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People indoors mean people online–that’s an opportunity for savvy businesses to make money. Surrounded by news outlets and media, we can leverage digital marketing during Coronavirus to cut through the clutter and deliver sales.
Being surrounded by Covid-19 makes digital marketing necessary.
We’re going to cover the potential length of coronavirus, some basic strategies you can start using now to generate sales online, and how marketing is going to change once this epidemic has passed.
How Long Could Coronavirus Last?
To create a coronavirus marketing plan, you need to understand how long you have, and the necessary steps to securing business moving forward.
Unfortunately, things are slated to get worse before they get better.
It’s now known that April will most likely be the height of cases in the US. However, the world is likely to receive several spikes in Covid-19 cases before this is over.
The battle with the virus won’t be finished for at least another twelve months. A model from Imperial College London helps give an idea of how long the world has before things can get back to normal:
Even with isolation, lockdown, and social distancing, everyone is going to be mostly indoors throughout the next year. There’s no getting around that. Businesses need to adapt and create a strong digital presence to stay afloat.
Digital Media Matters Now More Than Ever
As restrictions wind down, social distancing will become more commonplace. Even without quarantine, customers are less likely to go anywhere behind home, school, and work.
To sell to consumers, you need to be in front of them. That just can’t be done with traditional media.
You can improve our visibility online in a few ways.
What You Can Change as a Location-based Business
If you have stock in your store, and customers aren’t willing to come to you, go to the customer. Delivery options are necessary to secure sales. That doesn’t mean you have to be the one completing the delivery.
There are dozens of services and delivery apps that you can use, that aren’t just for food delivery. While most people know about Grubhub and DoorDash, companies like Postmates include new categories for items like essentials.
Here are a few Apps and services that you can use to deliver anything:
- Postmates (used by Walgreens)
- Instacart (used by Publix)
It usually takes just three business days to sign up and start selling with most of these services. There’s no reason not to add your store.
What You Can Do As a Service Business
If products aren’t your business model, that doesn’t mean you’re entirely out of luck. Your options for Coronavirus marketing are going to look different.
Google Service Ads
Google’s Local Services Ads aren’t entirely new. When someone searches for a plumber, roofer, or services that require on-site work, these ads sometimes pop up. If you’re looking on Google or Google Maps, you’ll find these ads.
Currently, the feature is entirely underused. You can capitalize on low costs and sell directly to customers looking for services while they’re stuck at home.
Google My Business and Facebook Image Posts
Google Maps has an entire section for businesses, including images and posts that you can look at for just about every company in your area. One of the most important and most used features is the image gallery.
Facebook business pages are no exception; people want to know what the place looks like. Just like business reviews, images dramatically affect the trust a customer has in your business.
Adding new images of employees wearing PPE, or at least showing that you’re as safe as possible, can help breed trust in your business.
Facebook & Google My Business Covid-19 Posts
Letting regular clients know when you’ll be open again, or any rules on how they can still get service is extremely important. You can reach out to returning and new customers by posting to Facebook and Google Business.
What You Can Do As a B2B Business
B2B businesses often need a high degree of trust, with face-to-face meetings. Even with quarantine lifting, many companies are avoiding dealing in person.
Virtual Seminars and Meetings
Moving into digital conferences for lead generation and presentations is a must. You can still create a personal experience while delivering sales and marketing demonstrations.
For Facebook Groups and your LinkedIn network, you can utilize Facebook and LinkedIn Live. Both are a live streaming option for you to regularly speak directly to your audience to give regular updates on changes in supply or services.
Strategies For eCommerce
Everyone is moving to try and buy supplies online. One of the biggest threats to generating leads for eCommerce companies is the price gouging taking place on major platforms like Amazon and eBay.
While Amazon is starting to crack down on these bad actors, they’re still not acting fast enough.
On top of that, deliveries have slowed down for all services, and these influential platforms weren’t quick enough to update shipping times. The damage to customer trust has already been done. Now, on and off platforms, keeping customers informed and building trust is more important than ever.
Selling on apps and platforms like Amazon is usually a safer investment, but now is the time to invest in social media advertising, building your customer community, and your website.
You need to control the conversation and communicate directly with your customers. On many sale platforms, you can’t email your customers directly or create posts updating on shipping methods, or flash sales. Focus on your core audience and build up your branding.
Coronavirus Marketing: What Every Business Needs To Do NOW
You must carefully nurture brand awareness and trust, as they are the two most significant selling points during a crisis. Build your presence online where you can control it the most on your website and social media.
Advertise Where the People Are
Mobile traffic has exploded, and online entertainment is more significant than ever. Advertising directly on social media, Youtube, and other media platforms is going to reach a larger audience than before.
Promoted posts, display ads, and remarketing are some of the most powerful tools you have to establish the Mere-exposure effect.
The Mere-exposure effect is a proven phenomenon that states the more exposed you are to something, like a product, the more you prefer them over another. It’s a powerful tool, and one of the reasons targeted digital advertising works so well. Repeated exposure increases the likelihood that a customer will buy your product.
Reach the Top of Search Results
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is more important than ever as more companies move to market online. As competition increases, you need to be in the top results in search results.
Making sure customers convert on Google and Facebook search is critical, and your position dramatically affects your conversion rate.
While some companies are dropping their SEO and marketing teams to cut costs, smarter companies are getting ahead in search results. You can’t make a sale if the customer never sees you. To keep up, you’ll need to invest in SEO and build your position to make up sales you would typically make at the storefront.
Build Your Social Equity
Community building around a product or service is a tried and true tactic for generating sales. Social media has made community building more powerful with things like Facebook Groups, LinkedIn networks, and Instagram followers.
Word of mouth is one of the most powerful tools you can use in your business, and by creating an online following on social media, you can create a regular user base and generate reviews without having to create new campaigns continually.
Where SEO helps make your product the first result, and Advertising makes your product stick in customer’s minds, social media regularly engages them. Once they’ve followed you, they’ll receive push notifications on their phone, email notifications, and will be on their newsfeed whenever they look for content on the platform.
No matter what your business model is, you can create your sales online. But you need to move fast. Companies, both large and small, are shifting their operations online, and competition online will be higher than ever before.
Waiting until it’s over and not investing in Digital Marketing won’t work either, because spending habits are dramatically changing.
What Will Business Look Like After Coronavirus?
With the adoption of online grocery shopping and the dramatic increase in takeout and delivery options, the food market could go completely digital. Ideas like ghost kitchens, where you have a restaurant that only does takeout and delivery, are now more than possible.
It’s not just the food industry, either.
Consumers of all ages now realize that they don’t have to wait in line when they shop for amenities or necessities. When you’re online, comparative shopping is more engaging and personal, and you don’t need to listen to a salesperson.
Fully Adopting Digital Marketing
Younger and more tech-savvy folks already know and use these apps, platforms, and Google to get what they want. But never before has it crossed into every demographic, with every age group needing to learn how to use digital media to get deodorant or their next meal safely.
Many flagship companies of the last few decades have made a push to offer more of their services online, but have kept up with their traditional marketing to cater to their older audiences. Marketing is radically changing.
Where platforms and apps have continued to develop digital marketing over the past decade, the coronavirus epidemic will lead to a sweeping adoption of digital marketing.
Getting ahead now can help you maintain a top position in your industry during the next bull market and pave the way for the next decade of success.
You Can Thrive with Digital Marketing
Digital marketing veterans can tell you that the most important rules of marketing are more straightforward in the online landscape:
- Increase visibility
- Build brand awareness
- Create trust
Sales everywhere are down. However, to grow your leads, you need to stay in front of your potential customers. The best way to do that is to reinvest in digital marketing. You generate sales that are out there while future-proofing your business model as more people than ever buy and sell online.
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