How to maintain your digital marketing strategy during COVID-19
In uncertain and changing times, we find ourselves living in the unknown and navigating through unfamiliar territory. Whilst none of us have the ‘silver bullet’, the Zib team wanted to offer what guidance we can to businesses experiencing shifts within their internal and external environment.
With businesses carefully monitoring their budgets and searching for a cost-effective way to deliver their products and services, many marketing and communication operations have come to a halt. While marketing budgets may appear to be a soft target for cuts, slashing marketing activity is a short term fix that carries long-term consequences.
The ‘knee-jerk’ reaction in digital marketing rarely ends well, with many small to large-scale businesses taking the cookie-cutter approach when it comes to short-term solutions. Consumers may be budget-conscious, but they’re still spending money, and they want to buy the right products from companies they can trust. We’ve already seen a 20% increase in time spent online, which means maintaining visibility in your market is essential for long term profitability and to bounce-back in a post-COVID-19 world.
To assist with the decision-making surrounding your digital marketing, and to help you find that healthy balance, we’ve compiled some statistics and advice on three pillars to consider when taking on COVID-19.
YOUR SEO STRATEGY
The experts at Search Engine Journal compiled a list of reasons why you shouldn’t stop SEO efforts during COVID-19 where you can learn more about this topic, but to put it simply; this is not the time to stop your SEO campaign.
Search engine marketing remains the most effective way to market your business, even in times of economic downturn, and it’s still #1 in terms of producing ROI.
Particularly now, businesses should be viewing their SEO as an investment rather than a cost. Eventually, the workflow will return to regularity, and those who invested in SEO could be in a much stronger position in the long-term. It takes time to set up and run SEO effectively, so why not make the most of this period (however long it may be) to invest in an SEO campaign that will deliver results for years to come, even if it’s a smaller, local approach.
The right SEO campaign can turn your whole business around in just a few months, and those results could produce the revenue your business needs to make it through these unprecedented times. In comparison, those who stop campaigns now will have ground to make up when the dust settles and competition ramps up.
YOUR GOOGLE ADS STRATEGY
During a crisis, ‘impressions’ and ‘page views’ tend to skyrocket. However, achieving conversions can prove challenging. A change in your market or a drop in conversions doesn’t necessarily mean you should pause campaigns or cancel them entirely. In fact, if you’re not currently doing any paid advertising, now could be a great time to start.
Consumers may be moving away from retail stores, but still require essential items and therefore look to digital platforms to receive them. Along with eCommerce search campaigns, Google Shopping is likely to see an increase in volume over the coming weeks and months – even if you’re not selling hand sanitiser. For example, yoga mats and Apple AirPods are listed by Amazon as some of the most popular products within their respective categories and puzzles are selling across Australia. Rather than focusing on impressions, now is a good time to change your ads strategy so that you’re only paying for clicks.
For brick-and-mortar businesses, lowering budgets or pausing non-essential campaigns could allow you to focus ad spend on branded terms. These naturally receive higher quality traffic and now is an excellent time to capitalise on it. The aim is to acquire audiences that will recall your brand as being considerate during this time and be more likely to support you on the other side of this pandemic.
And don’t forget – you might be eligible to receive Google Ad credits to assist you with your advertising efforts.
YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY
With consumers turning to social media and their trusted brands for communication during this period, it’s imperative your brand remains connected and present through social media channels. We have already seen a 16% increase in Australian users browsing on Facebook and 12% browsing Instagram more often since the rise of COVID-19. This is where your customers are browsing and spending an increased amount of time to communicate with their trusted brands and exploring to find new bands.
It’s essential to explore how social media is contributing to the current digital landscape and how it can contribute to your bottom line growth and bounce back post-COVID-19. With the evidential increase and the continued growth of social media users, comes opportunities to grow engagement, visibility, profitability and trust across your social media channels.
Retaining an existing customer is extensively more economical than acquiring a new one; so while it may feel counterintuitive, having a social advertising budget to keep your brand visible will deliver long term benefits. If you want to retain customers during this time, focus on engaging in conversations with your existing customers. Remember, the way you and your brand conduct yourself in crisis may influence future consumers, so be authentic with your social media content and focus on marketing relevant products.
To create longer-term loyalty and satisfaction, consider ideas such as:
– Sharing innovative ideas that differentiate you from your competitors
– Getting creative and using video to stand out in the crowded newsfeeds of your customers
– Being a source of good news for social users and promote your own good news stories
Stay in touch…
Many, if not most, businesses across the globe are feeling the effects of COVID-19, and staying up to date with information is vital. Here at Zib Digital, we’re putting people first. As we monitor the evolving situation and markets in the coming days and weeks, you can expect to see more data and analysis.
We’re still open and here to support businesses through this time as much as we can, so please don’t hesitate to contact us for advice and a friendly helping hand.