Insights

28th May 2020

Coronavirus and digital marketing: how to make it through to the other side

Some businesses are booming as a result of coronavirus including large supermarkets, Amazon, and Netflix (who are now expecting huge year-on-year growth).

Unfortunately, others are not. Department stores such as John Lewis drastically reduced marketing spend at the start of the UK lockdown and re-distributed some partners to Waitrose stores to help on the front-line, which will hopefully keep the whole partnership afloat.

Smaller bricks and mortar businesses are taking a massive hit, and more than ever people are beginning to realise the importance of having an online presence. More people across Europe, and indeed the world, are now shopping online because they have little other choice or because they are trying their best to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.

This surge in online shopping will begin to highlight the retailers that have successfully set up an e-commerce site and will leave those that haven’t in a risky place. Ultimately, businesses must now work smarter to ensure they are ready to tackle the challenges ahead and come out of the other side.

Working smarter with digital marketing

Whilst many businesses are now being extra cautious with budgets, especially those set aside for marketing, this is not a time to cut ties completely. Instead, you need to be looking at how you can utilise channels you already use to get the most out of your money.

Cutting marketing budgets can help in the short-term, but there can be longer term consequences on your organic rankings, customer retention, and even your overall sales. We know that it’s hard, but right now businesses need to be maintaining visibility in their markets to ensure long-term profitability.

Consumers are still spending money, and are still looking for products and services, but they want to spend with companies that they trust and who they feel supported by.

There are some ways that you can look to embrace this period and support your customers, which we have highlighted below.

  1. Remain visible to customers

There is a common saying “out of sight, out of mind” and this is especially true with brands. If you want your customers to return to you, then you need to keep in touch with them. This could be via social channels, blog updates, email marketing or even follow up calls, but you should always try and remain visible.

It’s cheaper to retain customers than it is to acquire new ones. By retaining your current customers and reminding them that you are there for them when they need you, you can keep business flowing without spending budget trying to acquire new customers.

 

  1. Utilise increased internet use and explore all options

One of the best ways to reach potential customers is to be where they are. More and more consumers have shifted to using various digital channels for shopping, socialising and even for entertainment which has opened up a whole world of opportunities.

You need to be building brand awareness constantly, and you need to be reaching potential customers on the platforms that they are on. Take some time to understand where your customers are… for example, establish whether they are frequently on Twitter, and then get your brand in this space.

For new customers to buy from you, they need to trust you and they need to recognise the brand. So now is a good time to try new avenues and to write engaging blog posts, try out new social media channels, test new content types, and to combine SEO efforts with pay-per-click advertising.

 

  1. Highlight how you can solve a problem

When promoting products and services during a pandemic, you do not want to push products and yet you do not want to remain quiet either.

Businesses need to strike the balance between marketing their products and being supportive to consumers, without coming across as too pushy or insensitive to people’s struggles. The key here is to be human, communicate your benefits and create genuinely helpful and engaging content.

You may not directly solve someone’s problems, and you should not create COVID-19 content for the sake of it, but if you are a brand that can provide entertaining and interesting content then you should be doing this regularly.

 

  1. Take time to review your online presence

Reviewing your website, your content strategy or your current marketing spend may not appeal to you right now. However, if you are finding yourself with time on your hands then now is the perfect time to review your current online presence and your marketing strategy.

When was the last time your website was re-designed? Is your website optimised for search? Are you missing out on potential keywords? Are your competitors ranking higher than you? When did you last review your PPC budget?

These are all questions that you should be asking yourself, but the chances are you haven’t yet. As more businesses see the value in having a digital presence, it is now more important than ever to ensure you are at the top of your game from a digital perspective.

 

Digital marketing is becoming increasingly important for businesses of all shapes and sizes. If you would like more support with your digital marketing efforts, please get in touch with the team at Varn today.

Article by: Tilly, Digital Marketing Executive More articles by Tilly

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