How To Market A Business During the Coronavirus Pandemic & Subsequent Recession
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Is Affecting All Business; Many Have Seen Sales Slump With Subsequent Layoffs, Knowing How To Market A Business During the Coronavirus Pandemic Is Now Key To Survival. Read Our Quick Marketing Tips Below. Then Read the In-Depth Marketing Tips That Follow. We will update this page as the pandemic evolves. Keep coming back for updates
How To Market A Business During the Coronavirus Pandemic
- Don’t Panic
- Focus on Existing Customers and Warm Prospects
- Don’t Cut Your Budget, Your Competitors Are Doing that, Expand Your Budget
- Focus on Repeat Sales and Adding More Value to Each Transaction
- Profile Your Customers & Prospects
- Analyse & Track Everything
- Analyse Your Customer’s Behavioural Changes & Respond Effectively
- Focus on Online Sales Where Possible
- Undertake Online Marketing, There’s No Point Advertising Where Footfal Has Decreased
- Ensure Your Website is Up To Date & Easy to Use
- Ensure Your Website Is SEO Compliant
- Use Google My Business (GMB). Create Offers, Post Regularly, Seek Reviews
- Use Social Media to Grow Your Audience, Promote & Sell
- Build Your Email List
- Ask For Referrals
- Build Relationships With Prospects & Clients / Customers
- Licence Your Product or Services
- Build Trust With Clients
- Analyse Your Competitors Behaviour, They May Leave Low Hanging Fruit
How To Market A Business During the Coronavirus Pandemic Explained In Detail
In recent days we’ve seen the COVID 19 Coronavirus go from being classified as locally endemic in China, and a few other countries, to be announced by the World Health Organisation as being a pandemic. Travel restrictions are being enacted by many nations with self-isolation advised where necessary. In the next hours, we are likely to see the UK government make further announcements which may restrict public gatherings.
COVID 19 has already severely impacted businesses in China and beyond with significant decreases in business. No business can escape the impact of this coronavirus. Most will see severe decreases in sales; though a few have or will see sales increases. Examples, where increases are being seen, include manufacturers of face masks, hand sanitisers, toilet rolls etc. Those being hardest hit include travel-based businesses, (from airlines, cruise ships and hotels to travel agents and airline meal producers ), conference and concert organisers, importers, port operators, retailers and more.
Other businesses that are seeing extra bookings include Airbnb and similar properties where people can take a holiday whilst self-isolating, online retailers, producers of online teaching software etc.
Marketing To Survive a Pandemic
The key to any business surviving the pandemic is to market effectively. That starts with examining our target audience and what they need from us today (it’s definitely different from what they wanted yesterday), to how we provide our products or services, customer service and aftercare.
Where most businesses will see the need to cut back with marketing, due to decreased turnover, this creates an opportunity for those that market vigorously. Now is the time to invest your time and money into marketing, when the competition is curring back. It leaves the door wide open for you.
Marketing needn’t be expensive. Many of the actions you can take cost nothing or very little. Your competitors probably don’t know this and that is why they are like rabbits in the headlamps and will cut their marketing.
Things like email marketing, posting to GMB and social media, improving your website and much more is effectively free. For example, writing this page is costing me nothing but my time. The website and hosting have already been paid for.
Other things are likely to come down in price. For example, Pay Per click is likely to drop in price as competitors cut their marketing. That means that a click that might have cost £5 last week might well be £1 now. And if you go for long-tail keywords the cost could be much lower.
Video is another example of a low cost or free marketing tactic. It costs nothing to record a video to your mobile phone and upload it to social media.
Of course some businesses are going to struggle whatever they do during the pandemic. We are likely to see many personal service businesses go to the wall. but those that revaluate their offer, build relationships with customers. listen to their customers and innovate are likely to survive.
The fleet of foot, that make rapid decisions without the need for lengthy meetings are going to be advantaged. So let’s look next at expanding your product or service portfolio in line with potential customer demand.
Expanding Your Product & Service Portfolio During a Pandemic
Buying habits are likely to change in the next weeks. In fact, there is strong evidence to suggest they already have. For example, supermarkets are already reporting significant increases in online shopping. People are wary of going into supermarkets and are preferring to get their food and grocery orders delivered. As more people need to self-isolate this is likely to increase.
Retailers of all descriptions need to think this through. They need to respond to customer demand and innovate where necessary. For example, you may not have previously offered delivery. Should you now do so? Or if delivery is not possible can you offer click and collect? And to make it very easy, and more attractive, can you modify the click and collect so that you leave the order in an area where you and the shopper don’t need to physically meet? Pandemics create new markets and need innovative responses.
I’ve seen several conferences and concerts cancelled in recent days. It needn’t be the end though. Virtual conferences are a possibility and have been very successful for many years. Can you convert your physical conference into a virtual conference? Marketed effectively you could see attendance increase simply because people can attend without travel. This may well become the preferred mode of attendance in future, with time savings on travel and cost savings on travel and accommodation. If so then being one of the first to do so will steal you a led in your sector.
Another opportunity that online conferencing offers is a wide pool of speakers. Where budgets may have previously precluded inviting a speaker from another continent that problem disappears when they speak from their office at your virtual conference in another time zone!
Pandemics offer many opportunities to offer online sale,s of one sort or another, that didn’t previously exist.
Profiling Your Customers During a Pandemic or Recession
COVID 19 means our previous customer profiling is no longer valid. Customers are no longer behaving in the way they did prior to the Coronavirus pandemic. For example, I have a large client base in the UK education sector. They are no longer hanging out at the education conferences they previously attended. I can, however, reach them with insightful articles in their preferred “trade” magazines. And if I were a virtual conference provider I’d be thinking about providing advertising slots between presentations in the same way that TV does. Plus I’d be thinking about offering advertising in my newsletters or setting up joint ventures with potential partners.
How To Use Websites to Market A Business During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Now is the time to realise the full potential of your website. And it’s going to become easier in some senses. Over 90% of webpages get no organic (search) traffic whatsoever. And with budgets being cut this figure is likely to get worse. The opportunity is therefore there to write pieces like this one that is going to have a better chance of getting on Page One of Google than ever before. Part of the reason for this is that the topics we can now write about have changed. For instance, no one has written much online about How To Market A Business During a Coronavirus Pandemic because the last time we had a pandemic there was no internet. No doubt that will change over the next few days and weeks but being first is always a good thing online.
So think through what you can write that is new or insightful about the present pandemic and will increase your profile and sales. It may not be easy but if you can do it you will lead the pack.
But it doesn’t stop at writing good content.
Is your website easy to use? Can people find the things they need? For example, people often visit a website to find a phone number. It’s amazing how often the phone number is hidden 2-3 clicks from anywhere obvious. So why not make it very obvious on every single page? For example on this site, we have it on the right-hand side of the header on every page.
Can you make it easier to contact you? For example, would it make sense to add a chatline?
A major problem with many e-commerce sites is the shopping cart process. Often it is long and complicated. Every step means the likelihood of someone abandoning their shopping cart rises. So you need to prune the process down to the essential and ensure it is as easy as it can be. Cart abandonment rates of 90% are not uncommon. Getting yours down to below 10% would see a huge rise in your e-commerce sales.
You can Discover The Hidden Secrets of E-commerce Success by clicking the link.
Ensuring your website is Mobile Optimised is another essential. Make sure you understand terms like mobile optimised, responsive and mobile-friendly. They are different and badly understood.
With voice searches on mobile phones, Amazon Echo and Google Home becoming more prevalent it’s time to ensure your content is written in colloquial language. Your content needs to be both more conversational plus you need to think about searcher intent. Are searchers looking for information, purchase or something else? Write with that in mind.
Above all provide website users with a good User Experience (UX).
Is Your Website SEO Compliant?
Website improvements don’t finish with new content. Now is the opportunity to check out the dozens of other details that most of your competitors ignore.
For example, is your website clear and easy to use? Does it load quickly? Is it mobile optimised as well as mobile friendly? Have you focused on meta tags and alt tags? Are you using video on your site? What about hashtags? There are hundreds of ways to improve your website and now is a good time to do it.
Is Your GMB Account Fully Optimised?
I’ve written elsewhere about GMB and the importance of claiming your account; posting content, images and video; and creating offers on Google My Business. It would be good to do this before the coronavirus pandemic leads to a world recession.
Using Social Media During a Recession or Pandemic
With people self-isolating they will spend more time online and especially on social media. that present s marketing opportunities for businesses that understand the social media medium.
But beware, most businesses get very little traffic from their social media accounts to their websites. Figures below 5% are most common with many getting less than 1%of their web visitors from social media. There are two answers to this. Yo need to either increase the conversion rates or sell directly via social media.
Building an Email Marketing Strategy During the Coronavirus Pandemic
There are a few essentials to be considered here. Firstly you need to build a responsive email list, then you need to email regularly, mainly with non-salesy content.
Building Relationships With Customers and Prospects During The Expected Recession
Relationships have always been important. They often result in repeat business and recommendations. I will be adding more on this in the next few days. Please come back to check out updates.
Building Trust With Customers During The Covid 19 Pandemic
If prospects and customers don’t trust you they don’t buy. So we need to build trust.
Hotel groups such as the Hilton Group have written to their email list and offered them the chance to cancel bookings with no penalty. Even their no cancellation bookings are being able to defer or cancel bookings. There’s no doubt that there is a big risk that businesses doing this will lose money in the short term. But they are building trust for the future with the hope of being able to take market share later.
Cookery schools such as Ashburton Cookery School are allowing customers to cancel right up to 24 hours before a course. Refunds can be made, courses deferred or payments transferred to purchase products from their online shop.
Trust is an essential we can all build during this pandemic.
How To Market A Business During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Don’t Panic. Implement Effective Marketing
Focus on Existing Customers and Warm Prospects
Don’t Cut Your Budget, Your Competitors Are Doing that, Expand Your Budget
Focus on Repeat Sales and Adding More Value to Each Transaction
Profile Your Customers & Prospects
Analyse & Track Everything
Analyse Your Customer’s Behavioural Changes & Respond Effectively
Focus on Online Sales Where Possible
Undertake Online Marketing, There’s No Point Advertising Where Footfal Has Decreased
Ensure Your Website is Up To Date & Easy to Use
Ensure Your Website Is SEO Compliant
Use Google My Business (GMB). Create Offers, Post Regularly, Seek Reviews
Use Social Media to Grow Your Audience, Promote & Sell
Build Your Email List
Ask For Referrals
Build Relationships With Prospects & Clients / Customers
Licence Your Product or Services
Build Trust With Clients
Analyse Your Competitors Behaviour, They May Leave Low Hanging Fruit