A digital guide to tackling Corona Virus

corona virus small business ni

OK, so it’s getting real. Schools closed in Ireland. Major events cancelled across the UK. Staff advised to stay at home and a general sense of uncertainty across all markets and industries. Here’s how businesses can combat COVID-19 with an effective digital strategy.

Businesses will suffer

The virus is already effecting businesses across the UK & Ireland. COVID-19 has been the “icing on the cake” for companies like Flye Be. Claiming they simply couldn’t cope with the impact of the disease.

Yesterday, the UK FTSE 100 closed with it’s worst plunge since 1987.

So, how can digital help?

Well, let’s face it – the show must go on. Businesses need to continue generating revenue. And they must reduce overheads during uncertain times. Here’s just a few of the problems facing businesses and how digital can provide some help…

Reduced footfall.

Retail outlets are already seeing a massive reduction in footfall into their stores. 1 way to combat this might be to work on your e-commerce solution. More people will be staying at home. And more people will be making purchases online. You should offer at least some way for your customers to make purchase or pay deposits on line.

Cashflow problems.

During uncertain times, customers and clients may withhold payments for a little longer. You can make it easier for them to pay by offering online payments. You can send email reminders and simply ways to pay online by creating a page like mywebiste.com/pay.

You could also start selling products and services online.

Cutting costs

Reduce your marketing and advertising spend by taking any budget from magazines, newspapers, billboards, radio, &TV and moving it to digital. Your budget will go further and you can target your audience better.

Staffing problems.

Many staff can be “self incubating” and working from home. Unfortunately these uncertain times may even call for a reduction in staff and a slimming down of your workforce.

Keep your sales & marketing alive (regardless of staff) by outsourcing this to a professional team at a fraction of the cost. The outsource team can carry out social media campaigns, website updates, SEO and more. This will help bolster sales during difficult times.

You may need to recruit quickly when the worst is over. There’s no faster or better way to do this than with a good digital strategy.

Offers & deals

Restaurants, shops, travel companies, hotels. (pretty much every sector really) will see a reduction in sales. You can combat this by offering promotions and deals to help get sales back on track. A digital team can help you with newsletters, social media campaigns and more.

Keeping stakeholders informed

You’ve got staff, investors, customers and stakeholders. All of which will want to know your plans for Corona Virus. Keeping your stakeholders informed will do you well in the long run.

A digital partner can help you with press releases, social media campaigns, website articles and more – to keep your stakeholders well informed. This will also build trust.

You should at least have a digital partner.

A digital partner (That manages your website, social media & digital content) will allow you to react quickly to anything that happens. You can shift company focus, launch new products, get more sales online, get paid faster, recruit quickly, keep customers informed and market your business in the most cost effective way.

Drive traffic to your website & outsmart your competition…‎

Drive more traffic to your website

So let’s just say you’re a budding entrepreneur. You’ve gone into business for yourself and setup that all-important website. The problem that most people face isn’t about how they can setup a website or even start a blog; it’s about how they can actually drive traffic to there website. So here’s a few to get started on…


Simple yeah? You wouldn’t believe the amount of businesses that haven’t updated or even claimed their google business page or submitted their website to google, bing or yahoo. Organic traffic is still the most valuable traffic in the world, in 2020, so if you haven’t done it, follow this link and do it now.

Google analytics tool is a great way to monitor the traffic to your website. If you haven’t set it up you should do so now. Click here.

Google Analytics allows you to track & manage traffic to your website from all sources.

2. SEO

Behind every good website is good search engine optimization. It is a set of rules for optimising your website so that it can achieve higher rankings in search engines’ organic results. Still not quite sure why it’s so important? Check out our article on SEO.


Content is King. A consistently updated, the high-quality blog remains the ideal way to drive traffic and grow your brand and keeps them coming back for more!  Google loves a meaty, frequently updated blog, rewarding great content with higher search engine rankings as an overall trend. It’s also great content to share on social.


To put it frankly…3.8 billion people use social media. If you’re not taking advantage of social, you’re missing out on a fast, inexpensive, and effective way to reach almost half the world’s population. Choose 3 social media platforms depending on your business and be consistent on them.


The modern consumer wants to see the product in action. Check out our article on why Video Marketing is so important for Business in 2020. Again social media platforms can be used to create short edits for video. However if your looking for a more formal video, best to ask a professional.


Email marketing is a great way to drive traffic to your site or your blog, and to promote any offers, but it also means that you need a list to market to. Mailchimp is a free tool which allows you create emails easily using their templates. Don’t forget you can use your “Blog Content” on this one.


Let’s be honest if we offer consumers something FREE they are more than likely going to use your website again. Partnering with companies that have a large footprint is one way to drive interest and visitors to your site.

NR homes made a massive impact on social with this giveaway.


Much like any strategy, research is the first step when it comes to Influencer Marketing.. Choose the social platform you want to focus on first. You can always expand to other platforms later but if you’re just starting out, stick with one. Ideally, your brand should already have a presence on this network or be looking to expand into it.

Then take a look at the type of influencers that are “right” for your business. You can also use Twitter analytics tools to identify potential influencers that will fit your campaigns.

If you’re not a digital ninja then, you’ve likely struggled with getting your head around the billion types of “online marketing”. You’re in luck, we’ve worked alongside the top dogs in online business…

Arrange a coffee with us, tell us about your business and your goals, let Beacon13 create a custom “Digital Strategy” for your business.

5 steps to the perfect eCommerce store…

E commerce - 5 steps to the perfect e-commerce store…by beacon13 websites & Digital media for business.

Beacon13 creates and supports eCommerce store clients all over UK & Ireland. And we’ve learned a few tricks along the way…

1. Find a Niche

Frankly everyone is selling something online, and with so many big stores out there to compete with – you have to have a niche.

For example, giftware might become Irish traditional giftware, and hair products might become “hair products for men with red hair”. Be specific.

2. Super Cool Branding

Branding is super important not only is it what makes a memorable impression on consumers but it allows your customers to know what to expect from your business.

Create a super cool brand. (A short snappy, unique business name, a awesome logo and informative slogan are key). Until you’ve got Coca Cola brand status you need to be clear to your customers what you sell.

3. Choose your platform

Choosing the best eCommerce software is not as straightforward as it seems. In fact, it is actually one of the most important decisions that you make very early on in your eCommerce journey. With so many choices out there, here’s a some of the best…


Perfect for “Social Shopping” – if your already hooked up to Facebook shopping & Instagram then Shopify is definitely an option worth considering.


If you’re familiar with WordPress or if you’ve got a blog or loads of other content on your website such as how to’s videos etc.

NopCommerce & Magento

For advanced customisation – If you require a more “advanced approach” to your design and functionality of the store, like a personalised search function, or if each product requires advanced customisations then NopCommerce is for you.

4. Get the config right (shipping, payment gateway, notifications).

You’re (potentially) up against the most advanced shipping network ever created by human kind – AMAZON. People expect next day delivery, free shipping etc. So you MUST consider this.

Choosing the wrong payment gateway can lead to failed payments, returns issues, bad margins and more. Paypal & Stripe are the new standards in online payments.

You need to get alerts on sales, failed payments and shopping basket stats. Your customers must also get professionally looking emails including receipts, terms vat etc. Bonus points for dispatch and delivery alerts.

5. Competitive Pricing

Price, price and price. The internet is awash with competitors trying to out price you. You MUST be competitive on price.

If you’re thinking starting a new online business, or maybe your current store is outdated then get in touch and let’s get your online store making some serious sales.

Video…It’s kind of a BIG deal…

Videos - It's kinda a BIG deal. Contact Beacon13 today and making some serious dosh.

Video content is the most engaging content the web has to offer.

Believe it or not businesses who use video, grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users. Yup, that’s almost twice the growth, yet it’s fairly safe to say that most start-ups and scale-ups have yet to take full advantage of video marketing for their business.

So what’s the BIG Deal?

Video marketing has quickly become the number one way to connect with your audience and drive sales. The amount of video being consumed daily is massive. So what are businesses who don’t use video missing out on?…

Boost sales and growth

Video has the ability to create some serious dosh. We all want to see the product in action.  And in doing so, the are more likely to buy your product. Simple.

Builds trust

Giving your customers a quick insight into your business, can lead to sales. If the consumers feels they can trust your company they are more likely to buy from you.

Google will love you

Videos allow you to increase the time spent by visitors on your site. Therefor, longer exposure builds trust and signals search engines that your site has good content. Oh, and since Google now owns YouTube, there has been a significant increase in how much videos affect your search engine rank.

Video does it all. So, if you are serious about content marketing, like the these NI businesses then you must be serious about video, too.

NRE Properties in Coleraine speeds up the sales process offering Mortgage Solutions to potential buyers.

NRE have teamed up with Mortgage IQ to provide a more comprehensice service for their clients. We can now stremline the sales process reffering potential buyers to Mortgage IQ for mortgage quotes, protection and more.

Geplaatst door Northern Real Estate NRE op Zaterdag 24 augustus 2019
NRE Properties in Coleraine speeds up the sales process offering Mortgage Solutions to potential 
Moneymore House – Gallion Glen, Cookstown

#COOKSTOWN's hottest new development #GallionGlen is open to the public again this SUNDAY from 2-4pm! This time showcasing the luxurious MONEYMORE HOUSE, comprising of 3 fully managed #turnkey apartments, with 3 bedrooms and lift access! Hope to see you all there!

Geplaatst door N & R Homes op Donderdag 26 september 2019
N & R Group reveal one of Cookstown’s hottest new development using a short promotional video of Moneymore House.
Miller Wholesale – Bathrooms, Tiles, Stoves & Plumbing. Our Newtownstew

Visit our extensive showroom in Newtownstewart. Between Omagh & Strabane. Celebrating 50 years in business our showroom has a tile & bathroom emporium, 100s of stoves, thousands of tiles and flooring options and everything you could possibly need for plumbing and heating. Call in today or arrange a self build consultation at https://www.millerwholesale.co.uk/

Geplaatst door Miller Wholesale Ltd. op Vrijdag 22 november 2019
Miller Wholesale Ltd used video to show off their extensive showroom in Newtownstewart.

What can you do today? – Arrange a coffee with us, tell us about your business and let Beacon13 create a corporate video for you. A short 3 minute video about you and your business. We’ll add this to your website and promote on all social media to your target audience.

Using Digital to combat Brexit.

brexit website digital

Ok, so it’s tricky to prepare for something when you’re not quite sure what that “something” is. But there’s no doubt that Brexit will mean changes for all businesses.

And the best way to prepare for change… DIGITAL! Here’s 5 simple concepts that we implement for businesses that also can be used to combat changes from Brexit.

  1. Get a CMS website. A CMS or “content management system” will allow you to quickly make changes on your website when Brexit happens. You may need to quickly change pricing or terms.
  2. Start a newsletter. A newsletter allows businesses to quickly communicate with their clients and customers at scale. When Brexit happens you may need to quickly update all your customers about changes to your terms or business service. A newsletter is a super quick and simple way to do this.
  3. Start accepting on line payments – This can be a complex e-commerce system or a simple adhoc payment page. Either way, accepting online payments will allow you to work with various currencies and quickly accept payments, deposits sand recurring payments.
  4. Check your legal requirements – Most sites currently have an EU cookie warning, privacy policy and gdpr requirements. As of Brexit, be ready for this to change.
  5. Get your social media ready – You might need to be able to quickly launch a campaign. There’s no faster or better way to do this than with social media. You should have at least one social media profile ready with a decent following. And you should know how to “boost” content, like an offer, a service update or job post.

Beacon13 will be helping their clients through this uncertain time with professional digital support. Cutting the cost of traditional communications whilst raising their business profile on line.

Fix your business’ digital strategy permanently with one thing.

one thing to improve digital small business

If we told you need to do just 1 thing to drive your business on line would you believe us?

Business owners often fret over social media, their website and their digital strategy. “What should we be doing?”…”What should we avoid?”… “Should we do a newsletter?” “What about GDPR?”… “Is Bing really any good? “…”I think it’s all a fad” (Yes, that’s a real comment from a client.)

Digital (by which we mean, your business website, Google, social media, newsletters, e-commerce, business apps, booking systems, industry websites) can be a mind field for business owners. Business owners are engineers, medical professionals, builders, make up artists, retailers, legal professionals, estate agents, mechanics… They are not Digital Marketeers or Web Developers!

So, if we take 2 businesses. Same industry, same business model, similar client base…

Business A) – Business A is absolutely “killing it” on-line. Their website pops, converts customers and accepts payments. They’ve good a good social media following from their customer base. And they keep them well informed with interesting, informative content about products, services and industry news.

Business A is always top of the list in Google & Bing and they create newsletters and videos. Their brand looks really sharp on line.

Business B) – Business B’s website looks like a school project from 2005. Their brand is messy and inconsistent. They have little or no social media presence. They can’t be found on Google, they’ve never heard of Bing and they have no way of accepting a payment on line from anyone.

What’s the difference?

So what has Business A done that’s allowed them to create this on line presence. What knowledge do they have that Business B does not? How do they keep on top of everything and do it so well? They’ve done the 1 thing we’re about to tell you. The secret to a successful on line strategy that any business owner can implement today…

Wait, are you ready for it? Are you sitting down? The 1 thing to do to fix all of your digital woes and generate some real business on line is…

Are Twitter users more intelligent than Facebook users?

twitter iq vs facebook iq

Working in social media marketing we need to understand the types of people that (commonly) use all of the major social media platforms.

Nasty as it may seem – we need to understand things like age, sex, pay grade, marital status, location, shopping trends, social class and even IQ of the main users on each platform.

Who cares?

A lot of people apparently. IQ and intelligence are important factors in finding which types of content will resonate. For example; An article about Quantum Physics might not resonate that well with a young man that’s more interested in who won the match on Saturday. And that’s fine! Each to their own.

But this has brought us to a piece of research that might be interesting and advantageous for people or businesses to know. And note, we did come to this research with some preconceptions. (Which may or may not be debunked.)

The preconception.

Our preconception is that Twitter users, as a whole, are more intelligent than Facebook users. This preconception comes from posting thousands of articles, images and videos across all platforms and seeing that highly intellectual content preforms better on Twitter than Facebook. It just does! Now, does that mean Twitter users are smarter?

Well, here’s the bullet points…

The findings.

  1. A 2019 study finds that Twitter users make more money overall.
  2. Analytics suggest that news, political and science related content is consumed better on Twitter.
  3. Researcher finds small positive statistical correlation with IQ among Facebook users. And no relationship for Twitter users.
  4. Study suggests Twitter users typically smarter and more creative than Facebook users.
  5. Highly “open” individuals were drawn more frequently to Twitter for “intellectual pursuits”


From our (very coarse) research, we can deem there’s no real hard science to suggest Twitter users are smarter. There is however a lot of science to suggest that typical Twitter user and very different from Facebook users. And they use the platforms for very different reasons.

Broadly speaking; Twitter users are indeed looking for intellectual pursuits, news and informative content. Facebook users are looking for entertainment, photos and family/community content.

For help in using your website, Twitter or Facebook to further your business, get in touch with the Beacon13 team.

Environmental Consulting Engineers launch their new website with a recruitment drive for Senior & Graduate Engineers.

Patrick McCaul Environmental Consulting Engineers Ltd. is a highly respected Building Services Engineering Consultancy with a creative and motivated team of engineers, designers and associated technical personnel.

This Company has developed significant expertise in the sustainable energy sector over several years. It specialises in addressing the needs of the internal environment by providing consultancy on energy conservation, low carbon / energy design strategies and the incorporation of sustainable energy systems for both existing and new builds.

Website Launch

PMC took a massive step digitally in June 2019 to develop both their business & digital strategy. Now successfully in partnership with Beacon13 Ltd, they have recreated a brand unique in its industry, a website that only reflects the true authenticity and true professionalism of the PMC.

With a surge in demand for talented Senior Engineers and Graduate Engineers across the construction industry in both UK & Ireland, PMC are having to adapt their recruitment approach in order to acquire and retain quality talent.

The challenge therefore is how the industry can better align job demands and employee skills, and so beacon13 came up with a digital solution for recruitment across the board.

Recruitment Drive

Orchestrating a recruitment drive for a large organisation such as PMC is more than simply filling roles with applicants who meet the required skill sets.

In preparation for the interviews, PMC took a unique approach which was devised to curate a dream-team effort, in order to attract a large volume of potentially-right candidates in a timely and cost-effective manner.

The drive was the first step in introducing potential candidates to what PMC where about, core values and a very detailed description of the career involved.

In addition to the recruitment drive , Beacon13 also thought it was essential for advertisements on traditional media, outreach on digital channels was necessary to maximising engagement. For instance, LinkedIn targeted a specific audience, helping to spread the word across the construction industry.


Check out PMC’s careers, page if you think you have what it takes.


The 5 coolest business apps of 2019.

business apps northern ireland

We have the pleasure of working alongside the most ELITE businesses in Northern Ireland, so we asked over 100 NI businesses, which business software proves most successful for their business…

1. MailChimp

MailChimp is one of the biggest names in email marketing software, unlike virtually all competitors, MailChimp offers a free plan. As in permanently free.

Newsletters, Campaigns with Built-in analytics

Mailchimp is a email marketing tool, basically it allows you to regularly engage with your audience via the use of email. This usually involves sending out a regular email newsletter with updates, special offers, information and advice. If you have a blog it would also include links to your latest blog posts.

Email marketing is absolutely key in reaching your potential customer base. It is the cornerstone of building a digital business.

Beacon13 recommends MailChimp for email marketing.

2. Quotient

Quotient is super-intuitive online quoting software that lets you create, send and manage your quotes. You’ll save time and make more money with Quotient. Need we say anymore!

Beacon13 recommends Quotient for quoting software for small to medium businesses!

Great looking Quotes with a competitive edge

Your quotes will look great, and receiving them over email makes doing business easy for your customer. The whole process can give you the edge you need over any potential competitors.

Easily add images, files or website links directly on your Quotes, and give your customer everything they need to make a decision.

3. Xero

Xero is beautiful accounting software that helps you do mundane bookkeeping tasks faster, so you can enjoy more time doing the things that matter to you.

Beacon13 recommends Xero for Accounting software, for making tax digital!

Accounting software for “on the go”, simple and effective.

Xero can automatically handle tasks that used to take up all of your time. From importing bank transactions to sending invoice reminders, we’ll do the work for you.

With all your data stored safely and in one place, it’s easy to get a snapshot of how your business is tracking. You can also invite your accountant or bookkeeper into Xero so they’ll ensure you meet all your tax obligations.Make payroll a walk in the park!

Look after your staff with Xero Payroll and drive profitability on your projects with Xero Projects. It’s fully integrated with Xero so you can keep all your business information in one handy place.

It’s easy to access all your data and Xero tools from anywhere – just connect to the internet. Plus, keep all your essentials like invoicing and payroll at your fingertips with Xero’s mobile app.

4. Twilio

If you have used online banking, Airbnb, or Netflix, you have probably used Twilio. In fact, Twilio powers communications for over 40,000 businesses around the world.

Beacon13 recommends Twilio for text alerts to engage customers.

Text alerts for your customers

Simply put, Twilio is a developer platform for communications. Software teams use Twilio APIs to add capabilities like voice, video, and messaging to their applications. This enables businesses to provide the right communications experience for their customers.

Behind Twilio APIs is a Super Network, a software layer that connects and optimises communications networks around the world. This is what allows your users to reliably call and message anyone anytime.

With Twilio, you can reach customers in the ways they prefer, and engage with them effectively using context related to that interaction. As customer experience can increasingly make or break your brand, programmable communications has become more crucial than ever to the success of businesses today.

5. Sitechecker Pro

Good SEO is vital for any business website

Compliance with search engine guidelines is an important factor for the success of your website. The Sitechecker Pro analyses your website and gives you tips on optimising your site for a long-term success in search engine optimisation.

Beacon 13 - recommends that every business do a SEO checker on their website. Every website in today's world should have GOOD to excellent SEO.

Simply, to implement good SEO practices, its great to have a tool that’s got your back. Did I mention that it’s FREE?…

Beacon13 are digital professionals, we are here to help your business grow digitally. If you’re thinking about a website refresh, or need a partner in digital , give us a call today on: 02879549627. 

Here’s 5 reasons Woo-Commerce can turn your website into a revenue machine.

Woo-Commerce - Business eCommerce store - Beacon13

What is Woo-Commerce?

It’s a plugin for WordPress that will transform any website into a very powerful online store. It has everything you need all under one roof. It’s simple to use, robust & secure. Think of it as your online business revenue machine.

So…What’s the BIG deal?

You could pretty much sell anything and it’s incredible easy to use! If you want to sell something, you can sell it with Woo-Commerce. That includes physical products, digital products, subscriptions, appointments, and much more.

Woo-Commerce is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms worldwide.

It’s Free… Yup Free as a bird.

Woo-Commerce is competitive with leading enterprise eCommerce applications, but because it’s free, any business or entrepreneur can take advantage of it. Now that’s what you call a level playing field.

Unlimited Plugins & Awesome Features.

Just like WordPress, Woo-Commerce includes an extensive range of features that can be extended with the addition of plugins. Businesses who use Woo-Commerce benefit from access to thousands of WordPress plugins & themes as well as hundreds of eCommerce-specific extensions built just for Woo-Commerce. It’s your one stop shop.

Woo-Commerce, you'll find everything you need. - Call Beacon13 today - for some crucial advice on eCommerce.
With over 100+ plugins associated with Woo-Commerce, you’ll find everything you need.
Are you ready for Tax going Digital?

When managing an online store with payments, security is crucial. Woo-Commerce is built on WordPress, the software that runs 26% of the web. Regularly audited by Sucuri, an industry leader in security, so you can rest assure you’re in good hands.

Tax is going digital in Early 2020, every business owner, self employed or sole trader you should be thinking about taking payments online, whether you are a retailer, accountant, estate agent, builder, hairdresser or a charity everyone should take payment’s online!

The simplicity for both you and your customer/client is undeniable, they pay quickly, you get paid fast. Online payments give you the added backup of invoices and statements stored online, perfectly ready for that dreaded tax return!

Payment Gateways - WooCommerce, Beacon13 - Digital Media.
Over 100 payment methods available.
You can design the way YOU want.

Not only does Woo-Commerce have endless themes to suit most, you can totally customise your Woo-Commerce store to stand out from the crowd. Pretty awesome isn’t it? Not only do you have all the Themes to help begin, but you can ideally create your own awesome design, with the help of the experts…

Awesome Analytics & SEO built in.

We all know the importance of SEO and managing the growth of your business website with analytics. It’s hard staying on top of it all, with WordPress – Woo-Commerce, you have it all in the one manageable place.

Woo-Commerce - Built in - google Analytics and SEO Yoast
Woo-Commerce – Built in – Google Analytics and SEO.

The more you know about your customers and the way they interact with your store and its products, the better. Woo-Commerce have you covered.

Can any business website use Woo-Commerce?

Unfortunately Woo-Commerce is an eCommerce plugin for WordPress websites. Good News is we can help…check out our article on WordPress for everything you need to know about WordPress websites.

Get a Quick Quote to change your current business website to a WordPress site & join the 2.3 million eCommerce websites around the world.

In short, because Woo-Commerce provides a complete eCommerce solution that is fast, easy to use, and can adapt to the needs of any eCommerce business, it’s bloody amazing and if your not on it already… I would recommend it. I’ve had my fair share of eCommerce platforms… and this one ticked all my boxes.

If you are struggling with your current eCommerce website or even thinking about taking payments online, talk to Beacon13, we can advise whats best for your business.