These are the desperate times, where anxiety desperation and fear are filling up.
For the businesses this is extremely precarious times as the world is dealing with the pandemic in its own way, there exists no right answer as to how to react to the situation. The overlaying unpredictability is making most businesses to turtle up and try to weather the storm the best way they can.
Simply put, turtling up means to pull yourself and not reach out for new opportunities. It means reducing as many costs as possible which also includes the marketing budget. While we know you might have your plans to ensure your business can remain relevant, we have some strategies and options to share what we believe will work better than the classic turtle strategy.
What Marketing Teams Must Do?
In such times, your marketing efforts need flexibility and adaptability so they can address the new challenges posed by the current situation.
We obviously cannot tell you how to manage your budget in such challenging times, but we can definitely tell you that cutting your marketing budget at this time can have a very detrimental effect on your business’s overall health.
Search engine optimization has always been about the long-term marketing goals while excessive cost-cutting for profitability only works short-term.
Ask yourself, when this hard time is behind us, will you find your brand in a strong position within the industry or you have to start all over again to build the online marketing foundation?
It doesn’t mean that you should keep doing the same things that you’ve always done but improvised. As the trends are changing every day, your online marketing success depends on the ability to pivot and change the strategies to keep up with the industry modifications
SeoEaze recommends the following steps to keep your online marketing on track during such uncertain times:
- Double down on content marketing
People want to experience that outside there are some aspects that are normal, or at least relatively normal, they do not want to keep reading about how the corona is affecting the world, their jobs and businesses.
This is the time when customers and clients want to have access to more connection points to their favourite companies. We recommend you provide these points in the most useful, creative and fun content as you can.
Your content marketing strategies must consider different types of content to meet this new demand. Ensure that your messages are empathetic and on-point. Videos, eBooks, podcasts, newsletters…all these formats are valid right now.
This is also the best time to repurpose the old pieces that were popular and circulate them back to your clients and customers.
- Relationships over links
This is now the time for traditional link building tactics. Think about it, how insensitive it is to reach a blog or website with a backlink request if their business is struggling to survive. Do not assume that any blog will be interested in editing their old posts with some authority link to send your way.
However, you can approach the same blogs and websites with the intention to build a relationship. Think of a mutually beneficial relationship in which you can collaborate to get traffic or leads back and forth. This is the time for this kind of relationship “link building.”
- Retool Your Website
Who knew that the world would change in the course of a few weeks, which is why there is a high chance that your website is not ready to deal with the current crisis and needs revamping.
We are not expecting you to add a statement to your website about the effects of the virus or what your company is doing about it. However, this is the ideal time to update the About Us page on your website with the relevant information as well as add the disclaimer on the contact us about working with a smaller staff.
Also, now is the high time to re-evaluate your website and remove anything that might not be appropriate for this time or to highlight a product or service that might be in high demand right now.
- Make keeping current clients the focus
At present, gaining new clients is going to be tough for every business, this is why you need to focus on making most of the available clients and keep them.
Your entire focus must be on retention. If you are unable to get the revenue your focus must be on keeping the money that you have got flowing in.
Beware that retaining your clients doesn’t mean you have to pressure your current client to stay or take a stance on contracts and agreements. Be open with your clients and show empathy for their needs. Be flexible about their payments and contracts.
Local Businesses: What They Must Do
Many local small businesses with brick and mortar location rely on Google Search and Map listings to get their customers and share their info.
Unfortunately, businesses are closing left and right, the Business Information in google can be rendered outdated at the drop of a hat.
For local businesses, it is important to remain flexible to these changes. You must keep Google Informed about what is happening at your location.
Google recommends that businesses take these steps:
Change the business hours: Ensure that your listing displays the proper hours if you have changed them.
Create an update post about COVID-19: You can use Google My Business page to share posts about your company and how it is dealing with the virus.
Be available for your customers: Use all means at your disposal to keep the communication open with your customers.
Update your business description: Edit your current business description to include more information about your current operations.
Spot the disclaimer: Google is already adding a disclaimer to company profiles to let the searchers know that the provided company information may not be up-to-date. You can remove the disclaimer by updating your business hours.
Now, if for some reason your business has been shut down, Google wants to know about it. But simply listing your business as closed will destroy your ranking you worked so hard for.
This is why you have the option to mark your business as “Temporarily closed.” This is the move from Google to ensure that your business is “treated similarly to open businesses and your local search rank won’t change.”
To mark your business “temporarily closed” do this:
- Sign in to Google My Business.
- In the left, click “Info”
- Point to the section on the right: “Close this business on Google.”
- Click the arrow to expand this section if necessary.
- Click “Mark as temporarily closed”.
If your business does not involve products or services that are considered essential, then you might have to make a change to your marketing approach.
Do not exploit the crisis or ignore it either.
We are in a tough situation this is why your tone and intention must reflect that you empathize with the situation. All your marketing messages must be understanding with no old boilerplate stuff that might be inappropriate at this time.
Getting Through The Crisis
This time of pandemic has thrown most businesses into trouble but you must not lose your head and keep thinking straight. Step back from the “business is business” mentality and incorporate more empathy and understanding of the needs of your clients and customers.
We know that the changes in marketing strategies and budgets are inevitable, but it will be a mistake to entirely demolish your entire marketing strategy. Go for a more precise pruning but do not divest entirely from online marketing.
Do not wait till the markets start to look normal and resume operations, online marketing has always been a long-term strategy, keep moving forward such that you have a better chance of getting back on your feet and outperform the competition when it’s all over.