by Joanna Ellis-Escobar
This post is part of our COVID-19 blog series, which includes practical tips about how your business can survive and thrive through the coronavirus pandemic.
It seems the only thing certain right now is that nothing is certain. In this new, precarious world we’re all attempting to navigate, the one thing we can all count on as being true is:
we’re all just trying to get to the other side as
unscathed as possible.
We know it’s your biggest concern and your top priority. It’s ours, too.
All of us at Flair love digital marketing…it’s all we think about (ask our spouses and children!). From the time we get up in the morning until the moment our heads hit the pillow at night, we’re reading, researching, testing, implementing, revising…repeat.
So in this unprecedented time, when many of our clients are reaching out, asking us about how to prioritize, what to do, where to focus, what’s working, what needs to be fixed, what we are seeing…we want you to know, we hear you. We’re right there with you.
We’ve been updating, editing, drafting messaging and writing content like mad the last few weeks. And we’ve learned a few things along the way.
We know it’s tough to stop midstream and regroup, refocus and restructure. What worked last year won’t this year. Where you saw success last quarter likely won’t be an option for you in Q3 and Q4.
Trade shows are out.
In-person client meetings are not realistic.
Traveling to earn new business isn’t happening.
So, where do you go from here?
Where (and how) should you pivot and possibly reallocate money that was originally budgeted for, say, trade shows in 2020? What should you focus on now so you have a better chance of your business or brand surviving through the end of all this?
We have some thoughts. And we really do believe that we’re all in this together. So if we can share a few things with you along the way, we will.
6 Best Digital Marketing Tactics You Need To Know (even during a pandemic)
- Email marketing – Now more than ever, you need to keep in touch with your clients and customers. They need to hear from you, to trust you’re still there. And, if you need to pause or slow down operations, honest, heartfelt conversations might just salvage a relationship in the long run. Don’t be afraid to reach out.
How can you use email marketing right now?
- COVID-19 Response Plan: Craft, post and email your plan of action, so customers know what to expect from you.
- Share new blog content: If you’re not traveling or taking as many meetings as you were a few months ago, maybe you have some time to write those blogs you’ve been thinking about but just haven’t had time to focus on. Once you do, send an email to your contacts to share and promote it.
- Send updates about changes: Alert customers to changes in hours of operations, shipping times or any other change to your business model.
- Check in: Send an email to just check in. Let them know you’re thinking of them. Ask them how they’re doing. If we learn anything from this strange time in our lives, it’s that connections matter.
- Analytics – This one is tricky, because without a doubt you’re going to see wild fluctuations in traffic and engagement over the coming months. First, try to keep in mind that this is to be expected. Don’t let fear dictate how you respond to your analytics. You still want to check them regularly.
How can you use analytics right now?
- Use alerts in Google Analytics: Be immediately notified of abrupt changes to your traffic. This can mean huge upticks in visits to new content (which is a good thing!) as well as huge drops in pageviews (which may warrant some digging).
- Utilize Annotation Markers: Google Analytics has a cool feature that allows you to make notes about important changes or events. Keep track of the date you launched a new Google Ad, when you reduced budget on a campaign, if you updated a page with new content, the day a major government announcement was made, etc.
- Online events – Online events can bring traffic that may not have otherwise come to your site. Create and promote events that you know your customers or clients will be excited about. Think about what you have to offer that can be flushed out virtually.
How can you use online events right now?
- Flash sales for ecommerce: Flash sales that happen during certain hours or with a special code are a great way to build excitement and drive traffic.
- Webinars: Want to promote a product, showcase some software or educate your customers on a special service or offering? Create a live webinar to draw them in (and don’t forget to send a link to an on-demand recording after!).
- Classes: Do you have something you can teach or share? Online classes and training are fantastic ways to engage users. Curriculum doesn’t need to be super long, and the majority of business owners know their industry well enough to teach something about it in their sleep, so ramping up to get started may not take as long as you might think.
- Content & SEO – Now is not the time to let your SEO or content marketing efforts slip by the wayside. Brainstorming topics, producing content and updating your site can be effective ways to keep old customers engaged and draw new prospects in. Use this time to create an editorial calendar for the rest of the year. Check your site speed and internal linking strategy. Review your meta and keywords. Segment campaigns and come up with creative, useful ways to use content that will resonate with your audience.
How can you use content & SEO right now?
- Blog about the industry: Every industry, across the board, will be impacted by COVID-19. You can even explore the impact that’s expected to come as well as report on immediate concerns that are being whispered throughout your industry.
- Create useful listicles: Share what you’ve learned about how to navigate these uncertain times – a quick listicle is easy to do and is one of the most effective types of content you can do on the fly.
- Update content: Change the hours on your site, add a banner that links to important updates, add or update an FAQ page that lists important, new information about how your business will operate in the coming months and weeks.
- Paid ads – Now is the time to analyze and update your ad budget. Many ecommerce brands are going to likely see a dip in sales as customers grapple with what they need. They may not be shopping as much, or as freely, as they were six months ago. You want to be savvy and target your ads appropriately.
How can you use paid ads right now?
- Check the keywords you’re targeting: Are you promoting the right products? Review keywords to ensure you’re not focusing on or promoting something that may not be as available due to supply chain or other issues.
- Check your copy: Is your messaging appropriate given the times we’re facing?
- Check your links: Do you need to link to updated/delayed shipping information, out of stock notices or other messaging you’ve recently posted on your site?
- Check your CTAs: Are you not in your normal location? Is your CTA “call now” going to a number that won’t be answered?
- Social media – You already know that social media is a great way to share information and news. Now is the time for you to up your social game. Anything you’re putting out via email, blog or onpage site content can (and absolutely should) be effectively promoted via social.
How can you use social media right now?
- Share all the new content you’ve been procuring (and curating!): New blogs aren’t the only thing you can promote on your social channels. Share information from *trusted* industry influencers. Resist the temptation to share information or news from sources you aren’t sure about.
- Start a group: Both LinkedIn and Facebook have groups. These can be useful for creating a safe space for your users to join in on conversations or check for updates.
- Make announcements: If you can’t answer phones or emails in a timely manner, you can announce delays on social media. Let customers know about closures, out of stock items, lengthened shipping times or changes in store hours. Customers tend to be more forgiving if they’re in the loop.
- Give alternatives for contact: If other lines of communication are overwhelmed, suggest customers send you a DM if they need to reach you.
These are uncharted times. Most of us will need a strong digital strategy now more than ever. As you navigate the next few months, remember the marketing tactics that you can control. Keep in mind that the customer experience, like never before, is going to have a profound impact on how you come out of this. And above all, remember that Flair is here to help you.
Do you need help with any of the above (or any other) digital marketing strategies or tactics? Reach out today to start the conversation…or just to say hello. We’d love to hear from you.