Alina Hasnas, SEO expert, about online promotion in times of crisis

2020 has proved to be a challenge for everyone from the start, especially those who run a business, regardless of their scope of activity.  Thus, most physical businesses have increasingly focused on the online environment in order to stay in touch with customers, but also to gain the trust of potential customers and partners. We are also moving toward digital promotion at this time, but how can we have effective publicity in times of crisis, what tools and strategies are we using to achieve good results?  We find out from Alina Hasnas, principal expert SEO and founder of the agency SEOLITTE, with five years of experience in SEO and Digital marketing.  

What is the most effective form of advertising compared to the current period? 

”In the current situation, when we have all moved online, I could say that most businesses can find their target customer here.  Figures show a worldwide increase in time spent on the internet, especially on social networks. 
However, there is no digital promotion formula that would fit all businesses.  The form of advertising chosen, as well as the promotion channel, depends directly on the niche of the business, on whom its clients are, but also on what their needs are in the pandemic.  For example, for the public food sector (which has suffered a great deal during this period) the presence on Social Media - to inform customers about tastes, sensations and experiences through text and pictures, as well as promoting take away or home delivery at lunchtime and dinner – are fundamental elements.  While the interior design business needed a different approach, there was the organic search (promotion through SEO) that made the most sense. So the best form of advertising is the one that perfectly fits the type of business and the message the target audience expects in a crisis situation, as well as the ability to adapt to changing consumption behavior. ”

What techniques and strategies do we use? 

”During this period, recommendation number 1 is to be proactive, emphatic, and not just to pursue profit. For example: Micro-finance companies came up with business support messages and better solutions for individuals in Google ADS, as well as useful advice about organizing time at home - on Facebook.  
Launch new customer offers, discount vouchers, vouchers, etc. – all are welcome to make you noticed.  Especially if it is possible to present promotions via video content: Either on YouTube or on Social Media.  The statistics show that video is actually the "new reality" in marketing, which was being talked about. 
User-generated content: Photos, video, direct communication with them will attract capital increases during this period. 
All can work if you come with a correct message and adapted to times of crisis.”

What are the most common mistakes you have seen online and how do we avoid them? 

”From my own experience, I can say that there are a lot of mistakes that businesses make in the online environment, but a few are repeated systematically: 
Poor quality promotion on Social Media: We all noticed very much tasted postings in the Moldovan SMM - too arrogant, too commercial, even disgusting sometimes, where you can say they have grammatical mistakes.  And all of them are promoted with the "boost" button.
Denial of the importance of optimization for search engines.  Here I also add the impatience to get results from the SEO as quickly as possible.  Google does not position you in the top 3 just after a month of improvement works on the site.  The resolution of this situation would be hidden in a detailed explanation of the functioning of Google's algorithms and the continuation of SEO works even after 6 or 9 months from the start. 

Incompetence to take care of customers and potential customers online.  We often lack a quality "customer care".  Customers feel neglected even by popular brands (and I felt, not once).  My recommendation is for brands to train absolutely all their employees to give customers the most pleasant experience in interacting with them.
No experienced graphic designer.  Consumers love with their eyes and that is what everyone who is running a business must know absolutely.  A quality visual image attracts users and makes them buy more from you.  The solution in this case is to turn to a specialist and invest in a visual material that really attracts potential customers.
Non-optimized sites that are heavy-loading and have non-functional elements (buttons that are not pressed, not optimized enough for mobile devices, etc.). Web page - this is your most valuable asset from online, which is your home online, regardless of changes to Facebook or Installam algorithms. And if you do not improve it for both the user and the search engines - you think you will not be successful in the online environment. So my recommendation is to use a web design tailored to the needs of users and to build quality sites at both functional and structural level.”

How do we stay in touch with customers/partners? 

”We communicate with them as often as possible. We keep them up to date with new offers, we educate them with quality content, we offer frequent updates. One good method is to automate e-mail communication.
In addition, we also provide them with assistance on issues related to our service or product.  We come up with quick solutions for every challenge they face in interacting with our brand.  Ask for feedback – often. We thank them for doing business with us and congratulate them on their holidays. We're with them!” 

Useful tips for good digital marketing in times of crisis? 

  • Be closer to your customer. 
  • Be present on at least 2 communication channels. 
  • Not sell directly, but through valuable information and good content. 
  • Come with support and care messages and do not use exhortations for aggressive action. 
  • Make quality remarketing for those who already interacted with your brand, (when applicable and when you see an opportunity to close the transaction). 
Alina Hasnas, SEO expert, about online promotion in times of crisis