Pivoting Your Digital Strategy During COVID-19

Lisa Danca - Marketing Associate

Written by: Lisa Danca

Category: marketing strategy

05.19.2020

COVID-19 has completely transformed the ways we live our lives. For businesses, they’ve not only had to alter how they conduct their organization, but they’ve also had to pivot their marketing strategies. Eight weeks in and there are still many businesses out there that are trying to navigate how to market their businesses online during this crisis. If you’ve read our previous blog, why you can’t stop marketing now, then you know you have to keep going, but here’s how you can pivot your marketing strategies if you’re still feeling unsure.

Search Engine Marketing

With the shutdown of most brick-and-mortar businesses, business owners are relying now more than ever on their digital strategy. A lot of businesses have paused their spend on search engine marketing. In some circumstances, it may makes sense to decrease or even pause advertising for now. But if you have the means to spend money on advertising and you’ve noticed a competitor of yours is no longer advertising through Google Ads and Bing Ads, this may be the best time for you to keep going.

By your competitors no longer marketing through Google Ads and Bing Ads, there is now a lot of available impression share, much cheaper clicks, and more traffic for businesses that hold strong and don’t press pause. While cost per clicks (CPCs) are lower, you may want to spend more budget on non-brand searches for your products.

There’s no denying that conversion are going to take longer  as there is a lot of uncertainty and people are still slightly less unwilling to spend their money on non-essential items. While consumers may be spending more time online and seeing more online ads, they are hesitant to make decisions about the future. If your product or service requires commitment or future planning, you can expect your conversion rate to be lower than normal during this period.

This can also be an opportunity to increase your brand awareness and engage with consumers before purchase. When the outbreak lessens and restrictions are lifted, you can remarket to that audience.

While conversion rates may be lower in your industry right now, you can focus your spend on the awareness and consideration portions of the sales funnel. Create content during the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey.  Later, when consumers are ready to purchase again, they will be familiar with your brand. 

Social media, display, and YouTube campaigns have low CPCs and are a good way to show your ads to many viewers at a cheap budget. Google Display and video (YouTube) ads are doing exceptionally well in performance during the pandemic.

When the stay-at-home order ease and purchase behavior starts to increase again, businesses and marketers should be prepared for a surge in conversions and search volume. After staying at home, people may be eager to travel and attend events. Consider having an extra budget saved for that time. Be ready with remarketing campaigns to reconnect with the people that visited your site before and during the outbreak.

Consider using ads to direct traffic to:

  • Informative and useful blogs and videos
  • Online products with free shipping
  • Virtual services you can offer
  • Gift cards that can be used now or in the future

Update Your Google My Business Listing

Your customers and potential customers are counting on you for the latest information about your small business. If you’re closing your company temporarily, whether you’re changing the hours you’re open or offering curbside pickup, you need to let people know. You can temporarily list your business as closed. It won’t impact SEO.

A graphic of a Google My Business profile.

Video

YouTube has switched to SD streaming as a default to ease Internet usage. This is a clear sign the channel is saturated with potential customers. There’s never been a better opportunity to utilize video marketing. 

SEO

Many industries have seen a decline in organic traffic. Businesses should focus their time on monitoring changes in search behavior using Google Trends, Search Console or other keyword tools to understand how interest in keywords and topics related to your business and industry are changing.

PR

This is a great opportunity to get in touch with journalists with fun, interesting stories that are a distraction from the news about the current crisis. Journalists have been saying they need to put a smile on people’s faces.

Social Media

Social media usage has surged. Even if you can’t reopen, stay active online. In addition to Google My Business, customers look to  Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram channels to get news on your business. It doesn’t look good to have outdated posts on your social media pages. 

 

We hope you found today’s blog post informative. To stay updated on marketing trends, check out our archive of other blog posts

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