Supporting businesses to make rapid advances and recovery is something governments, marketers and pretty much all stakeholders including investors are scrambling with right now following the COVID-19 slump in business activity. Designing the right balance of technology and strategy in the digital communication field in a way that is cost-efficient and delivers a good ROI, is something more businesses will look to especially during a time of global recession. Approximately half of the tools we discuss below, are well-known but often not deployed in the right way – with a few game changes on the list, especially in the area of omnichannel communication. Let’s explore some of these business tools:
A good omnichannel chatbot platform
A lot of progress has been made in recent years to the extent that now, clever AI bots can run communication across all of your social media channels, on-site customer care and in many ways email. It even takes care of card processing and RPA to streamline the entire process and reduce human intervention. The caveat? Make sure you can follow a “no-coding” approach by using a bot store or platform that offers a turnkey solution.
Strong directory listings
The usefulness of directory listings was questioned for some time, especially when Google took over a lot of Yell traffic. Yet given the effectiveness of directory listings to boost metrics such as domain authority and to provide solid referencing, we still see the vast number of businesses investing in this.
A rapid alert system
The speed at which a business responds to reputation management issues can minimize the impact. Whereas companies forked out a lot on social listening tools, few are aware that with Google Alerts, this can be taken care of at no cost. Simply set up a Google Alert where the business names and that of executives are entered as the alert keyword – and receive a notification from Google whenever something new surfaces on the web.
Structured data snippets
The latest search results focus heavily on providing people with suggested questions and answers. Companies that were able to answer questions really well have seen dramatic increases in traffic. It is actually amazing to watch the Google Search Console and see how the impressions shoot up the moment appropriate snippet information is added. We have even seen existing content being slightly modified to trigger this feature from SERPS and it works like a charm consistently.
A one-click payment system
As Paypal and Amazon Pay go head to head – and Google is looking towards a share of the action, the competition is on. Smaller providers who seek to cap the excessive fees charged by Paypal are also zooming in to offer faster checkout experiences. Changing your site in order to have the fastest possible payment solution to integrate with your shopping cart, is literally like adding money to the bank. Solutions that are the ultimate – will be able to have multiple payment systems in order to be ready for whatever the user has as their default choice.
Competitor data and digital marketing research
Firing a shot in the dark can be expensive. The various research tools available now, that can provide aggregate data on what competitors spend their budget on – or not, are all very valuable. This applies to on-site content they created, pay per click budgets and campaign structures, as well as research to truly grasp the technological advantages a competitor may have. The invisible part then? Perhaps the email marketing campaign of a competitor. It is a bit harder to use research to reverse engineer an email campaign, although not impossible with premium tools and additional effort.
Content marketing that converts
Closely related to research is content marketing which is directly informed by effective research. This has proven to be one of the elements that are least likely to have a positive result when outsourced to countries where the slightest language barrier occurs. Simply put, there are only a few countries with similar cultural values and excellence in the English language: high-converting content is likely to originate from teams that really understand this well.
Get ready to enter an era of accountability where companies will again measure results and make tough choices. As we see more fusion between SEO and online PR, be sure to see more competition from pay per click as a channel – and, more competition between social display and search. As all these channels compete for relevance, running a multichannel operation is always your safest bet so that not one single channel has a hold on the future of your business.