With the COVID-19 pandemic, the entire world has been filled with uncertainty and concern. In recent weeks, we have seen the significant economic impact of the coronavirus on financial markets and industries such as manufacturing, tourism, hospitality and travel. In this article, Junaid Farid Khan of Asia Advisers Network and Asia Insurance Review shares his insights on how you can continue to market in the current environment.
With people across the globe practising social distancing — and in some cases, on a national lockdown or a circuit breaker— face-to-face interaction has become downright impossible, and many industries are facing serious challenges coming to terms with the lockdown. The current situation is a source of concern for many, as it has disrupted the way companies do business.
With enforced remote working, most businesses need to find new opportunities to let creativity flourish and people need to get creative. Planning wisely becomes extremely important to ensure that this pandemic doesn’t completely throw them off the rails.
Companies are now investing less in traditional marketing. So, it is at this point when your digital marketing strategy can make a big difference.
Here is how a lot of businesses can market their way through the Coronavirus outbreak, with a focus on changing or enhancing digital marketing strategies to represent the shifting needs and wants of their audiences.
Focus on Multi-Channel Approach
Did your marketing focus on one particular channel earlier? If yes, swing to an alternate channel or a group of channels to access new wave of customers who may be looking for your products and services.
Amending your digital marketing to redirect your brand to a new channel could open up your business to people who might not have seen the brand messaging previously because of their restricted access to social media, or the internet during work hours.
As more and more people practise social distancing and self-isolation, there will be an inevitable increase in the number of people who are searching the internet or using social media.
Google represents a unique platform to reach a broad audience, but still, use real-time targeting based on what consumers are searching for.
With more people at home in front of their screens, it’s a great opportunity for businesses to use PPC 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.
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One of the biggest advantages of using multiple channels is the messaging that goes out on each platform. It is important to note that the multiple channel approach will be an absolute failure if companies try One-Size-Fits-All messaging for all channels. Changing your message to fit the more informal likes of Facebook, for example, might address a different aspect of your business that may have gone unnoticed earlier.
Whether you focus on paid social, email marketing or paid search, why not consider reviewing your approach, your offers and messaging. There might be opportunities to serve your clients in ways you haven’t thought of.
Stay ahead in the game with Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization is simply a process that can help your website appear in the top rankings on a search results page.
A new survey by Conductor and drawn from Conductor’s extended network across a range of industries validates the importance of maintaining your SEO efforts through the coming downturn.
63% of businesses surveyed said SEO would gain importance in their business going forward.
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 optimization strategies.
If you don’t continue to optimize your website and content daily, you lose valuable ground in the search results and your freefall could cost your business thousands of dollars in lost revenue.
So, don’t lose this precious time to improve your rankings and potentially outrank competitors.
Restructure but do not reduce the marketing budget
During this pandemic, as everyone is concerned about the short-term financial hit, the businesses need to regroup and restructure their marketing efforts.
In order to reduce costs, companies will cut down heavily on the marketing budget. While it may seem like a good way of saving money, it is not the answer. Cutting the marketing budget will more likely impact the businesses in the long run as customers find it hard to keep in touch with the brand.
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With more and more people staying indoors, instead of reducing the marketing spend, businesses should view this as an opportunity to reach their customers by turning to social media and other online channels. If your competitors are leveraging this opportunity by investing more in digital activities, your clients might go on and resonate more with their brand than yours.
Not surprisingly, social media advertisement spending has gone up by 29% in March 2020. So this is the time to build a strong relationship with your existing customers and get the attention of potential clients.
While the entire world is facing challenges resulting from the virus and its impact on business, it is very important to recognize this as an opportunity to create and implement a digital marketing strategy that protects and safeguards your business in the short as well as long haul.
Lastly, pause and remember - nothing lasts forever. Better days are coming.
Junaid Farid Khan holds an MBA from James Cook University, Australia. He is an experienced marketing professional with a strategic mind and a proven track record in Digital, Social Media and Integrated Marketing.
Find more of Junaid's articles here.
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