As the globe grapples with COVID-19, it is imperative to take into account what the post-COVID world is going to mean for those of us in the digital marketing realm. The pandemic has accelerated the speed at which we are “going digital” and has provided new power to many online industries. Never before have we been so dependent on Amazon or Zoom to simply get through the day, which means that as digital marketers, we want to make decisions that use this new reliance on technology to our advantage.
This topic is going to cover six ways to do that. I’m going to explain:
- The method that you can and should put into place to market successfully in a after pandemic world.
- Tools you’ll want to have by your side to increase your efficiency and increase your ROI.
- Ways to use your pre-COVID foundation to build a well-run system that works for you.
If you are struggling to bring in new clients, try focusing more on the ones you already have or who are still with you despite the economic downturn.
In addition to creating services and ad campaigns to target their new needs, you may also want to issue refunds to clients who had prepaid memberships or were on auto-pay during the lockdown period. While this could hurt your financial condition for the short term, the money you give back will most likely come back to you tenfold when the economy restabilizes and your now loyal customers are ready to begin buying again.
1. Focus on the customers you already have
Neil Patel, for example, started to offer his premium UberSuggest features with the free version. But while he saw a decrease in free trial signups, he did see an outpouring of appreciation from dozens of people within the industry, emailing and thanking him, and some even buying the paid plan as a gesture of their gratitude.
Also, while he did not see more money coming in, he DID see more traffic coming in.
The point is, see for your customers, clients, and coworkers when times are tough and unemployment rates are high. They will thank you for it in some way or another. And you will likely see growth in other areas such as customer loyalty, brand awareness, organic traffic, social media engagement, and maybe even new prospects.
2. Move everything online
With the lockdowns and travel restrictions of the pandemic, it’s no surprise that every thing is shifting online. Now is the time to increase your online presence. You likely already have some of your business functions online (perhaps you’re using one of these 64 affordable online marketing tools) but the pandemic has shown us just how much more we can do online.
For example, you could automate your email communication or even your services.
A couple of ideas on what this might look like:
- Investing in a good customer relationship management (CRM) software.
- Hosting informative webinars to build trust and attract new customers, or even to employees to take their skills up a notch.
- Supporting your employees’ work-from-home needs.
The bottom line is, the more processes you can bring online, the more you can stay engaged with your customers and employees, which is crucial for a business to stay resilient and thrive.
3. Invest in Facebook ads
As more people spend time at home and on social media, the ROI on PPC ads in many industries has skyrocketed. This is a best way to remind people that your business is alive and well and that you aim to be a very significant part of the ‘new normal’.
Facebook ads in particular are quite affordable—even for local businesses—and can help you showcase any changes you have made to your business or any COVID-19-exclusive discounts or promotions you might be offering. Online ads have always been engaging, affordable, and well targeted, but now more than ever before, they offer you the capacity to truly scale your business.
With Facebook’s granular audience targeting capabilities, you can reach clients based on gender, location, hobbies and interest, marital status, profession, and the list goes on.
The pandemic has also lowered the CPM (cost per thousand impressions) on ads since companies do not have a very large marketing budget to play around with. This is a good time to invest in a good Facebook ads strategy that can serve as an affordable way to bring in leads and sales that will assist you earn more money.
Advertising messages are most effective when they are consistent and repeated. Which is what makes Facebook retargeting another strategy to try during/after the COVID-19 pandemic. With retargeting, you target your ads at people that have already had some form of contact with your brand. Referring to my first point about investing in your existing customers—it really is the same logic.
4. Run exclusive deals and offers
As businesses start to reopen, a good way to get people interested in coming in is by offering exclusive sales promotions or deals. You can announce or even advertise these offers on social media platforms as well as promotional emails.
These kinds of offers will assist bring in new customers while also getting old ones interested in coming back. This idea can work for many industries (theatres, spas, gyms, etc.) but it works particularly well for industries that have been hit hard by the coronavirus—restaurants and travel, for example.
Discounts, freebies, and same saving options could be the incentive customers need to invest in you. You could even offer membership deals for customers that choose to invest in you during a certain time period. This will assist you earn some money even when times are tough.
5. Give your communication strategy an overhaul
As people’s priorities and schedules change, the previous communication strategy you had in action may not be right. It would be wise to rethink the newsletters you are sending out, the content you are designing, and the general approach you have towards your clients.
This could mean redoing your content calendar altogether or maybe putting some blog posts on the backburner while you focus more on articles that cater to doubts, fears, and questions related to the current situation. This also means that you need to take the time to get to know your post-COVID-19 clients.
One way to do this is to send out an email survey with questions about their current priorities, pain points, and desires. Make them easy to answer (multiple choice or choose a point on a scale), but keep some questions open-ended because this way you might search a few golden nuggets of information about your clients.
You can then use this information to rethink your communication strategy and serve your clients better.
You may even give your ads, emails, videos, webinars, and podcast episodes an overhaul so you are keeping the latest priorities of your clients in mind.
6. Focus on a few main paid advertising channels
As I explained above, PPC ads are the way to go right now but focusing on Google Ads, LinkedIn ads, Twitter ads, Facebook ads, and Instagram ads all at once is going to you no good. You need to figure out where your target audience is hanging out and then focus most of your PPC efforts on those channels.
So, for example:
- If you are a beauty business, your target audience is likely to be on Instagram.
- If you have a more serious business like an addiction treatment facility, you have to focus more on Google.
- If you have a business-related tool or service like a keyword research tool, LinkedIn would be your go-to.
Use these strategies to survive and thrive in the age of COVID-19
Having a few solid digital marketing strategies to depend on while the world settles down can not only assist your business get back on its feet but also provide you a headstart against your competitors. The key piece of advice you should keep in mind is to focus on your customers’ priorities as much as your own.
They are the people that make your business and they are the ones who are going to assist you grow it—no matter what your strategy is.