How to Change Your Marketing During COVID
Yes, your brand can thrive during the pandemic.
The world seems upside down in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, and for those who are trying to navigate this crazy new reality for their brand, it may not be clear which way is up. Only one thing is for sure: it’s going to keep changing. And the sooner you embrace that change with a big bear hug, the better. Here are some key actions to take right now:
Reflect & Refocus
It may be hard to know what to do right now--especially with marketing that’s been so carefully (pre-)crafted. But the absolute worst thing you can do is pull back on your marketing efforts and wait for it all to be over. Some of the most successful companies in the world were born or transformed during crisis-riddled times. It starts with taking a step back to reflect and refocus your marketing strategy. And don’t just do it once. Get in the habit of reflecting and refocusing your marketing as things change. This is your #newmarketingnormal.
Find the Gaps
You may have been so focused on your own business that you haven’t stopped to think deeply about what your customer is going through right now. Don’t gloss over this critical step, because this could be the very thing that catapults your business out of the red, and it could even transform how you do business, for the better.
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes in the midst of this giant disruption that’s turned into a seemingly unending global lockdown. What would be your current situation, your greatest pain? What would you want and need most right now? What would motivate you to take action? Look for the gaps between what your brand has been putting out there and what your audience actually needs or desires most right now, and figure out how to close those gaps.
One of the critical gaps may be between where your marketing has physically been and where your audience can best be physically reached during this corona-saga: on digital.
Make Digital #1
Even before the pandemic, digital marketing was surging. However for many companies, especially those in the B2B sector, digital has remained a smaller part of their overall marketing that focuses on intersecting people when they are out in the real world doing things. But those traditional marketing channels are failing in the current social distancing times, and probably won’t make a comeback anytime soon. But audiences haven’t disappeared; they’ve just migrated. The world is literally glued to their screens right now. The internet is not only the primary way people are connecting, socializing and being entertained, but it’s also how most everyone is staying up-to-date on the global and local news in real-time. At no time in history has digital content enjoyed the undivided attention of so many eyeballs, hearts and minds.
Every marketer should be reviewing their digital presence in light of this. Has your website just been existing without any real new or engaging content? Are your articles and videos providing any value? If your digital content and overall digital presence has been limping along, now is the time to make it more relevant, helpful and engaging to your audience (because it’s all they’re seeing of you right now).
For many companies, social media has become almost more important than their website for engaging customers and making sales. But for some companies, social media has been seen as a fluffy, necessary-but-not-essential side job relegated to an administrative assistant--or worse, an intern. But now, social media needs to move up to #1 priority, along with the rest of digital marketing--because this is where the people are right now, and this trend will most likely continue as the platforms continue to evolve. Social media marketing’s variety of paid advertising, behavior-targeting and very low cost also make it a no-brainer to try.
Another area to max out on digital is with paid search marketing and display marketing (pay-per-click). If you’ve never utilized digital marketing, it’s worth testing out even if you’re B2B, because of its unique ability to intersect with your audience when they are thinking about or searching for your type of product or service. Depending on what industry you’re in, the traffic for related search terms and content where ads appear may be up while the cost-per-click is down. Currently the beauty, health/medical, finance, small business management, greeting/gifts/flowers industry and others are experiencing higher traffic and conversions.
Embrace the New Marketing Normal
Some companies may be concerned about putting so many eggs in the digital basket, because COVID-19 times will eventually pass. Though it may be weeks or even months, eventually, things will return to “normal,” right? The inconvenient truth is, probably not. While people will begin leaving their homes to interact once more, chances are there will be notable changes in their behavior. They may shake hands less, shop online more, and stick to habits they feel are reliable and safe.
Refocusing your marketing and prioritizing digital will help you better maintain your customer relationships, build new ones, and give you an edge over competitors who are slow to react. And there is no doubt that making these changes will improve your overall position for the long haul. Let's talk about how we can help.