There’s no denying it, with the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing, we are all living in strange times. Especially when it comes to knowing how and if you should be running a digital marketing strategy at the moment, particularly when so many businesses are struggling or facing uncertain futures.
However, as tempting as it is to drastically cut your digital marketing budget, this is just a short-term fix that can actually have very lasting consequences on your business. Which is why, before you throw your marketing plan out the window, you should instead revaluate and decide what is worth investing in – particularly if it will help you come out the other end of this fighting.
So, during this COVID-19 outbreak, how should you adapt your digital marketing strategy?
1. Embrace Social Media Marketing
Right now, people are stuck at home and feeling bored, which is why more and more people are constantly reaching for their phone or tablet to scroll through social media. That’s because, without the ability to get out and be social, sites like Facebook and Twitter are now the main hubs for local news, gossip and generally having a laugh.
Which means, if you want to get people engaged with your business, you need to get posting and interacting with your customers. For one, you can offer discounts or competitions. As, with everyone trying to pinch their pennies, the public are very interested in companies that will offer them money off goods or services.
The same goes for competitions, with far more people being happy to ‘Like’ new pages and share their posts in the hopes of winning a pick-me-up for themselves. Which is perfect for you to expand your customer base and potentially improve sales.
Competitions aside, this is also the ideal time to improve communications with your customers. Which means, you should be keeping everyone in the loop with any changes you might be making and, generally, just asking others how they’re doing – you might be surprised at how many of your customers are feeling lonely and will appreciate the sentiment.
2. Improve Your SEO
Now that people are no longer allowed to go out for their retail therapy or to socialise in bars, they are looking to recreate that ‘outside’ experience at home. Which means, people are turning to Google to search for their favourite products to be delivered to their home.
Which means, if you’re offering a product – such as a nice craft gin or a boutique clothing brand – you’re going to want to ensure you’re showing up high on any search results. To do this, you will need to ensure your digital marketing strategy is up-to-date and that you’re really upping your content creation.
As, while other businesses are putting their heads into the sand and waiting for all this to be all over, you can be profitable and make the most of an otherwise horrible situation.
This is also a good time to really audit you SEO, looking for any errors on your website and updating your keyword strategy to ensure you’re always getting the best quality of traffic onto your site. After all, it’s all very well getting lots of people visiting, but you want these visits to covert into sales too.
3. Keep an Eye on Your Analytics
Now that you perhaps have some spare time, with other aspects of your business slowing down, it’s the perfect time to really look into your analytics and see what’s working and what isn’t working for you.
In particular study your Google analytics whenever you have a key event, such as starting a competition, introducing a sale or adding a blog to your site. That way you’ll be able to see any changes to traffic these marketing changes make.
By measuring this, you will be able to see what you should and shouldn’t invest in. Just remember, this isn’t the time to halt all your paid campaigns, as it is these that might just help you pull through while competitors are neglecting their digital marketing.
4. Focus on Customer Service and Reputation
Customer service might not be the first thing you think of on a digital marketing plan – especially since many businesses are conduct their customer service on the phone or in person. Times have changed, though, and customers are now looking for companies that are embracing digital when it comes to contact.
Which is why you should be looking to ensure you have an email contact on your website as well as considering a live chat, which will help customers have any questions answered quickly. The same goes for social media, make sure someone is regularly checking your message or DM box and responding to queries.
Reputation is also extremely important in these times, with more and more people looking to support local businesses and shun big business that are treating their employees poorly. So, if you’re doing something for your community or for charity, shout about it online.
Also be careful about anything you post, whether it’s via your blog or social media. Photographs depicting crowds or family parties are a major no-no, as this is against the government guidelines of staying home and safe. Similarly, you don’t want to advertise anything that encourages anyone to go to the shops or outdoors unnecessarily.
Remember, before you post any content, really think about it and consider asking others to read over it first. It might take a little longer than normal, but having a superb reputation right now will inspire brand loyalty when things go back to normal.
When you’re worried about everything going on around you and how it might affect the future of your business, it can be hard to focus on your digital marketing strategy. Yet, now is the ideal time, as this will help your company to thrive as much as it can right now, helping you reach a new customer base that will hopefully stay with you well into the future.
So, stay home, stay safe and take the time to revaluate your marketing plans and invest where you can. You’ll be pleased you did when you come out the other side of this pandemic fighting!