As if marketing hasn’t been fickle enough without the pandemic in the equation, now companies, brands, and individuals need to regroup and rethink their entire campaigns and strategies to suit the new normal, or the lack thereof. The health crisis that has been wreaking havoc on the global economy was bound to change how businesses use marketing to promote themselves or position themselves altogether. In a rush to stay solvent and retain some of their capital, brands have started switching to online sales only, whereas they’ve also had to stop pushing for sponsored posts without any relevant context.
To overcome the situation to whatever extent possible, your business can take certain precautions, get creative, and use marketing on an entirely new level. Hopefully, by the end of the pandemic, you will have used your presence to build up your brand, help your community, and your marketing will have served its purpose. To do that, let’s delve into a few pandemic-friendly marketing suggestions that can guide you in these strange times.
Hear what your customers say
The very basis of all of your marketing efforts is your ability to research your target market. Even if your latest research results date back to a month before the pandemic, you can expect that the behaviour, shopping preferences, and receptiveness to your marketing tactics will greatly differ now due to the current crisis.
This is a vital first step for any other future plans you have for marketing your brand, both online and offline. You should see what your customers are feeling right now, and respond accordingly to use your brand to mitigate their worries, educate them, and ensure that your business is neither too pushy, nor invisible on all the relevant channels. Ultimately, this can help you generate testimonials throughout the pandemic to showcase how you’ve made a difference and inspire more potential customers to trust you despite the situation.
Adapt your offers and promises
One thing’s for certain: you cannot go about with a business-as-usual mindset if you plan to retain your customers and motivate new ones. Customer experience during the pandemic should be all about managing expectations, providing that much-needed human touch in all of your interactions (without the actual touch, of course), and ensuring transparency.
If your product stocks are different because your manufacturers have had to shut down their operations, or you sell hand-crafted goods, make it clear to your customers that there are new limitations in orders and shipping, and tell them what they can expect in terms of availability shortly. Ongoing communication and stellar customer service will be your most pivotal allies in marketing your brand properly across all channels.
Use local SEO to stay relevant in the SERPs
Local companies, especially smaller ones, will face unique challenges to stay visible and relevant in the eyes of their customers. Take, for example, smaller regions in Australia, where you don’t have the buzz and hustle of Sydney or Melbourne, but you need double the effort to earn your fair share of the market and customers. This is precisely why you need ongoing SEO support in the form of a strategy that will help you sail through this ordeal with the right tactics implemented.
More local businesses reach out to experts such as Only SEO Gold Coast to handle their SEO needs for the foreseeable future because they do need professionals who understand the local market and have the insights essential for local brand positioning. The smaller the market, the greater the optimization challenge, and companies are in dire need of refining their various SEO factors, from keyword optimization, link-building for greater authority, all the way to technical audits to ensure their site is working properly at all times.
Refine your content strategy
You cannot expect the same article topics to be trendy enough or the same videos promoting your upcoming event (hint: it’s not happening) to inspire trust or respect. That said, you should be ready for rolling out a designated COVID-19 content strategy that will help spread useful advice, tell people how your employees are doing with their remote setup, and of course, put your brand in a new perspective.
Your content output should reflect the current state of affairs, so there’s no point in treating your content as if nothing has changed. Relevance is vital not just for your ranking, but also for customer engagement, and your ability to stay visible and authoritative in such a predicament.
Share your skills and expertise
Marketing in the light of a pandemic is more about what you can do for others than what you can get others to do for you. In simpler terms, it’s up to you to share what you have and know with those who are less fortunate or who have been unfortunate enough to lose their jobs amidst the crisis. What better way to position your brand as a vital player in reviving the local economy than to offer free workshops and online classes to help people gain invaluable skills that will help them get hired again? One of these initiatives has been taken up by Carl Ocab who has a great article 15 things to do during a pandemic by Carl Ocab, with some very practical tips on what to do with your website during and after the pandemic.
This will be a minor effort on your part since you already have the in-house experts and knowledgeable people at your disposal, but a major contribution to the economy. In response, chances are that your brand will get mentioned dozens of times on social networks, your workshops will get more visibility, and your name will remain relevant long after the pandemic is over.
There will be some time before we see the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in the meantime, you can take various steps to keep your business afloat, your employees employed, and your customers happy. Utilize your market position to achieve all three goals and seamlessly market your brand one smart strategy at a time.
Also published on Medium.