Marketing strategies have been set for the year and marketers know who to target, how and why. Budgets have been set and businesses ready to take on 2020 in full force and then… everything changes amidst a time of huge uncertainty. With offices closing for remote working now is a marketers job to reflect on your marketing plans.
Marketing budgets in a time of crisis often can be the first cut, however, understanding the long term impact on doing this can massively affect your business and have long term consequences. Pausing or slowing down marketing activity can be damaging, lowering your online presence when your business needs it the most. Not only this but time will pass and restarting your marketing activity in a crowded market could be costly and time consuming to any brand.
In a time of uncertainty it's now a marketers time to protect their brand and instead of cutting marketing activity realign plans and refine and adapt the way they communicate to their customers.
What can you do to keep your business front of mind
Think long, not short
Yes in the short term it seems a sensible idea to save budget and pause activity however it's the businesses that invest in their marketing that will stand the test of time and will prosper in the long term.
The key is to realign your marketing strategy and re-evaluate where you need to focus your attention. Staying at the forefront of your customer's minds whilst considering their needs and providing value will help you prosper in the long run. Thinking about how you can benefit your clients, how can you help them.
Let your website do the work for you
Your website is your best sales tool, especially right now. It communicates your offering and showcases how you can help your customers. Ensure your website is up to date with what you have to offer whilst also utilising the features to keep customers updated and informed during this time.
Content marketing can become a quick and effective way for you to remain in touch with your customer base and increase lead generation during this time. Give your customers information of value, offering knowledge based content. The brands that will thrive during this time are the ones that educate. Rather than using your marketing to sell, show your customers how you can help them.
No matter what the situation is, communicating and engaging with your audience can remain undisrupted – as long as you have a considered content marketing strategy in place.
Be ready to adapt
Keep your marketing plans agile and be ready to adapt and keep in mind this won't last long. Before we know it we will all be back in meetings shaking hands and eating in restaurants. Nothing lasts forever. With this in mind realign your plans and be ready to change as needed and don't forget… use this valuable time to make plans for the future and reflect on past activity.
Social distancing Media
With most of the country working from home and of course, the ever rise in social media for businesses, your social accounts will be your best friend. A quick and easy way to keep you at the forefront of your customer's minds, promoting what you do and how you can help.
Enhance your social media presence and adapt to show your followers relevant content. Use your social accounts to engage in conversations with your customers and share posts of value which may help. Be a friend to your network, not just focussing on what you do but liking and commenting and engaging on your networks post, everyone is looking for as much engagement as they can get at this time.
Utilise the benefits of the social platforms and consider using the various functionalities they offer. Now may be a great time to try out the IGTV you have been planning for a while and didn't get round to posting.
A study from Econsultancy showed - 77% of UK marketers predict an increase in social media activity. With consumers now socially distancing or self-isolating at home, 70% of UK marketers predict that there will be an increase in eCommerce usage – something we are already seeing with online grocery shopping.
But how do we communicate to our customers amidst the time of overwhelming news?
Be sensitive to the situation and don't use this time to capitalise, (I'm sure I'm not the only one to receive a spam email with the subject line ‘hand sanitiser’ to open it and it be irrelevant content’
Ensure your communications are timely and relevant if you want to make an impact.
Mark Rison for Marketing week says - We should not shy away from talking about customers and business in the age of coronavirus. It might seem superficially mercantile to discuss brands, pricing and customer behaviour as we stare down the barrel of a pandemic. But the practical reality of global economic trade means that we need to market now for the good of all mankind.
If you'd like to get in touch to discuss how we can help with your digital marketing, contact one of our experts below!