Marketing During COVID-19
Despite some countries/districts having lifted their strict lockdown measures put in place due to COVID-19, the question remains “how are we going to adjust our Marketing activities during these times of Social Distancing and isolation mode all over the world?”
Above all, one thing is sure. We have to market differently and resort to alternative ways to get our messages across. During this pandemic, Digital Marketing seems to have become a necessity – a fact that even the most traditional Marketeer is beginning to understand.
Usually, in times of crisis, businesses cut down on their marketing budgets. However, staying quiet about your offerings and services is not the wisest strategy – as has also been stated in a recent article by the CMO Australia. This leaves us with the question:
WHAT ARE THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH CUTTING BACK MARKETING EFFORTS COMPLETELY NOW?
REDUCED BRAND AWARENESS: Not keeping in touch with our customers and prospective clients can significantly weaken our relationships. As a consequence, when this crisis is behind us, there could be a decline of brand awareness among our prospects and our relationships with our customers could have been weakened.
MISSING OUT ON A CHANCE TO BUILD TRUST: During trying times, our clients need us to be there for them more than ever. That is to say, we have to provide value to our customers. If we build and maintain our brand during difficult circumstances, we can demonstrate to be a trusted partner – no matter what’s happening around us.
LOSING AN OPPORTUNITY TO DIFFERENTIATE OURSELVES FROM THE COMPETITION. Since other brands are cutting back on their marketing efforts, we consequently get the opportunity to stand out by investing in the right tactics.
So, what are good Marketing tactics during COVID-19?
Not a very long time ago, we used to hold conferences and meet with business partners/clients personally to present them with our offerings. Nowadays, this has become less reasonable due to the situation with COVID-19, but here are some alternative tactics that can be helpful.
1. HOST VIRTUAL CONFERENCES
To help you with your planning of the conference or event, this checklist can get you some good advice on the do’s and don’ts to ensure a smooth experience for both the host and the participant.
Once you are clear about the theme/topic of the conference, the objectives and desired outcomes, confirmed schedules and key speakers/presenters, you can cater to the Marketing part, such as:
- Designing and Launching Event Promotion Pages on Social Media
- Social Media Advertising
- Email Marketing
For further reading, this article is also very helpful.
2. USE VIDEO
In general, consumers love to watch video content. More so in the last years, as seen in this post, which showcases the latest video trends. More recently, producing and sharing video content has become easier. Therefore, we can connect with prospects in every step of the customer journey. Especially in the current COVID-19 scenario, personal and engaging videos can help us to connect to our prospects and customers and some popular and efficient ways would be to:
- Provide customer support via video.
- Prepare a personal video to introduce yourself to your prospects.
- Give prospects a quick product demo.
- Send new customers a “thank you” video.
3. REPURPOSE YOUR EXISTING CONTENT AND PRESENTATIONS
If you have an awesome presentation deck prepared for workshops, seminars, webinars, TED talks, or just a personal client meeting, you can repurpose it. Expand your reach and opportunities by re-utilizing the marketing and sales content you’ve worked so hard to develop. Doing so will allow you to cast a wider net for prospective customers and leads. Here is an interesting article on this subject.
Here’s an example of what you can do to repurpose your presentation.
- Export the images and create videos from them, and share them on your YouTube channel.
- Save your best slides as images and post them on your social channels.
- Convert portions of them into animated GIFs.
- If you have recorded speeches you could repurpose them for your podcast.
- Take the best quotes and re-tweet them on Twitter.
4. CREATE INFOGRAPHICS
You can create infographics in order to share complex data that require an in-depth explanation. When you cannot meet clients in person to explain matters to them during COVID-19, you can do this with infographics:
- Include them in your email newsletter and send them to your subscribers, leads, and customers.
- Publish to your website along with embed codes, to earn backlinks.
- Share them on social media to grow your channels and boost engagement.
Here is a sample of an infographic.
5. UPDATE YOUR WEBSITE
A website is a continuous project in action. Checking analytics can give us some insights about bounce rates, visitor referrals, and other important metrics. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, we can observe those statistics and if required, work out and highlight strategies suited to help companies solve their problems.
When it comes to website updates during COVID-19, we can ask ourselves:
Is the key messaging still in line with the current mood?
Once we are clear with the answer to this question, and we have solutions to some of the current problems, we can review the website and make sure it clearly communicates:
- Who we are able to help.
- What kind of problems we are able to solve.
- How we can position ourselves in solving the problem.
- What it would look like to work with us.
Help them trust you.
It can be difficult to trust new business partners. More so if we cannot meet face-to-face during Social Distancing. To help this, you can add these trust boosters to your website:
- A list of clients you’ve worked with.
- Recent distinctions and awards.
- Any guarantees you offer.
6. OPTIMIZE YOUR CONTENT & SEO BY USING NEW KEYWORDS
In a crisis like the one we are experiencing at the moment, people’s needs and purchasing behavior is changing and they will be looking for new solutions.
If you can offer the solutions to new problems, you can ask yourself these questions:
- Is there a new type of customer you can help during this public health crisis or during a recession?
- Do your customers have new problems you can solve?
- Is there a different way to use your product or service that would be optimal under the circumstances?
- Is there something about your brand or your offering that makes you particularly well suited to helping customers during these trying times?
Once you have the answer to these questions, try to work out, who your ideal customer is. Then put yourself into their shoes to understand the kind of questions they would ask in order to solve their problems at every stage of their buyer journey.
As soon as you are clear about this, you can:
- Identify the keywords you should be targeting.
- Make sure you have the best content to answer those questions.
7. CREATE VALUE-ADDING CONTENT FOR YOUR BLOG
During times of distress, it’s important to demonstrate a level of sensitivity and empathy. Creating informative content that adds value to your prospective and existing clients can help them ease their tensions. This means:
- Be generous with free resources to help your community.
- Be a trusted source of information and inspiration.
- Focus on helping people, not selling.
8. BE MORE ACTIVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA
It’s always a good idea to be present on social media. In times of crisis, it’s essential, and probably one of the easiest ways to stay top of mind in spite of social distancing.
If you follow some of the tips above, you’ll have amazing new content to share on social, like blog posts, infographics, videos, and other visuals.
However, it’s good to also focus on the below actions, instead of only pushing out content.
- Social listening, also Social Media Monitoring.
- Engaging with your followers by commenting on, liking, and sharing their posts.
- Supporting and inspiring your community, for example via your groups.
More than anything, offer your help; Do what is best for them. Give an idea. Introduce someone to them who could help them with their business goals, buy products from them, especially if you wish to support local businesses.
9. SEND AN EMAIL NEWSLETTER
Newsletters are a great way to keep in touch with your existing customers, but also to tell your prospective clients what you and your company are all about. Sending regular newsletters will help strengthen your relationships.
Watch this video and get to know more benefits of sending newsletters.
10. FOCUS ON EXISTING CLIENTS
If it’s difficult for you to acquire new customers, focus on deepening your relationships with your existing customers.
Here are just a few examples of what you can do:
- Read “Never Lose a Customer Again: Turn Any Sale into Lifelong Loyalty in 100 Days” and figure out how to create positive experiences at every touchpoint of your customer journey.
- Ask your customers for feedback on what you can be doing better, and act on it.
- Share useful content that might benefit them.
- Set up a loyalty program to reward repeat transactions.
11. KEEP ADVERTISING
Observing past economic downturns, the overall ad spending had dropped. For example, during the 2008 recession, U.S. ad spend declined by 13% overall.
However, this doesn’t mean that we should stop advertising – as this could be very detrimental to our future business success. As stated in this popular adage:
“When times are good you should advertise, when times are bad you MUST advertise”.
- As your competitors pull back on their advertising, there will be less noise in the market and you’ll have a better chance of standing out.
- Weaker advertising demand may reduce costs and make your campaign more affordable.
- Maintaining mindshare through hard times can position you as a stabilizing presence.
Inspired by this wonderful article.
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A rather slightly funny article highlights, why Marketing could be not for your business. Read it, if you are up for it. 🙂