Article by Jake Leinen, Director of Marketing
The advent of the global pandemic—COVID19 has drastically altered the way businesses function. It is no longer built on the rigid models of customer acquisition or traditional sales model; we are now rapidly shifting to a renewed form of reaching out to potential customers. Since everyone is at home and spending time online, it is imperative for businesses and marketers to use this medium to push their brand forward.
The foundations of engaging customers today...
Ensuring you have a strong website presence is essential to allow your customers to learn about the company, use the services, and purchase products. Hence, SEO and SEM are important considerations in your business plan to reach out to your potential consumers. Secondly, social media platforms are ideally suited to target the right audience. The right messaging for the specific audience will immediately speak to the consumers and get their attention. Appealing posters and call for action messages will redirect them to the right place. Lastly, engaging with your customers through online platforms is a great way to build trust with them. For this, you can go onto Youtube to market your brand, use google ads, and more such strategies.
While pursuing this alternate form of marketing during the COVID-19 times, it is important to understand your target demographics. Planning according to these demographics is the way to make sales. For example, if you are focusing on fashion and younger target groups then Instagram is your ideal platform, whereas if you are planning to target professional groups of adults then you must utilize LinkedIn. The messaging for your sales also must follow this idea so that it resonates with your potential customers.
The key idea for businesses is to ensure that they are moving beyond the traditional forms of sales. Digital space is the new avenue for business and as a result, businesses must make use of this in the right way. Below are 3 specific areas business can focus on to adapt faster to the new reality:
✓ Prioritize your digital marketing with well defined strategies
The obvious answer to the challenges businesses are facing due to COVID-19 is to prioritize their digital marketing. That being said, what some call a digital marketing strategy is simply a list of individual tactics organizations hope, in the end, will come together for their potential customers and lead to closing more sales.
The starting point of a true digital marketing strategy is to define or redefine your brand. Think about the voice of your brand, how you want to come across in your campaigns and your value proposition. Then you need to think about your targets: Who are you going after, what are their demographics, what kind of person would buy your products and services. Consider defining these in a persona based model, as you may have several different types of buyers.
With those foundations in place, now you can think about what specific digital marketing channels are right for your business. Examples of digital marketing channels:
- Email Marketing
- Pay Per Click (PPC)
- Social Media
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Video Marketing
After selecting which channels are right for you, set a budget that is right for you. Consider many organizations spend anywhere from $3,000 to $15,000 monthly. Our suggestion for those who are new to digital marketing is to start off small and work your budget up higher when you find which channels are the most successful for your business.
✓ Improve the way you manage & track your audience's activities
Everyday potential customers are engaging with your marketing content on your website, landing pages, ads and etc. Though many organizations are good at getting traffic, many are poor at tracking & analysing where their audience's are at in the sale cycle. A CRM is key to this activity as it allows business to properly manage all prospect's activity from top of the funnel to the end of the buying cycle.
✓ Take advantage of content marketing
Marketing activities such as buying ads on google or email marketing are important. However, setting up & maintaining your social media pages and blogs on your website are essentially cost free ways that cast a very wide net to help capture new potential customers. Consistently updating your content on these channels shows your customers how active your organization is on a day to day basis and in turn gives them more faith in buying from you.
Essential to the process of creating content marketing is verifying the content you spread across these channels are high value, relevant and original. If you have succeeded in creating great content with those 3 things in mind, you will encourage your audience to like or share. These activities increase your posts or articles impressions on social media which means more people will see or interact with your content.
COVID-19 has challenged organizations to think about how their companies need to engage with customers. Businesses who can adjust their digital strategy, manage their audiences effectively and fully utilize their content marketing will be far ahead of the competition during these times.