If conducting your business in 2020 has left you feeling like you are cartwheeling down a steep slope with a view of the ground and sky every few seconds, welcome to the club!
It’s a big, global club, and none of us is alone. Coronavirus has turned the world upside down and as businesses we have had to change lifestyles, business strategies, social habits, health management and more. As the going gets tough, adaptation and recognition of new opportunities and new ways of doing business is the only way to survive.
Digital marketing companies in Dubai have some experience with this, from BC (Before COVID-19.) The nature of digital marketing means that agencies have had to be adaptable to rapid changes in technology, trends and customer service expectations for many years, so have some good advice to share with all businesses in Dubai, whether online eCommerce businesses, bricks and mortar businesses with an online presence or a hybrid model.
Here are some of the top survival tips from the depths of the digital marketing jungle, to see us all through.
1) Build Offers that Help Others
It is those businesses that have put thought into how they can help people in the current climate that stand out and are rewarded with loyalty. We all need to survive - fostering an environment that promotes a team effort and helps everyone - is the way to go.
Is there something you can give away? Be it useful knowledge that your customers can download or ways to ease burdens on employee families. It completely depends on your business and what could work for you.
- Turning restaurants into community kitchens at certain times
- Free services that assist with remote working
- Free learning courses
- Free software
- A webinar to teach a valuable skill that you have
- Charging less interest on outstanding payments
There are many ways to help others, for a list of 50 ways that companies are assisting during Coronavirus, click here and get some inspiration for your business. It doesn’t need to be something that puts you out of pocket, but every little bit helps. The leniency, community spirit and understanding you show as a company will be well appreciated.
There could be immediate indirect benefits too, such as increased traffic or awareness you would not otherwise have had.
2) Invest in Paid Ads Online
If you have never invested in paid advertising online, or only marginally, now is the perfect time to relook that strategy. Currently, paid adverts are cheaper than ever. Cost Per Click (CPC) advertising works on an auction system, and as businesses are decreasing their spend, prices on high-value search terms are not driven up as much as usual.
At the same time, more people are online, remote working, making their purchases, doing research or looking for entertainment. So, here it is, knock, knock, the dulcet tones of opportunity!
More people online + lower CPC rates = increased return on investment for paid advertising in Dubai.
3) Deferred Payment Plans
Look at how you can assist your customers to pay their bills with you. So many people have lost income, through lost jobs, pay cuts or decreased business. As we all navigate our way to a more secure financial future, your customers will appreciate goodwill from you in terms of making payments. Is it possible to defer payments for a few months?
Helping your customers to reduce costs in the short term and spread the payment load can help tremendously. You can brainstorm methods that will work in your business and present alternatives to your customers and clients in Dubai that ease the additional burden of possibly having to default on payments.
Now is also not the time for price increases, even if they were planned. The time for that will come again but try and hold off for as long as you can.
4) Redefine Your Marketing Goals
The unprecedented effects of the Coronavirus have hit every single business in Dubai in some way or another. What was planned and strategised before will be redefined and disrupted.
Your business goals and marketing strategy should be reworked to adapt to what customers want and need right now.
Marketing budgets can be redistributed, for example, the budget set aside for corporate events can be channelled into digital events. Budgets can also be adjusted to reward online shopping and shift your focus to more online shopping within your business. Encourage customers who were previously offline customers to become online customers, by adding undeniable benefits. Benefits could include free delivery or a free 'added value' product with purchase.
For example, a medical insurance company in Dubai offers a month of free medical insurance when you sign up online. In times when health is a little insecure for everyone, who wouldn't enjoy the peace of mind of immediate health insurance cover, with one month free?
5) Focus on Content
One of the biggest benefits of digital marketing and digital business is that you have access to data all the time. What pages are your customers visiting the most? Which of your messages create the most engagement online?
This information allows a business to fine-tune their messaging to what customers are telling them is relevant, based on actual, real-time data.
This is the perfect opportunity to rework messaging based on this data, you can focus on your consumers in Dubai and deliver the relevant information, products and services that they are telling you they want.
Some content goals that a business could adopt during COVID-19 are:
- Building continued and long-term trust
- Providing educational material within your industry
- Engaging customers with ideas and creative ways to use your products
- Providing entertainment for your customers
- Creating supportive and helpful content
6) Create Customer-Oriented Messaging
It’s time to adjust your messaging strategy too. So much to do! Be careful of blanket messaging and messaging overload. Everyone is trying to talk to your customers right now, other business sectors, your competitors and more.
Instead of constant sales messaging, use your outbound messaging 'airtime' for important information such as changes in product lines or delivery updates.
Looking into marketing automation technology that gives you the ability to create messaging that engages and has personal relevance gives you the ability to do this.
If this sounds a little broad and daunting, never fear. Why not try a free consultation call with a digital marketing expert at Blue Beetle, an established Dubai digital agency? No strings attached, just sound advice based on your particular industry, goals and needs.
7) Test Drive Inbound Marketing
Digital marketing has evolved to focus on inbound marketing strategies. This is a methodology that engages customers by communicating tailored experiences and communication that they have requested. Inbound marketing focuses on solving problems customers have and providing information they are specifically looking for.
By delivering value, you can attract, engage and delight customers instead of interrupting customers with information that they don’t necessarily want.
Inbound marketing strategies could include SEO paid ads, chatbots, videos and viral videos, FAQ's, topical blogs, social media campaigns E-books, webinars, voice search rankings, SEO website text and information regarding COVID-19.
This, more personal, approach to marketing reaches out to people who are actively searching for products or information that you have and delivers it directly to them. It is far more engaging than many forms of outbound marketing and is often shared amongst friends and colleagues due to relevance.
Creating an inbound marketing strategy that is relevant to your business niche, size and customers is a powerful business driver, and finding the perfect digital agency in Dubai can assist you in doing it rapidly and within your budget.
8) Choose the Right Digital Agency Partner
Digital agencies leverage their clients' online presence using tailored marketing strategies to increase a customer base and sales. Hiring a team of experts to manage your chosen online technology leaves you to focus on the areas of business that you enjoy and that you do best, while increasing the success of your company. An agency can give you instant access to high-level skills that you might be able to hire and train yourself in-house.
How do you decide who to work with?
There are many digital marketing agencies in Dubai and choosing the right one for your business is a decision that should be considered carefully. It helps to have defined your own business objectives and marketing goals as deeply as you can first, as then your questions will be specific, and the agency will diagnose quickly.
Your digital agency should be able to supply you with market research and a considered digital marketing solution that could include:
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Social Media Campaigns & Advertising
- Video Marketing
- Mobile Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Web Design & Development
- Sales & Marketing Automation
- and more...
Digital agencies keep up with trends and adapt constantly to changing technology. That is their job, that helps you to stay abreast of yours. A good digital agency will take the time to understand your business in great depth, create buyer personas, and present you with case studies.
It is worth looking for an agency that has a proven track record in Dubai and has demonstrated that they are in it for the long term. Like any supplier, the 'fit' should be right between your business needs, and the agency's ability to supply that.
9) Interactive & Superfast Customer Support
Customer service has become the differentiator in the digital age. Our expectations are very high, we expect efficient and respectful customer service within short time frames. We also often have so much choice, that customer service becomes the key component of brand loyalty, sometimes over product and price.
Not only for businesses in Dubai but across the globe, 96% of consumers target customer service as a vital component of their loyalty to a brand. Amongst millennials, 74% have communicated that their perception of a brand improves when they are quick responders to social media queries.
There are many excellent ways to bring your customer support right up-to-date with current expectations. Whether you are using a simple online contact form, a chatbot, toll-free service number or all of these and other customer support avenues, make sure your customer journey is carefully thought out, and support is available as promised. If support is available at specific times only, this information should be prominent.
According to Accenture, 75% of customers say that they enjoy buying from a business that recognises them by their name, knows their purchase history and makes personal recommendations for products based on their past searches and purchases.
10) Anticipate & Adapt
Like water, business needs to flow and adapt to the vessel of the moment to survive. The fluidity of the response to rapid change, top class communication and a level of leniency in a global pandemic will (let's stay with the water analogies!) help you to keep your head above it.
Your strategic ability to think out the box, drive leads, retain customers and explore new channels will see your business in Dubai going from strength to strength, now, and for whatever is around the next corner.
If you need some help along the way or are just too busy running the rest of your business, we would love to chat to you. Blue Beetle is based in Dubai, and we have over 16 years of digital marketing experience. It’s a one-stop-shop for all your digital needs, with scores of happy, repeat customers. Plus offering a free, no strings attached consultation.