With much of the country still under lockdown, businesses are struggling to survive during the ongoing pandemic.
Governments all over the world are insisting that people avoid going outdoors and put to their health first. But that poses a dire question: what’s the way forward for ailing businesses?
The Growth of E-Commerce During COVID-19
Businesses, specifically those in the services industry, have sustained a major hit due to these unprecedented circumstances. Fortunately, there is a way to survive the ongoing crisis.
E-commerce businesses have been on the rise throughout the last decade, but they’ve experienced explosive growth during the COVID crisis.
Even people who are usually hesitant about online shopping have embraced it because they don’t have much of an option at the moment. But how do you get to the top of search engine result pages (SERPs) so people can see your website when they search for a relevant product? This is where digital marketers work their magic.
Companies that have already incorporated digital marketing and sales channels into their business model are making the most out of the current situation; they have the digital infrastructure to spread their brand’s message and stimulate sales. These companies can take advantage of their target audience sitting at home, and merely have to tweak their digital marketing strategy to encourage them to make purchases.
Cost-effective online tools can maximize reach and simplify the buying process; this is why it’s important to know which investments your company needs to make.
What Digital Marketing Agencies Can Do For Your Business in the COVID Era
A digital marketing agency like Mediaforce can devise online marketing campaigns that resonate with your target audience at this time, showing your brand in the best light, building trust, and increasing customer loyalty, all while increasing sales.
With the right promotional strategies, you should be able to sell more to people who are bored, frustrated, and anxious about sitting at home.
Get a team of marketing experts together and come up with a plan to connect with your target audience and stimulate sales.
Let’s take a look at how you’ll have to adapt your digital marketing strategies to survive the current crisis:
1. Review Your Digital Accounts and Marketing Strategies
First, you’re going to need to review and evaluate your existing digital accounts and strategies to see how they’re doing.
Some of your promotional strategies may need to be put on hold or abandoned because they won’t produce the results you’re looking for.
For example, Ford has postponed the announcement of the new Bronco Sport because consumers aren’t in the mood to purchase a new vehicle during times of financial instability.
In the same way, KFC has had to pull their “Finger-Licking Good” ads because they aren’t appropriate at the moment.
Work with your marketing team to figure out what services/goods you need to promote and which ones you should hold back on for the time being.
Analyze Search Terms
If you look at the terms users are entering into search engines, you’ll notice that they’ve changed a lot since the pandemic began. There is an increase in searches for terms like “virtual” and “local delivery,” for example.
These keywords give you an idea of your target audience’s current concerns, needs, and wants. Businesses can use this information to tweak their digital marketing strategies accordingly.
Keep a close watch on the returns specific keywords and PPC ads are generating; this will help you gain insights about what your customers need at the moment.
Incorporate COVID-Related Terms
There’s still a lot of anxiety around the pandemic, so it helps to address it on your webpages. Because users are actively searching for terms like “coronavirus” and “COVID,” you need to find ways to embed them in your content and PPC ads without exploiting people’s vulnerabilities. Be kind, be empathetic, and use them to show your audience that you care.
2. Update your Messaging
There’s a reason why businesses have posted compassionate COVID-related messages on their websites and social media platforms; they don’t want to come across as detached from their audiences.
Companies need to address current events to show their customers that they’re in this together; ignoring the situation can come across as insensitive. Customers want to know how you’re protecting your staff and customers.
Your crisis communication messaging should discuss changes in your business’s operations, handling of refunds, and a quick roadmap for the coming months.
If you’re struggling to respond to customer queries, hire additional staff to help you out. Don’t make the mistake of neglecting your customers; businesses can’t afford any negative publicity during the current crisis.
3. Adapt the Way You Do Your Business
Corporate giants like Starbucks and Disney have had to change their business model to keep earning their astronomical revenues.
Starbucks may not be able to serve visitors in their coffee shops, but that didn’t stop them from starting their to-go service. Customers can still head to Starbucks and enjoy coffee safely.
Disney’s theme parks have taken a hit during the pandemic, which is why the company decided to launch its Disney+ video streaming services and take advantage of people sitting at home with their kids.
Of course, not all companies have the funds to switch their business models as easily, but they can find ways to adapt their services and the experiences they offer customers.
4. Create Virtual Experiences
People may not be able to walk into restaurants, art galleries, shopping malls, etc.; however, they can still indulge in virtual experiences.
Building a loyal customer base is a crucial component of marketing and this where virtual experiences are so beneficial.
In April, Disney+ aired the Disney Family Singalong, which was viewed by 10.3 million households. The singalong proved to be an excellent tool to draw audiences to the platform while entertaining them and instilling a sense of togetherness in these tough times.
Businesses can offer virtual experiences in the form of tutorials, demonstrations, hopeful messages, and entertainment.
Think about what your audiences might want to see and how you can amuse them as they stay at home. Not all your digital marketing strategies need to be about selling products; they can also focus on building a community that can turn into potential customers.
For example, a martial arts studio that’s losing members due to the current crisis can begin offering online classes as substitutes for the classes that were in the studio.
5. Boost Brand Awareness
With millions of people stuck at home and turning to the internet for entertainment, it’s that much more important for companies to invest in SEO and SEM.
From content marketing to paid ads, you need to use multiple components of digital marketing in tandem to increase online visibility, so potential customers can find you when they’re actively searching for the services you offer.
Now is the time to increase Google My Business rankings to stay ahead of the competition, and create riveting content that people will want to share.
Brand awareness and recognition have a direct impact on revenues. Optimizing your website and enhancing user-experience will make it easier for you to sell your products or services.
Create Engaging Content
Use this time to inform, entertain, and connect with your audience by producing interesting content that keeps them coming back for more.
Podcasts have become immensely popular over the last five years because they seamlessly integrate into our busy lifestyles. At a time where millions of people are working from home, podcasts are a brilliant way to establish yourself as an authority in your industry.
Regularly posting blogs and articles that add value to your clientele not only improves search engine rankings, but also brand exposure, since your content may be picked up by a third-party.
6. Manage Your Corporate Image
Your customers are looking for answers to mitigate some of the uncertainty they are experiencing.
In these stressful times, you want to frame yourself as a company your customers can trust, which is why it’s essential to present the right image to your audience.
By establishing yourself as a proactive leader in a crisis, you’re letting customers know you care and that they can count on you.
You can do so by supporting the local community (schools, healthcare staff, food banks, etc.), donating to charities, and offering special deals on essential services.
7. Adapt Your Tone
No one wants to deal with pushy ads right now; we want compassion and care. Your digital ad copies must therefore be tweaked so they’re aligned with current events.
Sure, you can maintain your personality and remain optimistic, but don’t make the mistake of being tone-deaf. The last thing you want is to sound insensitive or ignorant.
8. Stay Active
If you’re thinking of going silent until you can resume your operations, you’re making a mistake. Even if you can’t continue your business as usual, you shouldn’t disappear and abandon your customers.
Update your customers regularly and produce content that adds value to their lives. Think about marketing strategies that will pay off in the long-run, as opposed to short-lived promotions that may increase immediate sales but don’t have lasting effects; they don’t add brand value, which you can leverage in the future.
If you’re looking for a digital partner to help you weather the storm, you’ve come to the right place.
Mediaforce is a reputable digital marketing agency that serves the USA and Canada. We’ve been listed as one of the top digital marketing firms in New York. Our team provides comprehensive digital solutions, including web design, SEO, and PPC services.
We have the expertise and knowledge to help you make the most of the COVID situation.
If you’re in New York, Ottawa, Vancouver, or Toronto, call 613-729-0500 for more information.