Marketing Through Coronavirus- Your Toolkit
Posted on 07/22/2020 at 08:00 AM
Successful Marketing Tools for the time of COVID-19 and Beyond
Over the last three months, business models have shifted in some radically unexpected ways. Business evolution is the key to surviving any changes in the economy and consumer demand, but no one could have predicted the effects of a global pandemic would have on businesses of all sizes.
The global pandemic has forced evolution for many businesses. In this article, we’ll take a look at various tools your company will need to be successful, no matter what the future holds.
For your convenience, this article is equipped with quick links to allow you to jump directly to the content you need most.
5. Next Steps
1. Immediate Google Recommended Steps
Google recommends the following steps to ensure that your audience (both potential and current clients) can find the relevant information about your business they need, and your business gets found faster on search engines.
Keep Your Customers Informed
This can be done by simply updating your Google My Business profile if your hours have changed, confirming your phone number, posting COVID-19 related updates, and even adding service attributes that may be new. Updating any new or important products or services can help get your business found by the customers that need you most.
If you now offer online services, delivery, or pick up options, marking these services on your Google My Business profile can help continue to drive business.
Adjust Your Advertising Strategy
Consumer behavior continues to change as a result of shifting expectations related to the Coronavirus. Online advertising is a great way to keep your current and potential customers up to date.
If you have already been running Google Ads, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, or other online advertising, now is the time for ad optimization. You may want to pause any ads that are no longer relevant but could be relevant again in the future. For example, it does no good to drive traffic to the webpage of a site that is designed to get people to come to your storefront if that storefront is temporarily closed and now you are taking online orders only.
To make the most of your Ad Spend budget, take advantage of new smart campaign features and other platform-provided resources to continue to automate, monitor, and manage your various ad campaigns.
Continue to Adapt to New Customer Behavior
A great way to maintain relevance and communication with your clients is to stay connected via social media. As regulations change nationally, at the state level, and locally, it becomes more important than ever to understand how customers interact with you and how best to reach them.
If you’ve never considered shifting your business online, now is the time to consider an additional/supplemental revenue stream.
Google offers several great free “Google tools” to monitor shifts in consumer behavior and global search trends that can help with SEO and content creation including Google Trends and Google Alerts.
2. Finding Grants and Tools for Assistance
Google, Facebook, and many other social platforms are (and have been) offering various donations and grant programs to help businesses who have been affected by COVID-19. Knowing what is available and how to qualify can mean keeping staff, keeping the lights on, and even becoming more profitable.
Google’s Commitment to COVID-19 Assistance
At the time of publication, Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai stated that Google has committed the following relief efforts to help businesses through the pandemic.
- $340 million in Google Ads credits to all SMBs with active accounts over the past year
- $200 million investment fund to support NGOs and financial institutions to help provide small business loans
- $15 million in cash grants for nonprofits
Facebook & Instagram’s New Business Resources
Facebook has streamlined the Facebook for Business website to provide easier navigation and access to resources for training, audience and industry insights, creativity tools, and ways to utilize online learning to take social media marketing efforts to the next level.
The new format is designed to assist with marketing efforts on both Facebook and Instagram and provides tips for ads, how to best utilize stories, and creative inspiration. In addition, Facebook has created the following programs:
- Boost with Facebook Summer of Support
- Facebook COVID-19 Resources for business pages
- Complete with custom COVID-10 Updates functionality, live video guidance, best practices, and more
- Links to Information about the SBA Paycheck Protection Program
- New Food Order Stickers for Instagram
- Digital Gift Cards on Facebook for Local Businesses
- Facebook’s Small Business Resilience Toolkit
In a live announcement by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook continues its efforts to help businesses make more money online with a brand new feature: Facebook Shops. This new “online shopping experience” is designed to help businesses establish their brand online and provide an additional revenue stream to supplement their e-commerce platform efforts.
3. Review and Renew your Marketing Strategy
From becoming more active on social media, to improving your online reviews strategy, a holistic marketing strategy is essential. A marketing strategy is a living entity that grows, shifts, and evolves with changes in demand and consumer behavior. If you haven’t already, now is the time to double-down on your marketing efforts.
Start by Evaluating your Marketing Assets
When you consider all of your unpublished drafts of blogs, old (and new) videos, photos, infographics, signage, email marketing campaigns, even your website itself- you may come to realize that you have mountains of untapped content. Every piece of content is a marketing asset. Now is the time to analyze the messaging, branding, and imagery you want to convey and reconsider how you can leverage your marketing assets going forward.
Don’t Forget Your Human Assets
Do you have a great SEO copywriter, designer, and a social media guru on staff? These may be your most valuable assets.
Consider asking your staff to write a blog and have your copywriter edit it for posting. The fresh content can highlight your expertise while providing fresh insight into the inner-workings of your business. This is exactly the kind of human connection that people love from the kind of company they love to do business with.
Consider Your Competitors
When is the last time you did a full, in-depth, competitive analysis? Strategic competitor analysis of strengths and weaknesses can shed light on what is working well for your competition but also illuminate things your company could be doing better. You can see how they have made adjustments to their marketing, messaging, ads, and outreach efforts. More importantly, a competitive analysis will allow you to find weak spots and opportunity areas for your company to thrive.
Refresh Your Website
Your website is more than a digital business card. It should be an information hub, additional revenue stream, lead generation tool, and marketing platform- all in one. The website design must be a part of your overall strategy because, if done well, your website can be a strong competitive advantage. It should be secure, mobile-friendly, contain fresh and relevant content, and be something you (and your staff) are proud of.
At Global Reach, we like to say we have been building the internet one website at a time since 1995. We know web development and design. If you need help, we’d love to chat.
With keyword research, understanding various marketing channels, how they impact overall SEO, link building, understanding digital channels and what influences consumers, and online marketing best practices, truly understanding SEO can be a complex and daunting task. If you’re unsure what marketing tactics are best for your type of business model, consider seeking the help of professionals to give your website the edge you need.
Leverage New Platforms
Evaluate the platforms you are on and the ones you could be on. Have you been meaning to start a YouTube channel, but just kept putting it off? There’s no time like now to get that ball rolling.
Is TikTok right for your business? Get on it on a personal account and find out. You’d be surprised which platforms are a good fit for your business that you may have overlooked before!
4. Take the Next Steps
A digital strategy requires a full approach. A strategic partnership can mean the difference between a complete digital marketing plan and missing huge opportunities. From planning to implementation, our staff of digital marketing experts specializes in all aspects of successful digital marketing strategy execution.
At Global Reach, we’re committed to helping you reach your audience. Contact us today for a free evaluation and consultation!
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