be found, increases your brand trust, and acts as your virtual sales rep 24/7.

How to get online

There is a straight forward process you should follow to get online

Design & build your website

Design & build
your website

Implementyour services

Implement
your services

Put your products online

Put your
products online

Set up your back-end

Set up
your back-end

Tell people about it

Tell people
about it

Staying ahead of the curve

With such unprecedented times and unpredictable outcomes, it’s hard to know what actually works and what doesn’t. It’s hard enough predicting what will happen next month, let alone knowing how things will change once it’s over. Especially in a digital world, we’re in uncharted territory regarding what actions to take and how business will change. That’s why it’s important to keep adapting and keep your finger on the pulse of changes in your industry and the markets in general.

However, there are strategies and actions which have been proven to work through previous downturns, and during industry disruption which you can learn from. We will be keeping this list of ideas updated as we work our way through this period of disruption.

No downside to digital

As we’ve already highlighted, you almost can’t go wrong with investing your time and energy into your digital presence and online marketing. How can you take your products or services online? What more can you offer online? What have you been meaning to do with your website?

Website Updates

Any recent changes to your trading hours, contact details or other important information needs to be updated on your website as soon as possible. 

Contact existing customers

Especially since roughly 20% of your customers contribute 80% of your revenue, consider reaching out to your existing and loyal customers via emails, sms, even phone calls. Apps like Endear act as a customer relationship management system and a messaging platform, all in one. It’ll keep you and your staff productive while working remotely.

Investing in live chat

Online leads are 10x more likely to convert if they are followed up within 5 minutes. It’s even better if you have a live chat function. People often have questions about products and services which are stopping them from purchasing, if you don’t answer the question very quickly, they will buy from somewhere else. 

Optimising the cart experience.

How easily can people shop and checkout? How easily can they find all the information they need? People have time to shop around now and they’re going to want to know your refund and return policy. It’s a buyer’s market. Offer free shipping, local pickup, or extend your return policy.

Double down on your email.

Converting existing customers is going to be much easier right now than seeking new customers. The only marketing technique that produces a better ROI than search engine marketing is an opt-in email list. 

Focus on average order value.

Don’t just try to increase the number of orders on your site, you should also experiment with ways to increase the average order value. Offering bundles, recommending products at checkout, and deals like ‘buy one get one half price’ etc. are excellent ways to increase your sales without finding new customers.

Promote gift cards

Gift cards provide retailers with an immediate infusion of cash and can ensure that a customer will return to their business in the future. For businesses with especially thin margins, gift cards can help you stay afloat until the crisis passes. Discounting gift cards or collaborating with complimentary local businesses can help you both acquire new customers. 

Find your customers

Don’t just wait for your customers to find you, find them instead! Research where your customers can be found online, and contact them there. Now that you can’t rely on foot traffic, you should find ways to find them instead. Facebook groups, forums, other complementary stores, associations, or certain search terms.     

Personalisation

80% of consumers say they are more likely to buy if they are offered a personalised experience. Any brand that can demonstrate a better understanding of customer needs by providing personalised offers via well-targeted comms will get ahead of their competition. This means spending time customising emails or adverts to depend on what people buy, where they are, and any other demographics you have. 

Local business directories

For local businesses, it’s often a directory listing that’s the first thing your customers will see in search - not your website. The most commonly clicked directory is Google My Business, and you need to keep it up-to-date and info-rich to inform customers. Review your listings across Bing Places, Yelp, and TripAdvisor too - and don’t forget about social media platforms. These are all business listing directories. 

Words are free

A few well-placed tweaks to your product descriptions, landing pages, or marketing material will likely get more people to make a purchase. Take this opportunity to refine your messaging and products to be sharp! The best part is - it doesn’t cost you anything. It's also a great chance to write some killer content for your email campaigns or blog to help your customers, get their attention, or increase your SEO. 

Data and Analysis

Business owners should continually assess available analytics to ensure that they are adapting their business to the real-world data. The digital world provides many helpful data insights to inform practical actions to increase revenues, reduce costs, or adapt strategies. 

One of the great advantages of online stores is that you can analyse detailed data about your visitors and how they interact with your store. Imagine for your brick and mortar store if you were somehow able to keep an exact record of how people found your store, which products people looked at most, how many times they had been in your store, how long they looked at each product, whether they had almost purchased a product, how effective your latest discount was, and all sorts of other statistics. This would give you the power to increase and focus on what works, to advertise to the people most likely to enter your store, to contact people who haven’t quite committed to a purchase, to show similar products to previous customers based on what they might like, and most importantly to better understand your customers and their needs. As they say, if you can measure it, you can manage it. 

What can you offer online?

In the current business environment, it's essential for your company to be agile and creative to explore the opportunities that are available online. Cube has been putting companies online for years, and have valuable insights and features you can leverage today.  

Click & Collect

Click & Collect

Home Delivery

Home Delivery

Video Consults

Video Consults

Book & Pay Online

Book & Pay Online

Your digital team

Many businesses have floor staff and office staff, but they often don’t have any/many online staff. If you have a team of people managing your physical store 8 hours a day, but you just leave your online store unattended and don’t update your marketing or website, it’s like having an empty shop. 

Investing in digital marketing and online content has never been more important, and the role of the digital staff becomes incredibly important too. This is especially true as physical stores are receiving less foot traffic and people are going online. If you're wondering how you can get ahead of your competition, this is absolutely one of the best opportunities you will have - investing resources into online.  

Sir Martin Sorrell says you can’t cut your way to success. When you’re in panic mode, you’re going to cut costs to survive, but this is not sustainable. To grow, you have to plant a seed and be strategic about your resources. Any company ready to strip down bureaucracy and be agile is going to win. 

What’s happening now is unprecedented because it’s affecting everyone, not just some industries.

Dream team for recovery

The market will recover eventually - there’s no doubt about that. The question is what will it look like after it has recovered. Will you be ready for the recovery? You need to predict what opportunities will have opened up. Have some of your competitors gone out of business? Where do their customers go? What new demand has been created? Have you identified a previously-untapped customer base by going online? How do you keep those customers after the crisis is over? How do you measure what worked and what didn’t? You should also work out how to work with others to achieve your goals. The future is bright for e-commerce, even if the wider economy is facing extreme volatility. The leading brands of tomorrow will be the ones that navigate it well, fortune favours the brave.

 

The Customer Journey

Over the course of your business’ operation, you’ve probably changed and adapted many things to suit the needs of your customers. But when things occur which are out of our control, how do you go about managing them?  

While there is no good time for a crisis, you can minimise the impact and maximise the opportunity by mapping out your customer’s journey. If you haven’t already remodelled your customer journey, here is why it is important to take the time to do so.

What is your customer's journey?

We consider a customer’s journey as the total experience of a brand. Beyond a transactional exchange, your customer’s entire experience of your brand is what makes them return to your business.

How to remap your customer's journey 

When transitioning a business from bricks to clicks, you need to consider the change of journey for your customer. It’s time to put on your customer's shoes and map it out!

  1. Write down every stage of your customer experience.
    This can appear as a road map or timeline that leads to purchase. The customer journey is going to be different for every business. Consider looking at your current customer experience timeline as you create your digital customer timeline.
  2. What will your customers do?
    At every stage consider what your customer's actions, motivations, questions and obstacles are. This will help you provide a solution to their needs online the same way you would if they were visiting you in-store.
  3. Create scenarios.
    While there are so many different scenarios that can lead to an online purchase - there are certainly specific steps every customer makes when deciding to buy.

The decision to buy will often follow these steps: Discovery > Research > Purchase

19 questions that companies must ask themselves to survive and thrive during a downturn

  1. How has my industry changed recently? 
  2. What opportunities have opened up because of these changes?
  3. How have my customer’s needs changed?
  4. What are my customer’s pain points? 
  5. How can I attract the customers from closed businesses?
  6. Are the same customers buying or have they changed?
  7. Have new market segments been created?
  8. What services or products should I provide?
  9. How should my messaging change?
  10. Do I need to review my current campaigns in light of changes? 
  11. Do I have an existing email or sms database to speak to?
  12. Can I offer delivery, click and collect, or online booking? 
  13. Am I doubling down on things which won’t work?
  14. Do I have low-cost items or express services I can prioritise?
  15. Can I take advantage of lower CPC prices for adverts?
  16. Can I leverage partnerships with other businesses? 
  17. What changes will continue after the downturn?
  18. Can I offer free delivery or special deals?
  19. What are your competitors doing online?

10-step checklist to take your business online

  1. Create an online strategy.
    • What will work for you online? Creative solutions for your online store.
    • Who is your customer? Research how they have changed behaviours. 
    • Which solutions will you offer? 
  2. Select a web host, website software, and domain registrar.
    • What level of hosting and design do you need to choose?
    • Which host? Shopify, Wix, Squarespace, Wordpress, Crazy domains?
    • Check their services offered and customer support.
  3. Design and build your website.
    • Choose the style and design of your website. 
    • Decide on the pages you want, and the functionality you need.
    • Select imagery and create content for your pages.
  4. Most effective tips to make your website succeed.  
    • Ensure logical structure for content, prioritise important information.
    • Include a call to action on every page and provide value up-front.
    • Make sure that your site is optimised for SEO and mobile.
  5. Add e-commerce functionality for your store.
    • Focus on product bundles, best sellers, special deals.
    • If you have many products, don’t overload the customer.
    • Keep products in categories for easy organisation and searching.
  6. Configure shipping and delivery.
    • Can you offer pickup, delivery, courier, online? 
    • Decide on pricing - can you offer free shipping or delivery?
    • Scheduling - what time of day and how long to ship? 
  7. Configure payment systems.
    • Integrate your choice of Paypal, Stripe, cash, bank deposit.
    • Do you need to provide invoices and receipts?
    • Make sure you test every step from purchase to delivery.
  8. Marketing and advertising.
    • Set up accounts for social media, Google AdWords, etc.
    • Create adverts for social media, SMS, email, and flyers.
    • Tell people about your store and services online and in-person
  9. Don’t forget your reviews and set up your GMB.
    • Build trust with reviews and publish testimonials.
    • Set up Google My Business and list your company details. 
    • List your website with online directories and industry forums.
  10. Here are some common pitfalls to avoid.
    • Make it easy to understand and easy to purchase. 
    • Don’t confuse your visitors with too much information or products.
    • Keep your site secure with SSL and make backups.

Our in-depth guide to getting online

Investing in digital marketing will help yousurvive and thrive!

Build your online strategy

In addition to the valuable insights and strategies listed above, we wanted to give you specific and actionable advice to survive and thrive. This is just a small amount of the expert advice we provide to our clients at Cube Online ongoing. We hope these insights can provide a framework to build a successful marketing strategy, educate yourself and staff on essential marketing fundamentals, and provide practical and simple steps (without the jargon) to help your business succeed in 2020 and beyond.

Marketing strategy in context

Google processes 70,000+ searches every second. The average person makes four searches per day. Australians spend 5 hours a day online on average. When it comes to marketing your business online, the potential digital foot traffic for your business is enormous. While the amount of competition is also larger, you have many ways you can take your business above average and get a larger share of the pie. We have proven this over and over to our existing customers, and are happy to share some of our tried and true strategies in creating the best digital marketing plan to boost your business is 2020.

Without effective marketing, most businesses would fail, but many small businesses still don’t take the time to even create a marketing plan, and just hope for the best. What often ends up happening is these businesses will try different marketing tactics ad-hoc, hoping for the best. The problem is, they find themselves unable to properly scale their tactics, goals and strategies. One of the most important parts of any marketing strategy is addressing your existing and potential customers.

Start with your customers

Before we begin with building your website, it's vital to know your market.

Did you know that on average only 3% of potential customers are ready to buy now? This means you are potentially missing 97% of your market who aren’t quite ready. If you're only targeting those who are ready to buy, you're ignoring the largest segment. 

Your entire market is broken up into four segments

  • 3% Active buyers - Customers ready to buy right now.
  • 17% Information gatherers - Researching why they should choose you. 
  • 20% Problem aware - Know they have a problem or need, but not how to fix it.
  • 60% Not problem aware - Don’t even know they need you.

Most businesses spend their time only selling to the 3% who are actively ready to buy. If you don’t have a digital marketing strategy to communicate with these customers, you could be missing out on a huge part of your business. Instead of fighting competitors for your share of 3%, you should be spending time nurturing the Information Gatherers and Problem Aware segments.

You need to nurture and guide potential customers into becoming active buyers by introducing your business and positioning yourself as the most desirable choice. 

Who is your ideal customer?

To reach the 97% who are not ready to buy, you need to internally address four foundational business questions:

  • Who is your ideal customer?
  • What benefit do you offer?
  • What need do you satisfy?
  • What makes you inherently different?

Answering these questions will not only give you direction on who you should be communicating to, and what you should be saying... it also gives your business a solid structure and a coherent brand message that will draw attention from the best prospects.

To understand your ideal customer you need to place yourself in their shoes.

Consider their behaviour, pain points, goals, and motivations. You may want to consider the devices they regularly use and the channels they are exposed to. You need to understand them on an intimate level so you can gain their attention and show them why they need your business. 

As best you can, you need to communicate who you are, where you serve and what makes your business the best in the industry. Positioning your business in the eyes of your ideal buyer will offer them solutions they can’t resist.

Website hosting, software, and domain name registration

To have your own website online you will need three main things. A website software (which is used to design and run your website), a web host (where your website is stored), and a domain name (where people can find your site).

Web design software

If you are going to build your own website, you will need to select an online software to design and run your website. These different website software options are often known as Content Management Systems (CMS). This is likely to be the most important choice you need to make in the process of building a website. Thankfully, it is much easier today than it has ever been previously to build a website of your own, and you don’t need to be able to code or know lots of technical jargon. Most systems are drag-and-drop and are designed with beginner users in mind. With a bit of time and effort, practically anyone can get a basic website up and running. While you don't need to spend a fortune, don't be tempted by super cheap website builders because they are often not well supported and have very limited functionality - they can be more trouble than what they're worth.  

Thankfully, there are really only a handful of different brands of CMS you should choose from, and they are reasonably easy to use - after a bit of learning. Unlike web hosting hosting, however, the different brands of software are very different from one another, and they have different functionality or strengths compared to others. You can rest assured that there is no specific right answer as to which one you should use or which one will suit your business best - in most cases, any of the main brands will work well - but it’s still important to make sure that you select one which best suits your needs. Perhaps most importantly, if this is your first time making a website, you should choose a CMS which has good customer support - it could save you big time!

Once you have chosen a CMS (well done!) it is almost impossible to change to another one without starting from scratch, so spending some time researching is advised. As you can imagine, there are pros and cons with every choice, and some brands of CMS are better suited to different businesses. Most commonly, it is a choice between complexity and simplicity. If you require a simple design with limited functionality, you should avoid the CMSs with lots of features and options - and vice versa. The choice may also come down which template you like the look of. Most websites these days are built from a template initially, and then customised to suit you needs - so make sure you preview their demo template before signing up. 

One important thing to note is that you may not need to purchase hosting separately from your web design software. Many CMS brands come with hosting, security, domain, and everything you need to get online quickly. 

Here is a comparison between some of the most popular and common CMS brands;

https://www.sitebuilderreport.com/best-website-builder

 

Web hosting

Web hosting comes in all different shapes and sizes depending on what size your business is, what functionality you need, where in the world the server is located, and what brand hosting you choose. This can be rather confusing, and it can be hard to change once you have already built a website, so it can be a daunting task to choose. The good news is that the differences between many web hosting companies these days is mostly inconsequential. It's hard to go wrong with web hosting these days, and many of the features and support are similar. Whatsmore, there are really only about a dozen main web hosts in Australia anyway, so your choice is much easier to make. As long as you are selecting a host with good reviews and has fast Australian servers, it’s hard to go wrong.

As mentioned above, some CMS website builders come with hosting already (and many web hosts come with CMS software included) so you may not need purchase additional hosting.   

Rather than listing all the individual companies or recommending which brand to use, here is a hosting comparison website with much more detail to help with your descision. 

https://bestwebhostingaustralia.org/    

 

Domain Registration

Your website domain is like the street address of business - it's where most of your customers will go to find you. To make sure it's easy (not confusing) to get there, you need it to be short, memorable, and descriptive. Avoid hard-to-spell words, numbers, and words which are spelled incorrectly on purpose. If you don't already have a domain name, you will need to buy (lease) a domain name from an approved domain registrar for approximately /year. You should aim for a domain ending with '.com.au' or '.com', but if these are not available, there are plenty of other extensions which are also suitable. Just be sure to check that your domain won't be confused with a competitor's domain, or is misleading for people who find your website on google. It's a good idea to brainstorm options, and then ask your friends or family which domain they think works best.    

If you already have a domain name registered (or already have an old website) you may need to transfer your domain or change the configuration of your domain to point to the new website. This process can be the most confusing part of the whole process, but it doesn't need to be done until after you have finished your new website. It will be very useful to use the customer support of the CMS or domain registrar to help you make the changes to avoid mistakes. If it's done incorrectly, it can make your website go down for a while, or you could break your email connection. 

Design and build your website

It’s worth mentioning that, for most beginners, designing a website can be a frustrating and time consuming process. If you’re imagining that you can have a beautiful dream website finished in a matter of days, it might be worth managing your expectations. It’s true that you can technically have a website up and running in a few hours, but realistically, it’s more likely to take a few weeks - depending on how complex and exact your requirements. Let's be honest, you've probably been thinking about getting a new website for quite a while but you just don't want to get it wrong.

Here is a list of the 10 essential things to know about building a new website which will help you get the motivation to get the ball rolling. 

Planning & more planning

Like many things in business, it almost goes without saying that planning is the most important step in the whole process of building a new website. You should be putting almost as much time into planning the structure, flow, and content of a website as time spent actually building it. An effective planning phase should involve research into competitor websites, customer journey, look and feel, menu hierarchy, content flow, and call-to-actions - among other things. This is especially true if you don't currently have a website, or if your new site will change drastically. It's important to not get stuck in the planning phase, but don't skip it!

Structure & messaging

From the moment your customer lands on your website, there should be no confusion about what your company does, and your content should appear in a logical and helpful order. Lead with your most important and concise messages, and keep your product descriptions simple and clear. To avoid information overload and other distractions, spend time refining the main features and benefits of your company, products, and services. Your brand should have a clear story and purpose, always keeping the customer experience in mind. Ask yourself this question: 'what is my customer looking for, and what do they need to know'.

Quality & helpful content

It's not only important to your customers that your content is interesting and useful, but it's also essential that search engines can see that your site adds value to your users, encouraging them to stick around for longer and keep coming back. However, it's essential you keep your copy clear and simple: information overload will push people away. This sort of relevant and optimised content proves to search engines that your site should appear closer to the top of search results, and means you will be found by the right people. Try creating FAQ's, blogs, tutorials, ebooks, interviews, and videos which even you would watch if you were a customer.

Give value up-front

The traditional business mindset asks the customer to pay for a product/service before they receive any value in return, but this requires a huge level of initial trust by the customer before they even know if it's worth it. Trust is earned, not bought. If your company will, in fact, help your customer, then why save all the value for after they pay? Show them that they can trust the quality of your products and services by starting the value exchange first. Try offering a free strategy session or quote, industry tips or through-leadership, or ebooks and resources.

Trust & integrity

Be honest and up-front about your products/services. In 2020, digital customers are more savvy and discerning than ever. Armed with reviews and testimonials, customers almost always fact-check your credibility and claims online. If you try to pull the wool over their eyes with exaggerations or sales jargon, they will see right through it. The best bet is to actually provide amazing products and services to build your integrity and prove your value.

Testimonials & reviews

You might be the best business in your industry, providing the best service and products, but if you don't show new customers that previous customers were happy, then they just have to take your word for it. Reviews and testimonials are the biggest reason why someone will decide to either choose or not choose your business, so you can't afford to leave this out. For maximum impact, prioritise a good system to get positive reviews from your customers at the right moment.

Optimise for Google

Did you know that 92% of web traffic goes to the first page of google results? Optimising your website for search engines is accepted as one of the most essential parts of digital marketing for 2020, because it can drastically increase your website traffic and leads. Even if you have a beautiful website with amazing content, if it's not being found by customers who are searching for it, then you could be wasting your time. It's essential to our customers that we provide effective SEO because it's a reliable way to generate leads and skyrockets their ROI.

Get fresh eyes

As you have spent so much time on your business, it can be very hard to see your company through the eyes of a new customer. For things that might seem obvious to you, it may be confusing or concerning to a new set of eyes. A really valuable process for refining your content is to ask others to give you honest feedback about your website, or watch them browse your site to see what they are drawn to and what they avoid.

Call-to-actions

Once you have shown your website visitors that you're providing useful and actionable content, they are more likely to trust you with their email address and want to hear from you more. You should save some of your best and most useful content or services for after they subscribe to a mailing list or make a purchase. This gives your company a way to contact them even after they have left your site, helps them remember your brand, and keeps the value exchange going. While designing your website, don't forget to include a call-to-act or incentive to contact on every page.

Incentives to act

Unless potential customers are prompted or encouraged to take action while they are there, they may never do so. There is plenty of competition in most industries online, and it's hard to stand out and get a customer to commit to contacting you. Sometimes you need to reward them for taking action, and you'll need to use a special deal or discount to help them decide. For example, Cube has decided that we are willing to offer a huge 38% discount on our standard website design service and wave the 0 setup fee for people who take action on this offer! 

Shipping and delivery

Even without business lockdown and decreases in foot traffic, your business should be exploring how to set up shipping, pickups, or online delivery. You must make it worth your while, and make it work in your systems, but don't just ignore your customers because it's too hard. You will need to decide on pricing and availability - can you offer free shipping or delivery? Do you need to schedule weekly posts? What time of day and how long to ship?

Payment systems

In 2020, Integrate your choice of Paypal, Stripe, cash, bank deposit.
Do you need to provide invoices and receipts?
Make sure you test every step from purchase to delivery.

Search Engine Optimisation

It doesn't take much imagination to understand how important it is to appear on the first page of search results. When you realise the power of Google Search for generating high-quality leads, SEO will become an essential part of your business' marketing strategy.

Being found on Google for the right search terms will help create a sustainable and reliable long-term stream of new business leads for your company. Search Engine Optimisation is a huge opportunity for your business to be found by people who are actively looking for your products or services.

With the right insights and technical expertise, you can maximise your visibility and eliminate barriers for being found. Considering that 92% of all Google traffic goes to the businesses on the first page of search results, it’s essential to do everything you can to improve your business rankings. The good news is, being found on Google is not a game of luck!

Visibility

Search visibility is to how many sets of keywords or phrases your business is appearing in major search engines. You should keep in mind that 92% of search traffic goes to businesses on the first page of Google. For your site to be considered visible, you need to be appearing in the top 50 search results for any keyword or key phrase. We find most businesses have 3-5 dominant keywords that you should be focusing your time on increasing.

Ranking

Ranking is the most common termed used in SEO. While it is important to rank for keywords with high search volume, you need to rank for keywords that associate with your offering. The trick to ranking in SEO is making sure you are creating the strongest association between your business and the keywords associated with your business.

Keywords

Keywords are an important part of SEO but let us be clear, they do not guarantee high visibility and ranking. You should be using keywords to familiarise search engines with your business name and the services you offer. Keywords should be incorporated consistently throughout your website, including your subdomain, meta descriptions, imagery and title tags. 

How important is Google to your business?

35% of Google traffic goes to the first position in the search results

88% of local searches on mobile either call or visit within 24 hours

71% of customers begin their journey to conversion using a search engine

92% of web traffic goes to businesses on the first page of Google results

90% of customers use search at every stage of the purchase cycle

You can’t afford to leave your online results up to chance

Local SEO

Google Local Search is better known as Google Maps. When your potential customer is problem aware you can guarantee their next step is to gather information through local search. Local Search is one of the best strategies to show your customer they need your business.

80% of local searches result in a purchase booking or store visit within 24hrs.

While it cannot be guaranteed you will rank in the top searches, there are a number of things which will make a big difference to improving your rankings and get you noticed on Google

Relevance

You need to show that your business does what the searcher is looking for. For example, if they are looking for gluten-free takeaway, Google will make sure to display restaurants that provide gluten-free options on the menu. As a business owner, you need to tell Google in as many places possible, what you do and the products you offer. Listing your services will increase your chances showing in in potential customers maps searches.

Trust Score

If you have a business listed on Google Maps, you have a ‘Trust Score’. Your Google Trust Score is determined by the quality, quantity and frequency of your reviews. Top-performing business average 50+ reviews at a minimum of 4.5+ star rating. We advise that your business should generate 1-2 reviews per week. This demonstrates consistent activity on your business listing and is considered current to your potential customer.

Prominence

Listing yourself in multiple online directories will increase your prominence online. Online directories are the same as traditional directories like the Yellow Pages, except there is more benefit being listed online. While 90% of searches are completed on Google, there are up to 150,000 other online directories you can be listed in. Google rewards businesses who are consistently active online and appear in a variety of directories.

Location

You need to communicate where you offer your service or an address which customers can visit. You can optimise your service areas on your Google listing to increase your visibility in areas surrounding your local suburb. If you are a service-based business, the best optimisation strategy is to list up to 20 service areas. This will appear as a radius on Google Maps. If you have a direct location you want your customers to visit, you should include both a business location and service areas. This will appear as a pin marker on Google Maps.

 

SEO is not a gimmick  

Simply put, SEO is a set of steps you should be taking to improve your website visibility and ranking. There is a common horror story we hear about ‘SEO’ companies charging unjustifiable monthly amounts for work that shows little return. There are some technical parts to SEO that require on-going work; However, with the right tools you can implement 90% of on-page SEO work yourself.  

To complete SEO on your current website you can download for free our DIY SEO GUIDE. This additional resource details all the finer tricks of the trade that your marketers don’t want you to know

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Turn rankings into revenue with our own SEO Guide

Attract high quality, high paying leads.

We've helped hundreds of brands to expand their presence online, improve their conversion rates, optimise their SEO and become authority figures in their niche.

Audit your website SEO for free

Simply enter your website and email address, and have your report within minutes. 

Reviews and Testimonials

What's your company's online reputation like? How do customers know if they can trust the quality and service of your brand? Well, 93% of customers would answer "online reviews" - That's how they decide which business to buy from, or work with. So, given it's so important, do you have a strategy to improve and manage your online reputation?

One of the most important and most effective ones for most businesses is online reviews.

Word of mouth has gone digital

Online reviews have never been so important. It probably won’t surprise you to know that 93% of customers read online reviews before making a purchasing decision? Unfortunately, in the same way that bad news spreads better than good news, people are more likely to leave a negative review. In fact, only 6% of people who have a positive experience will leave a review! This can be a huge issue for businesses and potentially harming their online reputation because it can seem like there is a higher rate of negative experiences than there actually is in real life.

So, how can you protect your company’s reputation and capture more of that positive feedback? Well, there are absolutely some proven strategies to help your business bring that number up from 6% to as high as 68%.

Earlier, we told you how important it is to have a high Google Trust Score. Reviews have the ultimate power to send your customers running, or throw their credit cards at you, begging to take their money. The more positive reviews, the better.

We know these strategies works because our review software has helped our clients generate over 50,000 quality reviews. If you want to start generating reviews that will turn all leads in your direction, pay close attention to these four factors.

  • Maintain a 4.5+ star rating
  • Respond to every review you receive
  • Gather 50+ reviews
  • Consistently grow reviews by 1 review per week

As a business owner, you need to know there is an unarguable fact that 90% of your customers have researched you before they’ve contacted you. Your online reviews demonstrate your business’s reputation, authenticity and play a major role in converting the customer query to a real, profit-generating lead. You can get more reviews if you;

Ask at the right time

We find asking for a review face to face after the purchase or service is the most effective time to request a review. This is more effective because the experience is fresh in their mind. Only 1 in 6 people will leave a positive review unprompted so you need to act fast.

Make your request personal

Your customer is doing you a favour, so make it clear you appreciate your customers time and effort. You should address them personally by name and making them feel like their feedback is valuable to you.

Make it ridiculously easy for your customer!

If you have just requested a customer to leave you a review you need to provide an easy way of doing so. Our stats show sending a text message directly to the customer is more effective compared to sending an email request. Think about how your customers communicate, what is accessible and simple for them to leave you a review.

You’ll be surprised to know...

93% of customers say reviews impact their purchasing decisions.

Only 6% of customers will leave a review after a positive experience.

However, 68% of consumers will leave a review if asked at the right time.

82% of consumers will reverse a buy decision if you have bad reviews.

97% of customers read online reviews for local businesses before visiting.

You can’t afford to leave your online reputation up to chance

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Generate 100+ Google reviews in 90 days guaranteed

Download our guide of proven strategies to drastically increase your reviews. We show you some of our proven strategies used for thousands of businesses across the country in countless industries - and they can help you too!

Marketing and advertising

Once you have your new website up and running and your store is online, you will need to tell people about it. It doesn't do any good to have a great party planned without any invites or posters.

Create adverts for social media, SMS, email, and flyers.
If you have access to customer data you can definitely be making the most of this! If you don’t have an email marketing software, don't worry! There are many free software options available to send bulk emails to your customers, although be aware these often have restricted contact limits.

A good alternative to send once-off communication to customers is to create a mail merge through Microsoft Word. While you are unable to monitor analytics, it is a great solution to send a personalised email to your current customer-base

If you are a business with people still coming into your store - place a poster in your window and at your register to notify visiting customers of your online alternatives. This also creates an opportunity to make conversation with your customers about your new online space.

Tell people about your store and services online and in-person

Let's start with the bad news first. It's tougher than ever to get your content noticed.
The good news is that changes to Google's search results pages have further obscured content organically, especially on competitive commercial searches. Meanwhile, paid search CPCs are at all-time highs in established markets.

Social Media

Your social media is important but time-consuming. Social media helps you connect with your customers, increase brand awareness, and boost your sales - but manual management takes a lot of time and effort. 

Set up accounts for social media, Google Adwords, etc.
Any business which is serious about their digital marketing will need to have accounts set up on the main social media channels and on the leading digital advertising platforms to find customers and help customers find them. It’s also likely that if your website is only new, search engines won’t yet be ranking it highly for any search terms.

One of the great things about the internet is the ability to connect socially. When it comes to owning a business, your business’ social media presence can make a significant impact building a relationship with customers.

If you already have a Facebook business page, Instagram account, Tik Tok or Twitter it is best to start posting about your new online service. Not only will this help you notify your current online following, but it also signals the good news to potential customers who are researching your business prior to purchase.

It's worth the effort

Put some time aside to create accounts on Google Adwords, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, at least. Depending on your business and industry there may be more or less, but this is a good start. Many customers will use social media to check the credibility and quality of your company, but you can also use these social media accounts to advertise your website and products to customised and targeted audiences.

You can build your social media presence over time, but you need to start somewhere, and initially get some adverts out to your potential customers.

Studies reveal brand revenue increases by 23% when your branding is consistent. There are so many benefits your activity on social media will bring to this domain. Studies reveal brand revenue increases by 23% when your branding is consistent. There are so many benefits your activity on social media will bring to this domain.

Social media is here to stay. If you don’t have a strong social media strategy you’re missing the opportunity to speak directly to your potential and existing customers. A strong social media strategy is extremely important in your marketing plan. It offers value to your business in a way that fosters strong relationships with clients. If planned correctly your social strategy can even generate traffic toward business. Where and when you should post on social media

One of the most common mistakes small businesses make is being active on too many social platforms and spreading their resources too thin. You need to look at what social platforms your ideal customer uses and be a consistent presence.

The best times to post on each platform

  • Google - One post per week
  • Facebook - Thursday: 1pm -3PM, Friday: 1pm -3PM
  • Instagram - Monday-Friday : 2pm-3PM
  • LinkedIn - Tuesday: 10AM- 12PM, Wednesday :3PM- 5PM

Content is Key

If you want to drive extra traffic to your business through your social platforms, your posts need to be relevant and current. You need to build relationships with your current and potential customers by offering valuable engaging content. If you want to drive extra traffic to your business through your social platforms, your posts need to be relevant and current.

You need to build relationships with your current and potential customers by offering valuable engaging content. In your social media plan, you should be posting content that is in line with your business values, speaks your audiences’ language and is engaging. Here are some topics you should post about to maximise your organic engagement:

  • Company culture
  • Brand values
  • Staff introduction
  • Testimonials from customers
  • New product offers/deals
  • Product explains
  • Industry-specific valuable information
  • Industry-specific humour

Post 1-2 times weekly on your social media account/s to maintain consistent direct communication. There are many social media tools available to for you to plan, prepare and schedule your social media posts. If you need a useful tool to schedule and distribute your social media content, we offer Cube Social as a beneficial platform that offers your business a consistent social media solution. Book a Marketing strategy session today with a digital expert.

Social media brings you more business

With more than three billion people around the world using social media every month, it’s no passing trend, and should be part of your marketing strategy.

90% of marketers say social media marketing has increased exposure for their business

40% of consumers have purchased an item online after seeing it used on social media.

84% of all internet users are using Facebook, making it the top network for membership.

25% of Facebook members use social media to research and find products to purchase.

53% of customers follow their favorite brands on Instagram for news and updates.

Conclusion

This guide covers the main and most effective topics of digital marketing that you can leverage yourself. Most of these strategies are not new or ground-breaking, but surprisingly, many businesses fail to capitalise on them or simply don't realise their power. These topics and many others can be researched elsewhere on the internet, but this is a good holistic overview of the most important aspects. If you would like us to present other information on this topic, please get in touch, and we'd be happy to add it to the guide. 

Bricks to Clicks

We can do the hard work for you

Take the nightmare out of doing it all yourself, and save time and avoid the pitfalls of moving your business online. 

Bricks to Clicks works hand-in-hand with our powerful marketing services to super-boost your business and sales online.

To succeed online in 2020, you need an integrated digital marketing strategy

Cube Online provides the perfect combination of software and digital marketing expertise to generate reliable streams of new customers, and ensure your business is found and chosen above your competitors. 

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