Even for the strongest brands, COVID-19 has had a notable impact on businesses around the world.
While some industries experienced a boom – (food delivery services have never been so rampant) – most saw a decline in revenue over the last few months.
Unfortunately, we aren’t out of the woodwork yet. With a predicted second wave and the ultimate economic crash from a worldwide shut down, businesses are frantically looking for ways to just keep afloat at best.
The first thing business owners look at, usually to cut, is their online and offline marketing strategy. With less revenue running through monthly statements, it seems common sense to cut the expenses of marketing and advertising.
That just might backfire, though.
In these uncertain times, there’s no argument that business owners need to adjust their marketing strategy. The key however, is adjustment- not exclusion- to help keep maximum dollars flowing through.
Unsure of where to even start? Check in with us, and we can have a look.
Keep Your Customers (And Prospects) In The Loop
Consumers are looking for stability and timeliness right now. Consumers are fearful and hesitant in many areas of life that are usually the norm, and they are looking to public figures and organizations for answers and consolidation.
Open communication between businesses and their customers is not only important for customer relationship management and retention, but also to instill confidence within prospectives.
Keep your customer base informed of what your business is doing to keep safe and well during these times, how you are protecting your employees and any steps you are taking to help the community during COVID-19.
Be sure to update your hours on your Google My Business listing if they are modified and ensure your online ads demonstrate the same correct information. Use social media and other avenues of communication to keep close with your customer base.
Get Your Business Online- And Thriving!
If your business isn’t online, or is barely on the SERP, you’re likely in trouble. With many retail locations still closed, hours reduced and many consumers still choosing to quarantine, online shopping has skyrocketed over the last few months.
(To little surprise, Amazon saw a 26% growth rate in the first quarter alone!)
The people and demand are there. It’s just in a different place. People are still spending money, it’s just online. Consumers are still looking and browsing- in fact, more than usual, out of boredom – so the opportunity for brand awareness and sales is still prominent.
So, if your business thrives on retail sales , it’s time to move online.
This could mean building an e-comm store from scratch to sell your products, or adjusting your online marketing strategy to get noticed and drive conversions as you would in your physical location.
Service based business? Yeah, those are tougher. Keep in mind though, when quarantine lifts, people are going to resume needing those services. Use this opportunity to generate brand awareness and (if you’re smart about it) offer incentives for pre-booking.
Don’t Stop Running Your PPC Ads
Admittedly, there will be companies that choose to eliminate their PPC ads for budgetary or process driven reasons.
But, if you can continue to feasibly run PPC ads- do it!
During these times, the fall out of some of your competitors will drive the CPC for your key terms down and shoot you higher on the SERP ranking. People are bored and online, so using your ads to offer sales and incentives can (and does) drive conversions and sales.
Even decreasing your budget, but staying within the Google Ads auction, helps you remain relevant on the algorithm and helps to keep establishing domain authority. Pausing your ads takes you off the map and when you re-enter the market, you start again as somewhat of a newbie.
On average, PPC accounts have seen their ROI go from 31% to 53% post COVID-19.
Re-Evaluate Your Communication Methods
The majority of businesses out there have transitioned at least a portion of their communication to online mediums like social media, blogs and timely website updates.
Like we mentioned earlier, if your business has yet to come online- you need to. Like, yesterday.
(Even as we are slowly emerging out of COVID-19, the way consumers shop won’t be going back to normal anytime soon.)
Buying is happening online, as is entertainment.
You need to communicate with people where they are- which is at home, on the computer.
- Email marketing open rates soared from 2% to an average of 6% during COVID-19. That’s massive.
- Social media engagement rates increased by 61%.
- Messaging across Facebook, Instagram & WhatsApp increased by over 50%
- Twitter experienced 23% more new users during this period.
- Engagement rates with business accounts increased by 17.5%
- Users are thriving off one-on-one interaction with users and business accounts alike
If social media and email marketing wasn’t really “your thing”, it has to be now. Even for those who do their part online, you should ideally look at how you’re addressing your consumers.
Are you ramping up your posts and communications?
The noise is bigger now on social media- so you have to be louder.
Are you providing opportunity to converse directly with your consumers?
In your narrative, are you keeping consumers up to date regarding COVID-19?
These are questions worth looking at when re-evaluating your communication strategies.
Look Into Offering Payment Plans
It seems a little random, but offering online payment plans for goods and services has helped some of our clients boost conversion rates and direct sales.
Money is uncertain for a lot of consumers still, but the demand to buy isn’t. Teaming up with payment plan providers is a great way to offer your customers easier and less overwhelming purchases during these times.
Including payment plans within your offerings has helped many businesses see an average of 12% increases in their conversions and sales.