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At this point, you’ve probably heard it all when it comes to COVID-19 messaging.

During these difficult times…

While we all navigate through these strange waters…

We hope this finds you in a healthy place during this unprecedented situation…

Companies have bombarded their customers with messages of support and headlines pushing sales that focus on coronavirus. The initial wave of emails has finally died down, and now is the time for businesses to change their strategy to adapt to the new climate. 

While some may think that shutting down marketing initiatives entirely is the correct way to handle COVID-19, this will ultimately damage the traffic gained to your site prior to the mandated quarantine. 

In order to stay successful, continuing marketing efforts now will help your company thrive once life returns to somewhat normal. Voltage’s team of digital marketing experts share their industry knowledge so you and your business can stay effective while this situation shakes itself out. 

Online Business

Business trends are quickly becoming 100% online as shifting consumer behavior is directly related to shelter-in-place orders. The more time people spend at home, the more they rely on the Internet to provide information, entertainment, and to supply them with the goods and supplies they need via delivery. 

Since your target audience is spending more time online, this gives you the opportunity for your customers to get to know you and your business outside of the normal scope. 

Communication is key while in quarantine, so reorganizing campaigns to focus on brand awareness or to run ads that are industry-specific are the way to optimize without crossing the line into taking advantage of the public’s concern. 

Pausing efforts to maintain your online presence won’t do you any favors in a time where the Internet is the only tie to our neighbors, families, friends, and the world around us. 

Leading experts also say we’re headed into an economic downturn. This sounds scary, but we have survived recessions before and we can survive this one with our businesses still intact. 

During an economic downturn, you might find yourself with less online competition, which if handled correctly, leads to easier and faster results when it comes to your digital marketing strategy. 

Benefits of Continued SEO and PPC 

  • SEO operates long term, so you can still make improvements that will show themselves months in the future. 
  • Algorithm updates can happen that may involve quick action depending on the size and scope of the changes.
  • Remaining visible through the use of PPC campaigns goes a long way. 

SEO will continue to be an important avenue for businesses to build their digital marketing strategy around. Traditional SEO strategies usually take months to garner first page results, so halting efforts now will ultimately damage your current standings and present an even more difficult challenge once business slowly returns to normal. 

Losing traction during this time will make the bounce-back post-COVID-19 even harder. 

Not only that, but without at least minimal monitoring, you’ll miss the opportunity to find out if something is wrong with your site from a technical perspective. 

Scaling back slightly can also be an option, but ultimately it will cost you rankings and may impact your website more than you think. 

As for PPC, with more advertisers pausing their campaigns, you stand to see improved CPCs as a result of less competition. Through account tweaks, you can create an approach that truly gets to the heart of what your products or services actually bring to your customers’ lives.

Remaining visible will make your reliability and your credibility shine in the eyes of your audience. 

Is pausing PPC efforts the only option and is it the right option during this time? The answers to these questions depend on your company’s situation, but there are adjustments that can be made to your PPC strategy that allow you to adapt, survive, and potentially thrive. 

Navigating Social Media Marketing

  • Utilize social media as a tool to let your customer base know the necessary information about your business during COVID-19.
  • Using it as a client relations tool will benefit you in the long run. 

Social media is an essential platform to make use of, as people are required to stay at home with their devices with nothing else to do. Using social media will boost brand awareness and allow you to let the public know how you are responding to this global crisis. 

Your users rely on you for new information regarding the current state of your business operations. Keeping your customers updated on health and safety protocols, availability of hours or delivery services, and whether or not your business is an essential business, is important. 

This opens the line of communication between you and your target audience and allows you to have more of a personal identity with your customers. 

However, social media should not only be used as a tool for boosting sales in this current pandemic state. Providing information as to what your company is doing to combat the situation is better than pushing sales while using coronavirus to drive traffic. Using the platform specifically for sales might make your business seem tone-deaf, which is something social media marketers always want to avoid. 

Advertising costs are currently decreasing because of budget cuts and lower marketing spend. CPI’s and CPC’s on Facebook have dropped significantly in response to surging traffic on the platform. This means more impressions and clicks for lower costs. 

Making Use of Content Marketing 

  • Cultural marketing is something to avoid in your strategy. 
  • Content is king, especially in mandated quarantine. 

Right now, there’s an increase in demand for online content. While we’re all at home looking for different ways to kill time, reading new information, and staying updated on the outside-turned-inside-world, it’s important that content writers are at the top of their game.

Overall screen time percentages are up, with about a 70% increase in time spent on phone applications in Italy alone.  This presents a huge opportunity for companies to share stories and fun, educational content that they might not otherwise have tried with their customers. 

When we say to produce content for your quarantined audience, we don’t mean push content that interjects your company into the coronavirus conversation if it’s not meant to be there. 

Industries like healthcare, finance, and insurance are at the forefront of essential services, and they need to continue to let people know the status of accounts or changing processes within their operations. 

For example, TurboTax has an alert that directs users to helpful resources and articles on filing taxes during COVID-19. 

Consider how your customers are being affected by coronavirus and use that in your content strategy. Brands like Zoom (who became the number one most downloaded app in March) direct content to include helpful resources on how to host a virtual meeting and how to secure online classrooms. 

Other sites are finding relevant topics to entertain their customers with. DoorDash, an online food delivery service, regularly posts blogs like Boredom Busters that provide fun things for their users to do while staying at home. 

The content marketing takeaway? Be useful in any way you can. 

Your customers will appreciate it. 

Pivoting Strategy

Staying on top of digital marketing trends is a regular part of the business. Staying on top of the changes coronavirus presents is now an issue we all have to consider when it comes to our strategies as marketers. 

If your business doesn’t necessarily have money or resources for marketing, consider looking into websites like Catchafire. They are a hub that connects marketing experts who volunteer their time and knowledge to struggling companies that need an online boost. 

Companies sidelined by the virus don’t need to halt marketing efforts altogether, pivoting strategy will be essential to thrive in a post-coronavirus world. 

After all, digital marketers are already used to pivoting strategy. When it comes to your online presence, think of COVID-19 as another algorithm update. It’s a serious one, but one that can be effectively navigated. 

This is the time to double down with your digital marketing. Remember, there is another side to this crisis and we want to make sure you and your business come out of it successfully. Voltage is here to stay and will continue to help our clients move forward in the digital marketing sphere. Don’t stop marketing. Don’t stop engaging with your customers. Be present in the time of COVID-19. 

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