Keep calm, stay home and don’t stop marketing
As coronavirus spreads, digital marketing has become more important than ever. There is so much information floating around regarding COVID-19 such as how to avoid it, how to effectively wash your hands and how to practice social distancing. But outside of personal concerns, small businesses are struggling to minimise the financial impact this virus will have on their business.
We have already seen a behavioural shift, with remote working, staying indoors and everybody being online a lot more. Zoom has become the norm and your grandma might now wave at you through a webcam instead of the window.
As the majority of us will now be inside every day, we will be more than likely sat on our phones or computers. Additionally, we aren’t travelling anymore unless essential or taking part in face to face meetings unless absolutely necessary
Therefore, we aren’t getting that vital personalised interaction we thrive as human beings to keep us content and as an alternative we are looking to online platforms to fulfil this need-which we somewhat took for granted before all of this.
This is where companies utilising a digital marketing strategy are thriving during this uncertain period; by adding personalisation and doing something that is getting them noticed, they are increasing their chances of being remembered when everything is back to normal.
We always advise our customers to add authenticity to their marketing efforts (coronavirus or not) as it allows you to connect with your target audience on a more personal level and empathise with their current needs. However, this used to be quite hard for brands to grasp, as their target audience differed and their day-to-day needs may not have been similar to what you know.
Now an opportunity arises where everybody across the country is in the same situation and relating to your customers’ needs seems far easier. You can now assess how your brand/service can add value and use empathy to inform how you can help in this current situation we all face.
Take advantage of the time you now have on your hands: think about your approach, strategy and aspects you’ve not considered budgeting for in times previous. Now is not the time to stick to your routine; it is the time to adapt and change to suit your customers’ current needs. This time can be instrumental in discovering alternative marketing tactics which can also benefit your brand long-term.
It is very predictable for us to outline that internet usage is at all time high during this period, due to more people working from home and spending longer on the internet than normal.
According to Virgin Media, the UK’s coronavirus lockdown has roughly doubled the UK’s internet usage during the day, with users both receiving and spending far more data during the daytime than usual.
The traffic is increasing throughout the day and continuing into the evening, with peak upstream traffic up around 25% on the previous week, showing people are working later or joining conference calls with friends and family in the evening.
This increase in traffic is also visible across social media platforms. With self-quarantine, the nationwide closures of bars, restaurants and public venues, we have inevitably increased our use of social media. Therefore, companies who have an active presence on social media are thriving during this unprecedented time. On the opposite spectrum, companies who have never used social media are finally realising its huge advantages.
You may have come across posts on social media telling you to “Act now, create your battle plan, you NEED a coronavirus survival kit ASAP.”
But our advice is stay calm, don’t just act under pressure from others; instead, adapt your marketing strategy to benefit you and your business.
So, here are a few marketing strategies that our team recommends you can use now for that road to long-term success.
1. Social Media marketing
Whether looking for respite from current news topics or wanting to connect with friends and family during these tough times, more people are spending time online than ever. With so many adults working from home and people in general trying to stay in as much as possible, we are becoming glued to social media and endlessly scrolling on our phones.
With increased opportunities to reach and engage with your target audience, why would a business owner now choose to cease social media work? Stop the scrolling and make your mark now.
According to Gates, social selling is a better idea than push marketing, and getting creative on social media is likely the best way for brands to stay engaged with their communities and potentially generate sales.
Think what can your brand do to help now. What does your audience want to see at this time in particular? How can you stay in contact and search for potential customers? Answering these questions will allow you to come up with solutions as to how you can relevantly provide your support and expertise.
By updating your social media platforms, you are ensuring that your customers are aware that you are available and interested in their business throughout 2020 – that you aren’t going down without a fight!
Struggling to think of content to post on social media? Or don’t have a social media account?
Don’t worry – speak to our Social team today. We are here and happy to help you produce and plan a social media strategy.
2. SEO & Website design
As physical shops are currently closed, your website is now your new shop front – so it is important that now more than ever it is showing you in the best way possible.
During this time period, it is sometimes second-nature for businesses to cut back on their marketing efforts in hope to save a few pennies – we couldn’t disagree with this more but, most importantly, while your competitors may be scaling back this is your opportunity to jump ahead.
The majority of the UK public are now turning to online shopping; if you are an E-commerce business that can provide services whilst adhering to government restrictions, then SEO and your website design should be a priority for you.
However, SEO is more than just a short-term fix. By investing in SEO and inbound marketing you are investing in building your process, building an audience and customer base and creating quality content that ranks well.
What you do today or this week for your SEO campaign will affect your organic search traffic two months from now. So, let’s prepare your business for the bounce-back surge as pausing your SEO campaign now could have a detrimental impact on future revenue and leads.
This is the time to stay the course and tack all of those potentially impactful SEO and marketing tasks you’ve had on your backburner. Don’t know where to start? Our Web team can help you build an effective SEO strategy suitable for the long-term future of your business and its goals.
3. Branding and visuals
An impressive visual identity and strong branding can allow you to get your foot in the door right away, create an emotional appeal and build engagement with your target audience. Take the free time you may possibly have now to sit back and think about your branding and what it has to offer.
Does it reflect your current mission and vision? Or has it become slightly outdated?
Does it engage with your current target audience?
Creating the most effective visual identity for your brand can be a long and difficult task that can get shoved to the bottom of the pile during normal working hours.
However, there is very little we can call normal at the minute and undertaking this task now will emphasise the long-term results which will follow.
Strong branding and visuals are important to stop people scrolling, to get them to stay on your website longer and to help you get noticed now.
If your brand is in need of refresh, you don’t have a brand identity or would just like some visuals creating to post on your website and social feeds. Our team are available to help you take on this project and benefit from all the rewards which will come from making your brand unmissable.
You may have received a number of emails from various brands saying “You are not alone” or “We are here to help” and similar emotive language. You may have also had to send out emails to communicate with your staff, suppliers and customers to keep them updated with day-to-day changes regarding your company and the service you can provide them.
Now is not the time to be sendin automated and sales heavy emails – consumers are looking for humanised brands and a personal touch to interact with.
Communication for any business at this moment of time is critical.
Email campaigns provide a professional and direct medium that allows businesses to communicate with customers, as well as knowing that the people on your list actually signed up to get updates from you so at this stage you should know that they are definitely interested in what you have to say.
Our team of Graphic Designers can help you design the most effective email campaigns for your brand at this current time and our Marketing team can also help you tailor your content to resonate with a target audience.
Take a deep breath, relish the spare time you have and together let’s make your marketing unmissable.