You may have noticed the sales and revenue of some industries plummet during the lockdown. A few sectors have seen an almost complete shutdown of business.
In such a scenario, marketing plays a critical role for many surviving businesses – especially digital marketing. Currently, the cost of traditional advertising, especially when there is no vision of the Return on Investment. Digital marketing helps you track your advertising rupees, paisa-by-paisa. And of course, what better time to market online than when most of the population is spending most of their time at home? In fact, a recent Google report has indicated as much – the Indian consumer feels the need to be ‘always on’ when at home.
Here are a few digital marketing strategies your business can adopt in these tricky times:
Did your business adopt a one-channel digital marketing strategy prior to the lockdown? Change it, instantly. If you were already following that path, good, redouble your efforts and open your business to new audiences who may have not heard/seen of your business before.
For instance, it’s a great opportunity for your business to use PPC (pay-per-click) marketing to connect with their customers and gain a competitive advantage.
Facebook and Twitter represent more brand-advertising opportunities than Google. Paid social on Instagram for example is also highly valuable for visual services and products, or even small businesses or financial advisers that can offer their services online – such as product information, investment advice, digital training, and a lot more. If you haven’t considered paid social before, trying this alternative channel might reap benefits for your business that you would have otherwise missed out on.
What’s the best way to get people to notice your business? A kind deed, amplified suitably on digital media, goes a long way in creating the goodwill your business could use. Be it just changing the line of business (like how a few breweries around the world have started manufacturing hand sanitisers) or conducting an online social media drive or marathon to support Covid-19 warriors, people are looking for good gestures in troubling times like these.
Even though most people are wary of buying products/services now, it doesn’t mean they’ve lost interest in businesses completely. They still research on Google (even more so now) and take decisions on items they potentially want to buy.
A lot of trade shows, exhibitions and events have been cancelled this year, for obvious reasons. This has hit companies hard, especially B2B companies. Figures released by data intelligence company PredictHQ, show that in February there was a 500% surge in cancellations and postponements of significant events.
This puts a lot of pressure on your online presence to reflect the times. For instance, if you have a website that deals in a variety of product categories, you may want to bump up the essentials section and push luxuries all the way to the back. If you offer consultations, you might have to shift entirely to online consultations. And so on.
This follows naturally from the previous point – the best way to improve your online presence is to make it more noticeable to your audience – or as they say in the age of Google, more ‘searchable’. You want to be on the front page of the Google search, somewhere in the top 5, so that when your customers search for certain keywords, they end up contacting you. To climb to the top of the rankings takes time and strategic search engine optimisation.
An important piece of advice – in a situation like this, do not panic and slash your marketing budgets just because there’s an economic slowdown. Just readjust or restructure it smartly. Cutting down on budgets might impact the brand in the long run – we may not realise it now, but why wait for the future to see what its impact might be?
While it is true that businesses are facing a major impact over the global coronavirus situation, it’s up to us to look at this as an opportunity to create and implement a smart digital marketing strategy that protects our businesses – for the short term and long term.
And remember one thing – better days are coming, for sure!