There is no doubt COVID-19 has created utter turmoil. The global economy is taking a battering, and it will take a long time for markets to recover. However, there are positive seeds being sown – as a digital marketer I am seeing a number of clients booming – particularly those in the e-commerce space.
I will preface this article by saying that in most cases, should your business have been struggling before COVID-19, this may not be such a good time for you. Hang in there.
Munn Digital is blessed at present.
With a global presence, particularly in Australia and the United States, our tiny team is being kept busy with emails and calls from new referrals asking how we can assist in generating new leads and sales for a business at this time.
I thought I would share some of our Dos and Don’ts for digital marketing during COVID-19; these are working well for our customers and will hopefully help your business too.
DIGITAL MARKETING DO’S DURING COVID-19
1. Do update your website with COVID-19 information
Any business ignoring COVID-19 by not implementing messaging on their website, will suffer.
There is little point ignoring the issue – it won’t go away and business as we know it has changed for at least the next few months.
Munn Digital clients have been advised to add a message on their website home page along the lines of “A Message To Our Customer During COVID-19”. This then links to a statement, written by the client, outlining their company health and safety practices, and how the business will be changing the way they interact with customers during this time.
This has been a highly successful technique with the click rates being high – and conversions remaining steady.
2. Do adapt your services to see how you can leverage the current situation
It is often difficult to think outside the box when you are emotionally entrenched in your own business (which is what marketers can bring to the table for you).
Yes, there are industries that may not be able to adapt (travel agencies, airlines, accommodation providers). However, there are many industries that can continue to grow, and, in fact, flourish, by taking a different approach.
This week I have personally spoken with 22 business owners from both Australia and the United States (new referrals) who are seeking assistance with re-marketing their products and services to adapt to a new market need.
This past week we have helped business owners and marketers across the following industries:
- Window furnishings
- Water filtration suppliers
- Beauty salons
- Retail stores
- E-commerce stores
- Technology providers
- Moving companies
- Real Estate Agencies
3. Do update your Google My Business Listing
If you have a Google My Business Listing then update it with your new hours – if these have changed.
Taps still leak, fuses still blow, leases still run out, and people still want to shop (online shopping has increased up to 30% for our clients). Services are still required – make sure these are front and centre for everyone to see.
4. Do address the crisis on social media
Again, ignoring that there is a pandemic will not make it go away. Ignoring the situation will also give off a message that either
a) you don’t care
b) your business is in trouble
c) you have chosen to ignore regulations; or
d) you are an ostrich (sticking your head in the sand).
Create a carefully crafted post addressing how your business is operating during this time.
5. Do promote your business
If marketing stops, so does business.
People are spending up to 48% more time online at the present.
Not everyone is out of a job, and people are looking at taking care of long awaited tasks they have been putting off for a long time.
Talk to a marketer who can put the right message out on the right platform for your business.
6. Do slow down and reduce advertising budgets if required
Businesses have staff and bills to pay, it’s a rotten time for many.
Try not to stop advertising altogether, however do engage the help of an expert who can possibly assist you at reduced rates during this time (we allocated a budget and have done this for many clients with a 75% reduction in fees in some cases.
Review your highest converting products and services and keep the pedal on, just at a slower pace.
DIGITAL MARKETING DON’TS DURING COVID-19
1. Don’t assume
Ever heard the saying ‘to assume makes an ass out of u and me‘?
Never a time was this more accurate than right now.
A perfect case in point is a healthcare client who sells supplements in the United States.
In a time where people are taking their health seriously, this particular client has decided to pause all marketing activities.
Why? Online sales are up, self-care is booming. This business has just left money on the table……
Another client has actually started advertising (a local service-based business), and their conversions have increased 700% a day (that’s no calls to 7 a day).
2. Don’t take your website down (if you want your business to keep operating)
I could not believe it when I heard businesses were actually doing this. Over 28,000 businesses have paused their hosting. Most of them want to continue to operate when self-isolation is over.
This is possibly the most damaging action a business can take online. Apart from giving visitors the message your business has closed for good, you can say goodbye to rankings and organic traffic for a long long time.
3. Don’t meet clients face to face
Whilst not strictly digital marketing, any business maintaining face to face meetings ( I alone know of 5 this week and I live in a city where there are 550,000 people and 148 confirmed cases of COVID-19).
There are many free video platforms (a selection listed below) that will work beautifully for meetings – please conduct meetings online instead.
- Zoom (yes, aware of the privacy breach staying on top of the news as this is our preferred platform)
- Google Hangouts
- Any Meeting
- Click Meeting
Any face to face meetings that can be conducted online (or quotes where a customer can video or live stream a service or repair), do this instead.
4. Don’t take advantage of others in your marketing messages
I am personally disgusted when I see businesses advertising “you need this now for your immune system or you could die” messages (that’s extreme, but not far from one particular supplement advertiser currently on Facebook.
Or what about this doozy “don’t risk your families health – replace your septic tank today and kill all germs” seriously folks, that was a Google Ad from a plumber.
Scaremongering is a tactic used by sleazy salesmen in Wolf of Wall Street days. It’s negative and will only hurt your brand.
Be positive – you want people to remember you for the good you bring, not the bad.
5. Don’t take marketing advice from people who don’t know your location or industry
I can think of one particular well-known marketer with offices around the world, who is currently all doom and gloom. The problem is, whilst his company has a global reach – all data being reported is strictly from the US market.
The same advice does not apply everywhere. Local areas require different services. There are different rules and regulations in each country, state, city and even neighbourhood.
Do what’s right for your business, in your location.
I’m in no way ignorant to the impact COVID-19 is having on businesses.
The current situation is nothing like I have seen in my lifetime, and expecting my first grandchild in September this year, I’m desperately wanting to see things get back to normal so I can return to embracing my family. I’m in week 3 of isolation and grateful for the fact that we are living in the age of wi-fi and technology.
The point of this article is to provide some digital marketing guidelines that are working well for our clients. Should you require some free advice as to how to best navigate your digital marketing during COVID-19, please reach out to our Facebook Page.