Digital marketing: your ally in a time of crisis
Since we are still immersed in an uncertain time and we cannot know when we’ll finally be able to return to normality, it can be useful to take advantage of this moment to observe the trends in digital marketing and adjust your strategic plan (do you have one, right?) to be ready once the situation has been resolved.
Because, even if the favorite sales channel – aka interpersonal relationship – will resume its leading role, we are all aware that the radical changes that lock-downs and restrictions have brought in customers relationship will no longer forget.
Consumers today spend more time at home and on their screens, they have learned to appreciate the convenience of online shopping and on-demand services (Netflix, Amazon Prime, but also online courses and webinars) and it is clear to everyone that there is a huge potential for those who decide to exploit this channel. In Italy, during the quarantine, internet traffic grew by 30% compared to the pre-pandemic period. Hence the importance of Digital Marketing.
All clear and beautiful in theory, but in practice how can we exploit the potential of technology in this complicated phase? Here, some simple tips to get you started on the right foot.
Redefine your business goals
The crisis we are experiencing requires us to re-evaluate the old marketing strategy and set new goals. In order to do this, however, it is crucial to ask ourselves a few questions first.
Well, if the answer to these questions is uncertain then, at best, you need to update your marketing plan (and budget !!) to identify the most effective digital channels and encourage the consumers to buy through them. If the problem is at its source (product/service) you have to invest time (and money!) to adapt your business to the new needs that the pandemic has brought out in your sector.
Enhance your online presence
The restrictions due to Covid-19 can be the right incentive to rethink your way of doing business and work on your online presence. Now more than ever it’s important for a company to focus on the organic SEO – for being found online by your customer at the right time – and on User Experience with the aim of increasing online conversions.
For small local businesses, restaurants, shops and bars, it would be worth updating the Google My Business page with the most accurate information and indications relating to Covid regulations. A signal of attention to customers that is highly appreciated and, in some cases, has the power to convey a sense of reliability, safety and professionalism.
Equally important are, also, the opportunities offered by paid advertising – such as Google Ads and Social Media Ads. In which the entire population has flocked and where they often search information, opinion and reviews of companies, services and products.
Social media, indeed, are essential for the 90% of companies. From Facebook to Instagram, from Linkedin to Pinterest, each company can decide their social media channels based on their sector, the presence of their customers and their marketing goals. The era of being on Social Media because everyone is there is over. Social Media Marketing is a serious business!
Another important element of your online presence is the email marketing: now that personal contact is limited, it’s essential to keep the relationship with customers alive. And, since “the best customer is the customer you’ve already have”, my suggestion is to focus primarily on your CRM and then set up a strategy for finding new contacts.
Find alternatives to live events
The cancellation of fairs, conferences and events is resulting for many companies in a significant reduction in new contacts. However, there are still plenty of opportunities to connect with potential customers if you’re willing to think outside the box.
First of all, recreate a virtual fair, creating a mini-website or a landing page with product and service demonstration (product sheets, videos, FAQs, etc …). Or organize a series of webinars, perhaps by invitation, with some important speakers of your market niche. Many brands are already having success with these marketing strategies which, it should be noted, to be effective they must be planned. That is, you need to study and define: the budget, the methods and timing of promotion (how and where to promote it) and the subsequent stages of measurment of success.
The watchword is empathy
Although in crisis situations like this, the temptation to refrain from discussion seems the simplest way to avoid negative comments or positions, in reality silence could be self-defeating and be interpreted by customers as indifference, unreliability and inability to cope with difficult situations.
Of course, participating with posts and comments on the “crisis” issue does not mean giving free rein to one’s ideas, but making your clients feel your solidarity and closeness. We must always evaluate whether our message is in line with the needs of our consumers or and recognize the concerns of our audience. At this stage it is therefore good to plan contents that respect the “sentiment” of our consumers and are able to comunicate empathy and support.
With this in mind, it is also good to consider another aspect: although your customers have unfortunately stopped buying, it is essential to maintain a high regard for your brand. Considering their needs, perhaps providing added value in the form of educational content – to help solve the most pressing problems – videos with helpful advice, can help you to maintain the leadership in your niche.
Analyze all the data available
If before the pandemic measuring the effects of using a platform or the response of a campaign was important to evaluate the success, today data analysis becomes crucial. Knowing which pages of your website are visited most often or what is the geographic origin of your visitors or how much time they spend on your website can help you plan your future actions.
Data analysis, indeed, can help you identify any weaknesses in your online presence. If Google Analytics shows you a high traffic of users who, however, leave the site without contacting you, then you should ask yourself if the website has a good structured and how you should intervene to improve the conversions.
Even the statistic of social networks can help you in defining your marketing strategy by providing useful information to understand which content creates the most engagement or if customers are present and active in that channel (eg profession, interests, etc …).
Today we have the tools to better know our customers, their needs and habits, using them strategically is the key to surviving the crisis.
In summary, despite the difficult economic period, there is still room for creating opportunities: now is the right time to intensify marketing efforts. If you want support in creating a truly effective online presence for your business, do not hesitate to contact me and request a free consultancy.