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Our 11 Smartketing Advices During The Second Wave of The COVID-19 Crisis and beyond

Mardi 1 Décembre 2020

Depending on your industry, you might have noticed your sales and revenue plummet in recent times, thanks to the Coronavirus. Some sectors have seen an almost total cessation of activity and have had to innovate to survive.

This has made marketing more critical than ever for many businesses. Much of this marketing needs to be online, with the cost of traditional advertising, particularly television,  prohibitive for many companies currently. Of course, there is another excellent reason to push your marketing focus online in the present. People are spending more time at home (either willingly or because of restrictions on movement) and are going onto the internet more frequently.
Here are some marketing ideas you can consider in this time of the Coronavirus.

1. Don’t Panic

Yes, times are tight agein at the moment. Trade may have plummeted for your business. You may even not be trading at all for reasons beyond your control. But things will get better after each wave. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
That isn’t to say you should underestimate the terrible effects of Coronavirus. They are real. Many people worldwide are catching the virus, with numbers increasing at an exponential rate, and some of them dying. And you may have to cease trading for a while. You may need some assistance, and this will differ from country to country. But you shouldn’t make knee jerk decisions out of panic. Most businesses will survive the chaos, just as they have through wartime, recessions, depressions, and pandemics in the past. You don't want to find that while you shut up shop through panic, your competition rode the waves and was ready for the revival.
Even if your income dries up and you need to claim any government assistance available in your country or region, you should keep some digital marketing going. It will keep your business name visible and in people's minds for when customers decide to return. 

2. Keep Connected with Your Customers on Social Media

People use their social media accounts more than ever during hard times. This is particularly the case if they are scared or uncertain about what is going on around them. If you live somewhere in lockdown, then social media will be one of the most significant forms of communication. 
Internet usage has increased dramatically over the last month. While part of this is people turning to Netflix and the other streaming networks when locked-down,  much it is for communication purposes. And social media is now a preferred form of communication for most people.
Sure, people may not be thinking about being close to their hairdresser or taking their car in for a service. They may not be allowed to order a takeaway or go to a bar. But they will still be interested in you. They will take particular notice of useful, engaging content you may share, and are likely to remember your name, even if they have never used your services previously.

3. If You Have Enough Time For That, Take Any Opportunities That Arise to Help People in the Crisis

The best form of marketing is always when you create goodwill. People remember the good thing your business does. 
If you can help people get through this time, do so. For example, in Switzerland, the Morand Distillery has  changed over some of its production lines to making hydroalcoholic gel. 

Marketing may not have been foremost in the minds of this company (or other companies making similar decisions around the globe). Still, people will remember their actions when they start to spend money again in the future.

4. Improve Your Online Presence

More people are online than ever now. They are also becoming warier of personal interactions. But that doesn't mean that they have lost interest in the businesses around them.  In some cases, enforced time alone has given people more opportunities to make Google searches and research potential items to buy.
Quite a few firms devote part of their marketing budget to trade shows, exhibitions, and events. Yet many of these are now canceled, and fewer people are interested in face-to-face meetings. This is particularly the case for B2B companies. Figures released by data intelligence company PredictHQ, show that in February there was a 500% surge in cancellations and postponements of significant events. 
You might need to alter your website to reflect current demand better. For instance, if you run a broad sales mix of stock categories, you might want to emphasize your food and home essentials products over more luxury items. In some cases, where government restrictions limit what you are permitted to sell, you might need to alter your website to remove any prohibited items temporarily.
However, remember that digital marketing has one significant benefit over most other types of marketing.  It doesn't require any face-to-face interaction. It is also one of the more measurable types of marketing, making it easy to set clear ROI goals.

5. Use Video As Your Preferred Media To Create Contents And Spread It To Your Audience

  • Ever heard the saying ‘Pictures are worth a thousand words’? Well, a video speaks a million. To better understand the benefits of video marketing during COVID-19, you should take a look at some of the latest statistics regarding the same.
  • The percentage of marketers claiming video as an important marketing strategy - 92%
  • The percentage of marketers that claim video marketing provides them with positive ROI - 88%
  • The number of minutes people will spend watching video in 2021 - 100 minutes per day.
  • The percentage of marketers that will continue to use video in 2020 - 99%
  • The percentage of marketers willing to explore video marketing in the B2B ecosystem - 41%
  • The percentage of marketers that use Live video - 57%
Now that you know how important video marketing is today, you are all set to understand the benefits of video marketing in 2020. Let’s discuss them in detail.
A) Social Platforms Thrive on Videos

Almost 48% of the online social media users have said that they’d share video content with their network of friends if they find it engaging and useful. What it means is that the marketers need to leverage the present market penetration of video content to make an impact on social media. And the opportunities to use video content is growing too. You have Facebook Watch and Facebook Live, Instagram Live, IGTV, Twitch, TikTok, and so many other platforms to push out video content. Even LinkedIn is updating its algorithms to provide a better reach for video content. 

B)   Mobile Users Enjoy Consuming Videos

Oh, they love it! As the smartphone and Internet penetration across the world increases, consumers are more likely to consume video content and get hooked to the magic of it. Even today, Americans collectively are used to checking out their phones almost 8 billion times a day ! And to top that, almost 75 percent  of the world population loves consuming video content on mobile. What this essentially means is that video is the only way forward. It is the right time to adapt to meet the demands of your target audience.

C) Video Content Commands More Attention

Did you know that an average online user spends 88% more time on a website that has video content on it? Well, that’s how it is today. The demand for consumer attention is never going to drop. And there’s only so much consumer attention to go around. This makes it even more important to execute video marketing strategies for your brand because it used both visual and aural stimuli to capture online attention. This can lead to exponential growth in brand awareness and marketing ROI.

D) Video Strengthens Emotional Connections

It’s all about how relatable the content you put out is to your target audience. One of the marketing practices we would definitely recommend you is to create emotional connections with your target audience. During COVID-19, it is so important to maintain communication with your target audience. Showing that you care and are making changes to how you function in order to provide the same value will help you strengthen the business-customer relationship. Video is the best form of content that can help you create brand loyalty over time. We are talking about 94% of the consumers  who claim to recommend a brand that they feel more connected to. Video content helps you to influence the audience at an emotional level and successfully push the message across. Your target audience is more likely to recall an advertisement that made them emotional (laugh or cry) even if they watched it years ago. Videos are that powerful.

E) Video Content Drives Organic Traffic

Here’s another important statistic you should note. Video will be the source of almost 82% of all organic traffic on the Internet by 2021. Brands will be more likely to get ranked on SERPs if they have video content on their website. Google wants to provide value to its online users. And it understands how effective video content is. Therefore, the importance of video marketing in the coming years cannot be ignored. You must do everything it takes to rank your video content on the first page of Google’s search engine.

6. Improve Your Site’s SEO

It’s all very well having an improved digital presence, but that is worth little if people can't find their way to your website. Any business with a website needs to operate good search engine optimization (SEO) principles, if they don’t want to end up lost amongst the competition.
Google and the other search companies continually change their search engine algorithms, so you need to ensure that your site frequently changes to keep up with the trends. Good copywriters and content marketers know how to write their content with SEO in mind. Likewise, your developers should be able to ensure that your site operates in such a way to make it easy for the search engines.
The aim of proper SEO is that when your potential customers search for keyword terms critical to your industry, your website posts and pages come up near the top of the search results, preferably in the first few positions. There is much competition for these slots, meaning you aim to have better SEO than others in your sector.
At the moment, your competitors may be too busy trying to survive than think about the quality of their websites. Exceptional SEO gives you an excellent opportunity to be first off the mark when things recover. 
This applies even to those firms in industries most affected by the Coronavirus. As long as you have internet access, you can easily work on your SEO from home. And even if your business has to go into hiatus, good SEO will make it much simpler for you to rebuild.

7. Use PPC Advertising

It probably depends on your industry, but now could be the perfect time to increase your pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. More people than ever are on the internet, giving a greater chance for your ads to appear before relevant pairs of eyes. This can give you a tremendous competitive advantage.
Of course, you will want to balance this against the possibility that few of your customers may be in a position to use your services. There is little point travel agents using their cash flow for paid PPC advertising at the moment – there are few if any people likely to click on their ads with a genuine aim of buying international travel.
However, this is an excellent time for firms wanting to stand out from their competitors in specific sectors, however. For instance, with so many people isolated at home, sales of software useful for home offices will be skyrocketing. And if firms can deliver these digitally, there is no concern about them being caught up in distribution hold-ups. Some products have rapidly jumped up the best-seller lists. 

8. Adapt Your Offers to the Circumstances

Have you noticed all those television ads of late that seem irrelevant to the current situation? Television networks have even still been running ads for travel agencies, suggesting you should take time out now to travel the globe. You will also see numerous ads imploring you to go on a consumer spending spree, enjoy Spring Break, and save on brands of toilet paper, long since sold out to panic buyers. 
Presumably, these ads are more an indication of the long lead times in the television advertising industry, rather than any genuine belief by those firms advertising that the viewer will suddenly buy their products at the moment (particularly so, if you are in a country experiencing lockdown).
Successful marketers move quickly and adapt to the circumstances. There is little point continuing your marketing as normal if consumers are unable or unwilling to buy your usual products at the moment. 

9. Keep Nimble and Adjust to Meet Customer Needs

This connects with the previous point. You need to be nimble and adjust to your customer needs.
Smaller businesses may have to modify their operations for the situation. If you run a fast food store in an area not yet locked down, you might have to consider temporarily closing down your in-store dining facilities and ramping up your takeaways. If you are a gym that has to close its doors for a while, you might want to make some videos of exercise routines your clients can do at home, uploading them every day to YouTube.

10. Keep on Top of Your Marketing Metrics

It is more important than ever now to keep a close eye on your marketing data. Take notice of what works and do more of that. If previously successful marketing currently lacks impact, it has become irrelevant; reduce or stop that type of marketing for a while.
This should, of course, be your everyday philosophy. Examine the data; see trends; make changes as required.
It is relatively simple to determine the ROI of digital marketing activities. You just need to identify a specific marketing goal for each campaign and decide the relevant metric to measure.

11. If Forced into Lockdown Plan Your Future Marketing

If you are in lockdown, you probably have more time on your hands than you are used to. Just because you may feel stuck at home, doesn't mean that you can't plan for things once the Coronavirus crisis comes to an end. 
Many marketers complain that they are always busy and haven't got the time to do such things as analyze their website performance and check on their SEO. Well, if you are in lockdown, you have plenty of time now.
Now is an ideal time to plan your future marketing and how you will get yourself back up and operational gain. Depending on your situation, you may have to plan your marketing rebirth on a shoestring budget, but digital marketing doesn’t have to be overly expensive. This is one of the reasons that you still need to keep your website up-to-date and keep on updating your social pages. If they still exist, you won't have to spend time rebuilding them from scratch when the world comes back to life again.
As well as spending the time to check the current performance of your website and existing marketing, making appropriate changes as needed, you could also begin to plan out your recovery content. Sketch out your future campaigns, create content, write scripts for videos, and anything else that you can do by yourself without being in your full work setting.

Book your free consultation if you need an helping hand...

if you need a helping hand with your marketing, contact us and book a free consultation   with me as soon as possible. We will gladly help you to develop your visibility and your online attractiveness to allow you to conclude new online sales in the short and medium term!
Mathieu Janin

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