In the middle of a financial crisis and unprecedented pandemic like COVID-19, how do you survive with your business operations significantly affected? Can you make it until things return to a new normal? Considering that the repercussions of the current crisis are likely to last for months, many businesses have been forced to go back to the drawing board.
To stay afloat, you need to rethink your business strategies to maximize your marketing efforts and keep your expenses as low as possible. Thankfully, digital marketing offers an ideal solution to keep your interactions going with your customers while ensuring continued business presence and growth.
Here, we'll share some digital marketing insights to help you adapt to the crisis.
1. Adjust Your Promotional Strategies
First, you're going to need to sit down with your marketing team, contact your promotional contractors, and adjust your business promotional strategy to thrive amid the crisis. More people are spending time online looking for solutions, answers, and anything that can help them cope with the uncertainty we're facing, meaning new opportunities are also coming up.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Have you been relying on paid adverts?
- Are your social media accounts active?
- Was your business relying on public events?
- Do you have an active video marketing campaign?
If you're worried that your digital marketing campaign is falling short of your advertising goals, it's time to rethink your promotional strategies and adjust your marketing campaigns.
It's time you start thinking about new ways to attract business while looking out for new opportunities to help you stay connected with your customers and clients. Additionally, you can also add new forms of digital marketing content to boost brand awareness and recognition.
2. Review Your Digital Marketing Accounts
If you have paid digital marketing campaigns for your business, now is the time to stay on top of your marketing efforts. The changing business environment is likely to change the way consumers search online and respond to search terms. Some of your keywords may be dropping in value, while others like local delivery may be rising. What's your best shot?
Have a closer look at your marketing campaigns and your ROI from your SEO tactics to get insights into what customers need from your business today. Analyze your marketing accounts and realign spending to adjust your digital marketing campaign to fit your current business and customer needs while avoiding financial ruin for your business.
3. Evaluate Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Multiple businesses have either shifted, suspended, or delayed their digital marketing efforts due to the coronavirus pandemic. Evaluate your digital marketing performance and identify areas of growth and those that are slowing down. For instance, you can shift your spending away from marketing channels where customer engagement has dropped and focus on thriving online marketing channels.
Focus on channels like video, podcasts, social media, and email marketing. Ensure that your messaging is still relevant across all your digital marketing channels while keeping in mind the quickly-changing consumer market. Identify anything that improves your branding efforts and use available tools and methods to update your creative digital marketing materials.
4. Update Your Communication
During a financial crisis or situation like the COVID-19 pandemic, the worst possible thing you can do as a business is to go silent. If you want to continue doing business as usual, you need to address critical issues. Otherwise, your customers will start wondering why you're not responding to the situation and their evolving needs.
You need a clear crisis communication strategy that addresses the events and business operations that will be affected and the solutions available.
Also, address what customers can expect from you and your business now and in the future and how you're going to handle delivery, shipping, refunds, and other challenges to ensure continued operations. Addressing your customer concerns should be a top priority.
5. Ensure Your Website is Updated
Before you start adopting new digital marketing strategies for your business, first ensure that your business website performance is optimized for both web users and mobile users. He's what you're supposed to do to ensure your website is updated:
- Run a technical and SEO analysis of your business website
- Check for any negative elements such as duplicate pages, broken links, and other issues that may impact your site's performance
- Also, ensure that you claim your business directory entries and standardize your business phone number, address, name, and website information
- Considering the increase in voice search, you should also make sure that your business optimizes digital marketing efforts for voice search
- Ask your customers to leave reviews so you can improve your online reputation
- Update your business and social media profiles to reflect any changes in your business operations
- In case there are any business limitations or changes in operations, you should notify your customers or clients on your website so that they're not caught off guard
- Optimize the user experience design of the site and any business apps that you have with a mobile-first strategy
- It's also advisable to invest in managed IT support so that critical services like your IT infrastructure are well set up and maintained to ensure you don't suffer costly downtime
6. Find Areas of Growth
To survive during times of crisis, you have to find areas of growth for your business. Start by expanding your product or service offering. Shift your efforts to what is essential to your customers and business profitability. Taking advantage of new opportunities in your business industry will provide the necessary revenue to keep you operational.
The key to any successful shift in business offerings is the right messaging to reflect your customer's needs. For instance, if you're in the high-end bathroom remodeling business, customers may not pay for that now, but they still need repairs to leaky plumbing and hot-water heaters.
Your business messaging should focus on providing solutions that customers need now. The right digital marketing approach will help you push your business growth efforts.
Don't sit on the sidelines as your business suffers, hoping that things will return to normal. Go ahead and implement these digital marketing strategies and make the necessary changes to your business model to get through challenging times. Even after the pandemic diminishes, the uncertainty ahead for businesses should not hinder you from staying proactive.
Take the right steps to adapt your business promotional strategies based on what you know about your industry and customers. Don't assume that your customers will stick with you. You need to give them a reason to connect and engage with your brand on a deeper level.
Sam Makad is a business consultant. He helps small & medium enterprises to grow their businesses and overall ROI. You can follow Sam on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.