During the Covid 19 global pandemic crisis businesses are being thrown monumental marketing challenges they have never faced. As a knee-jerk reaction companies may opt to cut marketing all together as a cost and expense control measures which will cripple their business further. Worst yet, are those companies that keep ads running, and don’t make the necessary changes to their messaging to reflect the current times. Both options are certain to doom companies because neither strategy deal with the current situation in a proactive way. These companies, in panic mode, are cutting off their business pipelines for future sales.
All businesses, during these extraordinary times, should consider radically different marketing and sales approaches for their business. Even with localized lockdowns or government mandates for temporary business shutdowns, most businesses can find ways to continue to serve their customers even if it is just through consistent and transparent communications, including the proper shifts in their messaging.
Businesses shouldn’t be resigned to simply cutting all ties with customers and prospects and hope that when the crisis is over, they can magically resurrect their business from the void. If customers have found alternative options, or have found ways to survive without a company’s product or services, those businesses are likely to vanish, forever.
Even if business, as usual, has been dramatically altered for a company, maintaining ties with their customers and focusing messaging appropriately will go a long way in curbing the effects of the impending economic downturn. Customers may not be searching for or be unable to get your products at this time, but it is still critical to remain visible and relevant. Here are some marketing activities to consider investing or continuing during this crisis.
Keep a strong SEO strategy to enhance site visibility.
Maintaining a strong SEO strategy will help keep your business visible and accessible during a crisis. Even if you can no longer deliver products or services in the same way, an operating and useful website can be your lifeline to consumers. SEO enhancements can be simple plug-ins or simple changes like updating descriptions and tagging images to help your content be more readily accessible.
Create new content to increase your brand’s trustworthiness.
FAQs and tips sheet add value for your customers and potential consumers. Now is the time to increase not only the quantity of the new content you produce but focusing on quality of the content. Being transparent about how the crisis is affecting your business and how you are caring for your employees helps build the value of your organization. Be regular and consistent with your audience so they come to expect updates and news. Social Media live sessions, recorded video segments and daily blogging will keep your audience engaged and involved.
Add quality backlinks to connect your organization to other authoritative sources.
Within the content you create, include backlinks to authoritative sources. “Content is undoubtedly king, and in the current digital marketing climate, unique and value-centered content is perhaps the best tool for anyone doing SEO. If you are both putting forth solid content that drives value for the user and you are including relevant and well-aged backlinks throughout your content, you’re on the right track.” (Schubert, 19) (https://www.simpletiger.com/blog/what-are-high-quality-backlinks)
Shift marketing spend from the traditional channels to digital options.
If traditional radio, TV and print have been your go-to advertising and marketing methods, consider shifting budgets instead of suspending all marketing all together. Moving resources and budget to digital display, social media and online pay-per-click channels are a other way to keep your business relevant to current and potential customers. Google AdWords, Facebook Ads and Posts and Digital display can keep your business visible. Increasing Direct mail and email marketing efforts should be considered to augment marketing during this time.
Adjust your message and CTAs (calls-to-action) to fit the times and circumstances.
If your ad messaging doesn’t reflect the changes in the marketplace environment your business will feel inauthentic and out of touch. If your message doesn’t shift in tone, acknowledging the current shift in real-life situation, the company’s trustworthiness can be negatively impacted. Your message should shift to provide consumer information that will help them through the crisis and what you are doing differently to serve your constituencies.
In this visual age, ensuring your images match the tone and content of your marketing is also critical. Using old and out dated imagery or imagery that doesn’t fit the times, leads audiences to dismiss and ignore your messaging.
“In crises, you have a unique opportunity to be relevant and original with your content. Take the time and devote the resources to create timely and informed content. Ramp up your writers and challenge them to create content with unique perspectives and emails that are craved by your uncertain and fearful customers” (Rice, 2020). https://kaleidico.com/cmo-crisis-guide/