Marketing Your Business on Long Island During and after a Pandemic

By: AJ Sonnick, President of ONE18MEDIA, Marketing Strategist

Every business is unique, and every industry is different. Whether you have a storefront, an office, or a small desk for one, there’s a single thing that all Long Island businesses need to have, and that is some sort of active web presence. This presence should be maintained through a website and business social media accounts.

Over the years, I have encountered many businesses—some that had no digital presence, others with a website that simply wasn’t functional (did not yield revenue), and many that had social media accounts from which they rarely posted. Some felt that maintaining an active web presence was something they could manage alone, without a marketing partner. Others felt that, being word-of-mouth businesses, they didn’t need an active web presence at all…. But what happens when that business generated by word of mouth dies down or, worse yet, a pandemic triggers a lockdown?

All of the what-ifs and worst-case scenarios came true with the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent issue of national social distancing guidelines. Many Long Island businesses quickly learned that they needed a website or social media account to survive. Unfortunately, many businesses struggled to learn the technology quickly enough to try and  

Marketing takes time to be effective, but there are some things you can do now. Below are a few tactics you can implement into your website and social media strategies during and after the lockdown:

  • Ensure your website loads quickly. You might think it runs fast and smoothly, but Google result ranking determinations come down to the millisecond. Compress your images and optimize your code—the faster, the better! Run your site through Google PageSpeed to discover how well your business performs. 
  • Is your website responsive? Does it adjust to browser widths? If not, this can require a re-working of your site. This is very important.
  • Whether or not you’re taking payments online, having an SSL certificate is important. Every website in 2020 should begin with https://.
  • Are you actively tracking the number of leads and calls that are generated through your website? Or the number of in-person customers that have visited your store after having seen your website? Odds are, you probably aren’t. Implement call tracking to help showcase your website’s ROI.
  • Does your website have a blog? Ensure you stand out from the competition and appear to be an expert in your field, especially if you are a services-based business. Having a blog may not bring about business directly, but it will help your business rank you higher in search engine results, further allowing you to impress.
  • What percentage of your social posts are hard-sells vs. soft-sells? Follow an 80/20 or 70/30 rule in which most content highlights your company as a knowledgeable player of the field to your followers and prospective customers or clients. The remaining content may be dedicated to pushing your product or service.

The most direct way to bring in customers is to target them with digital ads through Google and social media platforms, as well as running direct email campaigns. That is the moment when you might want a strategic marketing partner to help.

All of this sounds expensive, but it doesn’t have to be! Some of these tactics are ones you can start implementing today with your own Long Island business… or have your marketing partner get to work!

AJ Sonnick is the Founder and President of ONE18MEDIA, a full-service digital marketing agency on Long Island.