During this age of COVID-19, digital marketing has gained significant importance. It used to be acceptable for some small businesses to remain in offices or stores and have the customers to go to them to avail of their services. They were doing well without the help of online technology.
Due to Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdowns in many parts of the world, people were forced to isolate at home and turn to contents to entertain themselves. Huge changes in doing work also happened, a lot of companies that refused to let their employees work-from-home for various reasons before the lockdowns found themselves with no other choice than to embrace the work-from-home set-up to continue their businesses.
Coronavirus presents a huge challenge but remote working and digital marketing makes a big difference in coping with this difficulty.
Picture this, demand is there and the solution is there but there’s no way for them to meet when most people are in self-isolation. Here are some practical strategies that can help businesses survive as well as thrive during this crisis
Use Video to your Advantage
Businesses areshifting to online by using video. One example is gym trainers. In the past, they would meet clients in the gym face-to-face. Now we see them using video to reach their audience through zoom and other video conferencing apps, with the audience using big LED and LCD screens to feel more immersed in the experience of online dance, Zumba, Crossfit and other fitness classes that are done remotely. In addition, some gym trainers are now using gym management systems to make it easier for the client to set their membership and schedules.
Keep Connected to your customers through social media
People spend most of their time on social media, especially this time. It’s a way for them to still feel connected to people in their life.Using social media is a sure way to keep your business top-of-mind to your customers. Creating posts that will keep them updated about the services, products, delivery options you offer is probably your best bet of still earning something.
Create a stronger online presence
With shows, expo’s, conventions postponed for the next months, entrepreneurs and coaches have lost avenues where they usually network and find new clients. Some ways for them to reach out is to appear in directories, on searches. What they can do is to create a website or a landing page that will showcase their offer. Find a way to appear on page one thru ads or SEO. Though most businesses are holding on to their advertising budget, doing these steps is a worthwhile investment in the short term and even forward into the post-COVID era.
Rebrand or Launch Something New
What used to sell well before may not do so well now. You may have to think about rebranding or launching a service or product that is more in demand. Take for example some clothing companies that have now switched to face mask or PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) manufacture. Staying flexible and adaptable is a strategy that businesses need to have to be successful even when faced with different scenarios.
Forego Price Increases, Offer Discounts, or Freebies
Most businesses are suffering and that also includes digital marketing agencies. Show empathy to customers by keeping your services affordable or offering them free for a limited time. Doing these will help retain your clients or even get you new subscribers, once the pandemic is over. Remember, sometimes you have to give first before you receive. Discounts may also get you more new customers and increase revenue. If you truly offer them value then they will likely buy from you again.
Offer help or support to other business
It’s only natural to lose clients or earnings during the start of the pandemic but if you’re one of the resilient ones or a digital marketing agency, you can help out other businesses navigate these trying times. You can help them become more discoverable, or visible. Furthermore, not all businesses in your market are competitors. The products or services they offer could complement your own. Find ways to work with these businesses so you can both benefit and thrive in this situation
Use paid ads, while it’s still cheap
According to a report, ad spend is down 50% across all channels but guess what? There are more people now on Google since most are stuck at home or in self-isolation. This results in cheaper ads as the demand is down and fewer businesses are bidding for keywords. While some businesses are saving their marketing budget for fear of business losses or closure, you can take advantage of the cheaper ads costs.
If you’ve been focusing on Google ads and are not getting much clicks and conversion, you can try running ads on Facebook, Youtube, or Instagram as people may be spending more time on social platforms for entertainment or to avoid loneliness. Keep on monitoring the results of your ad campaigns and adjust your strategy as necessary.
Offer payment plans
One form of assistance to consumers is to offer them staggered or deferred payment plans. This will remove their tendency to overanalyze making a purchase. Most people think twice or more before buying for fear of job or income loss, even if the product offered is something they badly need. Decisions for one-time payments are difficult to make, especially in these times. It is much easier to pay installments.
Widen your target audience
Sometimes, it may be a wise move to cater to a different or wider market especially if you’re only starting a business. If you wish to widen the base of your audience as you start to leverage the power of digital marketing and If budget is one of your problems, you can start by using some of these free marketing strategies
Hop on Facebook live, Youtube live or Instagram live
Studies show that 80% prefer live video over social posts or blog posts. Compared to Facebook ads, and email marketing live streams can reach a wider segment of consumers in the general population.
Update your Google My Business Profile
If you’re among those businesses that didn’t claim your profile on Google My Business pre-COVID then this is the best time to do so. A lot of people are looking for services on Google adding the keywords “near me” or “open now”. Verify your hours, add a description, exact address, and ways to reach you. This will improve your visibility on searches.
Use Google Free Shopping Listings
In April Google just announced it will allow sellers to show their products for free through Google Shopping. Google Shopping can reach millions of shoppers. This increases the likelihood of your business being found.
Delivering compelling and uplifting content is now more important than ever. Though people want to stay updated about COVID-19 they also want to be positive to get through this challenge. Now that most customers are stuck indoors, this is also a great opportunity for you to be able to offer them a service or product that they need. If you have to change your offer to something more relevant then do it. Most people who are forced to change because of these circumstances are more open to something new as long as that offer meets their needs.
Instead of stopping progress, COVID-19 will boost digital marketing in the present and the future. The pandemic just became a catalyst for change.
The pandemic influenced our shopping behavior and social attitude. The more people stay at home, the more that digital marketing can make it possible for businesses to grow even in this time of crisis. Even businesses that have not gone online, now realize that they let time and money pass them by. The time they wasted on focusing only on the physical business, made them lose potential revenue from online purchases.
Our lifestyle has changed dramatically due to these difficult times. We also don’t know when we can get back to our normal loves pre-COVID so businesses have to be creative. Shifting to digital marketing is the smartest move that any business can do right now.