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Not everyone was as lucky in the pandemic as mask manufacturers, food delivery companies, Zoom, and others. The offline business had to decide: either to quickly move all the work online or limit the business in all directions. In this article, we will discuss marketing strategies during COVID-19.
Simply moving to the Internet is not enough: you need to understand what you are doing, and under the influence of coronavirus, marketing strategy is changing rapidly. I am going to explain what happens with contextual advertising, SEO, messengers, email, and social networks.
You’ll find out:
The trend in the PPC is as follows due to the decline in demand in general, we can see a decrease in demand in search, and search advertising subsidies in particular. Previously, PPC search and product advertising was the main source of sales. People were looking for something in search, saw ads, and bought. Context has always been an auxiliary marketing tool – creating demand, brand, remarketing.
But nowadays, the trend returns a little, if you look at last month’s stats, banner ads and videos have become the main source of traffic from advertising. This is due to the fact that people are using streaming services, watching movies, TV series, courses, and there are banner ads everywhere.
If we talk about conversions, then again, in most cases there is a fell. I would even say that the conversion has not fallen, but lengthened. In the past, a person coming from an advertisement would buy a simple product at once, and a more complicated product in a few clicks.
Now, this funnel has lengthened. It became even more important to work with email, chatbots, maintain communication with other advertising channels.
If in some areas the decision-making period was three-to-four days, it could grow to two-to-three weeks. I assume that this is due to the decrease in purchasing power because many people are on vacation or without work. Those who have money are not in a hurry to spend it, because it is not clear what will happen tomorrow. Even those who have an intention to buy something started to buy less.
Advertising is greatly reduced, due to this decreases the advertising competition. The click is cheaper and you can get cheaper traffic. And if you are ready to work with these long conversion leads – you can get them cheaper than before.
In most cases, organic traffic drops. And the positions of the site may be good, but the traffic is falling heavily. Demand has decreased in SEO, but again, it depends on the subject. In some niches demand has increased – someone was selling masks and antiseptics, and he had no demand but then suddenly got it. And there is, for example, tire fitting there is no change in demand because people need to retrain the car anyway. There’s no drop in demand.
Traffic is falling in everything that concerns business services – if you take, for example, furniture for private use, the demand has not fallen much. And for offices, demand has fallen to almost zero, even those who have ordered before, stopped doing it.
If now there is no need for “burning” clients, business is on pause, it is better to invest at least minimal in SEO, in social networks, in maintenance, and stop contextual advertising.
There are free sites, directories, where you can go and place links for free. If there is no money, this way you can optimize a good part of the budget.
If a company does not work with content, you can follow this direction. This is a conditionally free tool – even if you don’t write it yourself, you can hire a copywriter at growyourstaff, conditionally it is not so expensive. Content can help SEO a lot, and it is much cheaper than buying links and working with technical optimization.
If a site has never been promoted, there have been no SEO audits and there are a lot of errors in code, then link building will not help. If the site had been worked with before, now you just need to reduce budgets, you can buy fewer links or look for cheaper and free sources.
Pay more attention to the content – by publishing new articles you cover more keywords, more search queries. For example, if you sell laptops, then write “how to clean a laptop”, “how to pick up a laptop for games” and so on. A person looking for information – gets into an article, read advice, can subscribe to the mailing list, social networks, become your regular customer. It is possible in this way to reduce the budget for SEO.
Being in a situation of forced closure, some businesses could not afford to keep their marketing budget at the same level. Accordingly, some suspended the work with messengers, as with any other channels generating leads. The reason was not even that the companies had no money left. But also the fact that there is nothing to sell and no one to sell due to quarantine if the business is related to offline services.
Is it worth stopping the activities in messengers at all, if the company is very tight with money? If not, then how to reduce budgets for this channel with minimal damage?
The work with messengers is divided into several categories. In terms of generating leads, traffic, and conversion, it is the same as in targeted advertising and other lead gen channels. If the business closes, it makes no sense to generate hot leads.
But the messengers themselves can be used in many different ways. For example, the funnel does not have to sell quickly. It can be long and work for involvement, heating, work not only with potential clients but also with existing ones. It makes sense to maintain such a funnel whether the business is working now or not. When the company opens its doors again, it will be able to sell to the same people – no one has forgotten about them, they have been communicating and maintaining relationships throughout this period – it is important.
The company may continue receiving subscribers – even without support, even in suspended advertising campaigns. However, as a budget cut, it is possible to suspend work with the contractor. In such a situation, this is a normal solution. In a few months, nothing should break. Thus, it is possible to cut the budget through new developments, testing, active generation of leads.
It’s bad for those who are affected by an offline fall. If offline is closed, the whole company has stopped working, and SMM too. For example, they somehow manage the account themselves, they only have enough strength for some content activity. And advertising – nobody simply comes to them, and they cannot work, and they do not maintain advertising.
Those who are forbidden to work, and who can not accept clients in the office, reduced to almost zero advertising in social networks and other sources. And someone, on the contrary, increased, like VR clubs. They launched a new service – previously there was an offline point, which is now closed, and the equipment is idle. They’ve set up a rental service and are actively developing it.
In some campaigns, traffic has increased, but this is due to the fact that the auction has been released. On Facebook, the current price of a click has dropped several times – simply because many competitors have left. The price is going down, the number of clicks is going up, and the traffic is going up accordingly.
In general, somewhere it has increased, somewhere it has decreased. Now it all depends on the area in which you work. If you can reformat online painlessly enough, you’ll have some minimal reductions, there will be growth.
In general, it is better not to reduce the number of posts, and make them better in quality. If the budget for advertising has decreased, then focus on the content.
SMM is less about direct sales and more about building a link between user and brand, and content plays a primary role in this. If you lose content, the connection is broken.
In paid promotion it is possible to save on what does not bring results right now – it can be reduced. In terms of conversions now everything should be actively connected to analytics. You look through the analytics – does the campaign bring you additional conversions after the transition and application. If the results are down dramatically, you should turn it off.
And the content takes a little time, especially if the company initially approached it correctly – there is a content strategy, a content plan, and so on. If it’s all there, there’s nothing stopping you from giving it all to one employee who’s sitting at home at a remote location to write according to a ready-made plan. If there is a strategy, there is nothing difficult about continuing to write, and it is not so expensive.
At the moment the main task of the channel is to keep in touch with the client and not to give false hopes. Therefore, the only dynamics that are important to us are the unsubscribe rate and the remaining amount of “live” users. For example, these are openings in the last 60 days.
I would advise not to stop and not to panic, the situation will somehow be solved and the brand will either resist or not. The main task now is to build an approximate plan to get back to the world and maintain feedback with clients and the team.
Stop everything – it’s like stopping a blast furnace, it’s easier to build a new one than the old one to run. So it is definitely worth reducing the volume, stopping the retention, and reviewing the basic onboard messages.
It is important that customers know that you are alive and in control of the situation on your side. Therefore, informational digests and regular alerts when you update the situation shouldn’t be stopped. We all have already learned how to wash our hands and listen to all the CEOs, so if you have something specific – then write about it necessarily.
Evelina Brown is an internet marketing, trainer, and founder of marketing courses expert who has been involved in brand development and creation since 2012.
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