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 communications to digital.
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
uncertainty and unexpectedness force us to renegotiate our marketing approach.
The first question we should ask when evaluating current marketing efforts 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
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
- 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.
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
- 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,
- 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
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
- 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.
are without precedent. Shift your marketing 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.