Are your sales numbers decreasing due to COVID-19? Are you thinking of cutting your marketing budget in order to balance things out? If that sounds like you, think again! Your business might not be generating the desired results during this crisis, but the good news is, with a good digital marketing strategy you can get your business through this crisis and you can come back even stronger than before.
How Is the Coronavirus Affecting Your Business?
As business owners, we need to properly address this issue within our individual strategies. We must recognize that our PR and marketing strategies can’t continue, business as usual, during this time.
Because people are panicking. Their attention is not on business developments or product offerings. And if you try to interrupt their thought process with such messages, it will no doubt fall on deaf ears or even be met with a level of disdain.
Now, in such kind of a crisis, how do you maintain your brand presence or carry out your marketing? Especially if you are a B2B supplier in an industry that has been slow to adapt to digital marketing. A key factor in resilience is adaptability. If it’s standard in your industry to go out and meet new customers face-to-face before you do business, adapting may mean opening new channels over the web or social media platforms where introductions can be made, and relationships fostered. In the coming months, your prospective clients are going to be less open to the idea of letting you walk through the door and shake their hand – and no-one really has any idea how long this will last and whether this will lead to longer-term change.
Digital Marketing – the Only Solution Right Now
This means that you’ve got to replace these marketing activities with something else. You cannot afford to go silent for a while, especially not during this pandemic. Plus, with everyone being indoors, that means everyone is online, most of the day. WhatsApp has reported a 40% increase in usage during COVID-19 Pandemic. Reddit reports traffic increases of 20–50% in subreddits related to business, finance, news, education, travel, and sports over the past week. The community r/coronavirus now ranks second among the website’s top growing communities with 1.2 million members.
If we look at all these stats, we can clearly see how much opportunity is in the digital space. That’s why it’s so important that, as marketers, we all brush up on our research, share our knowledge, and think creatively. Bold Entity can help you seize this opportunity as this nimble agency has strategy geniuses that act quickly and have a vast breadth of expertise.
Now that you know how important digital marketing and maintaining your online presence is, here are a few things about how you can invest your budget in digital marketing.
SEO and Content Marketing
Performance losses in organic channels are seen as overall search demand has dropped. But we’d recommend you continue your execution on SEO and content marketing efforts.
Search Engine Land, on reviewing a dozen websites concluded that the organic performance of those websites is dropping, most have flat keyword rankings. Google Search Console also shows a considerable drop in search impressions despite rankings staying the same. This further validates that this is not an SEO/ranking issue but rather a drop in search demand due to COVID-19.
If you choose to reduce spend in your SEO and content marketing efforts, you significantly risk your organic rankings. Once search-demand returns (and it will) you will still drive considerably less organic traffic than before the COVID-19 pandemic began. Right now, it’s vital to maintain – if not grow – your SEO campaign.
Email is cheap and effective. Considering you can’t impact search-demand—leading you to potentially decrease paid search/media—you may be able to claw back some scale with email campaigns. For some industries, it’s as simple as reminding customers that despite brick and motor stores being closed, they can still get all their needs met online.
Remember to be mindful of the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure your clients/customers that you are here to help. This isn’t the time to hard sell or promote special COVID-19 “deals.”
Focus on Your Paid Search
During this COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen competitors completely stopping or scaling back on paid search campaigns because of fear. This poises good opportunities for those willing to ride the wave, as the leads will keep coming your way.
This is not something we are assuming, in fact, we’ve got a few client case studies that reveal an increase in leads generation and conversion rates as competitors have pulled back on paid search. The key to properly assessing opportunities when it comes to Google Adwords / paid search is to think about your selling cycle and your audience. If your selling cycle is long (3 months or longer), you can’t afford to stop your paid search efforts because you’ll want to have a full pipeline for when this chaos is over. We propose that:
1. If your business is seasonal or you have a huge influx of business during the months of July-December, don’t stop the paid search.
2. If your product/service is an immediate buy and you cannot provide those services or products to your clients right now, reduce your paid search but don’t stop it. You can capitalize on brand awareness.
3. If your business happens only during this time of year and you cannot provide your products or services at the moment, only then you should stop paid search efforts (but you have other ways too so that you can come back even stronger in the game after the pandemic, keep reading the article).
Build Up Your Social Media
Social media is going to be a mainstay for everybody staying at home during this time. And it’s something that you can work on and improve in the background. Make sure all your information is up to date. Look for ways to spice up your social profiles and feeds. Upload pertinent content that keeps you and your brand top of mind, but also speaks to the needs of your audience. Always keep the element of sympathy in mind.
Focus on Online Services
Right now, in-person events and conferences are off-limits in many areas. So, look for ways to do things online to support your B2B marketing and PR strategies. Create webinars that people can log into from the comfort of their homes. Do a live video on Facebook, or Instagram that will engage your audience. Take time to produce regular videos that will benefit your strategy even after the panic dissipates.
Work on Back Burner Projects
We all have those projects that we put on the back burner, waiting for when things slow down. Well, now is your time to dig out those projects and give them your full attention. This could include writing a book, updating your brand messaging, creating and publishing a new website, creating a video or podcast, designing a new offer, or even developing a thought leadership strategy. Whatever it may be, now is the time to do it.
With the pandemic affecting marketing strategies and panicking the customers, and everyone questioning how are we ever going to recover from all this? There is a bigger question out there, how people are going to react after this pandemic? What will be our brand strategies, will there be a change in how we’ve been interpreting our marketing techniques so far. The world is changing, and the trends are changing with it too. You need to keep your business updated in order to thrive and survive. If remote work is going to be the next step where humanity is stepping into then you better switch your focus to digital marketing.
Stay home, stay safe.