What Marketing Can Do For Your Business During a Crisis
Let’s face it, we have all been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in one way or another. For some, it might be having to be in quarantine due to coming into contact with someone, for others it might just be working from home that’s really throwing you off, or even losing your job, or your company not making money.
Over the past week, I’ve been talking with a lot of people about how this has affected them—business owners, marketing directors, and other marketing consultants. For some, it’s meant shutting down all business as they knew it, for others it meant shifting marketing priorities from in-person marketing and sales efforts to 100% digital marketing, and anything in between.
The coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on nearly every business and industry, but that doesn’t mean that your brand needs to shut down, too. The economy needs marketing in order to come out of this.
Why Stopping Marketing Could Potentially Harm Your Business More Than Continuing
We’re living in a new world, but one that still has a place for brands to thrive. So when it comes to saving your business and looking at where to cut costs in order to get through these times of uncertainty, it’s important to understand why marketing can be very beneficial during times of crisis, and how it could hurt your brand more to stop all marketing versus continuing, even if the efforts are small.
I’ll be transparent. I’m a small business owner and cannot afford to spend my normal amount of advertising to market my own company right now, but that’s not stopping my team from marketing our brand on a daily basis through what is now all-digital marketing.
Think about how many companies are moving to digital solutions to continue their operations and working remotely. This is digital marketing’s territory. Your marketing strategies are already familiar with just how to reach people through various digital platforms, but now it’s just time to change what you’re providing.
During a crisis, people are still looking for the best companies to provide the products and services they need. In fact, some might even have more time on their hands right now to do more research on companies like yours. Whether they’ll make the purchase during this time or wait until things return to normal, you’re still there when they’re searching for you online. So, being a consistent reminder throughout this duration is essential in being a top consideration when potential customers make their buying decision; now or in the future.
But while marketing your products and services during a crisis, make sure you’re not coming across as everything being normal. Now is not the time to make hard sales pitches, so let’s be empathetic and figure out how you can help them with your product or service during this hard time. People’s livelihoods are at stake, and layoffs, bankruptcies, and more are happening with every day that passes.
For me, I’ve been offering free marketing advice and strategy sessions to help clients and non-clients. It’s up to you to be the informative, resourceful, helpful, and reliable company that your audience can come to find answers and guidance. This is the time to use marketing as an outlet to answer the questions or concerns they may be having throughout a crisis, such as the current COVID-19 outbreak.
As business owners or marketers, we need to be agile. We need to be able to pivot on a moment’s notice. Now isn’t the time to give up, but rather figure out a way to redirect focus and plan for the future, no matter how uncertain we may be.
9 Ways You Can Shift and Enhance Your Marketing Efforts During this Crisis
What exactly does this modified marketing strategy entail? Here’s a list of what you can do to shift your marketing efforts to a more digital focus, be the resourceful figure your audience can look to, and how to make your time working from home valuable for when things return to normal. And they will return to normal, but it’s all about how we adapt now.
- Enhance your email marketing communications. Need an email marketing strategy or want to enhance your existing program? Now’s your time. But instead of just sending an email to your database providing them resources that they can use, build an email nurture campaign to nurture your prospects through the sales funnel.
- Build a content repository for blogging and gated content to use over the next year. Plan, plan, plan, and plan some more. Make an editorial calendar for each month of the year with topics you’d like your content to focus on. Use this as your road map to guide you through your content development.
- Work on that website project you wanted to get to. Your SEO presence can be beneficial during this time. Many people are searching for answers to questions they’ve never had to ask before or for products or services to help with new needs. Make sure your website is going to land on SERPs (search engine results pages) by reorganizing its content and adding strong meta information to its pages.
- Update your website’s outdated content with new materials. Are you utilizing today’s high-ranking keywords in all of your content? Performing keyword research on what terms people are searching for and building your content around them will ensure you’re producing information that’s pertinent to today’s times.
- Work on upgrading your sales and marketing presentations. When life as we know it returns to any resemblance of “normalcy,” you’ll be ready and eager to bring your A-game to new client meetings. Now is the perfect time to make sure your presentations will be ready to go.
- Start that redesign project of your marketing and sales collateral you’ve been wanting to do. There’s no doubt that many people’s businesses will change throughout this process and come out different on the other end. Reflect on how you will have grown throughout this process with some new branding of your materials.
- Blog your heart out. Blogging is a perfect way to react to changing times with relative and resourceful information to your audience. During this time, write future blogs that you can deploy when the crisis seems it’s coming to an end and farther into the future, following your editorial calendar. You can also write them in a reactive way, finding related news pieces or updates that you can talk about to your audience and its impact on their needs and your services. Ultimately, blogging is a great way to present information and show you’re there to serve others.
- Revamp your social efforts. As I mentioned earlier, this is the time to have open communication with your audience about the status of your company and provide helpful and useful information to your clients. Help them navigate the world we’ve found ourselves in with status updates, trade publication articles, and industry-related news updates via social media.
- Launch a digital strategy for gathering more leads online. Versus traditional one-to-one methods, a digital lead generation effort will go a long way in times of crisis like this where the world has turned to the digital side of things. Offering gated resources and providing digital workshops or webinars where signups or form-fills are necessary are great ways of gaining new contacts in a purely digital sense.
Overall, the world has inevitably shifted towards a digital landscape through the coronavirus pandemic, and your marketing strategy should, too. If you need assistance in how exactly this should look for your company or business, we’d be happy to help with a free strategy call (that free resource I’m offering) to help in any way I can.
I sincerely hope this helps you in any way possible.