The COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed marketing as we know it, at least for the brands that focus primarily on traditional media and advertising. These days, people aren’t turning on the radio on their morning commute since they’re staying home. They’re not seeing your bus or billboard ads on their weekly shopping trip. They certainly won’t be RSVPing to your in-person conference or summit.
On top of this change in consumer behavior, your company may have experienced significant budget cuts as companies struggle to stay alive and profitable during the pandemic. That means your marketing budget may have just been slashed.
What’s a marketer to do? Fortunately, with a shift to the digital, you can maximize your marketing efforts in a COVID-19 environment. Digital marketing strategies offer a great ROI (especially now), without breaking the bank.
As you start planning your marketing initiatives in Q1 2021, here’s what you should focus on.
You’ve no doubt had to cancel one or more corporate events in the last several months. You might be wondering whether or not you should be planning events for 2021. Rather than spending months planning an event that might need to be canceled at the last minute, consider switching to a virtual format instead. Virtual events are in line with current public health measures and they’re more cost effective, too, which is great if you’re dealing with a smaller budget.
You can translate almost any event to virtual, from conferences and summits to panel discussions, sales demos, networking events, fundraisers, and town halls.
Webinars in particular are great for driving leads. Because so many others are switching to virtual right now though, it’s going to be important to think of topics that others aren’t doing in order to attract attention and boost registrations. Looking for another great way to see results with a webinar? Partner with a complementary company to expand your reach.
Another important note when it comes to getting high attendance for virtual events is to ensure your outreach is relevant to the person you’re reaching out to. Generic messages like “Hey, do you need more leads? Sign up for our webinar” will be seen as spam these days. Personalization will be key to attendance success.
Search Engine Optimization
Traditional advertising simply isn’t very effective in a COVID-19 environment. With everyone working from home on their computers, search engine optimization (SEO) is a better way to enhance your brand awareness and bring in more leads. Plus, SEO is cost effective, too.
If you haven’t dabbled in digital marketing much already, SEO is the process of improving the quality and quantity of your unpaid and organic website traffic from search engines. If you’ve recently started an ecommerce website to supplement in-store sales during the pandemic (or you’re thinking about starting an online store), SEO will be especially important. It’ll help you improve your website and your digital content so that you rank higher on search engines. Ultimately, this will help you rank on the first page, so more people find your site and ultimately buy from you.
SEO strategy and implementation can be time consuming and overwhelming if you’re just starting out. Outsourcing SEO to a digital marketing agency may be your best bet if you’re unsure how to get started.
Content marketing is a cost-effective way to create brand awareness, share your thought leadership, connect with your audience, and ultimately drive profitable customer action.
Content marketing can take many forms, such as blogging to bring in traffic and boost search engine results, email marketing to convert leads, and long-form content writing to generate leads and move prospects down the marketing funnel until they’re ready to buy.
You’ll want a solid understanding of keyword research, content marketing strategy, the marketing funnel, and content marketing best practices before you start to ensure that you’re providing the right content to the right people at the right time to see real results.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is organic, authentic, and cost effective. It’s also a great way to reach out during the pandemic. You probably already have a couple social media profiles for your business right now, but if you’re not posting consistently and frequently, your presence may not be doing you many favors. Plus, to see results from social media marketing, you should have a strategy in place, be present on the right channels, and put in enough time for engagement activities, too.
There’s a lot more to social media marketing than to post discounts every few months. Done effectively, though, social media marketing can do wonders for your brand. And all you need is a little hustle.
Advertising on billboards is out right now. What can you do instead? Advertise online.
You have a few options when it comes to online advertising:
- You can advertise on search engines, so people who are already looking for something similar to what you sell will discover your website.
- You can also invest in account-based marketing, which creates highly targeted ads specifically to the companies you most want to do business with.
- You can also post retargeting ads, which are only shown to people who have already visited your website. This type of advertising is low cost and ensures your company stays top of mind with recent visitors. If they see your ads enough, they might just come back to buy what they were looking at the first time around.
- You also have the option to advertise on social media channels, like Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Don’t let the COVID-19 environment or a smaller marketing budget hurt your marketing efforts or results. With a switch to digital marketing efforts, you’ll be able to successfully adapt and see a great ROI on a small budget. If you’re not sure how to get started or you don’t have enough time or resources to implement your digital marketing plans, book a consultation with GreenLit Marketing to see how we can help.