We’re living in very uncertain times. However, there are ways to combat the effects of this pandemic by looking towards where you want to be once it’s over. With that in mind, we’re also going to look at some long-term strategies you can focus on while business recovers.
You’ll have seen a lot of this about recently, but a word of warning.
If you have invested time in your customer, then leveraging empathy is easier to adopt and integrate into your messaging. For those companies that take a direct, or functional approach to sales, then sudden empathetic marketing can often come across as a knee-jerk reaction, rather than a core value of the business.
We have seen over the past few weeks that more product-driven companies are finding this moment in time challenging. When you have been drilling home product features and benefits, it’s a little tricky to pivot and show a compassionate side.
Those who do manage to pull this off, have managed to convey sense of humanity & empathy while remaining professional by taking an authoritative stance, a very fine line to play.
We have seen many companies try and pivot to react to the impact of COVID-19. For the ones first out of the blocks, this has worked to significant effect, for others, not so. The best approaches have been from companies that acted early and aimed to give something back.
Approaches from a slew of companies have come across as half-baked or copy-cat in style, these companies were slower to react and got caught playing catch-up.
Companies are looking for ways to navigate the current time of uncertainly. Many are pulling in their belts, looking to scale back costs to weather the storm. For others, the impact of this global pandemic is far-reaching and has resulted in companies taking measures to ensure they will be able to re-open for business once this is over.
For the lucky ones, in current growth sectors, it’s business as usual as they attempt to conduct their marketing activities while remaining empathetic to the situation. In times of adversity, there is always room for growth; we have seen increased business for clients in the following sectors.
- Cloud-based services
- System Integration
- Online learning
- Online gyms/ training/ nutrition
- Online therapists/coaches
- Delivery companies
- Online streaming services
- Online gaming
- Online conferencing
For businesses looking to get through, our advice would be to think long-term. What can you do proactively to help create a healthier future for your company? What’s your differentiator - how are you going to start a conversation?
Easy questions to ask, a little harder to answer. For those looking for a solution here are some ideas, thoughts and guidance to give you a head start.
Your buyers are online so meet them there. Internet usage has soared in the past few weeks. With a lock-down imposed and most working from home, people are spending more time engaging with content online.
Today’s marketing is tomorrow's sales, and while business may currently be slow, by stopping or pausing marketing activity you will be prolonging this effect.
Consider more sustainable lead-gen approaches like Inbound and SEO. In most sectors, businesses are being cautious and are not buying, so continuing to rely on ads could be very risky.
Focus on your brand to build trust through expert content that offers assistance and is of value to your audience. Creating material that does this for little or no return with help establish your brand authority, people only buy from companies they know and trust.
You don’t have to talk about products to sell products. While those in the product space may feel if the content doesn’t relate to your product, then it’s worthless, you couldn’t be more wrong. Customers no longer simply buy the product - they buy into brands. When a customer can align with purpose, values or culture, it reinforces the buying decision.
Concentrate on your top of funnel activity, doing this now will ensure you begin generating opportunities for when business begins to pick up again.
All this talk of putting your expertise on show and meeting your customers where they are can be bucketed as ‘Inbound Marketing’.
Inbound is the process of producing valuable content for your audience to consume on their terms and asking very little in return. Through good content that is of value and solves a problem for the customer, your business will become front of mind for your prospect who deem your company to be a thought leader in the sector they are researching.
Once you have their attention, it’s time to leverage your content toward your solution, which is potentially the answer to the problem they are facing.
Interacting and engaging with prospects on their terms, rather than interrupting with sales calls, emails and ads will create a better start to the relationship. Aim to understand what the individual customer is really looking for and the challenges they face.
We have put together a handy guide for you to take your first step towards an Inbound approach. Download our Beginners Guide to Inbound Marketing today!
Search Engine Optimisation is the cornerstone of any websites marketing. Creating and optimising content on your site, and providing an answer to users search intent is crucial to driving low-cost, organic leads to your business.
The benefits of good SEO are ten-fold. Not only will your customers be met with better content, but your offering will be deemed as more important by search engines, in turn giving your whole domain a boost of authority.
However, good SEO is hard to find. There are now so many contributing factors that affect performance within search. Site Speed, User Experience and Social Impact are a few, but it all comes down to the quality of content on your site and how accessible that is to your audience.
A great strategy to consider is that of Pillar Content, a way of internally linking content within your site to give precedent to a single piece of content, or pillar. Learn more about this by downloading our Guide to Pillar Content
Be Present in the Digital World
Focus on Customer Experience More Than Ever
- Learn about your customers and fulfil their needs.
- Connect with your audience where they are active.
- Be agile with your marketing to adapt to a changing marketplace.
- Deploy purpose-led marketing messages to emphasise your brand.
Back to Basic’s
In times like these, it is often beneficial to consider your approach and revert to some marketing fundamentals to reinforce your decisions. One of our favourites is the "Seven P’s" a framework that you can use to continually evaluate your business activities.
These seven are product, price, promotion, place, packaging, positioning and people.
These elements are rapidly evolving, it’s crucial to revisit this framework to ensure you are on the right track in order to achieve the best results possible in today’s marketplace.
If you’re looking for a little assistance in getting your business marketing up to speed or feel that a long-term approach could bring benefits then reach out to ExtraDigital today. We would love to learn more about your business and current activity, in order to make recommendations to keep you in your customer minds and activate lead generation.