The world we live in today looks almost unrecognisable from the world we lived in just a few months ago. We are all staying home more and living in different ways, and because of this, consumer habits are changing significantly.
Depending on your product or service, you may have seen either a large uptick in interest and sales or a large downtick. But regardless of how your products or services are faring, you need to make sure that your marketing strategy is connecting with your audience and their experiences right now. In this article we have listed 7 tips to stay on top of your marketing strategies during these challenging times:
1. Keep it flexible
Now is absolutely not the time to lock into expensive and long-term campaigns. The world is changing quickly and what is relevant one day could be irrelevant or even incorrect the next. Your marketing strategy has to have the flexibility to handle this, which means traditional media, and anything that you cannot very easily edit or pull the plug on, is not in your best interest right now. Same goes for existing campaigns.
It might be expensive and painful, but if you have active marketing that is in poor taste now, you need to seriously consider pulling the plug. Seeing things like crowds, bars, and gyms puts a sour taste in people’s mouths now, and it is best to remove it and keep your marketing relevant.
2. Focus on helpful tips and relevant content
If your business is involved in this crisis in any way (which it is, because we all are), make sure you are communicating that to your potential customer base. If you are a restaurant that has been forced to close this is as easy as emailing your database and explaining that your premises are closed, but takeaway options are available, and including a menu and instructions on how to order.
Give people the chance to support your business in the new ways that they are able to. Similarly, if you supply office products, your helpful angle is going to be providing products for home offices. Make sure that your marketing offer is a clear value-add in the world that your customers are currently living in.
3. Invest in digital and social media marketing
This is related to tip number one because digital is an implicitly flexible medium. You have the ability to kill campaigns instantly if things change, and very quickly get new content up and running.
The other and arguably more important reason to invest more heavily in social media marketing is that this is where people’s attention is right now. Your audience is likely to be relying on social media more than normal to connect with loved ones, keep up with news and updates, and just to fill the increased amount of time on their hands. So putting your message in front of your target market in this way is a no brainer.
4. Keep your channels updated
This is potentially the most vital thing you can do, but many businesses don’t realise that every part of their digital presence is part of their marketing. Potential customers go to platforms like Google My Business, Bing Places, and your website to get information about your business, and they need correct information now more than ever. Not everyone is on your email database and getting your updates in that way, so take a few minutes to ensure the accuracy of the information on these platforms. Additionally, consider posting any email updates on your website and social channels so they are accessible for whoever needs that information.
5. Keep eyes on your market
Things are changing quickly right now, and you need to be on the ball as far as customer interest and buyer behaviour. You’ll probably notice changes in your sales pretty quickly, but you can get out ahead of it even more by monitoring things like changing search terms, broader industry trends, and when your marketing is and is not yielding results on a week-to-week or even day-to-day timeline, depending on the campaign. You can use this information to update your marketing strategies by changing the target audience or changing the content itself to suit the here and now.
6. Be ready to make changes to your budget
This is a weird time, and businesses’ cash flow will no doubt be impacted by this, so keep that in mind as you make marketing decisions. It’s also important to remember that buyer behaviour is in a state of flux right now, and will probably continue to be so for a while. The keywords that you want to target might change, or the message you want to send based on what you’re seeing in the market, and your budget has to be able to accommodate for that. Every dollar you spend right now can have a meaningful short-term impact if you do it right.
7. Focus on customer service
People are scared and on edge right now, and the very best thing you can do is provide the highest standard of customer service you can, and promote that to your audience. It might we worth soliciting reviews from customers with a platform like Trustpilot or Glassdoor.
If you’re delivering to a high standard, customers will write great things, and you can use that in your marketing. Something as simple as reposting your reviews on your social media stories can solidify your reputation as consistently reliable and friendly. This is especially important in a market that might be experiencing significant order delays. There may not be anything you can do to rectify the delay but being communicative and transparent with your customer will pay off with good reviews and goodwill towards your brand.
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