In the next few weeks it’s likely that coronavirus restrictions around the world will be relaxed but not totally lifted. While this is great news for citizens, it poses a dilemma for marketers.
What is the best way to approach this ‘new normal’, and which strategies should be used?
If you have stopped paid advertising you need to start NOW
While pausing advertising during a crisis is understandable (most businesses do it), science shows it’s actually the worst thing you can do.
- Companies that maintain or increase marketing spend during a crisis do not make significant losses
- These businesses also increase market share faster after the downturn than their rivals who stopped advertising
- In the recovery period, businesses that kept advertising in the crisis make an average increase in profits of 4.3%
- Companies that stopped advertising see an average fall in profits of 0.8%
Getting back into advertising now will mean you are not starting from scratch in a few weeks time. It also ensures your brand is kept in the minds of your audience, minimising the risk of losing business to a competitor.
ZoomSphere Insight: Paid advertising on social media is a buyer’s market at the moment. We have noticed sustained falls in Facebook & Instagram ad rates. Reach has increased in some instances by 20%, meaning you can display ads to more customers for the same advertising spend.
What Post-Coronavirus changes can we expect?
It’s likely that the upcoming period will present real opportunities and also risks that need to be considered. For the brave marketer the rewards could be great, while the timid will lose out.
The coronavirus pandemic has significantly changed customer buying behaviours. The retreat to our homes and uncertain incomes have meant a focus on the essentials, and a move away from impulse buying.
Similarly, marketers have also reassessed advertising budgets and perhaps taken a hard look at their pre-crisis marketing spend, leading to a situation where both brand and consumer demand added value.
So how can this delicate balance be achieved?…
Research your customer
The #1 way to reduce advertising wastage is to methodically examine your website and advertising analytics from the past year. Rediscover who your target customer is and their main associated attributes.
- Age and gender
- Geographical locations
- Mobile devices used
- Conversion/referral platforms
- Favourite website pages
Both Google and Facebook analytics offer these insights, and it can prove surprising just how your audience has changed. Make a note of your new persona(s) and use them in your advertising campaigns. This strategy alone will help you to save cash by refining your audience.
In addition, utilise the advertising platforms with the best return on investment. In general, this means using social media advertising; Facebook & Instagram ads are a must for B2C businesses – they have the cheapest rates and the best targeting filters. B2B companies should consider using LinkedIn Inmail – another cost effective strategy.
💡It may also be worth allocating some of your PPC budget to Microsoft Ads, as costs can be up to 70% cheaper than Google AdWords.
Marketing techniques to use
Once you have laser targeted your audience, it’s time to think about consumers new priorities and how your service (and advertising) can be adjusted to meet these needs.
Now and for the foreseeable future, consumers have redefined value and your business needs to be able to respond. They are more likely to delay purchases, focus on essentials, and in general, spend less.
So how will you meet the challenge of reduced consumption?
Here’s some ideas:
Home is the haven – Even when restrictions are eased, home is where people are still going to spend a lot of time to try and avoid the virus. The importance of relationships have been strengthened and you can use this in your marketing. Focus on family and social values rather than individual activities.
Local experiences – Air travel doesn’t look likely to be restarting any time soon. Border restrictions may well stay in place. This creates an environment of reduced travel and staying local. It therefore makes sense to concentrate on local experiences when creating your next advertising campaign.
Use video – The demand for video content is peaking – new customers for Netflix have almost doubled in the first quarter of the year! Use video in your marketing to tell a story and meet the desire for quality content.
Adding value – As the consumer tightens their purse strings it is imperative to offer them value for money. However, relying on deep discounts will simply devalue your brand in the long term. Instead, focus on bundling ‘add ons’ into existing services or provide extended free trials.
Improve the sales team – Cautious consumers call for a highly efficient sales force. Can your existing sales processes be enhanced? Do you need to make further investments or try new sales tactics and support channels?
Double down on content production – Google prefers regular, fresh, informative content. Push out more SEO blog content to improve your ranking ability. Working hard now will make your brand more visible during the economic recovery and increase traffic to your website.
By maintaining your business’ advertising during the recession and recovery, you project an image of a stable, reliable brand, while also giving yourself the opportunity to increase your marketing share of voice.
Leverage your existing knowledge base
Another way to generate content ideas and to stay up-to-date with changing demands is to remain connected with existing customers.
You can tap into their current feelings and purchase objectives by sending regular short surveys to email subscribers.
Here are some tips for success:
- Have a maximum of 10 questions
- Send no more than 1 survey per month
- Offer an incentive to complete (e.g. chance to win a free product or gift card)
- Demonstrate low time commitment as part of the email title (e.g. ‘1 minute survey’)
These tactics will help to ensure that more people open your email, complete the survey, and give you their valuable opinions.
Offering incentives also helps to keep loyal customers happy, and the feedback you gain can be utilised in both your marketing efforts and to inform your sales team of new customers likely priorities.
ZoomSphere is the leading Digital Marketing Toolkit for brands and agencies. We combine awesome analytics and a highly organized workflow to make managing your marketing tasks simple.
We realise that during the coronavirus crisis it’s extra important for work teams to stay in touch and collaborate effectively. Because of this, we have made our Workflow Manager Completely Free For 6 Months.
Why not give it a try and let us know your feedback!