As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the US rise, so do the number of businesses being forced to close. Following California and New York, 38 states enforced the “shelter-in-place” or “stay-at-home” order, requiring almost 90% of Americans to remain at home for the next few weeks, and while some areas begin to open, for most, it will likely be some time before things get back to “normal”.
Fortunately, for some, the ability to work remotely has afforded the opportunity to potentially ride out the recession – as long as they can stay afloat and keep costs down. With the forecast of a bad economic climate underway, many companies have chosen to make deep cuts on spending, with marketing efforts being one of the first to go. Unfortunately, as recent history shows, businesses that choose this path are slower to recover and may never really catch up.
If we’ve learned anything from tech tycoons like Microsoft and Amazon, strategic planning and optimized utilization of your current assets are what will set you apart from the competition. Rather than eliminate efforts, to market your brand, look for ways to utilize what you already have. Even if cash flow is forcing you to slow down, there are three ways you can increase your marketing efforts (not your budget) during a global pandemic.
Inbound Marketing starts with attracting visitors. Attracting visitors to your business is all about creating and promoting engaging, valuable content that informs, rather than tries to sell.
You’re the expert in your field. Use this time, and your knowledge, to continue to educate your prospects with useful and relevant content that guides your buyer through their struggles and towards your solution. While the competition has chosen to halt their marketing efforts, you’re continuous intent to educate and provide assistance will not only increase brand awareness and loyalty but will set you up for success; keeping your business top-of-mind, when the doors open and prospective customers are ready to buy-in.
Content can be distributed through many channels like a blog post, social media, or an email campaign. Tie in your most recent offer or lead magnet, and continue your efforts to distribute. Use this time to write your own content, or, make it a group effort. Ask your colleagues to offer assistance and contribute their thoughts and ideas to the blog. This can be a great way to keep your team involved and engaged with each other while creating a buzz around your business.
Social Media Outreach
The increase in remote workers has boosted social media activity to record heights. In some markets, Facebook has reported that messaging and video call rates have increased by 50%. While many of your prospects are scrolling their favorite platforms for insights, news, and the occasional meme, the time to double down on your posts and engagement is now.
Additionally, as COVID-19 causes social platforms to experience a spike in usage, the global pandemic has significantly driven down social media advertising rates. As companies continue to make cutbacks on their marketing spend, competition for social media advertising inventory is low; resulting in lower costs for advertising and an increase in opportunities to promote your brand at a minimum cost.
Social media management platforms and pay per click ads are excellent ways to keep your posts consistent and carefree. Many social media management applications offer a free or low-cost solution, or, you may find that your current tech stack already offers this functionality.
Some popular options for social media management include:
Podcasts & Webinars
With the abrupt announcement of the safety measures that would ensue, events like Qualtrics X4 and Google I/O were forced to cancel. Luckily, the tech community can continue to look forward to events like Apple Worldwide Developers Conference and Microsoft Build, which will be switching to an online format.
In addition to writing blog posts and LinkedIn articles, use this time at home to get creative; developing other types of digital content around your product or service. Tap into your network of connections and look for opportunities to be a guest on an established podcast in your field. Or, use your knowledge and willingness to help to create an educational webinar. These avenues can be excellent for lead generation and connecting with your audience.
Look for options that offer free trials and/or minimal monthly fees, some popular video conferencing software include:
COVID-19 will pass. Stay ahead of the competition and ride out the recession with opportunities waiting on the other side. Take a look at your current marketing plan and apply one or all of these strategies to increase your marketing efforts (not your budget), and contact us if you’d like more information on inbound marketing or how we can help!