As the situation with Coronavirus keeps progressing with every passing day, it’s important you keep a level head. The virus is going to cause a shock to the economy, but businesses should be increasing their marketing activity at this time.
Not all marketing activity needs to be expensive but you should consider using your budget as wisely possible to maximise your returns. Face to face selling is pretty much going to have to stop, so you need to look at ways to ensure that you’re still making sales and trading at this tough time.
Here is a list of things you should be doing in the short and medium-term.
Content planning – the first thing you do!
Before you start firing off emails and social posts, plan what you are doing. Do not just start with a scatter-gun approach to your communication. It needs to be coherent and support the business needs at this time. Think about your content plans and tailor it to the current climate. Your client’s needs will be different now than they were in January. Work out what you need in terms of sales and revenue, plan that into your calendar and make sure that this happens above all else. If you have fewer meetings to attend, great – use this to ensure that your marketing is done without fail.
Good email marketing isn’t free, but you should be increasing the frequency of your emails to your clients. Keep them informed on your business plans in the short term and work in your offers from your content plan into your emails. Keep positioning your business as the experts – if the virus is having an effect on your wider industry, let your clients know. They will be thankful for it.
At the time of writing this (18th March), it looks like the UK will be heading into a lockdown situation and most businesses will be forced to ask their staff to work from home. If you work in a Business to Business (B2B) environment – do not plan a direct mail campaign, your clients will not be in the office and won’t see it! Now, if you work in Business to Consumer (B2C) company – your clients are almost certainly going to be at home, and some might have more time on their hands to actually read what comes through their mailbox, rather than just scrape it off the doormat on their way in to make dinner for their kids. If you can tailor your offers as B2C business to resonate with consumers who are working from home, or looking to save money due to uncertainty then this could be a great opportunity for your business.
Face a lack of face to face contact for yourselves and your team, social media communication needs to be increased over the next few months. Use social to communicate what’s happening in your business if there are due to be delays for your customers, but more importantly – use it to market your business. Follow your content calendar and plan communication that ties in with your offers you are sending via email, set the positive agenda for your clients about how you can help them and their needs at this time. If you’re in B2C and find that your customers cannot come to your restaurant or shop – tell them you’re still here for them and will deliver and do it via social media and email.
Not all marketing activity needs to be expensive but you should consider using your budget as wisely possible to maximise your returns.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
If your website is good in terms of usability for your audience then SEO is certainly something to consider now to exploit a medium-term gain when things improve in the economy. If your competitors are cutting back on their SEO budget, now is the time to steal their position in the rankings by spending money on SEO and pushing your own site up the ranking positions. It’s not an overnight fix – this is a minimum of a 3 to 6-month investment to gain when things get good. Don’t look to SEO to gain unless you are planning to stick with it for that time frame, you’ll be wasting your money on something that you could spend better on something else.
If your website is looking tired, and you have been thinking of updating it, consider doing it now. Your competition will be cutting back on spending in all areas and if you can use this 3 month period to spend time on your business to develop your online presence via a new website, it would mean you are in a fantastic position to capitalise when things become good again. Launching with a new site will send a fantastic message that you a strong business to potential clients and it will help to drive leads and sales for you.
We all know this isn’t going to last forever, and once the mist starts to clear and we know when public gatherings will be allowed to happen, events will be an opportunity to get new clients and grow your business. Keep an eye out for events that are on in your industry or other general business events and plan to book them. Event planners will be looking for customers, so there will be some deals to be had.
If You Need Us, We Can Help
We’re here to support our clients and other businesses. If you are planning marketing activity over the next few months, we’d love to hear from you. Let’s plan out your options and work with you to grow your business during this period and into the future.
Coronavirus - Marketing Actions You Can Take Right Now
Written By Adam
Managing Partner at Trident
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