Like everything else, the marketing world has pretty much been turned on its head thanks to COVID-19. The landscape has had to adapt to business not spending as much money on digital advertising, however, arguably the most difficult thing for marketers to face will be the changes in consumer behaviour, particularly when operating a bricks-and-mortar versus online stores.
The Impacts So Far
In an unprecedented situation such as the COVID-19 crisis, as marketers we have to determine what is beneficial to be promoting and what could potentially be harmful as we don’t want audiences to think that a company is taking advantage of the current situation. Organic content can help to continue building brand awareness and educate existing audiences, however, according to Neil Patel organic web traffic has also decreased.
Further to this, businesses initially cut their ad spends to save costs. Now that we have made the current situation our new normal, businesses are once again investing money in digital ad spends. This makes sense as people are spending more time online and are less exposed to other forms of advertising like billboards.
1. Organic traffic is down.
2. Ad spend budgets are starting to recover.
3. Audiences are spending more time online.
The best way to approach a marketing strategy right now is to remain as agile as possible. Make short term adjustments to your goals and strategy but never let a long-term strategy stray far away. Short-term changes should include:
· Adjusting your budgets, you may need to allocate funds from one strategy segment to another or maybe you’re working with a more limited budget. Either way, use what you have wisely. If you need to save on marketing costs, consider focusing more of your efforts online (it is likely your audience is spending a lot of time there).
· Make sure your content plan reflects the current state of your business. If you plan and schedule content in large portions, then you may need to go in and make a few edits.
As for long-term initiatives, keep your eye on a realistic prize, but remain flexible.
If you started the year out wanting to increase online sales by 20%, depending on what industry you’re in, this might not be possible. Instead, re-evaluate your goals and ensure they are measurable, realistic and fit within your time frames. This will keep you motivated and ensure your marketing plan is still well thought out. Goals to focus on can include:
· Building your email marketing database.
· Creating more video content.
· Work on your website to improve SEO.
Your Existing Clients and Consumers Are Key
Existing clients and consumers should not be forgotten. Re-targeting campaigns can be effective in times like these as your business/brand is already trusted and known by these individuals, making them a qualified audience to target.
It is far easier to retain your existing consumers than to gain new ones. As Digital Marketing Consultant Amit Panchal says ‘Online marketing is the best way to be in touch with your customers because of its low cost and easy communication.’
Focusing on personalisation and offering what people need right now is the first place to start when communicating with your audiences at the moment. Balance sales-focussed content with updates on what your company/brand is up to and how you’re negotiating the impacts that are affecting you. This allows you to showcase innovation and position your brand as one that is forward-thinking.
Although COVID-19 has certainly created a speed bump, this is not the time to stop your business marketing. There are opportunities to be leveraged in this climate that can support your business now and into the future. If you’re needing help with re-strategising your marketing plan, or don’t know where to start when it comes to social media advertising, contact us for a chat.