When coronavirus, or COVID-19, first appeared at the start of the year it quickly became apparent that it would have a wide-reaching impact on all aspects of life. With lockdowns and social distancing fundamentally changing everything we do, we have had to adapt to new ways of thinking, living, and working.
With government advice urging people to work from home unless absolutely necessary and restricting people to their homes except for essential travel, it has become more difficult than ever to reach potential customers. As is usually the way, marketing departments in business across the country are taking a hit. If you can’t reach customers, what’s the point of marketing?
Time to change your aim
Here’s the thing: COVID-19 does not mean customers are unreachable. People still need and want to buy things, or carry out work as normal to keep their businesses afloat. To reach them, however, you need to rethink your marketing strategy.
Physical and traditional marketing channels have temporarily disappeared. Any exhibitions or networking events you might have had planned have gone out the window. Lists of prospects to call are useless without people in the office to answer. Industry print media, for the most part, has paused. It remains to be seen how well these channels recover post-COVID.
As a result, it is more important than ever to focus on digital and social media marketing. With people stuck at home, people are spending even more time online. Social media apps are reporting increased engagement across the board. There has never been a better time to invest in your online strategy to reach the right people.
Plan for post-pandemic
Many online retailers saw a rapid increase in e-commerce sales during March with more people than ever stuck at home with little to do.
This might not be useful to businesses who do not work on an e-commerce basis, who have seen a drop in new projects or enquiries. However, just because customers are not searching for what they need now, does not mean they won’t be when the uncertainty of coronavirus comes to an end.
When business reopen, many clients will need to restock and form new partnerships which might have been affected by the crisis. It is vital your business is ready to intercept this surge in traffic.
Search Engine Optimisation is a long game. Invest time and effort into ranking for valuable search terms now and ensure your website is technically sound. This will put you in the best position possible for a post-coronavirus upswing in searches.
Alter your Pay-Per-Click strategy
It’s important to address messaging across current pay-per-click campaigns such as Google Ads. For example, are you able to tie into trends such as togetherness, working from home, communications and essential services? If so, what value can you provide in line with these themes, and, in turn, how can you take a softer sales approach?
It is also important to review ad copy and creative. You’ll need to change “visit us in store!” and similar phrases, and any imagery of people in large groups or in-store on landing pages.
If you can deliver any services virtually that’s worth including in your campaign too. More than ever people are looking for added value at the click of a button.
Spend on social
As mentioned above, people are spending more time than ever before on social media. Although it’s important to remain conscious of the content we publish at this time, social media is the most vital vehicle to deliver important messages about your business, offering and industry. If you are still open and providing services, products, or solutions, let people know.
You might also consider expanding your communications beyond organic social media. With an increase in social traffic, so too has the noise from thousands of brands, all looking to reach the same customers as you. A paid campaign will allow you laser-focus in who you want to reach and cut through the noise.
With a little bit of investment and the right content, you could be reaching more potential customers than ever before. Learn from big brands – they are set to increase spend across social platforms to replace lost income from traditional marketing campaigns.
How can we help?
ExtraMile Communications can work with you to improve and expand your digital marketing and online presence during this difficult time. Although it is difficult to look ahead, it is vital you are doing all you can to stay relevant to your customers and prepare for the future.
We offer a range of digital marketing services including organic search engine optimisation, pay-per-click advertising management, social media marketing both paid and organic, and email marketing. We can work with you to ensure your business is reaching customers and prepared for the future.
It remains to be seen what kind of long-term impact COVID-19 will have on marketing and the habits of customers and clients. For now, focusing on your digital communications rather than cutting your marketing entirely may be the best way to position yourself for what comes next and mitigate losses. For more information on how we can help, or to discuss your project, get in touch.