The world is faced with a crisis that it never imagined, even in its worst nightmares. As the government officials take strict actions to curb down the coronavirus-spread graph (which is soaring despite all efforts), everyone can feel its impact in all aspects of life. While individuals are asked to stay home and gain all insight only through digital channels, businesses are required to pivot their marketing plans swiftly. Here, we are not encouraging anyone to exploit the current situation. But we are certainly helping them make the most of it. If you are also an organization feeling the impact of the pandemic, here are some things you can do to improve and optimize your digital engagement during this pandemic.
Engaging with your potential prospects digitally is the sole way left for businesses to connect with them and attract them. As all other forms of traditional marketing are stalled in this pandemic, now is the most crucial time to be visible digitally.
Why Digital Engagement Is Important Today
As the coronavirus pandemic has created global unrest among the businesses as well, there are many companies that are withdrawing their business contracts and revoking several deals. During such times of catastrophe, it is imperative that you keep the trust of your clients. In fact, it is situations like these that can help you strengthen your relationship with your customers. Social distancing and quarantine might be hindering you from meeting your clients in physical locations, staying in touch with them wouldn’t be such an issue digitally.
You do not want your competitors to snatch away your loyal customers just because you got too busy in the transition. These confusing times are when they need the most reassurance.
And it's not just about customer retention! An effective and smart digital engagement strategy can also prove worthy in gaining new customers. How? Let's find out.
As a majority of the offices have shifted their operations to homes, there are others who did not have the right tools and technical assistance to work remotely. So, they had to shut their offices altogether. You can leverage this opportunity and gain an edge over your competitors.
While major markets like the US and UK are drastically hit by the pandemic and most of the organizations have stopped their business altogether, there are other markets that are still active. You can capitalize on these markets that are active by letting your content tell them that you are open to business.
How Inbound Strategy Can Help?
Inbound marketing is the most effective way to reach out to your target audience. You attract your clients by offering great content that is useful for them and build trust among them. As you are giving them helpful information, you naturally become the first choice whenever they want to make a buying decision. So, with inbound marketing, you can actually pull people towards your brand.
During these times of crisis, all businesses are affected due to the economic downturn. Instead of creating new budget plans for outbound marketing, the best way would be to help them out and ensure they have someone to rely on.
Most of your targeted clients would not be looking aggressively to seal new deals, however, they would certainly be using this time to learn more about what they want. By creating useful content for them, you can reach out to them and win their trust. So, whenever the lock-down goes off and they make their mind to get the service, you are the first company they contact.
How To Correct Your Inbound Strategy
During these times of unrest, your regular inbound marketing strategy would cease to perform as no person is in the right set of mind. They are not looking at content the same way as they did two months back. So, your regular content strategy wouldn’t work. These are some quick and smart ways to correct your inbound marketing strategy during this novel coronavirus pandemic.
Change Your Messaging Right Away
No matter what strategy you had at place initially, it is imperative that you change your messaging right away. You need to keep your content positive and reassuring in these tough times. Make sure that you have put this message forth that you are operating during these tough times and can be approached for any assistance. Be positive and make sure your clients feel reassured. If you are into inbound marketing, there could be no better way to attract more potential customers than by showing them how you are combating these situations. Inbound marketing is about providing the right content to the right audience at the right time. So, change your messaging to meet the requirements of the present times.
You can show how you have changed your way of working, how you are combating it, share your experiences to help others, and support your team at the same time.
Tweak Your Buyer Demographics
While your base buyer personas would still remain to be what you have created during the initial marketing phase, during these global times, tweaking the buyer demographics a little bit could be a smart move. Your focus right now should be on those who are looking for these services, as their regular providers have ceased to be active. Check out the change in consumer buying behavior and tweak your targeting. Approach the active demographics in the best way they are consuming information.
The challenges and problems of your buyer personas have changed all of a sudden. Delve into these challenges and tweak your strategy accordingly.
Focus On Building Relationships
Instead of focusing on progressing the sales or qualifying leads, your focus should particularly be on building stronger bonds and relationships with your prospects. The marketing teams should tweak their pitch to take a more informative approach. The information collected from the discussion and the concerns raised by the prospects should be passed on to the content team so that they can create content on it. You can do so by responding to them in real-time and solving their problems. One way of going about this is by adding a chatbot to your website. This would ensure that you can seamlessly answer their questions instantly.
Make Your Business Fit The Big Picture
There are several ways you can make your business fit the bigger picture. For example, restaurant owners can start promoting their home-delivery options, gym owners & trainers can give online workout sessions, e-commerce firms can show how they are following the safety precautions in their deliveries and much more. It is important that you are agile and swift in pivoting to this situation. This is the time when people are more centered on looking for services that can help them so show them how you can help.
Don’t Forget Social Media
As people are quarantined, being online is the only way to stay connected. They are using social media for everything- from cutting their boredom to consuming information; they are using social media now more than ever. Check out what the trending hashtags are and create content according to the same. Use these hashtags to reach a wider audience base.
Share pictures and images of your employees working from home and create posts that garner more audience related to the trending hashtags.
Share Employee & CEO Interview Videos
Video marketing is one of the most engaging ways to reach out to the customers in these tough times. You can have video interviews of your employees explaining how it feels to be working from home or how they are working dedicatedly to continue serving. Moreover, an effective way to reach out to your teams and your clients is to get a video interview of your CEO where he/she is explaining how they are keeping their teams motivated during the pandemic.
Stay On Top Of Your Prospect’s Mind
As the world and all business operations have apparently come to a standstill, the chances of you becoming obsolete for your prospects are pretty high. But you would certainly not want that. Stay in touch with your prospects through social media, emails, or any other form of media. Going into hibernation would not work. You need to be active and let your prospects know that they need to have no worries.
Smart PPC Marketing
PPC marketing, earlier considered a form of outbound marketing, is one of the most effective inbound strategies during these tough times. As per a senior PPC manager, the cost-per-clicks have reduced by around 6 percent across a majority of verticals in the past one month. This could help you cut down your digital marketing budget as well. Many of the other advertisers would go offline and stop their marketing campaigns during these times. You can seize the opportunity and grab the attention of your potential customers through PPC.
Be Empathetic In Mail Campaigns
Email campaigns are gaining momentum during coronavirus pandemic. However, messaging plays a huge role in getting a response. First off, you need to create a mail campaign for all your existing and potential customers and lead generation. Here, you should just send out a mail showing your true concerns and ensuring their safety during the pandemic.
If you are planning to launch a new email marketing campaign to get more customers, it should also be empathetic and not just show you taking advantage of the situation. Be sensitive and not salesy to stand out.
Be Fluid In This Fluid Situation
It is important that you pivot during this unrest. Only those businesses that are able to find ways to be fluid and connect with their customers will thrive. You also need to be fluid and change your strategies. Whether it is about pushing special discounts through PPC and social media ads or creating content that doesn’t directly promote your products. You can send out information, finance advice, human resource advice, and much more to ensure your clients stay in business with you.
Use Down Time To Improve Brand Image
Your brand image is something that you can certainly work on during this unrest. You would not be that active on a majority of the campaigns. So, this time could be easily utilized in improving your brand image. You can put forth good content, seek out good channels and outreach to them, showcase your support to the world, especially your clients.
Optimize Everything Online
Starting right from your buyer persona and the keyword search to your landing pages, blog pages, and everything else, keep optimizing. This is the best time for you to get ahead of your competitors in SERP rankings with organic SEO so that if any prospect types a certain keyword, you are the first thing they click on. Whether we talk about your blog content and pages to your website content and landing pages, optimize it all. Be strategic with your optimization.
Engage Digitally To Stay Ahead
Your prospects are online in the digital ecosystem and it is your time to connect with them so that you can convert and delight them later. More businesses than ever have allocated resources in digital marketing to keep the information flowing and making a more powerful impression. Clients are more unlikely to reach out to you. So, you need to reach out to them now.
We know these times are challenging. But with the right inbound marketing strategy, you can still make your business flourish. Do not pull back on your marketing altogether. Play it smart and be there for your clients and prospects by showing empathy. Connect with them like never before and you will have clients for years to come.