2020 was a year for the books that none of us will forget anytime soon. There were, however, some important lessons peppered throughout that we – as an industry – are wise to heed. While 2020 was all about putting distance between ourselves, many businesses were able to chart new territory in their efforts to help keep us connected. Because real life is often the best teacher, let’s get cracking and learn a few digital marketing lessons that 2020 taught us.

MOZ Shares 2020’s Most Heartwarming and Informative Stories

Those guys over at MOZ plucked three of the most meaningful stories shared by SEO types about how a few specific small businesses were able to segue from the before times into the pandemic with aplomb. Each is as heartwarming as it is informative.

Amanda Jordan Weighs In

Amanda Jordan is the Director of Local Search at LOCOMOTIVE Agency, but her Twitter account tellingly lists mom and gamer before Director. Ms. Jordan shares that Pete’s Diner – which she discovered from behind the wheel of her car, but that has been up and running in her community for ages – is one of her favorite businesses and that it remained so throughout pandemic-driven 2020.

Before the pandemic, Amanda and her husband made it their practice to have breakfast every Saturday with her in-laws at different neighborhood restaurants in the area, and Pete’s Diner became a regular haunt. Not only is the food delicious and the location ideal, but they also carry the couple’s favorite difficult-to-find, top-quality olive oil, which became a regular purchase.

Amanda and her husband set out to help support local businesses as shutdowns were imposed, and Pete’s Diner rose to the occasion with agility to spare. While none of us saw the changes that 2020 had on tap coming, those businesses – regardless of size – that were able to adapt on their feet have held their own and serve as concrete reminders that business is not static and that our efforts shouldn’t be either.

To its credit, Pete’s Diner put its shoulder into the pandemic and began taking online orders and offering delivery without compromising on quality or significantly raising its prices. The lesson Amanda took away is that local businesses should do themselves and their customers a favor by continuing to offer extended options like online orders and delivery post-pandemic. For example, Google Posts is a convenient and easily navigable way to keep customers (and potential customers) up to date on all those specials and innovations you’ve got coming their way.

Niki Mosier Stays Loyal to Local

Niki Mosier, the Head of SEO at TwoOctobers, describes herself on Twitter as an SEO Nerd, so who better to lay some 2020 wisdom on us. Niki shares that she was a frequent flyer at a local cafe/coffee shop before the pandemic. The quality of the food, their homemade doughnut Fridays, and the stellar customer service kept her coming back for more – and the fact that it is only two blocks away from her home didn’t hurt. When lockdowns were imposed, this intrepid cafe went all in and swiftly added delivery to their roster – even to those sheltering in place only two blocks away. And Niki wasn’t one to say no to Irish coffee and fresh doughnuts delivered directly to her door on a Friday morning.

In fact, Niki’s local went for it and added all of the following offerings:

  • Bake-it-yourself cookie dough
  • Meal deliveries
  • Thanksgiving pies
  • A beer collab with a local brewery

Niki reminds us all to stay agile out there and to be ready to change course when the time comes (what’s your business’s bake-it-yourself cookie dough equivalent, for example). Perhaps the most important takeaway from 2020, however, is that customer loyalty is everything and that excellent customer service is the coin of the realm – during the pandemic and beyond.

John Vuong Googled His Way to His Favorite Pho Restaurant

According to his Twitter account, John Vuong (founder of Local SEO Search, Inc.) is a conversations and conversions guy. John emigrated with his family from Vietnam to Canada as a child and was looking for a pho restaurant that ticked all the necessary boxes, including:

  • Close to his home
  • Family run
  • Serves amazing Vietnamese bone broth noodle soup that reminded him of his childhood

It’s a tall order, but John turned to his trusty Google Search and did some digging. Checking reviews is a must for John, but he knew he’d found the right place when he walked in the door of the noodle shop and the staff recognized him as a newcomer – taking the time to introduce themselves, tell him a bit about the business, and describing their most popular dishes. Welcoming John personally and attempting to forge a personal relationship predicated on rapport helped to secure him as a loyal customer – and the excellent soup, crackerjack service, and complimentary dessert helped to seal the deal.

When the pandemic hit, John took a three-month hiatus from restaurants, but upon returning to his favorite pho place, he was heartened to find that they’d seamlessly integrated all the necessary health precautions to help keep both their staff and customers safe and that their takeout business was booming.

Not to beat a drum here, but John’s 2020 insight stays with the theme of customer service above all else. Tough times serve to highlight exactly how important our customers are, and going the extra mile when it’s needed most begets the gold standard of customer loyalty.

Great Stories That Share Common Themes

We got hit with a pandemic, and there isn’t a business out there that was prepared. Those businesses that managed to survive – and even to thrive – however, tend to have what we think of as heart. Whether we’re looking for a soup that reminds us of home, doughnuts delivered fresh (just because), or next-level olive oil, the correct response is a business with heart – that understands the importance of staying nimble, of staying seen online, and of providing the kind of authentic customer service that resonates with customers old and new.

A Digital Marketing Pro Can Help You Better Digest 2020’s Transcendent Teachings

No matter what kind of enterprise you run, these stories help remind us that the mom and pop around the corner probably has a lesson or two to share. The basics remain the same for businesses large and small, and The Web Guys are here to help you translate these basics into your next best steps (come what may). Get ready for what’s next by connecting with or calling us at (317) 805-4933 today.