We are living in unprecedented times, with COVID-19 impacting nearly every aspect of life. As marketers, we face the challenge of generating business in these ever-evolving circumstances. The data tells us people are spending more time on the computer, with non-gaming apps seeing a 20% increase over Q1 20201. Websites like Facebook, Netflix, and YouTube are seeing huge spikes in their traffic2, but search traffic is incredibly volatile depending on the industry3.
Knowing how to respond can be tricky, but one of the best things about digital marketing is that it’s fluid. You can change content on your website and advertising, and within minutes the changes can be live. Use this to your advantage. Here are some things that you can do with your digital marketing during COVID-19 or any crisis to ensure your company stays relevant, busy, and positioned for success as the market picks back up.
1. Utilize Flexible Budgets & Adjust Them
COVID-19 is changing when industries’ busy seasons are. Right now is peak travel and vacation booking season, but due to COVID-19, they are projecting massive losses4. Like the travel industry, it’s important to reevaluate your budget and determine if and when it makes sense to spend your budget. The great thing about digital marketing is your ability to start and stop budgets on a dime (pun fully intended).
Take a look at your yearly budget and your internal KPI’s and determine if saving some of your budget for later makes sense for your business. We have been adjusting budgets for our clients to meet these trying times and seeing success.
2. Adjust Keywords & Ads
Times like this, users are not conducting normal searches. Depending on your industry they may just be doing research for a later purchase. We have found with our clients in the apartment industry that users are conducting more research-based queries regarding neighborhoods and amenity based queries and are converting via different conversion points than historically for this time of year. Do your research and listen to what your customers are saying to build out the best possible keyword list for this time.
Once you have done your keyword research, adjust your ads to match what they’re looking for. We’ve edited ads to include Virtual Tours, amenities, and locations to match what users are searching for. Show via your ads that you are being sensitive to the times and are doing your part to help. The way you sell your business during this time can have a long-lasting effect on customer loyalty.
3. Over-Communicate But Don’t Oversell
Using email as a way to stay in touch with your customers and leads is a great way to share updates and how your company is doing during this time. Offering helpful tips and informative and useful information is imperative and also will help. Notify them of your plans or your hours, new things you’ve done to adapt to the times, etc. Build out a content schedule to communicate these messages.
Social media is another great way to share information with your customers, leads and new prospects. Take pictures of your team working remotely or complying with CDC recommendations. Find ways to stay in touch with your customers and leads without hard-selling them.
4. Be Helpful & Provide Useful Tips
Several companies have replaced selling goals with trying to help those in need. This strategy time and time again has shown to be successful. Instead of trying to sell people your product, offer free trials (if applicable), or find ways to offer your services virtually/digitally. Being sensitive to the situation and offering useful tips or advice. People will remember the brands that focus only on selling and themselves and will not be back
5. Identify The Digital Channels with The Highest ROI
Much like #1, where you can start and stop budgets easily and quickly. You can start and stop or change directions quickly. Analyzing your internal KPI’s and using your attribution model of choice will help you determine quickly what channels make the most sense for you right now.
As mentioned above, people are spending more time on social media, YouTube, and streaming services, so moving budgets towards those channels can maximize your awareness. Investing in other channels such as OTT (over-the-top) media channels is another great way to reach users on a different channel.
If you or your business is struggling with reaching customers or prospects, please give us a call. One of our Marketing Executives can work with you to develop a plan and work with you on ways to execute that plan. We are in the business of helping you solve your business problems through any possible means.
1 https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/people-are-spending-20-more-time-in-apps-during-the-covid-19-lockdowns-re/575403/2 https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/04/07/technology/coronavirus-internet-use.html3 https://www.searchenginejournal.com/covid-19-affecting-search-traffic-seo/355824/4 https://www.ustravel.org/toolkit/covid-19-travel-industry-research