Over 100,000 businesses have failed this year due to COVID-19. That's why you need to a digital marketing strategy today that will also serve you well as we begin to emerge from the pandemic. The key is connecting with consumers who are staying home during the pandemic.
Owners and managers also need to figure out how to maintain a relationship with their customers even though the customers may not be physically patronizing their business location.
Many of these businesses closed simply because they failed adjust their marketing strategy. Don’t be a statistic, take action! Here’s what you need to do.
With more people than ever shopping online, you must have an online presence that is designed to make it clear what problems you solve or needs you fulfill, and give prospects the confidence you are their best choice.
That is where the topic of Search Engine Optimization or SEO comes in. In addition to many “technical tactics” you will need to create SEO optimized content for your website’s blogs. That is one of several things that will make your site become more visible, which means it can rank higher on Google in the first few pages
Myth-buster: There are no “tricks” that magically will put you on page one of a Google search result. It takes time, work, and sustained effort – but it does work.
One of the best ways to optimize your web content is by creating regular blog content.
Be strategic when you write SEO content. Ideally, your topic will include keywords for which there isn’t an extreme amount of competition, but at the same time are keywords that your customers are using in their searches. For example, if you sold shoes and wrote an article with the keywords “Eco Friendly Shoes” you’d rank poorly as about 60,200,000 other sites use these keywords. But if you wrote an article for “Recycled Shoes” you’d compete against only 128,000 other sites.
If you add keywords naturally to your content, Google will take notice, but if you pack in too many keywords, Google will penalize you. Google pays attention to the quality of the content. That means writing content that explains the topic fully. You want to write content that gives a detailed explanation of whatever you are talking about. Some SEO companies believe that to show real mastery of the subject, blog posts of 2000 words are a must.
Another part of your digital marketing strategy is Facebook ads. With more people online, especially on social media, it's the perfect time to create a Facebook ads strategy.
However, before you create Facebook ads, you should consider everything that goes into them. You should consider the copy and the audience.
Facebook Ad Copy
When it comes to writing Facebook ad copy, it should be like any other good ad copy. That means it should be crafted to get the viewer to act, i.e., give you their email contact information. You can then market to them directly to buy now, book a time for a discussion, or take some other desired action.
Use a strategy that elicits emotion from the audience. There is a wise saying in sales that people buy with their heart and justify the purchase with their head. Motivate them to take action. When you write Facebook ad copy, you should be concise in your writing and show the benefits of your product.
This is especially important because you must consider what people dealing with COVID-19 are thinking about. Until things change, they will be concerned with how well you’re setting and following safety protocols and cleaning. They may well be buying more online as well because they may be afraid to shop in stores. Make your pitch something like “buying online with us is even better and more convenient than in person.”
Keep in mind, people buy solutions to the problem they have now. So, write about the problems your audience has. Be sure to clearly identify the problem you solve in your Facebook ad and then present your business as the perfect solution.
Another benefit of Facebook ads is that you can create custom audiences. You can create audiences based on their interests, their age, their demographics, and where they live. This means you need to understand your different types of buyers.
That rich picture will give you deep insights on more than just how to write an ad directly targeting the person (don’t forget, you can use these avatars when writing your blog posts too).
You can also retarget audiences with Facebook ads. This allows you to retarget people who watched your videos, clicked on your ads, or visited your website when they visit other sites which may be just the psychological encouragement they need to buy from you now.
Another digital marketing strategy is email marketing. You may have some subscribers who have been on your list since the beginning of COVID-19 but haven't made a purchase.
Email puts you in control of when you reach them because your email shows up in their inbox. You don’t have to wait for them to find you on Facebook or via Google. By having their email address, you can send email sequences that engage a cold audience and warm them up. Tell stories about customers and their experiences. Help prospects visualize how they would feel after buying from you.
Another benefit of email marketing is that you are staying in consistent communication with your subscribers. A monthly or bi-weekly email newsletter can leverage your blog articles to help build your image as the expert and keep you top of mind.
Overall, email marketing helps you stay connected with your audience. You can see how they are doing besides trying to sell to them. Send surveys and ask them what they need and make them feel a part of something.
Social Media Presence
A social media presence is critical, with more people hanging out online. You must have an online presence on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
By being a participant on these sites and posting each week allows people to understand how your business is doing and gives you yet another way to connect with people and show them that you're still operating and providing solutions to the problems and needs they have.
Another strategy with social media is getting your consumers involved. You can offer giveaways or do contests on the best picture or video. When you get your consumers involved, they feel a part of your brand.
It excites people to be a part of a business and tagged in a photo. It makes them feel included. This “belonging” is critical in the present COVID-19 epidemic when people feel lonely or trying to adjust. Being a part of something may excite them.
Figure Out How the Target Market Has Changed Post COVID-19
Your target market may have changed a bit post COVID-19. They may have changed their shopping patterns.
For example, if some people were regularly going into a brick and mortar business, they may now be almost exclusively shopping online.
That is why it's important to engage with your current audience. Send them surveys to see how they are shopping differently.
You should also look at the analytics behind your website. You can see what page they are visiting most and if you have more or less traffic than before COVID-19. Keep a close eye on how behavior changes as we come out of the pandemic.
The more you understand your audience and how they are shopping differently, the better you can help them solve their problems and market to them.
Now’s the Time to ‘Just Do It’
Learning how to create a digital marketing strategy post-COVID-19 will take a lot of effort, especially if you haven’t already done a lot of work on your website or with social media. But even if your business has suffered during the pandemic, the strategies here can help your business adapt to what your audience is doing and help get you growing again.