I’ve been reading through a lot of articles about marketing during COVID-19, and there are two major themes weaved into every one: reevaluate your messaging and shift your strategy to digital.
Rather than simply stating what needs to change in the general sense, I’d much prefer actionable, inexpensive, and quick ideas for making those shifts a reality.
So, in this post, I will offer my tips for how to shift your marketing strategy with some immediate marketing actions you can take today.
Phase 1: Evaluating Messaging
Times of uncertainty and unexpectedness force us to renegotiate our marketing approach. The first question we should ask when evaluating current marketing strategy is, “Can I streamline or improve any initiatives for this moment?”. “What is my current messaging and how should that shift to react to the new climate?”.
As we turn our strategy towards digital, we must consider how the messaging will change to match. Consider the following questions as you evaluate your messaging:
- Does the imagery I’m using need to be refreshed?
Images that used to feel completely normal are now up for debate. If you’re using pictures of crowds or handshakes in promotional materials, does it make sense to swap those out?
- Should I reevaluate the verbiage I’m using in my campaigns?
Phrases like “go hand-in-hand” or “get in touch” might seem off-putting right now. Would promotional copy benefit from a little rework?
- Should we shift our promotional focus from premium products to entry-point/lower cost offerings?
This may not make sense for every business, but it warrants consideration. People are focused on necessity over luxury right now. Would this adaptation be of benefit to your client base?
- Which promises can we realistically deliver on right now?
Maybe you had a product launch coming up. Maybe you told customers 5 months ago that your software would have a new release in May. Are those expectations still realistic? If not, it’s prudent to suspend those efforts, reach out to customers to explain, and then make some decisions on how you’re going to reallocate your marketing messages and promotional funds.
Phase 2: Diving in on Digital
We all know we should be focusing our efforts on digital right now – but in what specific ways? Here are a few ideas that are low cost and relatively simple to implement:
Make SEO Adaptations
Organic Web traffic has fallen significantly in many industries. Check your website’s organic search rankings and optimize your content to improve the quality. Neil Patel is currently offering free access to his UberSuggest SEO tool for businesses that want to evaluate their websites and get keywords and content ideas. The tool also has a “Site Audit” option where you can enter your website URL and it will provide an SEO health check. Thanks, Neil!
Update Old Blogs
You already know that content marketing is key during Coronavirus, but the time it takes to put the content together can be an inhibitor. In the meantime, try refreshing your old blog posts and re-publishing them. For example, a blog about the top technology trends of 2018 could be updated relatively quickly for 2020. Prioritize the most successful posts according to your website analytics and what feels most relevant right now.
Boost Social Media Presence
I’ll offer you two suggestions for this one. Suggestion #1 is to plan your social media campaigns and hashtags based on Google Trends. Google Trends analyzes the popularity and search volume of queries based on geographical location and languages. You can search by terms or topics that relate to your initiatives to get an idea of where your audience is and what they’re talking about. You can even drill down into specific regions or search for specific categories like “online communities”. Use it to align your social media efforts with what’s trending to get the greatest audience impact.
Suggestion #2 for boosting social media presence is even easier. Ask your coworkers to help promote your posts by reposting and engaging via their own social channels. I do this sometimes when I have a major announcement for one of our brands. I send an email to the entire company with a direct link to the Twitter post and ask them to like, share, or otherwise engage. It’s a simple and fast way to boost engagement and get visibility to new audiences.
Make Those Videos You’ve Been Putting Off
Been too busy to storyboard and create marketing videos? Well, now’s a great time to make it happen! Here are a few tools I like for video creation that are inexpensive and easy to work with:
Sparkol.com – Have you ever seen those whiteboard animation videos where it looks like someone is drawing the images on screen? That’s what Sparkol is. You can create promotional videos using their VideoScribe tool for a mere $168 per year for a single user. There’s also a free trial available for Windows and Mac if you just want to test it out.
- Animoto – This is another inexpensive and easy tool for creating promotional videos. Unlike Sparkol, which is animation focused, Animoto is more of a “slideshow” video tool. You can upload images and video clips (with or without sound), overlay music and text, and brand the video with your colors, logos, etc. Animoto is also inexpensive, starting at $264 per year for a professional license.
Reallocate Your Live Event Funds
Welp, looks like you won’t be hosting that conference anymore, and even if you still plan to, it’s nearly impossible to say when that will be. So, shift your marketing spend to match your new digital efforts instead. For example, maybe you are turning a live seminar into a series of webinars. Why not use live event funds to promote your webinar via PPC, LinkedIn messaging, or other digital means? One of the unfortunate “benefits” of an economic downturn is a decrease in competition as businesses struggle to pay off debts and cut costs. If you are able, now is the time to double down on your online advertising because it will be easier and faster to get results at a lower initial investment.
Merge Your Efforts
Odds are, if you’re struggling, so are your partners and industry peers. Help each other out by merging efforts. Guest blog on one another’s sites to expand your visibility and create fresh content. Combine your expertise on a topic to host a dual webinar. Brainstorm a way to package services to cut costs and fill in the gaps on something you are unable to provide on your own. With both your teams working to create content, promote webinars, and prospect to new customers, you can achieve more.
These times are without precedent. Shift your marketing strategy based on what’s still in your control and you’ll be able to make the most of your efforts. If you need help streamlining your software solutions for changing digital demands, reach out to us. We can help you determine your best options.