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.
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.
The homepage of a website is essentially the most important page of any website. This is the page where you make your first impression and often this first impression is deciphered in the first 3 seconds of landing on your website. The homepage is also the one page that commonly gets the bulk of your site traffic and can either encourage or discourage the visitor from turning into a lead and eventually a customer. That is why it is critical to ensure you know who you are marketing to and what it is you intend to deliver as a business and how. As such, our Montreal Web Design team has put together a list of elements we believe are critical to keep in mind when having the website of your business redesigned.
1. Headlines and sub-headlines:
The homepage of your business website should reflect the stages of the buying cycle which include:
- Awareness: when a visitor becomes aware of your product.
- Consideration: when a visitor starts evaluating solutions to their needs.
The top of your homepage will reflect the awareness stage of the buying cycle through the use of headlines and a sub-headline. Both should briefly and effectively demonstrate what it is your business does and what it has to offer for your clientele.
2. Supporting Images:
There should be high quality supporting images all throughout your website, but having such on your homepage is of primary importance. The majority of people are fairly visual. It’s crucial that you include visuals that very clearly demonstrate who it is you are and what your business has to offer. We encourage you to be authentic and choose imagery that captures emotion. Images that make your website visitors feel a positive emotion that relates to your product offered tend to further encourage the visitor to choose your product.
3. Good copy that reveals the benefits of your product or service:
As the visitor scrolls below the introductory section of your homepage that is normally within the header area, they should be able to understand the benefits in which your product or service offers and your experience level or how long you have been offering your service. This can be done by using lightweight and straightforward copy that is worded in the manner in which your clientele speaks. If you honestly demonstrate the benefits to your visitors and how long you have been offering such a service for, the chances of them going with your product and being faithful to it will be greater.
4. Show your visitors the way with links:
Your homepage should always provide your visitors with a direction to other significant features on your website. Part of your homepage should be dedicated to encouraging your visitors to click links to these important pages on your website such as products, services, blog and contact pages. It provides your visitors with the ability to easily navigate through your site and find what they are searching for. When you lead your visitors to the most important pages of your website such as the specific services or products offered using the particular keywords you are seeking to be ranked for, you’re helping Google find and rank your linked webpages accordingly.
According to Hubspot, the call to action (CTA) is the link between the regular content which the visitor is interested in and the page that persuades this visitor to turn into a potential lead. The CTA is very brief in wording, consisting of no more than 5 action oriented words. Examples of a good call-to-action include:
- Contact us today
- Make an appointment
- Get a free consultation
Based on the content you have on your homepage, there should be a couple calls-to-action on your homepage.
6. Testimonials, reviews and success stories:
Your homepage can have every critical element in the book, but what will surely grab the attention of the visitor is if the positive statements towards your product or service are supported with proof. Proof consists of reviews, testimonials and general customer success stories that are visible on the homepage. All you need is a few of your best quotes from reviews, testimonials or success stories and you should be well on your way in demonstrating credibility through such indicators of success.
7. Your most recent Blogs and articles:
You should ensure that there is a section on your website that is solely devoted to a blog. This blog demonstrates that you care for your clients and want to provide them with helpful content that will better their lives in one form or another. Blogs are also great for using keywords that elevate your websites ranking on search engines (commonly known as SEO). Displaying your three most recent blog posts towards the bottom half of your website is an excellent way in showing your clientele that you are not only qualified in what you do but that you are a thought leader in your particular industry.
8. Link to your social media accounts:
Adding links to your social media accounts won’t only help increase the chances of your clientele finding you on search engines, but it also demonstrates to visitors that you are an actively present organization. Being active on social media can help you retain your audience and can also help make sure that both your target market and search engines can find you.
Our WSI Montreal team is keen to educate our clients of the most beneficial online trends, techniques and technologies to grow their business. If you would like help achieving the perfect digital marketing mix for your business or want to know more about our Montreal web design services, contact us today.
There is no doubt that 2016 was a great year. Our WSI Digital Marketing team has worked on many great projects ranging from web design to SEO and the implementation of a Facebook contest that increased the engagement and Facebook page Likes for our client by more than 50%. We welcomed a number of new clients and further developed a rewarding relationship with our clients. It’s been a great year and we believe 2017 will be even better.
We wish you a wonderful holiday season and a prosperous new year. Click on the image above to check out this short and uplifting video by WSI World.
See you all in 2017!
Our WSI Montreal team is well equipped to apply knowledge of the most beneficial online trends, techniques and technologies to grow your business. If you would like help achieving the perfect digital marketing mix for your business or want to know more about our Montreal web design services, contact our digital marketing agency today.