The coronavirus outbreak has changed everything for businesses across the world.
Some sectors have had to close their doors, send their staff home, and cut costs as much as they can. Others working in sectors like online learning, delivery services and conferencing tools have seen a surge in growth that has exceeded business forecasts.
But one thing is certain, digital marketing has changed overnight.
Numerous businesses have slashed their marketing budgets and paused their contracts as the lockdowns, social distancing and economic strains take their toll.
And given such an uncertain future, who can blame them?
However, this is a huge mistake that could haunt them for years to come.
By neglecting their marketing, they’ll allow their business to fall behind. They’ll miss out on this opportunity to tweak their SEO efforts, build their brand, and create a solid, loyal customer base that will drive future success.
In this short article, we’d like to share with you some effective ways you can work with a smaller marketing budget during times of coronavirus and continue to get results.
1. Stay calm
Even though we certainly have seen the markets fluctuate wildly over the last few months and some industries crash, things will return to relative normality eventually. For this reason, you definitely shouldn’t panic and pull the plug on your marketing efforts.
Instead, see this global crisis as an opportunity. Refine your existing marketing strategies. Learn more about what your customers want and need, then go about putting your knowledge into action.
That way, when normality does return, you’ll be ahead of your competition and ready to hit the ground running.
2. Make Google Trends your friend
Search behaviour, engagement and conversion rates are always in fluctuation, even more so at unstable times like these.
That’s why it’s even more important than ever to keep your ear to the ground and find out what people want. What problems do they have? What are they searching for? What are they buying?
Use Google Trends to monitor search habits and you’ll understand current market conditions as they happen. By doing this, you’ll be better able to make key decisions that relate to the marketing of your business.
This includes where to focus your marketing efforts, how to invest your budget, which tools you will use to reach your goals and even what kind of content you could create to meet these changing needs.
The same applies to keywords. Monitor Google Search Console and Keyword Rankings more closely than you otherwise would to understand the nature and volume of searches.
3. Consider reducing your PPC budget
If your research has shown that search volume is significantly decreased for your industry or niche or that your business is currently closed, it can be worth reducing your PPC budget for the time being.
This allows you to funnel your existing marketing budget into other marketing strategies that provide a better ROI, such as SEO.
Because, as Brad Geddes, co-founder of PPC management tool Adalysis says, “If you have to leave the house to engage in the service, it just seems like it’s not converting right now.”.
If you absolutely don’t want to cancel your Google Ads, Facebook Ads or other PPC ads, consider how you could refine your efforts to make them perform better. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Which campaigns are providing the best results?
- Can we review our CTAs and update copy to become more relevant to the current situation?
- Do we need to add new information to our ads? This includes changes to opening hours, delivery, pickup options.
4. Invest in SEO
To maximise your marketing efforts, consider allocating a greater portion of your budget to SEO.
When you do this, you’ll be marketing to those who already intend to buy. For obvious reasons, this means that every penny you invest is more likely to lead to conversions and profit for your business.
Effective SEO also makes it much easier for you to connect those potential customers with your product, even if they’re currently stuck at home and unable to physically buy your product or service at the moment.
Remember, your customers haven’t suddenly stopped wanting your product or service. It’s only their buying behaviour that has.
Tailor your marketing to them in a way that solves these problems and offers solutions and you will continue to build your brand and improve your organic visibility, regardless of what the market is doing.
If you can adapt to these current conditions, switch, or grow your SEO strategy and become as flexible as possible, you’ll be in a much better place to ride out the storm.
Here are a few ways you can improve your SEO marketing strategy
- Conduct a content audit. See what you have of value and see if you can repurpose this content, rework it to meet your customers’ current needs or make it more relevant.
- Tweak your on-page SEO. Can you optimise your CTAs? Could you add more internal links? [Request a free website audit here].
- Create new content. Create new blog posts, videos, webinars, and other content to expand your audience, grow brand loyalty and help solve your customers’ problems. [More on Building Your Content Marketing Strategy here.]
- Invest in link building. Build connections with others in your industry to increase your exposure and expand your audience. [Read more about this in our article ‘Link Building During the Coronavirus Outbreak’ here.]
Despite what your social media feed might be telling you right now, the downturn many businesses have faced thanks to the coronavirus won’t last forever. But how you react now will influence the success of your business for many years to come.
So stay calm and try not to react. Invest wisely in SEO to maximise your ROI. Be flexible, refine your efforts and you’ll be more likely to bounce back.