A deep understanding of the target market with their day-to-day lives, their joys, their perspective on the world around them, their challenges are all included within the core of good marketing. You can figure out how your brand is fitting into this story once you understand that.
This is the down pat which you probably had. And with the outbreak of coronavirus, people have witnessed the shutdown of the schools and businesses imposing social distancing and completely stalled everything that we thought of as a typical daily life since then.
It is a completely different scenario with many of those things that you knew about your target audience. The daily routines have likely changed completely, and some have either lost their jobs or are risking their health to keep the important services functional as people are now feeling grief and communal anxiety.
To reevaluate your marketing plans in the light of coronavirus and make decisions on how to move forwards in these challenging times as you look at a few of the steps that you can take!
#Reanalyzing Marketing Plan with COVID-19 in Mind
It is of no surprise that it came with disruptions to the supply chain, empty shelves at grocery stores, stress on Amazon’s warehouses, and hoarding of toilet paper and hand sanitizer as coronavirus pandemic is a health crisis like we have never seen before.
You need to be able to respond to the changes in real-time in the situations like this. The situation seemed to change daily by having ripple effects on the feelings of people and behavior for the first few weeks after the U.S. started to take some serious measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
The following are few steps that you can take to recenter your thinking reevaluate your plans, and aim at what is the next:
#1 Stop, Relax, And Don’t Panic
Sit down, give some to yourself and relax. It is time to gain perspective and not panicking. The lives of people are at great risk, but not specifically from the marketing campaigns. You have to keep your mind first and foremost on your health as your business is very important.
The other part in terms of not panicking is to pull back on all of your digital marketing efficiencies. Consider what is known as the mere exposure effect or the phenomenon bringing to expose something quite more that will make you like or appreciate it more often as it may seem like the most prudent option in cutting the marketing budgets to preserve the cash flows.
#2 Evaluations of Your Recent Language, Current Images, and Tone of Voice.
Starting with the channel that gets the most eyes, assesses everything that you recently have on the market, with one that is living in a world with record-high unemployment rates, economic uncertainty, and general anxiety, as you are evaluating those assets and messages from a new point of view.
The impact of cultural events on your customers is what your messages should be taken into account. To purchase your business, they might be in a sensitive, emotional state and possibly not the mindset.
The level of sensitivity required will likely go down a bit, and a few points, some light humor might even be appropriate in certain situations as the crisis progresses.
#3 Adjusting Marketing Campaigns and Timelines.
Let us look into the matter now. Your well-strategized campaign plans have to be pushed back, and it is quite fine. Take a bit of time in focusing on the situation at hand as you need not mix them altogether.
It is the best time now to pivot it. Try creating a message by taking into account the new situations and concerns of your customers as it is sensitive to the current situation, and it is quite transparent, honest, and human.
#4 Have a Positive Mindset But Don’t Be Insensitive.
In these uncertain times and also is hoping for the future, try your best to keep an upbeat attitude and showing your customers that you are there for them. Watch that you do not cross the line into possibly being seen as insensitive by minimizing the scale of the pandemic or its impact on human life with all being said.
#Retention and Growth of Your Customer Base During Coronavirus
80% of your revenue comes through the 20% of your loyal customer database, according to Pareto Principle. It is your loyal customers who will be the ones to keep your business booming well beyond the end of any international pandemic if COVID -19 has dramatically reduced your sales rates or you have had to temporarily close up shop.
With the larger purchases more frequently with the loyal customers who are spending more on average. It is a win-win scenario, and here are a few of the areas where you will be able to leverage for maximizing your customer engagement.
Content Marketing and Coronavirus
It is all about answering your customer’s questions, as content marketing is all about it. So, what are the questions now? How have they transformed over time? Content marketing is the ideal way to fill up the holes that are left by most of the paid campaigns that you paused to conserve cash if you can zero in on how to answer.
To align with the changing situation and evolving customer needs and desired, here are few ideas to jumpstart a content marketing strategy.
#1 Performing a Content Audit.
Do a quick audit of your content just as you assess your marketing campaigns. Mainly what is featured on your blog homepage or website, you need to ensure that what is out there is right for the times.
Suppose you have anything relevant, then you can update and re-release as you think about the kinds of content that would be useful to the customers now. It can be served by content that is not at all related to the virus, and there are common threads that run through these reactions of the COVID-19 crisis.
#2 Provide Information.
Content marketing is about answering questions, as we already mentioned. For the COVID-19 facts and figures, it does not mean that you should be the one-stop-shop. If you are expecting shipping and delivery times to be delayed or you want to communicate how you are keeping your customers and employees safe, provide relevant information to your customers.
It will likely depend on your vertical or specific products are the other information about the customers that you may need. You could post about the ergonomics and how to make sure you are at-home setup works for you if you sell office furniture.
It is something that customers will remember and return for, and retention is a step on the path to loyalty by offering some useful information about pushing a sale.
#3 Aggregate Resources For Customers.
So, what are the requirement of the customers? With the mindset of being your customer’s one-stop-shop for the facts of the pandemic, you need not come at this. The specific need that is relevant to the product or service you are offering them is what needs to be met.
It might be relevant if you are selling primarily to small businesses, resources on small business loans, or other relief programs. You could create virtual events or aggregate a list of those that might be of interest if you are a lifestyle brand with a strong community.
Paid Advertising and COVID-19
To conserve the cash flow, we have heard a lot of stories about brands who are pulling back on their paid advertising. When we come out of this on the other side, the brand may have been forgotten looking at the other side of the coin.
Keep your paid ads running and find ways to budget instead of killing the program entirely if you are not able to afford it.
Social Media Marketing and Coronavirus
On a good day, social media is a wildcard. You should be there bow if you have an established presence on the social channels. You will have to take advantage of all your organic opportunities if you find yourself having to pull back on ad spend.
#1 Be There and Be Social.
The vast number of people who have thrown up their hands is one of the bigger takeaways for all of us.
Your social media platforms can be a powerful foundation for building trust and relationships if your brand can be like that person and receptive to the person on the other hand. And yet, you need to be engaged here.
#2 Be Part of the Conversation.
To do so, embrace the conversation when it is appropriate. Engage with the community and try making it right with the dissatisfied shoppers as you start the conversation. You also have to be compassionate with people who might be shortening fuse than the normal ones.
The insertion in the conversation needs to be organic and not forced with all being said. You might, at best, look out of place and, at worst, be perceived as insensitive or tone dead if you do not have anything relevant or substantive to offer.
Offer Discounts and Promotions
It can be seen as gauche in inappropriate to advertise discounts and deals in the early days of the crisis. It will be quite important to carefully and consistently gauge customer sentiment. Price-conscious shoppers will be looking for those deals as the situation evolves and instead descends into what might be an economic recession.
To attract new customers, drive traffic to your site, increase sales, and building loyalty among existing customers can be done by offering discounts. The following are the types of offers and discounts offering that you can try:
- Allow the customers to try new products as you are selecting two or more complementary products and discount the bundle.
- Raise the order values of the customers with the use of volume discounts.
- If the customers are reaching a certain order value by offering discounted shipping.
- Maximizing cross-sells opportunities along with the value of the order and get one promotion with one purchase.
Email Marketing and COVID-19
Communicating with your customers is the most important step to retain them, and there is no secret involved here. There is fine art for communication, and one of the indisputable kings of comms is email marketing still.
It is still by far the most effective long-term method of marketing communication, with 59% of people who are trying to says that email marketing impacts purchase decisions.
So, how would you be making sure that you have got your email marketing down pat at a time when there are clear set goals as communication is important?
1. Set Your Sights on a Goal.
It is important that your email marketing has a goal, as we alluded to it. It will give your customers a clear direction as to what you wish to have from them. Not only will a goal help you in measuring the success of the marketing efforts.
2. Go With the Flow.
We mean automated email flows by this. It is as simple as making the most of automation by nailing the basics of your email marketing.
3. Incentivize Customer Loyalty.
You can be missing out on the retention marketing cash flow that can be the ticket to get your store through even the toughest times by combining your email marketing with your loyalty program that might not be specific to COVID-19.
Optimize Your Ecommerce Store
There are several things that the consumers had preferred previously to purchase in person as they are turning to online shopping. You should make sure that you are featuring the products that resonate with the customers these days as you wish to ensure that your store is optimized for usability and findability.
#1 Evaluation of Your Homepage SEO.
Introducing customers to your business is the main purpose of your homepage. It is mainly your digital storefront. The business and its valued propositions are what users need to quickly and easily understand.
It will likely be more effective to aim at a smaller subset of keywords tying into your brand and site theme than to try ranking for a single branded keyword as far as keywords are concerned. To any content headers on your homepage, make sure to work those keywords naturally.
#2 Optimize Your Product Pages.
You need to start with the research of the keywords. The terms you wish to use to attract the target audience. To work into your page copy as well, you need to identify a couple of relevant long-tail keywords. Consider how search trends and shopping behavior are different now in the face of coronavirus, ensuring that your strategy is responsive to the trends while you have probably already done this once or twice.
#3 Reduce Page Load Speed.
The following are few ways in which you can minimize the load speed of the pages:
- Reduce the file sizes by compressing the images.
- Assessment of the eCommerce site integrations and ensuring that they are still required and useful.
Digital marketing is often the last thing on the mind of people in these challenging times. We still need to pay attention as marketers. We need to respond to the world as it changes, not the world we wish it was or the world it used to be with our jobs that change with the seasons.
You need to derive the benefit of that downtime and be prepared to come back strong for the businesses looking for lower sales during the crisis. Improve on the design of your website, optimize the UX of your site for better conversion rates as you are focusing on building up your SEO.