Internet Marketing - 1 Apr 2020
5 Tips for Marketing During Covid-19
The impacts of Covid-19 are being felt across the globe, affecting all aspects of life. For business owners, the economic impact is dramatic and extremely challenging to manage.
As physical distancing and self-isolation force the temporary scaling back or shut down of businesses in most sectors, it is important for owners and managers to be forward thinking about working through the crisis and setting the foundation for retention and recovery of customers.Your business and your employees, for whom your business success is vitally important, are depending on your response to this crisis.
You may already have a robust digital marketing strategy in place, driving traffic to your website and social media profiles, and the temptation may be to temporarily cease activity, but your business and your customers will be better served by adjusting your strategy. With a focus on clear communication and planning for recovery, you will keep your customers informed and engaged.
Here are five strategies for adjusting your marketing during the coronavirus crisis:
1. Don’t let your customers forget about you
As we face the hardship of reduced or non-existent sales, cutting costs is essential and it is tempting to make marketing one of those cuts. This is, however, a short-term saving that can lead to significant longer-term losses.
You have worked hard to build your customer base and now is the time to protect your investment by doing what you can to retain those valuable customers for the future, as well as to maximize the sales you may be able to make during this period of reduced economic activity.
It is marketing gospel that it is much easier, and cheaper, to retain an existing customer than it is to win a new one, so think about what your customers need from you now and meet their needs as best you can.
Continue to reach out to your customers and followers with consistent marketing activities, including:
a. Quality content creation – Create smart, informative, and compelling content that your audience wants to see. Let them know what your company is doing to be a responsible member of the community in the time of coronavirus, and how you are staying ready to meet their needs.
b. “Social” Isolation – Your doors may be closed, and you may not be able to serve your customers directly, but you can stay in touch via your social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Stay connected and engaged so you can find out what your audience is talking about and respond appropriately. It may be that you can offer products or services, but more importantly, you can understand what your audience is talking about and answer questions as they come up.
c. Direct communication – Reach out to your audience with automated marketing activities, including scheduled email updates, letting your customers know what you are doing and what you can offer at this time, as a member of the community.
2. Work on your visibility
A primary focus of regular marketing activities is increasing your reach and gaining visibility in front of a wider audience. With less economic activity, every new set of eyes becomes more valuable, so use this time to spruce up your content marketing and reach more people.
Quality content will have a greater impact, and therefore a greater reach. If your content is valuable and interesting, it will attract more attention, be shared more often, and generate new traffic. Even if it doesn’t lead to immediate business, you will be building your brand exposure and recognition.
Also consider your existing content. Could it use some attention? Even content that has been well-received and made an impression in the past can have new value if it is reviewed and updated. It may be that new developments have rendered some of your content outdated. Updating it to make it relevant for today will not only make it more valuable to readers, it will also keep it dynamic and fresh for the search engines to index.
3. Leverage your data to maximize conversions
When traffic is down, it is more important than ever to make the most of that traffic. Think about what you can do to optimize your audience’s digital interactions with your brand, so that you can increase your conversion rate.You are likely not new to marketing and your business has valuable historical data that you can use to pinpoint areas for improvement and opportunities for tweaking your approach.
• Analytics– Now is the time to pay close attention to your audience’s behavior when they interact with your business online. Are your social media posts engaging followers? Are they clicking through to your website from organic search, ads, and social posts? If so, how long do they stay, do they visit more than one page, and do they take action that would be counted as a conversion? Make sure you have goals set up correctly in your analytics account so you can measure success. If you find out what is not working, you can work on improving weak points in the visitor’s journey, so that more interactions lead to conversions.
• Test and learn – Once you have identified potential weak spots, tweak your approach, your content, your landing pages design and layout, improve CTAs, etc. and test your results. Focus on patterns in your data to learn what experiments work to improve conversions, so your overall digital impression leads to more business.Ditch what doesn’t work and keep what does. This is an ongoing process that will keep you from wasting resources on ineffective strategies and maximize the value of your marketing.
4. Work your Conversion Funnel: Nurture your leads
Your marketing efforts have resulted in traffic and leads. But your work is just starting. Leads do not automatically mean sales.Most leads are simply potential sales;many of those leads may not be qualified, and of the ones who are, only a fraction of them will be ready to be sold to immediately. You must manage and nurture your leads effectively to meet their individual needs, so you can convert the viable ones to sales.
This is where a strong conversion funnel will be the key to the ultimate success of your marketing strategy.Optimizing your website for conversions will improve the odds that your visitors will take action to become leads. Landing pages that connect with your visitors through clean design, strong copy, CTAs, well-placed, quick forms can get your visitors to reach out. Then you must draw them through the funnel to becoming clients or customers.
During the Covid-19 downturn, it is more important than ever to make the most of each contact. Use a CRM to track and nurture your leads and stick with them to coax them to conversion. Ensure that you don’t leave them hanging, waiting for information that will be the key to earning their trust and their business.
5. Lather, Rinse Repeat
Every industry is different and what works for your industry, your business, and your unique audience will be determined by experimenting with your marketing activities, your content, and your conversion funnel. Once you have determined what resonates with your targeted audience, keep it up! Be consistent with your activities, yet stay flexible, so you can adjust your approach as the market conditions evolve.
Continue to follow up on leads, clients and customers with behavioral targeting, retention strategies, and referral programs to round out your conversion funnel and carry your business through this challenging economic downturn.