Marketing in Tough Times:
How to Keep Afloat During COVID-19
| 17 April 2020
The impact of coronavirus has been well and truly felt across Australia and the rest of the world. Many aspects of our lives have been altered in one way or another to prevent the spread of the virus. Events have been cancelled, employees are working from home and panic-buying is still seeing our supermarket shelves left bare. To many of us, these are the least of our worries.
It’s clear that coronavirus is having an impact on most facets of everyday life—but how will it affect your business and marketing prospects?
Coronavirus & the Economy:
COVID-19 is first and foremost a health problem with every day bringing us news that we can only compare to movies. Secondly, COVID-19 is causing major economic issues—the inevitable economic downturn is affecting businesses in almost every industry in one way or another.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has warned that the negative economic impact of coronavirus could be as bad or even worse for Australia than any other financial downturn most living Australians have ever experienced. These rather scary announcements are anything but inspiring when it comes to financial markets and consumer confidence.
In a bid to support Australians financially throughout this time, the Federal Government has announced that financial assistance will be made available for individuals, businesses and households.
It would be fair to assume the majority of us are still left wondering which way to steer our businesses and what to expect when this mayhem begins to subside to a sense of normality.
COVID19 & Your Marketing:
As we look for silver linings however small they may be, one positive is that some of us will now have more spare time to take care of previously neglected areas of our business.
When the purse strings start to feel the pinch, some might think the marketing budget should be one of the first things to go. In terms of the longtime future of your business, history shows this to be an unwise choice. By shutting down your marketing operations, you will only create a knee-jerk reaction that could potentially set your business up for a long term battle to recover.
Times may seem dire right now, but this doesn’t have to be the case when it comes to your business. If possible, it could be a good idea to use this quiet time wisely and plan for the future. It’s important not to forget about your marketing needs—normality will return and when it does, it’s essential that you’re ready and not playing catch-up.
How to Keep On Top of Your Marketing During Challenging Times:
For those who use an agency, you should ensure that your site is being regularly monitored or ask if your marketing team can put a maintenance plan in place. Small problems that arise from time to time may not be picked up due to reduced patronage, so it’s important that you and your team keep this in mind during quiet times like these.
Now is also the time to improve your standing with the search engines. Talk to your agency and ask if there is a budget SEO plan that might be useful to start pushing you up the ranks, so when the inevitable return to normality comes, you are well set to be in front of your competitors.
The good news is, whether you use an agency or not, there are many tasks you can get on top of during this challenging time:
Google My Business:
Make sure the contact details, address and operating hours are correct and up to date on your listing. Google My Business listings work best when they include as much accurate information as possible. More information and images will help your business appear more credible to potential customers and ensures locals will still find you. Learn more about using Google My Business in our recent blog post.
Videos can be great contributors to good SEO but they can also be time-consuming. You could potentially use your free time to put together any ideas you’ve had but haven’t had a chance to create. Post them now or keep them on file for later in the year when you’re busier and don’t have the time to create new content.
Social Media Planning
Try not to forget about your social media pages and online presence during this time. Regular social media posts will show your clients that you haven’t gone into hibernation and will help make sure you’re not forgotten about. If you’re finding yourself with some extra time on your hands, try to use it wisely and get on top of things you may have been putting off. For example, why not get in touch with happy clients and remind them to leave you an online review?
Now is the perfect time to get on top of any general housekeeping and administration jobs that you have probably been putting off. This will mean that when your business starts to pick up again, you can focus on more important tasks without tedious admin in the back of your mind.
Webinars are a great way to connect with clients, share ideas and positively promote your brand. Now that you have some extra time on your hands, you could start planning and creating your own webinars to share.
Get to know your customers a bit better by analysing any analytics or sales/lead data. What do you know about prospects that didn’t pick your business? Use your extra spare time to delve deeper into your analytics data so you can make improvements where needed to assure you’re ahead of the game when business returns to normal.
SERPS (Search Engine Results Page)
If you’re a small business owner, it’s likely you don’t usually have time to heavily focus on your organic search coverage. If you start to find business is slowing over the coming weeks, use this time to start trying to achieve different types of SERPS including point zero, featured snippets & video carousels.
In the Meantime—We’re Still Here to Help:
Although it may seem like the world is shutting down during the necessary precautions, the team at Shared Marketing is still business as usual. We are set up to work at full capacity remotely and are still contactable during normal hours. This means that all our clients will continue to be looked after as normal throughout these challenging times.
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