Over the past few months, our lives have certainly got changed. We are in uncharted water, living through an unprecedented global pandemic. There are a lot of unknowns and questions that we don’t have answers to. Things have become quite challenging in particular for businesses. Many factories are shut, the stock market is in free fall, unemployment is through the roof and the global market has crippled. Clearly, it’s not business as usual. However, as we have no cure in sight right now, we need to get on with life while embracing the new normal. Businesses and brands have to look beyond this situation and gain a long-term view of the picture.
But with the physical boundaries and restrictions in place, how would they reach the customers to sell their product? How would they keep their client and customers intact? Well, the answer is crystal clear— through digital marketing. Digital marketing has become the need of the hour for businesses. There’s no better way than digital marketing to obtain high ROI while optimizing the marketing costs in these uncertain times. However, as the world has changed, the conventional digital marketing strategies need to be changed too. There has been a monumental impact on consumer behavior and market dynamics due to the global crisis. So, businesses need to tweak their approach accordingly to maintain their marketing presence. That being said, let’s explore some of the best digital marketing practices to adopt during these concerning times.
Don’t Try To Capitalize – Try to Help
The first thing that you need to keep in mind is that this is not a marketing opportunity. So, don’t use the scare marketing tactic to capitalize on people’s anxiety. Using a sense of urgency to market your product is one thing but exploiting customers’ fear through irritating and vaguely offensive messages is entirely a different thing. For instance, selling life insurance with a message—“scared of coronavirus? Protect your family with our new policy” This sounds like an insignificant marketing ploy because life insurance is not the solution to coronavirus. Using such tricks can make you lose your customers’ trust and damage your brand for years to come. So, rather than increasing the concerns of your customers, try to build an emotional connection. Take a cue from Nike which is focusing on instilling confidence in customers through its simple yet effective messages such as— “now more than ever, we are one team.”
Find Genuine Ways to Add Value
Before the arrival of the pandemic, your marketing strategy was probably focused on engaging the target audience. But during these turbulent times, your marketing should be centered on adding real value to the customers. No matter what business you have, it is critical than ever to prioritize the customer experience. A recent study from the American Association of Advertising Agencies reveals that 43% of consumers expect to hear from brands during these tough times. In addition, 56% said they are interested in learning how brands are helping their communities during the pandemic.
Hence, as a responsible brand, you need to think beyond your sales and show your customers how you are there for them through thick and thin. Impressively, many companies are already raising funds, increasing the wages of their front-line staff, and eliminating the subscription fees to help their customers as well as society. These moves may not increase their sales immediately. But the goodwill and trust they are earning in the process will go a long way to drive long-term loyalty. So, you need to ask yourself—“what can I do to help?”
Strengthen Your Digital Presence
According to Forbes, internet hits have surged by 50-60% during this phase compared to normal times. People are spending more time on online platforms than ever before. So, you need to focus on enhancing your digital presence to sustain your operations. The majority of businesses think just having pages on social media would suffice. But sadly, it doesn’t. You need to have a sound landing page and website to attract more customers. So, consider redesigning your website or enhancing it with new functionality. How about adding a chatbot functionality to guide your customers? Or how about integrating AR or VR focused on your online deliverable? To further enhance your online visibility, you should also focus on capturing the top ad placements.
Pay Attention to Keyword Rankings and Organic Traffic
Have you always kept track of your keyword rankings and searches? Great! But, the pandemic has changed what people are searching for and how Google responds in the search engine results. Hence, keep a close eye on organic traffic, and Google trends during this time. Meanwhile, optimize your website with the topmost searched keywords and publish your industry-relevant rich content in some of the top-visited domains and PR sites. Also, find out ways to pull useful traffic through backlinks and funnel them back into your website.
Revise Your Content Strategies
Along with the right keyword, having the right tone for the content is also critical during these difficult times. Thus, businesses of all sizes are revising their content to reflect their concern for consumers. Recently, KFC has changed its advertising campaigns keeping the safety of its customers in mind. Before the pandemic, KFC ads depicted people licking their fingers after eating the chicken. But considering the severity of the situation, they replaced those ads with new ones that fit into the new reality of social distancing and hand washing. Some companies are also changing their logo to depict social distancing. So, take a cue from these brands and revise your content if you feel it is violating the norm of social distancing.
No doubt, this is a tough phase for all. But don’t let the uncertainty and fear paralyze you. Instead, digitally transform your marketing activities to make your business future-proof. Build your digital presence, instill confidence in your customers, re-design your website and leverage video platforms for better connectivity with the audience. Above all, try to provide real value to your customers. Lastly, if your business is in a position to help, consider donating a portion of your sales to your local community organizations and nonprofits that need help. Remember, we are in this together and we will get through this crisis together. On that note, we leave you with the words of Dieter F. Uchtdorf—“It’s your reaction to adversity, not adversity itself that determines how your life’s story will develop.”