Ultimate Guide to Marketing in the Age of COVID-19
May 11, 2020 - Darah Aldridge
Businesses are scrambling to survive because of COVID-19. Many have reduced or completely eliminated their marketing efforts due to the coronavirus. But should businesses be abandoning their marketing strategies?
Even if your business has suffered loss of revenue either because of temporarily closing your doors or because consumers are tightening their own budgets, you should still be focused on marketing. As the economy begins to rebound, you’ll be at the top of mind for your customers.
So, what should you do for your marketing when sales have dropped? We’ve got you covered with our ultimate guide to marketing in the age of COVID-19.
1. Establish Your Target Audience
If you haven’t done it before now then COVID-19 is the perfect time to sit down and figure out who your micro-targeted audience is.
Establishing who your micro-targeted audience is doesn’t have to be hard. Think about the demographics of the people coming into your business, visiting your website, or engaging with you on social media. What’s their gender and age? What is their income range? What are their titles? Where are they located? Where do they congregate? These questions are a great start to narrowing down your target audience.
Watch our data science video to learn more about how you can score your prospect data based on the demographics of your top customers. Further research will give you insight on how and where you should market to your customers during COVID-19.
If you’re unsure about where to start, integrating your data with a CRM like Salesforce is a great way to organize and automate the process of activating your data for your marketing and sales efforts.
2. Rethink Your Current Advertising
This is a great time to audit your current marketing efforts to see what is working and what is not working. When performing your audit, it’s important to keep in mind how COVID-19 might be affecting your prospects and customers. What worked before the pandemic might not be working now.
Do your research to see how different media outlets are being affected by COVID-19. Are they seeing more or less traffic? Have they seen a dip in ad spending? Where is their focus right now?
Over the last 5 years, Google and Facebook advertising have tripled, but because of COVID-19, they’re seeing more and more businesses reducing their ad spend and Facebook prices are hitting record lows. If your budget allows it, this is an opportune time to get into digital marketing. There’s less competition, prices are low, and micro-targeting will make your budget go a long way!
Step Away From Out-of-Home Advertising
People are just beginning to leave their homes during COVID-19 and it’s likely many businesses will remain remote once we’ve made it past this pandemic. What does that mean for your marketing?
Flyers, billboards and other marketing channels outside of the home will have a smaller return on investment, whereas digital and traditional direct marketing to your micro-targeted consumers and business prospects will generate far higher responses. Targeting people in their homes is the best way to get them to think about your brand or business.
3. Show Empathy and Create Value
Empathy is your greatest tool during COVID-19. Telling your customers that you’re there for them and going the extra mile for them demonstrates your commitment to a long-term relationship and causes them to have a positive experience with your brand.
Creating a positive experience for your customers will boost your business and shape the way customers feel about your brand. If you still need convincing, then read these stats that prove the value of a positive brand experience.
There are many things you can do to show your customers that you are there for them. Whether it’s offering discounts, promotions, advice, or connecting them to resources you have and they need means the world to everyone right now. Listening and engaging them to solve their pain is critical and goes a long way.
4. Utilize Digital Marketing Channels
There are many things you can be doing to keep telling your brand story and increase awareness while in quarantine. Time and commitment are huge factors in being successful in these channels. If you have any questions about these digital channels, reach out to us and we will guide you on your way to success.
Search Engine Optimization
Is your business accessible on Google? If not, now is the time to kick your SEO efforts into gear! Start off by auditing your site to see what is impeding your visibility. A good auditing tool will tell you what’s missing on your site, improvements that can be made, and errors that you may not have known about may be causing you to lose business to your competitors.
Once you’ve completed your site audit, your next step is to build backlinks to your site. There are multiple ways to do this, like writing guest posts or being featured on podcasts. It’s also essential to create high quality and searchable content on your own site via a blog.
Need an SEO audit for your website but unsure where to start? Our digital marketing team is equipped to provide you with a Free SEO Audit Report showing you the issues negatively impacting your organic reach. Our team can discuss next steps for executing these site updates for you, or we can provide you with the report to DIY the updates within your own team as well!
Does your business have a website? Are you able to add a blog section easily? If you answered, “yes”, then you’re already halfway to generating new leads and customers to your business for free.
Using this time to write search engine optimized blog posts is one way you can make it out ahead of COVID-19. While this does take time, research, and a bit of trial and error, starting a blog is a great option for nearly every organization. A blog is informative and helpful, they boost your capacity for website traffic as a whole and can also be a form of lead generation. Post your blogs on social media and optimize them for search engines so you can drive people to your website.
Now, you may be thinking that your product or service isn’t very bloggable, but you’d be wrong. For example, if you sell furniture, why not blog about interior design options with your most-sold pieces? If you own a restaurant, consider blogging about the dishes you make and where you get your inspiration. A blog can include anything from how-to guides to case studies or simply news about your company.
If you’re stuck on ideas we’d be happy to help you get the ball rolling on your brand’s blog!
Email campaigns are awesome for spreading the word to your customers who are also subscribers.
Use email marketing to share your business’ COVID-19 policies, send current promotional offers, and even send reminders to show your customers you’re there for them despite the abnormal circumstances.
Engage on Social Media
There’s more to social media than memes and staying in touch with friends and family. It’s a great place to build a follower base, tell your brand’s story and find out more about your target audience.
This is one of those moments where knowing more about your target audience is crucial! Research and choose the social channels that will reach your customers the best.
The idea of having a strong presence on social media is to create a positive brand experience for your target audience. Posting on social media is just part of the work. Engaging with your customers, complimentary businesses, influencers and more will take up a lot of your social media marketing plan. Be consistent with your messaging!
We have one word for you: Synergy.
Social media, email marketing, SEO, and blogging can all work together to boost your brand. Create a blog that drives leads to your website and build an email list of loyal subscribers. Email your customers (but don’t spam!) about news and promotions and provide links to follow you on social media. Finally, have active social accounts that engage with your followers so that they remember your brand when they are needing your services. Each channel plays an important part in a comprehensive revenue enhancing marketing strategy.
5. Don’t Ignore Paid Digital Marketing
Depending on your business niche and how competitive your market is, you may want to look into paid forms of marketing. This can be Google search ads, IP Targeted display ads, or social media paid advertising.
Digital marketing on search engines, display networks and social media are set up on a bid system. You pick your keywords and choose how much or how little you want to spend each month, making this a great option for you to stay top of mind for little cost. As we mentioned before, some social platforms are seeing all-time low prices on keyword bids so if you have the budget, this is the time to spend on social!
6. Explore All Opportunities
There’s no better time to really hammer out your digital marketing plan than now. Discover who your target audience is and test your messaging to measure what converts them into paying customers.
We can help you with all these services and more. Contact us now at (833) 464-2641 to get your COVID-19 marketing action plan started!