During this Coronavirus crisis and economic downturn, companies should be doing their best to be on offense (and try their best not to be in “survival mode.”) It’s hard but we can do this!
We need to get up every day – push through this time and make clear strategic decisions. We have to up our game!
Data and history tell us that from past recessions or times of crisis, companies need to be strategic and bold during times like this. If you want some insights, we suggest you read the Bain & Company’s Brief – Beyond the Downturn: Recession Strategies to Take the Lead.
We like how Bain and Company describes how we need to look at these times:
“Think of a recession as a sharp curve on an auto racetrack—the best place to pass competitors, but requiring more skill than straightaways” – Bain & Company, 2019
Our team understands one thing when it comes to helping companies grow – nothing gets better if we stand still. We also know that understanding and leveraging data not only helps us win online – but it helps us to understand what works during times of crisis.
We are committed to helping companies not just get through these times…but come out ahead in the end.
So, we did some digging. And came up with a game plan.
We located studies from valid sources to find out what successful companies have done in the past during challenging times. We found a few good sources and studies – McKinsey and Harvard. These studies found those who were more strategic in their decisions and those who invested in smart marketing tactics came out ahead.
We know there will be a recovery! Are you going to be prepared for it?
7 marketing tactics to help your company move forward during this uncertain time.
#1 – Take Advantage of Low Cost Digital Ads and Less Competition
With more people at home connected to work and friends by their digital devices, there has been an increase in screen time with an audience that is more captivated than usual. Many people are working in new ways, using new software, and looking at their company from a different perspective. For many, their daily routine has been disrupted. So not only do our screens have more eyeballs, people are looking from a new perspective.
This is a perfect opportunity for businesses to use online paid advertising to connect with your target market and gain a competitive advantage. More than any other digital medium, it allows you to target where you deliver your message.
Also, people may be searching for their needs in a different way which creates opportunity. For example, many people like to do business in person. During this global pandemic, more people will be open to speaking with companies over a video conference or phone call which may open up an opportunity for a company that isn’t local.
New search terms can be very revealing because unlike other forms of advertising, people are explicitly typing out what they need. Capturing this information with broad match or phrase match campaigns can give you the insight you need to target them.
Some companies will cut back their ad strategy. We recommend companies think strategically about how they can grow their company and get beyond survival.
And as Henry Ford once said, “A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time.”
#2 – Pass Your Competition Online With SEO Tactics
While a well optimized paid advertising campaign can yield a high ROI, there is no greater reward than achieving the top spot in Google’s organic search results. In most cases, organic results receive most of the clicks.
Sometimes paid advertisements don’t even run for some of the valuable search terms, so optimizing your website to appear organically is the only way to take advantage. In some cases, we’ve seen a single search term more than triple a company’s sales.
So why doesn’t everyone take advantage? Well, SEO takes time, patience, and knowledgeable content development. Also, in our line of work we often find that people have paid a company that claims to do SEO, and they saw little to no impact. Every case is different, but it’s still worth looking into despite all of this.
There is no playbook for SEO, because that would lead to rapid manipulation of search engine algorithms. But with a good team, strategy, and your deep knowledge of your industry, you can set yourself up for future success.
We’ve noticed that there is a first-mover advantage, so it is in times like these that there is an opportunity to think ahead to the future of your company. Your competitors might already be positioning themselves as the online authority in your industry. It’s vital to stay ahead of the curve and your competitors. Here is a quick video about our SEO efforts.
#3 Stay Connected With Your Customers on Social Media
Without face-to-face meetings, you need to be more social online. This means you should start conversions with existing customers and prospects.
Customers will be reviewing your products and services more and more on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. They will be asking questions, evaluating your reviews, and hopefully making purchasing decisions. These tools can teach you a lot about your market.
In addition, use these platforms to really listen to your customers, while also promoting them when you can. We all need to prop each other up!
#4 Focus on Driving Conversions with Data
Getting lots of traffic to your site without conversions is not good! Whether your conversion is a purchase, a lead generation form, or a PDF download, you need track, report on, and optimize every campaign to deliver on those objectives. It’s not the 1960s anymore – you should know when advertising works!
Some marketing tactics have better ROI than others. Today more than ever, you need to focus on low cost, high impact tactics that focus on conversion rates.
First you need to understand the journey your visitors take on your website. Once you understand this, you need to focus on small incremental changes on their journey to increase your opportunities for them to say yes.
Some of these changes could include the following:
Improve the visitor experience – improve your website speed and/or make it easier for a customer to check out on your eCommerce site.
Provide Credibility and Stories – add case studies, testimonials, and stories about your company throughout your site.
Leverage Competitive Intelligence – learn what’s working for your competitors sites and implement.
Check out this case study to learn more about how focusing on conversions can change your business.
#5 Measure,Test, Learn…Over and Over
Today more than ever, you need to understand how all of your marketing efforts are working in real-time. You need to understand how your email campaigns are working, as well as, have your ad campaigns easily in one place to make quick decisions. You need to see what is the most important marketing tactic you should focus on every day.
One of the most critical pieces to any online strategy or web development project involves understanding variables like – how is a website performing, identifying why the site is not ranking on Google for various keywords, identifying opportunities to improve a site’s conversions, determining if a site is vulnerable to security issues, analyzing opportunities for growth in various markets, and most importantly auditing a client’s competitor site to find opportunities in their market, see competitors weaknesses, and learn what’s working for them.
You need to always be implementing A/B testing so you learn and adjust quickly based on what the data tells you. Measure, Test, Learn and repeat – this will drive faster results.
#6 This Unique Time Might Warrant Special Offers
Companies need help! And your business can help them! When possible, support your existing and potential customers by providing special discounts. These discounts can keep revenue coming in, while also helping a company that needs your service/product.
Again, people are at home on their phones or computers looking for discounts and opportunities. Offerings do engage your customers and keep a steady stream of revenue that will keep your doors open.
Don’t forget to leverage PPC/online ads, social media, and tools like Google My Business to push out these offerings.
#7 Local SEO is Important During These Times
People will be typing in “near me” as they search for services/products from their homes. In many cases, they will be looking for nearby solutions.
Here are some Local SEO Tactics:
- Optimize your page URLs, titles and meta description to include your business name, location and service.
- Update your online directories and citations to be consistent and informational about your business.
- Claim and optimize your Google My Business page. You should update this page frequently.
- Ask clients to give you reviews on Google and other popular business listings.
- Use local structured data markup on your website to help Google understand where you are located.
If this sounds a little overwhelming, Hubspot has this great comprehensive local SEO guide or just let us know if you need some help!