The current COVID-19 outbreak and the shutdown of many areas of the economy in the United States have left a lot of anxiety for business owners about what marketing steps to take now. But among all the confusion and uncertainty, there are concrete steps you can take to position your business for future success. This is a time for focus, not for retreat. Whether you have implemented a digital marketing strategy or not, this is the time to create one or improve the one you’ve started for 2020. And the coronavirus waits for no business to take a break.
Targeted nurture marketing, a consistent content creation plan, and an updated digital marketing strategy are all important components of your business survival right now. Yet, all of these will also put you in the position to thrive when we’re all out and living our lives once again.
Five Things to Do for Your Digital Marketing Strategy and the Coronavirus Outbreak
1. Make careful cuts, not deep slashes.
In times of economic retrenchment, many companies immediately make deep cuts to their costs. That can be in the form of mass layoffs or in their marketing budget. And it’s true, sometimes that’s a necessary move to avoid a bigger problem. Most industries are dealing with an economic drop right now, unless you’re in the toilet paper business.
But for most companies, that just puts them at a disadvantage when better times come back. After all, you can’t cut your way to profitability – that can only come from increasing sales. Careful cuts or trimming of your marketing budget can reap greater rewards over the long-term.
We have a video on our YouTube channel about how to create a marketing budget. But it’s not just helpful for those creating a budget for the first time – it can also guide you in where to invest if you need to trim the costs a bit for the next few weeks or months.
2. Keep your long-term goals in mind.
Focusing on your short-term measurements right now is an understandable impulse. You might have just seen a sharp dip in your product sales or your leads coming into your website. But those are short-term problems – eventually the world will get back to business, even if the format will have changed.
In the meantime, don’t lose sight of your long-term goals and plans. Digital marketing isn’t a short-term fix anyways – not now, and not before the current crisis either. It’s a plan for sustainable long-term growth. And now is a great time to review that overall marketing strategy, your marketing segmentation strategy, and build a marketing calendar.
Look at your data for the past year – what worked well, what’s struggling, and what was it all costing you? You could find some interesting new info on the ROI you’re getting from your digital marketing, and update your strategy and best practices accordingly. Or dig deeper into your conversation rate from every source – see any areas that could use some help? Tackle them now. Then once the economy comes back to wellness, you’re already in a stronger position to beat the competition.
3. Build relationships with your existing customers.
Right now is a difficult time to acquire new leads and customers. But you already have an existing customer base who have bought your products or used your services before. Now is the time to talk to them – but in a targeted and thoughtful way.
It’s time to focus on nurture marketing. Keep in touch with your customers with thoughtful email autoresponders – not an impersonal barrage of tone-deaf offers but content that speaks to their current needs. Email marketing, when done well, is a low-cost but incredibly effective way to talk to your customers.
The same effort applies to your social media marketing now as well. Are you contributing to your community by supporting medical professionals or seniors stuck at home, or helping your employees stay safe? Then you should be sharing that on your social media channels, letting your customers know you are a company with values. They’ll remember your contributions once they have money to spend with you again.
4. Focus on the digital marketing basics and do them well.
Every business has those tasks and updates they put off until a quieter time. For your digital marketing strategy, that might mean refreshing your overall website look or content, or perhaps reviewing the basics of search engine optimization (SEO). You can comb through your website for broken links or outdated info and make fixes now.
Update your existing content:
Or take this time to create content that will resonate with your customers and leads once the economy is running at full speed again. Content marketing will be just as critical in a few months as it was last year, so use this time to get ahead of your schedule.
Use this time to create some blog posts with interesting topics or begin experimenting with video marketing. If you’re in the travel industry, your business has been hit hard because your customers are staying home. But why not provide a digital escape for them with videos of exotic locations? Use your marketing to get them dreaming about booking that big trip when the coronavirus outbreak has abated.
5. Look for opportunities and bargains to position you for growth.
Times of difficulty can also be times of opportunity. With most of the US population asked to stay indoors, social media usage is booming. And pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns have decreased quite a bit in price. This is a good chance to get your brand in front of a captive audience at an affordable price.
As many other brands cut back or stop advertising, now can be a smart time to raise your brand awareness in the eyes of your audience. There’s less competition, so even if you decrease your ad spend, a little will go a longer way than usual (and developing brand awareness take a while anyways). When consumers are out and spending again, you’ll already be on their minds.
And don’t be afraid to get creative. More people than ever are shopping online – is this a model you can adopt for even a few of your products? Think about what that could look like, and use your extra downtime to do some research. This could be the perfect time for a digital transformation.
To be clear, this isn’t the time for carefree ads and tone-deaf offers. But it can be a good time to get more potential leads familiar with your brand and the value you offer, and the benefit you would add to their lives. With PPC campaigns that speak to your leads where they are, and a sustained lead strategy that positions you for the future rebound, you’re building the future of your business.
We Can Help with Digital Marketing During the Coronavirus, and After
Looking for more personalized help on your digital marketing strategy right now? Schedule a free business review here to find out how we help businesses grow. You can use these insights for inspiration, and let us do the marketing for you.