Adapting Your Digital Marketing Strategy to Survive COVID-19
The time has arrived for SMEs and startups to reassess ways and messaging to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, unfortunately with no end in sight.
Social networking can now be defined as a mature marketing medium, in the world of hyper-speed, dramatic scale-ups and accessibility. Although the common perception is that organic is dead, there are still enough opportunities, especially for brands that don’t rely on paid approach and prefer conversation over interruption.
Small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) are still primarily dependent on driving short-term campaigns. It results in a temporary number increase which mostly comes at the cost of sales. Those ads have little impact on the brand’s actual growth in the long run.
For significant numbers of their customers under lockdowns and otherwise experiencing unpredictable financial conditions, communicating for consumers requires new strategies. Lots of brands are upping their content marketing investments to sustain and create relationships with customers while others are sidelined.
This is clear, but it’s worth reiterating that it’s not a time to be prey on fears. None of this content should be compelled to lean as on COVID-19 and not every brand. If your content in these dark times can teach, inform, and generally make life a little easier for others, or brighten up their day, then you should do it. Focus your energies on supporting others in need in other ways, including supporting your workers and other small businesses that are struggling.
The challenges of traditional marketing
Besides the fact that it does not involve face-to-face contact and thus in combination with social distancing activities, the main benefit of digital marketing is that it is observable. Marketers can get the leads from their activities produce the highest quality and at what cost, that is to say, they know the ROI.
Let’s look at some of the things that are now happening around brands and digital media. In view of the current situation, airlines and the cruise industry have that, delayed or halted their promotional campaigns. Supply chain and distribution are strained with delivery periods extended out to five to seven-day pre-Prime days. For certain cases, it would have to wait for the latest releases-be it movies or new product lines. Despite several trade shows being cancelled, businesses that saw a spike in leads and activities during participation in events are diverting spending into digital media to account for the lost opportunities.
Thankfully, remote work policies drive investments in process automation or project management applications like Slack and Trello, e-learning platform subscriptions, and telecommuting apps like Zoom, for example.
As bleak as it seems, people look to their leaders and institutions for knowledge, reassurance and encouragement in times of crisis. We often look to brands gradually, making it the primary responsibility to take control and channel contact as marketers. Now is the time to push the online activities and dig new openings into the sales and marketing channels of the company.
One of the main things which should be done by all sites is to look to their users. Some of the easiest ways to warn users about crucial details on your homepage during this crisis is to use a banner above or below the navigation. If you have users affected by COVID-19, they will know with convenience where to find the details they need to know.
For example, during COVID-19, Apple alerted its users about important information about retail stores. In times of crisis like this, other large businesses, such as insurance, do need to step up to let consumers know how to protect their health and well-being. Interior design platform Hometrust has also alerted users that video conferencing is now an option to telecommute with interior designers. With that out of the way, we will dig into the actual content you can have on your website, and how to use it strategically.
Contribution to your audience in context
Each brand has its own media, be it shops, websites or even social handles. Google, however we can, is also using many of our surfaces to help. For example, take the YouTube homepage that guides users to videos from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or from other local public health agencies. Markets should start to take a look at their brands’ social handles and evaluating how they can use their reach to amplify the information people need now. As the days go on, they should continue to assess their owned touch-points for new opportunities like this.
The word “crisis” comes from the Greek word “separating, sifting” which means passing judgment, holding just what is worth while. This refers to a crucial moment when we have to determine what is important and choose what. COVID-19 presents a valuable opportunity to remind ourselves that in this unpredictable world, the greater picture skills students need are meta-skills that can be applied to many different scenarios, such as creative problem-solving, focus and perseverance, critical thinking and, above all, adaptability.
Know that the children are now studying lessons that are much more important to their future for parents who may be concerned about how their children can fulfil the expectations of the curriculum and can clear the end-year exam bar. When our young people watch this pandemic unfold they are learning lessons about how we are all interconnected and what globalisation actually means.
Migrate offline to online space effectively
Repurposing a variety of outdoor advertising banners, immediately releasing help announcements, medical equipment donations, and participating in community-building events to engage with customers are some of the prompt recalibration of luxury brands around the world during this crisis.
Although it’s important to have excellent customer support and e-commerce experience, aligning sales and marketing teams to effectively execute virtual experiences and digital interaction can make the difference in sustaining growth levels.
We acknowledge as business professionals that we have a responsibility to navigate uncertainty. In all of this, we evaluate our marketing budgets through the lens of what is most important to our customers.
Demonstrate relevancy to target audience
In the spirit of reassessing campaigns, right now we find that all sorts of creative elements need to be scrutinised. The meaning of our advertising buys needs to be carefully analysed, from the sound and visual representation to copy and keywords. For every campaign, we ask ourselves these questions, no matter how much channel or scale we invest behind it.
We do not think, for example, that slapstick comedy is right for our brands right now. So, we’re holding off on those funnier in nature campaigns. They are re-evaluating creative that displays interactions such as hand shakes, embraces and high-fives, as social distancing is an effective strategy to delay disease transmission.
Facing digital marketers the greatest problem is timeliness. Maintaining marketing momentum is now more important than ever because more consumers rely on technology to remain linked and that has to come with changes in marketing strategies.
For example, we see brick-and-mortar businesses like restaurants and fitness studios relying on Instagram Live feeds and YouTube videos to engage their audience creatively online, whether through cooking videos or live workout lessons. Digital marketing practitioners should see this as an opportunity to change their ad budget ratio temporarily and re-allocate it to leverage new media.
Co-existing with COVID
When the precautions are in effect, make every attempt to retain a “business as normal” attitude. At this point, survival matters more than just market dominance. Let’s stay calm, be tenacious, help other companies in every way possible and take the required measures to make you come out stronger than ever from this disruption.
The case studies above all have one thing in common, regardless of the market or the existence of a business: the companies behind them strive to make themselves useful, not just entertaining customers at a time when many of them are stuck at home.
Many brands would certainly have a greater opportunity to do so than others, but as the various case studies show, even brands that are hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic will find brand assets that lend themselves to compelling content marketing strategies.
Additionally, being up front about the obstacles the company faces during this time is worthwhile. Consider sending an email to stakeholders, explaining this problem and what your business is doing to minimise the effect, or updating your social media platforms and FAQ pages to detail steps your brand is taking to deal with this situation.