Summary: A quick recap, plus the recording from our Ahead of the Curve webinar on How Using Video Creates Revenue, Retention, and Relationships.
If you’re an avid reader of our blog posts, you’ll know that WSI has been in the digital marketing space for quite some time – 25 years to be exact!
So, when the Coronavirus pandemic hit, we knew we had a responsibility to share our digital marketing expertise and help businesses around the world navigate through COVID-19.
One way we are doing this is through our Ahead of the Curve webinar series, which aims to share digital marketing tips and best practices on key tactics that can help you overcome the marketing obstacles you’re facing today.
Our digital marketing educational webinar series kicked off this past Wednesday to an impressive response and covered the topic of video marketing, and specifically, How Using Video Creates Revenue, Retention, and Relationships. In this session, Ryan Kelly and Cynthia Barillas from the WSI Smart Marketing team based out of California, USA, joined us to share six ways you can use video across the core areas of your business.
We’ve included a quick recap below, and the full webinar recording can be found at the end of this blog post.
1. Use Video During the Prospect and Client Communication to Boost Sales
The next time you jump on GoToMeeting or Zoom (or whichever virtual meeting technology you are using), turn on your webcam. Sharing your webcam when conducting a virtual meeting humanizes the conversation you are having with your prospect or client. You can’t read a person’s emotion or passion or share how much you care about their business as effectively over text as you can with video.
2. Use Video in your Emails to Enhance Your Customer Service
Delivering exceptional customer service isn’t always about how fast you can answer a question or get an issue resolved. A lot of the time, customer service is enhanced by the type of rapport or relationship you can build your customers. Using video in your emails to share a quick how-to, results of a service you delivered, or even just to say hi and check-in, will take your customer communications to that next level.
3. Use Video in Your Social Media to Make Your Post More Engaging
Social media is one of the easiest ways to incorporate video into your business. As part of your social media strategy, consider adding video to your social posts and stories. Look into doing a live video stream on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube to share content with your followers immediately. Social media is a great way to share new video content but also video content you have created in the past as well.
4. Use Video on Your Website to Showcase Your Client Testimonials and Solutions
Adding video to your website is the quickest way to make your web pages more engaging. Today’s website visitors are much more likely to consume content by watching it than reading it, especially on their smartphone. Videos are also more likely to keep your visitors on your website longer and even entice them to fill out a form. So take a moment to go through your website and make a note of any content that could easily be adapted into a video – like blog posts, FAQs, service and product pages, or client case studies.
5. Use Video in Your Marketing Messages to Build Your Brand and Reputation
Video is a great way to show-off your service expertise and builds your professional brand and reputation. If you’re looking to make a name for yourself and become a recognized expert in your industry, set-up a YouTube channel and start sharing essential tips, tricks, and advice that your target audience is looking for in video format. Then, optimize these videos to build up a following, and you’ll be on your way to being a trusted expert in your field.
6. Use Video while Your Team Works from Home to Increase Employee Engagement
Many businesses and employees were thrust into a remote working environment as lockdown protocols suddenly took effect due to COVID-19. During this time, when many outside factors could negatively impact your employee morale, business owners and team leads must be doing what they can to maintain your company culture and keep employee engagement up. Turn those webcams on during your team meetings, bring all employees and departments together in weekly team huddles, and for all the CEOs and Presidents out there – send the occasional company update via video.
For more details on all of the above, watch the recording from our webinar, How Using Video Creates Revenue, Retention, and Relationships (posted below).
Our Montreal Digital marketing team has put together a list of valuable marketing tips that will not only keep you keep you busy during this quiet time but will improve your Web presence and social media properties and allow you to rebound faster on the other side of this work stoppage.
How to Make the Most of this Downtime
Social Media Announcements
The quickest way to reach your audience is via social media. Make a post and let everyone know exactly what your business is doing. Include working hours, remote work, and any changes to your service and the easiest way to communicate with you and your team. During a time when people have less physical access to your business, you can stay connected on social media and share positive messages.
Post Notices on Your Website
Consider adding a popup to attract website visitors’ attention or add a note on the homepage that’s easily visible. Include helpful information about what your business is currently doing. Remember to update your hours, contact info, location, availability, etc.
Take This Time to Update Your Website
Since our government has paused business activity for the next few weeks for the sake of our country’s health, why not take this opportunity to make the revisions to your Web presence that you have been putting aside for the past few months.
Create New Content
In Google’s eyes, content is king. Our Montreal SEO team are big advocates of fresh new content that prospects or clients would find valuable and informative. Consider writing some FAQs that would be of value for Google’s voice search. Create a Case Study demonstrating how you helped a client solve a unique situation. By creating new content, it may help increase your search ranking results, so it will pay off in the longer term.
Proactively Work on your Online Reputation
People have plenty of time on their hands over the next few weeks. Take this opportunity to contact clients and ask for reviews and testimonials in Google My Business, Facebook or LinkedIn. Reviews are important credibility boosters and these user-generated content pieces can be shared on your social media channels in the future.
Create a New Social Media Channel
You have been meaning to create that new social media channel and there is no time like the present. Read a few articles about getting started and go for it. Research some of your competitors for ideas about what to post. Set up your profile with all the relevant info about your business and come up with a plan of the type of info to post and then write a few posts, choose your visuals and then just start. You will learn along the way. If you do not have the time, our WSI marketing team can help you with your social media on an ongoing basis.
Update Your Online Listings
Google My Business, Yelp, Bing Local, etc. These are often the first things people see when searching for your business. Make sure they are updated with your hours and service info.
Send an Email
Yes, we all received numerous emails from businesses about COVID-19 but it’s still important for your business to reach out. Customers (especially those with current purchases, appointments, reservations) should know what’s going and what to expect from you.
Our WSI Team is Here to Help and we are Fully Operational
Here at WSI Digital Marketing, we continue to work remotely, serving our clients. We have launched a number of new websites in the past couple of weeks and have started a number of new projects that our clients decided to initiate, while things are quieter than normal to be better prepared to attract new customers when people get back to work. Our focus is on helping our clients stay relevant during this time, so they can rebound quickly.
Our Message of Hope
It’s such an uncertain time but our hearts are filled with hope. People all over the world are taking action, communities are supporting each other both offline and online. We will get through this and we will better ourselves because of it. Our team is fortunate enough to have the ability to work from home. We are 100% available for our clients and community and are here to provide guidance, discuss new initiatives and are here to support you and your business.
We wish everyone to stay healthy, safe, and hopeful.
Helping Business Owners & Their Team Communicate in a Virtual World
During these uncertain times, where social distancing is becoming the norm for the next short while, we at WSI Digital Marketing want to ensure our clients and valuable partners that we are here to help with all your digital business needs. For the health and well-being of our team, we are (mostly) working remotely, without interruption of service. We are not doing any face-to-face meetings for the near future and have been hosting virtual meetings instead.
As our governments are strongly recommending that we work at home if at all possible, we thought that we could share a few great tips and resources that will make it easier for you to be able to carry on business as best as possible and allow you to stay connected with your team and clients. We have used many of these trusted tools amongst team members and our partners for many years. Let’s get started.
This popular video conferencing tool allows businesses to conduct meetings or host webinars. There is a free version to get you started which allows you to host meetings with up to 100 participants. It is a great tool for virtual meetings with your prospects, clients and team members and even has a chat feature for quick messaging. You can work in the desktop format or download the zoom app for your tablet or smartphone.
This online meeting and web conferencing tool that enables businesses to collaborate with customers, clients or colleagues via the Internet in real time.
We have been using Skype for many years, which is now owned by Microsoft. It combines instant messaging, video conferencing, voice calls, and document collaboration into a single, integrated app. This is also a free tool.
This free Google tool facilitates text and video messaging (or phone calls for that matter). It’s easy to fire up a session for a one-to-one chat, or conversation involving multiple parties. It’s also great for people who are working from home, as it’s simple to set up a meeting between colleagues no matter where you are in the world.
This is a free tool that allows us to communicate quick chat messages back and forth and allows us to share files quickly and display screenshots to demonstrate certain things visually.
A project management tool that is great for teams. The free version allows you to create tasks and view them as a list, a Kanban-style board, or a calendar. You can also designate assignees and add due dates, while collaborating with up to 15 team members.
File Sharing and TransferGoogle Docs & Sheets
Create Word and Excel type of documents easily. When employees work remotely, Google Docs lets you all work together on a single document at the same time. Feedback and changes are saved instantly. Google Docs and Sheets are free to use but plans are available if you need additional storage. We Transfer – Our team often has very large graphic files that we need to share with clients and partners and use WeTransfe to move these large files, as there are limitations sending large files via email. This tool is free to use for files that are less than 2GB.
A cloud storage service, which means you can copy your files to the cloud and access them later, even if you’re using a different device. You can share these folders and documents with your team members or anyone else via email. It too is a great way to transfer large files.
This list of collaborative tools will help keep you productive and facilitate communications while you work remotely and allow you not only to keep in contact with your client base and provide your usual stellar services but also to continue to prospect in the future. There are many other online tools out there, which we can share at a future date.
If you require any assistance with these tools, we would be happy to help guide you through the process. Please send a request to our support team at email@example.com
WSI Montreal is pleased to announce the launch of a bold new responsive website for Phoenix Wrappers, a leading manufacturer of stretch wrappers and stretch wrapping equipment based in Laval, Quebec. For over 25 years, Phoenix has devoted all of their resources towards continually improving pallet wrapping machines and stretch packaging equipment to ensure the safe arrival of their customer’s products and pallet loads.
An easy to navigate and modern website
Phoenix came to us with an ambitious project. Our challenge for this website was to find a way to structure and effectively organize Phoenix’s extensive catalogue of machinery which includes highly detailed product spec sheets and videos for many automatic and semi-automatic stretch wrappers for more than a half a dozen industries.
Our team began by carefully structuring the site map to organize of all of the sections and pages that would make up the site in a way that would facilitate navigation for the end user.
We designed a dedicated product page for each machine which includes detailed product information and specifications as well as photos, video and downloads. It was important that the relevant products be linked to one another. This was achieved by incorporating two feeds onto each page; one for related videos and a second for related products. For each, scrollable thumbnails appear making it easy to navigate to the related content.
The end result is a clean website that is well organized making it easy to navigate despite the volume of content.
Ongoing support and paid search advertising
Built on the WordPress CMS platform, our client will be able to edit their site themselves but we’ll always be there to help them with any issues that may arise by providing ongoing WordPress support. After the Phoenix website was launched, our team provided an extensive training on how to navigate the backend of their website and how to make any necessary changes.
WSI will continue to help Phoenix grow its business with paid search advertising, a strategy that allows you to target people who are searching for your products or services. Paid search give you more control over who finds your page paid by specifically targeting your ideal buyer personas.
Contact our West Island web design and digital marketing experts to find out how WSI Montreal can help establish an online presence for your business. Already have a website but need help getting more traffic? Ask us about or SEO and paid search advertising services.
At WSI we value the importance of an updated system, plugins and files. We ensure the following:
- Setup the right WordPress security plugin,
- Schedule updates for WordPress plugins
- Configure and deploy automatic backup and recovery tools
- Secure reliable WordPress hosting that is complimented by web application firewalls for intrusion prevention
This is our Typical Setup for the System and Protection of a WordPress Website
WordPress Security PluginUsing a trusted plugin we lock down WordPress and change its various default values that are typical for hackers to target. This prevents brute force intrusion attempts, file change detection, 404 detections, lockout bad users, hide login and much more. We receive monthly reporting of the overall security grade for proper monitoring of the system status and set requirements to review user passwords on a regular basis to deter bots from targeting a specific user. Best practices for strong password enforcement typically including 8-15 characters, 1 lower case, 1 uppercase, 1 special character and something unique for that user account.
WordPress Plugin UpdatesUpdating plugins is the most important maintenance factor for WordPress. 40% of online WordPress websites are vulnerable to hackers because of a lack of updates. We will always update plugins immediately when we’re notified of a potential vulnerability or exploit detected by the plugin author. Every quarter we update all of the other plugins on the website. Once the updates are complete we perform a thorough quality control check to ensure nothing has been compromised and verify that the version of the WordPress CMS is updated to the latest security patch.
Website BackupsWe work with a sophisticated backup and restore plugin that will automatically backup and save the website files and database once a month on a secure remote server. If ever there are any issues we can use this to restore anything caused by broken code, a broken plugin or if any content was accidentally deleted. Website backups are always performed before any plugins or WordPress version is updated to ensure a roll-back is easily accessible in case of conflicts.
Secure Web HostingOur trusted partners use high performing load-balancers using NGINX that securely and rapidly deliver fast content served with always updated PHP versioning. Our Server performance complimented by a secured (SSL) Content Delivery Network (CDN), provides powerful load speed and the secure delivery of content and images. Server monitoring is also set to detect if there’s an intrusion through unsecured ports and will lock them out if there’s a suspicious login attempt.
Use of a Web Application Firewall & Protection Against Input FieldsThe Firewall authenticates and blocks out the bad robots attempting to break into your site in a single session or steal any data that it can scrape. It detects them and blocks them out of the site and server. We also use a secure form system that prohibits any cross-site scripting (XSS) and locks out any backdoor attempts considered to be vulnerabilities or potential exploits.
Without a thorough checklist it can be very difficult to remember all of these steps but at WSI we are continuously proactive in the maintenance of WordPress CMS, plugins, files to secure and protect our customers. Learn more about our WordPress maintenance and security or feel free to contact us to discuss your needs.