Many businesses have already been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis, and the lasting economic damage of the pandemic remains to be seen. Given the current outlook, it’s not surprising that small businesses around the country are faced with tough decisions about where to cut costs and how to move forward. Fortunately, community support for local businesses has proven strong. However, this support is unlikely to find you if you don’t have a strong presence online. This is just one reason why digital marketing is still an essential tool in this time of crisis.
While it may seem easy to cut costs by reducing marketing expenses, you could miss out on critical engagement opportunities that can keep your business relevant and stable. You may need to scale down your marketing budget and change your approach, but don’t give up on digital marketing for your business just yet. Here’s a closer look at why digital marketing is more important than ever during this uncertain time.
Consumers are rapidly changing how they shop.
Lockdown and shelter-in-place orders are quickly changing how consumers shop. Many consumers are shifting their shopping to online orders to minimize how much they need to leave the house, even for services they might traditionally seek in person. In addition, financial uncertainty has cut down the amount of luxury shopping that consumers are doing. This can translate to some key changes you must make in your digital marketing strategy.
First, you may need to rethink your target keywords. As consumers are panic buying certain products and dramatically reducing demand for others, the organic search landscape has transformed. More consumers are heading to search engines to find everyday products due to local shortages. So, you may find yourself targeting keywords related to those products where you’ve never needed to before.
You may also need to alter how you physically do business. Many retailers have closed their storefronts temporarily, so their business is only taking place through online and phone orders. If your business has undergone similar changes, you’ll need to make your clientele aware of how they can continue to support your business. Digital marketing is the way to do that. From social media updates to email newsletters, digital marketing provides the tools you need to continue promoting your business in a rapidly evolving environment.
People still need goods and services.
The way businesses operate is changing by necessity, but the need for products and services is still present. While more luxurious or frivolous purchases will decline, there will still be a need for essential goods services like home repair, clothing, groceries, and healthcare. In addition, many consumers are seeking goods and services they might not otherwise. For example, home entertainment is currently in high demand, because so many people are stuck at home practicing social distancing.
Digital communication lets you stay connected with clients.
Digital marketing isn’t just something that will boost your sales. It offers a means of staying connected with clients when in-person interactions simply aren’t possible. Consumers expect to hear from your business right now, and digital marketing is how you’ll reach them. Your website will need to offer essential information upfront notifying customers of changes related to your COVID-19 outbreak response. Marketing emails and paid ads can generate interest in any current deals or promotions you are running to drum up sales. You may also need to ramp up your social media engagement with daily posts, as the situation is changing quickly, so you may have new info daily on what customers can expect with your business.
Marketing effectively now will position your business for success when stability returns. One thing to remember is that digital marketing doesn’t mean getting greedy or taking advantage of vulnerable customers amid a crisis. During this time, it’s important for your business to show its vulnerability and transparency. Your marketing approach should not only keep consumers engaged with your brand, but it should showcase how your business has been affected by the crisis and the efforts you’re making to support your staff and the surrounding community. Communicating the difficulties that your company has experienced in this crisis helps consumers connect to your business and feel a sense of togetherness. This kind of emotional impression can resonate for a long time with customers, so it’s worth maintaining a digital presence to stay connected. Eventually, the virus will be under control and the economy will stabilize. With a strong digital strategy now, you can position your business to thrive when normalcy does return.
Competition will go down as companies drop ad spend.
It’s nearly impossible for a business to shoulder a crisis without making some substantial changes to their spending. Unfortunately, not all businesses will be willing or able to continue investing in ad spend. That means that there’s a key advantage for companies that remain active in their digital marketing: Less competition. With reduced competition, you can take advantage of opportunities to rank for higher volume keywords, find lower bids for search and banner ads, and see increased search traffic.
Digital marketing allows you to track your return on investment.
In a crisis, many businesses aren’t sure how to respond. Some are thinking way outside the box with creative marketing solutions that may or may not pay off down the road. However, putting resources where you can clearly track and measure your return on investment will be a more sustainable strategy. With digital marketing, you can see exactly what is working for engagement and conversions. So, you can continue to develop a reliable strategy for keeping your business afloat over the coming months.
To maintain a strong digital marketing strategy throughout the coronavirus pandemic and beyond, reach out to Salem Surround. Our suite of digital marketing solutions will surround your target audience with your message. Don’t just promote your brand; create loyal brand ambassadors and see lasting results with our marketing services. Visit us online or call (844) 277-5797 to get started.