Why long-term strategy can help secure online growth

by | May 2, 2020 | Business Strategy

Running an online business during a period of uncertainty can be difficult, regardless of whether you’re facing a pandemic such as COVID-19, or a general recession. Many businesses will immediately turn to short-term strategies, to help them through a crisis – but it isn’t your only option. When it comes to securing online growth during uncertain periods, don’t ignore the benefits of a long-term strategy.

Why a short-term strategy can’t be a your only choice

The problem with short-term strategies is they often involve cutting back on business essentials, such as marketing and visibility. And this can often have a detrimental affect on your business. In the long run, you’ll end up facing an uphill battle to get your business noticed again. As The Digital Hub shared in their latest news article:

What you as a business owner does over the coming weeks will likely define your success over the next 12 months and beyond. Of course, business owners are looking at their finances, and there is an understandable desire to cut any and all expenses that they can. However, your marketing spend where at all possible should not be one of them. That approach can often result in a catastrophic outcome.

Successful marketing requires both a short and long-term strategy  

Short-term strategies tend to be aimed at getting an instant direct action from your existing customers and warm leads, (such as a quick influx of new sales and opt-in subscribers etc). But once the actions are completed, the strategies lose their effectiveness. And the longer they tend to go on, the more urgency decreases. 

Whereas any long-term strategy (such as SEO and content marketing), will take time to get settled in. Instead of focusing on short-term gains, they’re based on building long-term brand awareness and an emotional connection with your business. They’re aimed at spreading your business wider, reaching more prospects and building on those relationships you’ve gained. It’s something that can only increase over time, as it helps you create more loyalty and brand advocates for your business.

Scale up or down to suit the current situation

If you’re faced with a downturn in the economy or a health crisis that impacts your business, look to adjust both your short and long-term strategy, rather than believing a total rethink is needed. For example, look to change your focus from offline to online marketing solutions, or adding in more affordable DIY products to your service-based business.

It’s worth remembering that all businesses will have ups and downs, and many will face crises that aren’t of their making. But if you stay clear on your message and branding, everything else can be adapted up or down, to suit the current situation. 

So get super focused on highlighting the value you provide, along with the pain point your service or product solves. This will help your clients make their decisions based on the results they need, and not the fear or the current situation.

[If you need help boosting online sales, here’s how you can get more leads into your business. And if you want to add recurring revenue to your business, here’s 3 of the best ways you can do that.]

Make informed decisions based on results, not fear

The key is to ensure you’re always making decisions based on facts, not fear. Before you make changes to your marketing budget, staff and outsourcing needs, or your online marketing, apps and tools, look at what has been working for you. Split test your efforts and see what is and isn’t working for you and your clients.

As digital marketing community site ClickZ, state in their recent article ‘Three steps to prepare for the post-COVID-19 business world’:

QUOTE: COVID-19 is dramatically changing consumer and business behaviors today. Undoubtedly, many of those behaviors will remain long after the diminishment and defeat of the virus. New behaviors become permanent the longer they are in place. And in this case, one of the primary human emotions, FEAR propels and engrains the behavior changes.

Behaviours and needs will change, often in a short space of time. But if you want to weather those changes, you need to use a combination of both a short and long-term strategy in your business, to ensure you’re making the right decisions for your business.

By staying consistent with your message and brand, you can get super focused on highlighting the value you provide and help your clients make better decisions. And by gauging their reactions and results, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions on how you need to scale up or down to suit the current situation.

Running an online business during a period of uncertainty can be difficult, regardless of whether you’re facing a pandemic such as COVID-19, or a general recession. But by following the advice above, you’ll be able to use both a short and long-term strategy to help you weather the changes and secure the online growth you need, regardless of the situation you face.

Image courtesy of ra2studio/DepositPhotos.com

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