Digital Marketing Strategies During A Pandemic
Shift In “Quarantined” Consumer Behavior
It’s been nearly 18 weeks since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic. A lot has happened during these uncertain times and by now it’s clear that the Coronavirus is fundamentally going to change the world of business across the board.
While the widespread coronavirus still keeps many shoppers at home and away from physical stores, many consumers are now altering their purchasing behavior and reinforcing online buying behavior habits. A recent consumer study conducted by McKinney in June 2020 showed that more people are now expected to make their purchases online post COVID-19 than ever before. According to a forecast from eMarketer, there will be a 7.4 million new online shopper in 2020 with 204 million people in the United States.
So what does this mean for small businesses? Having an online presence is important than ever before! If your sales previously only relied on physical brick and mortar stores with face to face meetings, door to door sales, or tradeshows then it’s high time to re-evaluate your business strategy. The most important question you need to ask yourself is, “does your business have a reputable online presence?” so if you haven’t got one already, it’s high time to get a website!
Get Your Brand Online
As we continue to social distance and quarantine ourselves from loved ones, it is no secret that we spend the majority of our time watching Netflix, browsing online and social media. In order to match this demand, all businesses should have a fully responsive website that is easy to navigate and is ready to convert customers into sales. With a lot of businesses now experiencing lower in-store foot traffic, your digital storefront through your website is a key component for survival. Even if you are a service-based business, you can still offer online consultation through your website using webinars and conference calls to communicate with your clients.
Your website is the foundation for your online presence and the central hub that connects all things digital together. If your website is outdated or old, it’s time to formulate a strategy to make it better, more interactive with personalized web content crafted to convert. So, use this time to really think through how you would like to represent your brand online so that you can forever remain open.
Invest In PPC Advertising
What makes this pandemic different from any other pandemic in history is that our society is incredibility technologically connected. With the increased online activity, and as more people are at home in front of their screens, now is the perfect time to invest in PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising. It’s important to have your business show up on search results when people are actively searching for related products and services.
Running a search-based Google PPC ad or interruption-based Facebook or LinkedIn ad is a great way to generate leads to your business fast. If you need your marketing message to reach potential customers quickly to promote your offerings, PPC is the way forward. There are a number of Free Google resources resources like Google Trends & Google Keyword Planner that can help you understand consumer behavior related to your industry to better optimize our ad spend and to make your ads more effective.
Create A Google My Business (GMB) Profile
In 2019, Google accounted for over 75% of all global desktop search traffic. With Google now dominating all other search engines, having strong visibility on Google is more important than ever before. Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool developed by Google to help businesses develop an online brand presence and optimize it for leads on Google. It appears in Google Maps and Local Search results. This is a powerful free marketing tool that can be used to engage with your potential customers. Having an updated GMB listing is an easy way to bring customers in to your website from your local area. It also acts as useful planform where customers can leave reviews about your services. Getting more positive Google reviews from customers adds credibility for your business and helps customers choose your business over your competitors when making purchase decisions.
Social Media Presence
Now that people are relying on social media to stay connected with their loved ones, and for entertainment, it is the perfect time to ramp up your social media content online! According to a report done by TechCrunch in March 2020, it shows that both Facebook and Instagram has seen a 40% increase in usage due to Covid-19, doubling its views on both Facebook Live & Instagram Live.
Consumers are hungry for interesting fresh new content. The goal here is to create a thriving community of raving fans and building a relationship with them vs always aiming for a hard sell.
Show what matters to your customers right now, revise your content marketing strategy, educate them on your social posts about the situation and what they can do, use positive messaging, a calm and confident tone, share useful tips to stay safe and productive during this time. We are all in this fight together, and together we are strong.
Pull down the curtains to show that you can relate to them and connect with your customers on a deeper level. Use social media as a source of dialog between you and your customers. Facebook and Instagram Live can be a great tool to show the customers the face behind your brand. Talk to them, keep a 2-way communication with your customers, connect with them, and be supportive. The more real you are with your customers, the more they will trust you and stay with you long term. If your struggling, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your community, because at the end of the day, that’s what it’s for. It’s ok to get vulnerable in your content by sharing your story and communicating how your followers can support your business as we navigate these uncertain times.
As we think about prioritizing responsible customer outreach during these difficult times, one of the best ways to do this is with influencer marketing. This can be a fast and effective way to reach your customers during this crisis. It can also help your business be more audience centric with carefully selected influencers. Studies have always shown the consumers trust an influencer more than a traditional advertisement when making purchase decisions, therefore it is a great time to make strategic partnerships with micro-influencers as they are more cost effective and have a more targeted audience base.
Are You Capturing Data From Website Visitors?
“What gets measured gets managed.”- Peter Drucker
You can’t manage what you can’t measure. Therefore, is important to see the people coming into your website and analyze this data to make better business decisions. Google Analytics is a free tool that helps you see what is really going on with your website by generating detailed statistics and reports about website visitor activity.
Do you have Google Analytics installed on your website? Are you monitoring your web traffic and improving your digital marketing strategy? This is something you need to seriously consider as this powerful tool can help you squeeze better results, drive more business, and lower your marketing costs in the long run.
Google Analytics (GA) can help you make custom reports to find quick wins for your business, here are a few;
- See how your customers find your website (e.g. Organic, Direct, Social, Email, Referral and Other)
- You can also track what they do when they land on your site (click a button, fill a form, read your blog, etc.)
- You can gain insights as to what type of customer land on your site and how they navigate (gender, demographics, geo-location, device and also interests)
- You can find the most visited pages and for how long they stayed on your website and optimize poor-performing web pages for better conversions
- You can create goals and track performance and conversions
- GA can further help you find keywords your visitors typed to search you online and help you understand what type of content you should write on your website to resonate with your ideal customer
You can do a number of different things using Google Analytics to make intelligent business decisions backed by data, therefore if you don’t currently use this free tool, its high time you do.
Think About SEO- Is Your Business Getting Googled?
Make sure your business can be found online when customers search for you. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) helps your website appear on Google Search results organically. Although SEO is a long-term strategy, investing in Search Engine Marketing now and ensuring your website is optimized with relevant keywords and properly formatted sitemaps can reap huge dividends in the future. Search is measurable, using free tools like Google Search Console you can monitor your results. Google Search Console will make recommendations on how your site can improve your SEO efforts.
Although we don’t know when, things will eventually get back to normal, implementing SEO strategies for your business during this downtime will help you when the market is normal once again.
Build Your List: Email Marketing
Email is a very powerful tool for growing your business online. Your email & messenger list is the most valuable asset you have on the internet, if you’re already building one, then congratulations, you’re doing things right! If not, then it’s time to start building. Why do you need to focus on building a list? Because its FREE traffic. You can market to this audience any time you want to without having to pay Google or Facebook for it.
However, you don’t want everyone on your list, you only want your ideal customer who will more likely purchase from you. Therefore, your strategies for list building should be focused on attracting the right customer into your eco-system. For example, if your business is designing custom-made wedding dresses, you don’t want people who are already married on your list.
You should always focus on building a list for your business which you can use to easily send personalized messages to your customers and remarket to them to return. It is also the best way to build meaningful relationships with your potential customers, especially during these uncertain times. Make sure your website and landing pages are designed to convert visitors into leads with lead magnets, email opt-ins, pop-ups, side widgets or special offers/coupons.
Once your potential customers give you their information, add them to a list and strategize and automate an email nurture sequence to build long term relationships with the prospect.
While it's true that email marketing is a huge investment, the trick is building a highly targeted email list
The infographic below shows some helpful tips on list building ideas for your business. Save this to your desktop or pin it to your Pinterest board to reference when forumating an email marketing strategy.
Need help with digital marketing during these challenging times? I’m here to help you quickly implement carefully crafted digital strategies for your business. Contact me today!
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