The COVID-19 pandemic has without a doubt changed the way we live our lives, from working-from-home to physical distancing to becoming sourdough connoisseurs in a short space of time. With lockdown restrictions slowly being eased in different jurisdictions and businesses contemplating opening up again, what can your business do to remain top of mind and sensitive at a time like this – a time when revenues may have dipped or worse, disappeared? Should you cut your ad spend? Suspend ongoing campaigns perhaps or stay the course and continue to market your products and services? 

This article will highlight the top reasons to advertise during an economic slowdown while preserving and building your brand. 

While it is difficult to remain calm during an economic downturn, businesses that continue to advertise and promote their services during and after a recession hits tend to fare better than those that completely cut spending. It goes without saying that marketing is the bloodline of any business, particularly yours, and as such, eliminating your advertising during a time of crisis may severely damage or kill your overall business. Building and maintaining your brand is the way your customers – past, current and future – will be able to maintain their trust in you. They need to know that you are here and that you are weathering the storm. 

Here are a few ways you can leverage your digital marketing during the coronavirus outbreak:

 

Seize available marketing opportunities

Whether you’re 100% e-commerce, brick and mortar, or a little bit of both, you can still be successful regardless of your marketing spend. Given the situation we’re all in at the moment, now is the time to collaborate and brainstorm on the right advertising mix and strategy that will propel your business. Simply downgrading and/or turning off all marketing campaigns isn’t a strategy, nor a road we’d recommend your business take at present. Instead, consider allocating your marketing dollars from more aggressive campaigns to those that build brand awareness and enable you to connect with that same target audience. The point here is to still remain in touch with your clientele and create opportunities to connect with a new audience at the same time. 

Tweak your brand messaging on the platforms you are currently using, and even head over to a new one to widen your advertising net. In addition, you could introduce new, timely calls-to-action and pivot your digital marketing strategy to respond to the current situation – in a tasteful, non-opportunistic manner. With most people working from home and more frequently online, the purpose of these new ads would be to solidify your presence while also gearing up for your phone to ring with new leads. 

 

Manage your PPC campaigns

Covid-19 has triggered an incredible increase in online searches and social media behaviour as we’ve all been social distancing. With more people spending a lot of time on the internet, many businesses can and should benefit from the behaviour by adjusting their pay-per-click campaigns. By setting up a PPC campaign where your ads are linked to a specific set of keywords, potential customers can use these when searching for your business online. When a user clicks on your ad, they are directed to your landing page that provides them with more details about how your business can meet their needs. Because you are only charged when a user clicks on your ad, PPC ads typically have a higher ROI than traditional advertising.  

In order for this to be successful, be sure to update your keywords, review the most expensive ones and ditch those that underperform.

 

Shift to new media channels

As it is ‘business-unusual’ these days, businesses are learning that this is not the season to be silent, rather it is the season to communicate and add value. During these unprecedented times, a strong online presence will positively impact your business operations as consumers are now turning to the internet for some form of real-time assistance. he use of platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn now serve a dual purpose as both a valuable communication tool and an alternative advertising platform. By leveraging the synergy from the use of multiple media platforms, your business can yield a favourable advertising impact at a reduced cost.

For more detailed information on how to effectively make use of social media today, watch this webinar on to learn how to revamp and fully capitalize on the platforms you currently use.

Pull back on ad spend only if you must

We know that things are difficult right now. As every business continues to look inward at their financial situation and decide what the future holds for them, it is not uncommon for some companies to move ad spend around to save where they can. Note, this is not completely disappearing from the marketing landscape, but rather, pulling back partially. This would be the time to look at your current customer list and focus on relationship building. Even if the benefit to your business will take a little longer, the basic premise of focusing on previous customers is to spend your ad dollars where there’s still a tangible return on investment.

Remember: out of sight, out of mind. If it can be helped, try to avoid going completely dark. Maintain your existing connections and use them to bridge the gap as we get ready to open up the economy once again. This is especially important if your competitors are scaling down their digital marketing spend; you’ll have a leg up as your “share of mind” will be significantly higher.

Given the gravity of our current situation and the worldwide panic surrounding it, one thing is clear: business must go on. If you’re working with a great digital marketing agency, it’s a safe bet they’ve been managing your brand, and keeping your name in lights throughout this entire crisis. Communication with clients in a time of mass isolation is paramount not only to everyone’s well being but your bottom line as well. If you’ve managed to keep advertising and conversing with your clients, you’ve already taken the first step in hitting the ground running come the next stage of COVID-19 recovery.

Whatever you do, don’t stop talking to your customers! If you need any help adjusting your digital marketing strategy as we slowly transition to our new normal, we’re here to help if you need us!