How to adapt your digital marketing strategy to a global pandemic.
Updated: Nov 17, 2020
During the current pandemic, almost everything we do – talk to our friends, have meetings, buy groceries, watch movies, go shopping – is done online. The competition for traffic is much higher as more businesses join the online marketplace nowadays, putting the spotlight on all aspects of marketing for any entrepreneur. Here are a few tips on how to manage your digital marketing during the pandemic:
Come up with a new story. Consumers are being more considered with their purchases and, to be honest, it might stay this way even after the pandemic is over. This can be tough for your business to convert sales since even the most loyal customers might exclude you from their shopping list. Keep in mind that it’s not your fault (2020 has been rude to all of us), and there is still a chance to make an impression. For instance, start using storytelling as your key marketing strategy (see my post on this topic). There is an opportunity for businesses to tell their stories and deliberately build relationships with their customers. This can be done by creating content on your website or social media accounts that convinces customers why your business is the one to choose. Try to surround your story around both your offerings and the struggles the world has been going through.
Get social. Social media presence is a significant component of digital marketing. COVID-19 has more than ever put many users on their phones or on social media, so why not bring your products in front of them? There is no need to be active on every single platform but try to identify which networks make the most sense for your brand and bring it on! Post updates regularly, engage with your most active audience, check what relevant accounts are doing, create a community around your brand’s values, and, finally, start experimenting with promoted posts and social media advertising. Mostly, affirm your customers that you are using social channels as a means of communication with them. It might be difficult to get new customers while the world is struggling with the financial fallout, so, instead, start focusing on your past clients and create platforms where they feel welcomed. Social media presence is a mediating tool for businesses moving between being online versus offline.
Create some useful content. Since most of us are online anyway, make sure your business is not just pitched and sold but also can be used as a knowledge base. Any of your social media pages can become a place where a person goes to when looking for answers (instead of heading to Google). The opportunities are endless – maintain a regular newsletter or a blog (hi there!), make sure your customers know that you are a reliable source. The more time customers spend on your website or any social media page, the more chance it will lead to a purchase or even a recommendation to their friends. Find your target audience and post educative content that answers their questions even before they have a chance to ask them. For example, if you are in the beauty industry, you can start posting about all kinds of skin care tips and homemade facemask. If you’re a restaurant owner or a food supplier, share your favourite recipes or nutrition facts! Be creative and remember – when your content is ranked highly in search engine results, there is more chance people will find your website.
Show that you aren’t tone-deaf to the current pandemic. Let your customers know – we are all in this together. First, add a COVID-19 advisory notice on your website and social media (check how Starbucks has been informing the public about their response to coronavirus). Be clear about any current amends in your business and explain how they impact customers, how your employees are being protected (through social distancing or remote work), how customer service will be affected, etc. Make sure your customers see you as someone ready for a change or a sacrifice in these challenging times. If your business is still open, introduce special hours on your listing (e.g. for seniors and people with medical conditions). If some of your employees work from home, you have the flexibility for extended hours or maybe you can provide alternative delivery options – any of this will give you a chance to be more available to your customers and adjust to their needs.
Although businesses can’t wait to get back to normal, no one really knows when we are able to put all the measures and the virus itself behind us. Our post-pandemic world will differ from what we felt familiar with before. It’s worth completely changing your digital marketing strategy for a considerable time, as it is crucial for being recognized and found online.