Firstly, I genuinely wish anyone reading this best wishes over the coming weeks to your family, job and places of work. These unprecedented times will causes an infinite amount of challenges and complications that will probably change our lives forever. I’m confident our community spirit and positive human nature will pull us through this difficult time, and we can look back on the period with our heads held high that we gave it our best shot!
So, back to business. Although our working environment is changing and money is tight, life and business still goes on. After working in marketing for over 12 years, I’ve never come across a similar situation previously. People will still be buying products, supporting businesses, getting on with their daily lives (whatever that might be now) and will most certainly be on their phones more than ever before. Your marketing must continue.
Here are my tips to keep the marketing wheels turning, without breaking the bank:
Don’t cut back. Scale back.
Often businesses spend loads of time, money and resources on marketing their products and services. I’ve often harped on about how you should think about the long term, not the short term as a priority when it comes to your marketing strategy. Not doing anything for the next 1-2+ months could have a potentially disastrous impact on your overall brand awareness and marketing. Even if you have to cut back on spend (Google Ads budget, Facebook ad budget, pause software subscriptions, cancel networking meetings etc), still keep up with your social media posts, email updates, blogging and general content creation. Don’t let the panic cloud your judgement.
Ensure the content delivery is appropriate to the current climate. No-one’s going to appreciate wedding promos right now when half the country are cancelling wedding plans left, right and centre. It’ll put people’s backs up. Prioritise positive but serious posts, and be mindful of people’s struggles with COVID-19 throughout.
Plan your marketing activity at the end of each week to put in place for the next week. If you have a bit more time on your hands, think about marketing messages that will penetrate into the noise of Coronavirus chat and look at ramping up your activity. If you don’t, think about what you can realistically achieve in the week ahead. Set realistic goals, as if you set goals that are unachievable then you’ll get frustrated and end up sacking it off.
Change your approach
As I alluded to in the previous section, your marketing deliver will need to shift. We’d recommend overall swinging your strategy to more of a softly softly approach with the main key marketing goal shifting to brand awareness. Be less salesy and focus on the culture and personality of your brand, telling people more of the story of why you’re in business in the first place.
If you have great performing ads (Google or Facebook), monitor these closely. If you’re selling a product online, chances are you’ll see a small dip but sales should remain steady – as people will still be spending, especially via their phones. Keep an eye on key government announcements and if you start to see this correlate with ad performance reduce the budget.
People will be on their phones all. the. time.
So, the bad news is that people are likely to shift spending habits to essentials (not everyone) – but the good news is that people are likely to be on both the internet and social media sites move than ever. People will get bored, and people spend money when they get bored.
Thinking positively, you could really turn this time into an opportunity by doing some of the following things:
- Offering to make a donation to a local crisis charity with every online purchase 💰
- Generate leads by going that little bit further – offer discounts, give a free consultation, offer a free month of your software ✔️
- Donating some sort of service to help the local community – a great way of spreading positivity with your brand and giving back to the local community 🙏
- In retail? Give people a small discount by ordering a gift card if they buy today. Great for cash flow during these hard times 💳
- Competitions – People absolutely love these on social media. Make it relevant to the crisis – maybe a support package, hamper or toilet rolls!? 🚽
- Prep your website for when the economy picks back up. Write content, redesign, revamp and get ready! 🖥️
The Coronavirus is a truly unique situation that will negatively effect us in so many ways unfortunately, but there are so many steps you can take to stop it from making an impact in your overall marketing efforts. Don’t let the virus win. 💪🏻