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How Covid-19 Has Impacted Businesses This Quarter

Since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, businesses have had to deal with the subsequent economic impact for over a full quarter. How does the state of business compare today to what it was in March? And how have teams changed their behaviour to adapt to the new economic climate? 

This retrospective takes a look into buyer interest, marketing & sales outreach, and sales outcomes. We can’t make predictions about what will happen, and nobody knows what the future will look like. But we hope this provides helpful insights and some useful tips as businesses enter the next quarter.

What We’re Seeing Today

When COVID-19 started affecting global economies, businesses that already had an online presence were at a distinct advantage. The data shows steady and sustained growth in buyer engagement throughout the pandemic, and that businesses with an online presence were ready to capture that interest.

Marketing teams have risen to the challenge of staying relevant during the crisis and met an audience of consumers who spend all day online. While email volume has risen significantly, open rates have risen faster than volume, demonstrating that teams have been successful at providing relevant and helpful content.

On the sales side, things aren’t going so well. The data shows that sales teams sent up to 60% more email than pre-COVID benchmarks, but response rates have been dire. Marketing teams have been able to connect, but sales teams haven’t to a greater extent. This is a huge area of opportunity for businesses as they enter the next quarter of COVID-19.

Consumer Interest


Website traffic has been one of the strongest-performing marketing metrics over the last three months. As consumers have moved their purchasing online out of necessity, businesses with an established online presence have reaped the rewards.

Since the business world has suddenly shifted to a remote setting, chat volume has rocketed. Sales teams have pivoted to chat software to grow their pipelines, while customer service teams are leveraging this channel to manage the increased demand for support.

When it comes to the usage of live chat, every industry is hitting above the benchmark. This is a positive sign that consumer interest is increasing, and that people are engaging with companies more frequently.

Consumer Engagement

It will come as no surprise that both sales and marketing emails rose significantly since March and stayed at elevated levels throughout. With the digital world getting busier, it was surprising to learn that marketing email open rates have maintained a steady rise relative to the increased volume of emails sent.

As mentioned above, despite the success of email marketing, people aren’t responding the same way to sales emails, with response rates falling significantly. This shows that sales and marketing teams should be working closely together to understand how they can improve their email engagement rates and send far fewer emails.

Sales Turnaround

New deal prospects took a nosedive in March, as companies paused “business as usual” to understand what cutbacks and operating changes they’d need to survive the pandemic. More recently, this has been on an upward trajectory. Though this growth has been volatile, businesses are hoping that this trend will hold.

A few tips to take away:

  • Invest in online chat software.
  • Shift prospecting away from quantity to quality.
  • Invest in your digital presence

Free Software to Get Started:

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How to align your content with your marketing strategy (infographic)

A substantial number of marketing professionals and small businesses make some incredible content; it’s visually appealing, engaging to read and overall hits the mark. The common problem is that quite a few people are pushing out this content without much rhyme or reason. The content can be great, but if you don’t have a strategy in place, not only will it not help you reach your goals as a business, but it is unlikely to be reaching the right audience.

A widespread misconception about content marketing is that it can be impossible to track ROI. Yes, it can sometimes be difficult to measure and some businesses don’t measure it at all, however by aligning your content to your strategy and putting appropriate KPIs in place, it becomes significantly easier to see that return on your investment.

We have therefore compiled a five-step process for you to follow in order to ensure that you are pushing out content that is relevant to your audience and allowing you to reach your objectives.

 

content strategy infographic

 

 

STEP 1: IDENTIFY YOUR OVERALL KPIs

Your KPIs are your Key Performance Indicators, which measure the successes of your content in accordance with your annual goals. Before you create any content, you should be identifying what your overall KPIs are for the year. By doing this, you will begin to understand what messages you should be pushing out to your audience that will help you achieve your main objectives.

 

STEP 2: ESTABLISH YOUR MONTHLY GOALS

Once you know what your overall goals are for the year, figuring out what content to post on a daily basis can be quite daunting. It’s much more helpful to establish your monthly goals, breaking down what you need to achieve for the year into smaller, more achievable targets that you can build your content strategy around. 12 hills are easier to climb than one mountain.

 

STEP 3: SET YOUR METHODS

Now that you know what you need to achieve, the next step is to establish what methods you will use in order to reach your goals. What type of content should you be pushing out across your platforms that will take you closer to where you need to be by the end of the month? Are you going to focus more on website content, social media, paid advertising, video, all of the above?

 

STEP 4: PLAN PLAN PLAN

This part seems self-explanatory, but a very surprising number of businesses and marketing professionals do not plan their marketing strategy – particularly content marketing. By creating a content calendar and aligning it with your goals every month, you are creating your own road map to reaching your targets, ensuring that you are covering every basis.

 

STEP 5: GO FORTH AND CREATE

Now that you have your road-map, you are free to forth and create your content. Take original photographs, use design platforms like Adobe Suite, write blogs and create videos. If you stick by your strategy, use your content calendar and stay in line with your KPIs, you will be on your way to success.

 

For any further advice, why not ask over a cup of coffee? Give us a ring.

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A/B testing: the benefits to your business

 

Your business is about creating value for your customers, turning them into advocates for repeat business. The greater the value, the better the chances your business will be successful.

Data consumption has evolved, and we don’t always put out the type of content that will attract and motivate consumers to purchase. Measuring the ROI created by your marketing and advertising campaigns is as much a challenge as running the business itself.

Fortunately, through the use of A/B testing businesses can now not only store and analyse data, but make more informed decisions about their marketing and advertising campaigns.

What is A/B testing?

It is comparing different versions of an online or offline campaign to determine which generates better results. For example, the images, headline text and call to action used on a landing page on your website, promotional flyer or Google PPC ad.

The data collected from this approach will help you determine which campaign consumers reacted to more favourably. You will then be able to create more engaging content that will appeal to your target audience.

 

Some of the key benefits of A/B testing

1. Improved Content Engagement

Launching two versions of a campaign will provide key insights into what type of content attracts more interaction and conversions from your customers. A lot of time, money and resources are used in understanding your target audiences, researching and creating content that will turn them into customers. However, this investment can seem wasteful if it does not generate the expected results. By experimenting with your content through A/B testing you will be able to tailor and improve your content for better engagement.

 

2. Reduced Bounce Rates

Responsive design, layout, user journey, imagery, tracking tools, SEO tactics and Google PPC campaigns and much more, all done to get people to your website. It can be disheartening when visitors just “bounce” from your site without spending any time reviewing your content.

If this is happening to you, it’s time to look into optimisation via A/B testing. Look at the headlines, support images, call to action and other elements on your pages, the direct comparison performed with A/B testing will help you find a winning combination of elements that keeps visitors on your site long enough to provide them with value from your content which may ultimately lead to a sale.

 

3. Increased Conversion Rates

A/B testing is one of the easiest and most effective way of creating content that converts more visitors. Take the time to carefully craft two versions of your campaign to see what works and what doesn’t. Testing two versions does take a little longer, but when done properly will help convert more leads into sales.

 

4. Ease of Analysis

One of the best things about A/B testing is that it is quick and easy to analyse the results and determine the clear winner. Try this simple metrics on an A/B test of your website landing pages (time spent on page, conversions, sign ups, downloads etc.)

 

5. Increased Sales

One of the most important benefit for businesses is A/B testing can help increase sales. With fewer bounce rates, better customer engagement, more customer conversion all lead to increased sales for your business.

Your business is unique and has USP’s that make it stand out from your competition. Using A/B testing to experiment with marketing those characteristics to find the ideal combination for your customers not only provides them with better experiences, but it also instils trust and confidence in your brand, product, service and business. When visitors begin to trust your company because of the value you provide, increased sales and loyal customers are a natural result.

For any further advice, why not ask over a cup of coffee? Give us a ring.

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