If the coronavirus has taught us anything about business, it’s that our entire approach to marketing can change almost overnight. All of your goals and plans for 2020 disappeared in a matter of weeks. Now what?
We know you’re asking that daily as you navigate this new frontier, because we’re asking it too. We love digital marketing; we’ve literally incorporated it into our business name. We believe heavily in how online marketing works. But in this not-so-certain times, future-proofing your online marketing strategy is more critical than ever.
It’s easy to navigate good times, but what about the bad?
Is a decrease in marketing the best route?
The natural instinct for any business owner is to stop spending money and conserve cash any way you can. And the statistics that are currently being reported support that. According to a Gartner survey, 65 percent of marketing leaders expect moderate to significant decreases in their marketing budget for the rest of 2020. Compare that to results gathered last year when 63 percent of marketing leaders surveyed expected a budget increase.
When staff reductions, closed businesses, and problems getting products to market are at the forefront, marketing doesn’t seem to be a top concern. But if every intent is to come back strong as we move forward, the one part of marketing that should be considered is online marketing.
Online Marketing is different than other types of marketing
Marketing as a whole is the process of moving your message into your target audience’s line of vision. Buying an ad in a magazine doesn’t seem to matter at the moment. Nor does a television commercial plugging your wares.
But online marketing is a bit different. Specifically, organic and content initiatives. Why? Because these aren’t solely about marketing. They’re about educating too. They’re about gaining placement where it matters most. It helps you build your authority, and keeps you on people’s minds as a trusted resource they can count on when times are tough.
Focusing on your organic online marketing right now means you’re giving your customers what they demand. They come to you naturally – organically – over time, using content to drive the movement.
By focusing on your content, you can give readers the experience they are looking for right now, even if they aren’t ready to close the sale. They will be again; it’s only a matter of time.
Consider an investment now in increasing your content to be a strategy that can help you build for the long term. It allows you to pivot and prioritize based on what’s happening now. Your products and services will always be there. It’s the mindset of your customers that change. And if you’re creating content to appease a variety of different thought processes, you’ll be findable no matter what’s happening in the economy.
People are at home researching right now. They’re typing their questions into Google. And they’re finding answers. Are you there?
This type of online marketing is future-proof. It’s one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies you can utilize because it keeps working now, tomorrow, and next year, for as long as your web presence exists.
What can you do now?
Create content that addresses what’s happening
The coronavirus is impacting every single one of us, all around the world. It’s okay to talk about it, especially as it applies to your business model.
The key is in knowing the line between helpful information and not appearing like you’re trying to capitalize on a bad situation. If you’re scalping toilet paper at triple or quadruple the cost, that’s not okay. If you’re informing your customers about shipments and how to visit you to make a purchase, that’s okay.
People will call out misbehavior. But now more than ever, they welcome quality information. What can you do to further educate your readers about what you do? How can you be entertaining in the social media environments you currently use? This is about solidifying your core message.
Plan for the long term
Organic online marketing doesn’t happen overnight. If you want your online marketing strategy to work for you in the long term, you’ll have to do a little bit each day.
Organic online marketing isn’t like pay-per-click, where you pay for results. Instead, you analyze what key terms you wish to rank high on, and you start to build content accordingly.
It takes time for Google to recognize your efforts. It takes time to build up your platforms with high volumes of traffic.
Why not do that building now?
When was the last time you chatted with your sales team about questions and problems they solve most? These are perfect clues for what you should be building your content around.
Have you sent out a customer survey diving deep into how they view your products and services lately? What not take the time to do it now? A survey can help you pinpoint how well your message is getting through, and point you towards areas you might need clarification.
It might even be time to talk with your staff. It’s easy to get caught up in production and ignore the most straightforward items that can have an impact on how well your message is perceived. The more you allow everyone who is a part of your brand to provide you with input, the stronger your business will be.
Have you been wanting to try a new tool? This is the perfect time to take it for a test run.
Have you wanted to install a new system? It’s a lot easier when you have a little downtime.
Spend some time mapping out all of your processes. Then poke holes in them to determine where your weaknesses are. Can you find ways to make those systems better?
New tools are being developed all the time. And in most cases, it’s easier to move things around when there isn’t a lot of action to be impacted in case of mishaps.
Ultimately, the more you plan, the stronger your business will be.
And if we can answer any questions for you while we move through this new frontier, give us a call.
While no one can predict exactly what will happen in the coming months, one thing is clear: virtual will be more significant in our lives than ever before.
If your online marketing plan isn’t strong as we come back to life, you’ll miss the opportunity of reaching out in a whole new way.