Everyone is working or learning or doing something online in a new way these days.
And one of the biggest new things that people are doing now is Video Conferencing.
I am sure many of you have been in the odd video conference before. Or more likely, attended a webinar.
In some ways they are very much the same. I would say that a webinar is simply a larger video conference where one or two people are presenting and the majority of the rest are muted (both video and audio).
While in a video conference, you may not be muted at different times.
Depending on the interaction level needed, you may not be muted at any time.
When I say ‘muted’ I mean the person running the video conference has muted you, shut off either your audio or video feed so as not to disturb the other participants.
In some conferences they turn the mute off and on based on how needs to speak or who digitally raises their hand.
One big piece of advice is if you are in a video conference, mute your own audio right away. Even if the conference organizer has you muted, they may turn it back on and you may not know it.
And it stops a lot of feedback by simply having attendees mute their audio until they actually need to speak.
If you are using an external mike (vs one built into your laptop, phone or tablet) make sure your microphone is not in front of your speakers, as again when you try to use it to speak in the conference you will get feedback that way that can hurt the ears.
With video, unless it is a very small group, and you are sure you have good internet bandwidth, I would suggest to turn off your camera.
If you want to have some facial interaction, turn it on at the beginning when people are doing greetings and intros, but then turn it off after.
By having your video off, and others turning their video off, it should increase the quality of video of the presenter.
This was not always the case, especially if people had good internet connections. But now I am seeing lag to some extent in most video conferences and webinars and I feel all providers and even the internet itself is being highly taxed on bandwidth.
If you do leave your video on, then focus on the meeting. Otherwise people will see you distracted, doing other things, etc. You don’t want the boss thinking you are not paying attention.
If you are running a video conference and it is your first time, definitely try setting up and logging in to your video conferencing system before hand. Also get a friend or colleague to log in as a participant. And log in on another laptop, tablet or phone yourself so you can see how people enter, and what that process is like.
Many video conference systems are now enforcing a waiting room, so you need to actively allow people in, even though they have a meeting invite and/or a password.
You want to know how this all works before hand.
And test out your presentation beforehand to make sure everything works. Again log in on a different device and see what your presentation looks like from the other persons point of view.
If you are using any of the tools that come along with video conferencing systems, like chalkboards, highlighters, polls, quizzes, etc. then you should test these out as well. I was recently on a video conference where they had two or three polls set up and planned to use the ‘live’ results in the presentation, but the polls did not work for the viewers for some reason.
Lastly, don’t get too worried if things don’t all work perfectly. We are all new at this new normal. We are all accepting of how difficult technology can be at times.
The BEST advice is to be authentic, and have fun with it as you go. Yes get your business done, but also enjoy the process and relax and make the best of it. You are learning after all.
Now is a great time to review your website content.
While things are rapidly changing in the world and both the brick’n’mortar and online space are adjusting rapidly to world and local conditions, it is more important than ever to be sure that your website has the right information and content.
First and foremost, be sure that your contact information, hours of business and service levels are prominently displayed on your website.
You may want to move your primary desired method of contact to a place on your website that is easier to see and access by visitors at this time.
Let people know if you have any changes in how you are doing business and if your levels of service have changed or your product offerings have changed.
If your business has been affected negatively by Covid-19, you may at this time need to Pivot your Business and look at ways to do business online. This should be conveyed clearly on your website.
Even if you have not had time to change how your business works, but you are planning too, and working on that plan, let people know that, so they can check back at a later date.
For businesses that are overwhelmed right now due to Covid-19, it is still important to have your website updated. Use your website to manage the high volume of customers you are now dealing with. Again having the right information easily accessible can take the burden off your staff, as many people will check your website before calling or visiting your location.
Another area to look at on your website is the content that you have put up in the past. At this time, with all the worry and fear out there in the world, you do not want content that people may infer in any negative way. Look at the wording of the main website content. Review past blog posts. Take a look at the imagery and videos you use to be sure that nothing will bring negative publicity to you and your business based on the new normal in the world.
More than ever, your website is the face of your business to the world, make it work for YOU!
Review your Mission Statement, your long term Goals and your Key Messaging to be sure they are congruent and in line with your business activities
It is always a good thing to take a look on a regular basis at these key items. Your Mission Statement, your long term Goals and your Key Messaging are critical parts to your overall marketing strategy. They are what drive the strategy at it’s core.
And we often drift away from them at times, with all the hustle and bustle of daily life and work, with various promotions happening, and all the other things that can distract us.
Now it an especially great time to review these in-depth.
Be sure that they line up with what we truly want and are building in our life and business.
Make adjustments, either to what we have been doing to align with our Mission Statement, Goals and Key Messaging.
Or, make the bigger step to adjust our Mission Statement, Goals and Key Messaging to what we truly desire.
To what we truly want to accomplish and build with our business.
Every business wants more traffic to their website.
Especially qualified website traffic, as in traffic that will eventually mean more business.
So how can one get more traffic, thus make better use of your website.
We hear so much these days about social media… Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and more. Is there value in these? And will they bring you more traffic to your website?
There is a point to using these social media sites, but…..
I would not fully rely on them for traffic. You still need a website, a good informative website that is your main hub online.
As I have always said, your website is your centre for all your marketing, online and offline.
I am getting away from my theme – Website Traffic.
So yes, social media can bring you traffic.
But even more important is having a well planned website that functions at a high level and provides your visitors (aka clients and customers) what they need.
Often that is the simple things, like your location, your products and service, and how to get in contact with you. These are vital and need to be easily accessed on your website.
What else matters….to get more website traffic?
You bet… Search Engine Optimization is a huge factor for ongoing website traffic.
SEO is a long term sustainable tool to bring the right traffic, high quality traffic to your website, and thus increase your business.
You need to be aware of many factors when dealing with SEO.
Of course, having good quality CONTENT is the main thing.
But you also have to have your website set up properly, use the right on-site tactics, have a fast loading website, have few if no errors in your site (including bad links, bad code, etc.) and have links to your website.
But, in the long run, Search Engine Optimization is definitely one of the best strategies to a high performing website and marketing tool.