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Let’s face it: the coronavirus crisis is creating a challenge for many businesses.
Companies naturally look to find areas where they can cut costs, one of which often turns out to be marketing. While this may seem to be a natural choice, the truth is that online marketing has never been more important than it is right now. Cutting marketing costs may ultimately cost you a lot instead, both in the present and in the future.
Why should you keep investing in your marketing efforts when the world seems to be showing you otherwise? Well let us tell you why you shouldn’t give up on your online marketing just yet (or ever).
The importance of your marketing department
This situation isn’t (hopefully) going to last forever. Once the dust settles, businesses will try to return to normal. You should start building your competitive advantage now, even if you think that doing so may be impossible. Otherwise, you’ll be left one step behind your competitors once everything is back on track.
Online marketing can help you survive these difficult times, after making some adjustments, and contribute to a successful comeback once the situation is resolved.
Although many options for promotion or sales are limited, there are still many marketing efforts that you can make.
This situation is tough right now. Businesses are closing. Everybody is stuck at home. And there comes your chance. With everybody spending more time online and on social media, marketers need to be there as well. Many companies will follow their first instinct to cut marketing budgets. What does it mean for you? The ads will be cheaper and you can get ahead of your competition.
Costs for ads are decreasing.
It will be harder to come back if you stop now
If you stop all marketing activities, you will leave your brand in an online mess. Your audience may still be checking your page from time to time now, but they will soon forget about it if there aren’t any regular updates. A long silence can also negatively affect your reach, engagement rate and most importantly, customer acquisition. A lack of content and adverts may also lead to a decrease in sales if you run an e-commerce business.
You can be sure that your competitors won’t ignore all the new opportunities arising now. After the pandemic is over, businesses will race to get to the customers. Those that kept up their marketing communication even in these tough times of crisis, will have the comeback much easier than brands that went into hiding.
Your competitors may use this time for building bonds with your target group, so you should make the most of this possibility too. Your audience has never been more active online than right now, since many of them have nothing else to do during the quarantine.
You can build your brand reputation
It goes without saying that you will probably have limited options for promotion. There are many external factors that you have no influence over, and while they shouldn’t completely alter your strategy, they will contribute to changes.
You can spend this time building brand awareness. Now is the time to review your campaigns and if nothing else, run at least branding campaigns, which will now cost you less.
Show your values and your products, but without encouraging people to visit brick-and-mortar stores until it’s been declared safe to do so. Give potential customers a chance to familiarise themselves with your brand for now.
It makes you more…creative
Stressful situations can inspire incredible creativity, the likes of which you wouldn’t have thought you were capable of. This time can be spent creatively on looking for new inspiration or (finally) bringing some ongoing projects to life. Business may slow down a bit, but don’t let your productivity do the same.
You have more time for testing things out
Marketers usually have more ideas than they have time required for making them come true. This may therefore be an ideal moment for refreshing your strategy and testing out some new formats, new ways of reaching your audience, and new creatives.
Many social media managers now need to adjust their content calendars: add some new informative posts, delete or move those that could be found offensive, or change the copy. Why wouldn’t you use this time for trying out some new creations too? If they perform well, then you can apply them to your social media strategy for good.
Use this downtime for testing.
It’s the perfect chance to show off your brand
Some say that your company’s actions make the best marketing. This may be the right time to show a human face to the products or services that you work with and focus on daily. There are real people behind your brand and now is the time to show it, since there are many things that you can’t do for the time being.
Once life returns to normal you won’t have time to do this, since all of your focus will be on minimizing the damage caused by lost opportunities.
You can get to know your audience better
No matter if you have only recently moved your brand from offline to online or if you have been active on social media for a while now, you can never know too much about your followers.
Countries are on lockdown, so people are (supposed to be) staying at home. Where can you reach them then, if not via your online communication? They aren’t going out (much), so they won’t visit your store or see your billboards, at least for now. Smart communication can win you new potential clients who might be the first to check out your brick-and-mortar store once everything has settled down. Also, since many brands are resigning from marketing, you may be one of not many who keep their efforts up. As such, the cost of paid ads could reduce, thus allowing to reach more people for less money.
Use this time for getting to know your target group better. Interact with them, engage them and research their needs. Then, enriched by this knowledge, you can implement it in your social media strategy.
How to prepare for a comeback?
Here’s what you can do now to be ready for later:
- Review your content calendars. Check which posts need some adjustments, which should be moved, which should be permanently deleted and what to create instead to fill the gaps.
- Plan your relaunch campaigns and prepare those creatives that can be done now, such as graphics or copy. Once the situation returns to normal, you’ll be ready to go immediately, while your competitors are still busy starting out on their preparations.
- Evaluate the state of your social media profiles. Maybe some of them require you to spend some more time on their development? Check bios, links, discover new hashtags, and verify statistics.
- Offer help: approach your clients and ask them about their needs. This applies both to agencies (whose clients are social media profiles) and to brands (whose clients are followers on social media). Check whether there is anything else that you can do to help them get through this tough time and keep business in shape. This way, you may build better relationships that can pay off in the future.
- Spend time on competitive analysis. Binge-watching Netflix might be amazing, but it won’t help you to analyze your competitors on social media. Check out how they communicate now, and what has brought them popularity before. Then, draw some conclusions with which to improve your own strategy.
The coronavirus crisis is generating a big stimulus to redefine your activities. Many companies are adjusting to the current situation. Those who draw and apply conclusions quickly can really win big right now. Those who oversleep during this period and resign from marketing can lose a lot in the future.
Analyze a few steps ahead, especially if your marketing activities still bring about positive effects. Even if you only break even at the moment, you’ll still be ahead in the game and in front of those who completely resign from marketing.
Businesses are indeed going through a tough time, but it means they have problems that need solving more than ever before. Just find out what those problems are, and offer to solve them. You won’t be able to do this if you simply put your marketing efforts away on the shelf.