We’ll let you in on a secret, what made business owners continue to survive and thrive during this pandemic has little to do with their finance but more with their ability to learn how to pivot and leverage on the circumstances brought by the new normal to ultimately come up with foolproof COVID-19 Digital Marketing Strategies.
It is a fact that no one was fully prepared to face a pandemic of this scale. And the successes that you see today are but the results of the quick action and research brought by business leaders to remedy the impacts of COVID-19 to their day-to-day operations.
These strategies, however, state one common goal and that is to never stop your efforts on understanding consumer behavior.
Well, the novel coronavirus has only been with us for half a year, yet it has already changed the way we live, work, and shop. And these changes have forced many companies to rethink their marketing strategies overnight.
Digital Transformation for the “New Normal”
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A lot of people would argue that the pandemic has exposed the weaknesses of our business models and our poor readiness for any potential crisis.
One major weakness which we need to solve is to ready your business with digital transformation by having an online presence.
If your brick-and-mortar operations have closed for the moment, keep your business running online. Adapt your services to safely provide them to your customers at home.
Three Types of Businesses During a Crisis or a Pandemic
The global pandemic has definitely affected and impacted our lives. For others it is a battle for their health, their jobs, their livelihood and a bright future.
In this war against the novel coronavirus, one must learn which type of business you have placed you are in to successfully navigate your current situation and to arm yourself for the post-COVID 19 world.
- Missing In Action
These are the businesses who have zero online presence. They have no website and social media accounts and are nowhere to be found online.
- In No Man’s Land
While you may have a website, you are not utilizing its full potential. A website is a serious investment, however, this group refers to those who never used ads and SEO to gain more traffic, exposure and leads.
- Scouting for New Ideas
You have a website and have successfully positioned your business in the online market. You have already started running digital ads to grow your business.
However, the pandemic is still affecting your existing campaigns and are in need to be redesigned to deliver results.
Regardless of which situation you are in, Here’s how you too can shift and apply these foolproof covid-19 digital marketing strategies and to continue building your brand and business long after COVID-19 ends.
15 Foolproof Digital Marketing Strategies to Survive and Thrive COVID-19
In order to push your business forward and to cope with the effect of COVID-19, we will be sharing 15 actionable digital marketing strategies to turn those hurdles into a profitable opportunity.
You don’t need to worry if you’re a brick-and-mortar business that has zero online presence, you will still find that one of these strategies will definitely fit your situation and can help you plow through these uncertainties.
These foolproof covid-19 digital marketing strategies revolve around three main criterias:
- Quick setups and results – In a time of change, only those strategies that can be implemented and executed immediately can greatly help you out.
- Affordable solutions – When the economy is down and the stakes are high, it is important that these strategies will not require you to have a huge investment. So some of the strategies on this list will cost you next to nothing to run except your time and patience.
- Scalable for the new normal – The strategies presented on this list will go beyond the current pandemic and it must prepare you for the world that comes after COVID-19 and rise of a contact-free economy.
Experts predict that the changes in customer behavior is here to stay. The pandemic has changed and will continue to change our world for years even after the virus disappears.
Consumers will rethink their purchasing decisions. And marketers must respond to life in the new normal. Although no one can exactly depict what the future will hold. We can make some educated guesses.
Such as in retail and health, the novel coronavirus is shifting towards the internet and e-commerce. It is possible that the world of businesses, human contact will be minimized and possibly irreversible.
So, the 15 survive and thrive digital marketing strategies are here to help you remedy the current crisis and set you up for long-term success in the new norm.
1. Move your Business Online
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Now, more than ever, your business needs to have or continue to have an online presence. There are two major parts in this new normal and that is to remember that:
- People are at home
- People are online
The number of foot traffic you are getting may have decreased but there has also been an increase in web search.
And as the quarantine and social distancing has given rise to the fear of going outside. This has given rise to consumers who are shifting to online shopping for their essentials such as food, groceries and clearing products.
However, these aren’t only limited to essentials. People continue to buy other products such as clothes and gadgets along with entertainment materials such as books and online courses.
You’d also be surprised to know that these consumers are not just buying small and inexpensive items and gadgets. Even before the pandemic, cars and motorcycles can be directly bought from a website.
So it really doesn’t matter if your physical store and business has closed. If you can bring your products and services online, you’ll see a hyperactive market.
Of course we understand how daunting these may sound. You are deciding on making a big business change but the demand clearly says that you can move your business online.
Moving from offline to online is something that you cannot afford to miss out on especially if you intend to continue running your physical stores after the pandemic. But one thing is for sure, this is not the time to bury your online presence.
Now, you might come across on a lot of options for creating an e-commerce website. But if you are just starting out, check out WordPress. It has emerged as the most popular platform that powers over 34% of the websites that can be found on the internet. And 26% of them are e-commerce store platforms.
WordPress, Shopify, and WooCommerce will also allow you to build a website by yourself. And you can slowly outsource a web developer once everything is settled.
But don’t be alarmed. It doesn’t require any setup or designs. Everything is ready and user-friendly. All you need to add is your inventory or items such as product images and prices and you can start selling online in just days.
You can also accept online payments in your website through processors such as PayPal which can help you approve payments quickly.
For more expensive items, your customers can choose to buy now or pay later.
A last piece of advice before we move to the next digital covid-19 digital marketing strategies. Don’t just think of your website as a place where you can sell online. You can create other functions such as making appointments, consultations, clinics and salons can offer their consumers online bookings.
A website can do so much for your business, especially now that people are stuck at home looking to the web for items.
2. Use Your CRM and Email List
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is about managing your company’s relationships and interactions with customers and leads. Your CRM is most useful especially if you can’t spare expenses on advertising.
Keep your business afloat and get the word out to your existing customers or leads that you are still open for business. Run email campaigns and re-engage with those clients.
It’s a free strategy that costs nothing but your time to come up with a meaningful offer. Don’t just spam your clients with items they might not need now.
The Importance of Email Marketing
Email Marketing is very important for your business. Despite the rise of unsolicited spam, email remains the most effective way to nurture your existing clients and leads.
In addition, Email just converts much more effectively as people who convert with email have at least three times higher than average order value than social media.
Now, how can you grow your email list and attract people with your offer? One option is a lead magnet.
You can think of it as a bribe, or an awesome give away that’s free in exchange for an email address.
The material can be anything you want as long as it is valuable for your visitors such as:
- A cheat sheet of tips or resources
- White papers or case studies
- A webinar
- Free trials or samples
- A free quote or consultation
- Quizzes or a self-assessment
- A coupon
There are endless options. But if you want them to be highly effective. They must be easily consumed, actionable, and create improvement, relevant, immediately available.
If you want to stand out and create stunning emails for your campaigns, check out the popular email marketing tools like:
For Mailerlite, It offers free 12,000 emails per month for small businesses. With it, you can access templates and drag-and-drop visuals that can help you create a professional email to blast out to your leads.
3. Promote Gift Cards, Coupons, and Vouchers
One of the most powerful covid-19 digital marketing strategies you can implement is promoting gift cards that can be used when your business has re-opened.
If you have closed your physical store, consider offering gift cards and discounts to your future clients. It is a good way for others to support your business as you can urge them to come back to your service with those discounted prices that can be used at a later time.
Vouchers and gift cards are pretty applicable for almost any industry. This is how restaurants can keep revenue flowing but promoting gift cards that can be used once they have re-opened.
But, you can up your game with this strategy by adding other incentives with your vouchers with free gifts, discounts, bundles and other specials. For example, you can offer a lifetime discount that customers could use after the lockdown.
However, you don’t really need to spend a lot on promoting these promos. You can offer your discounts on your social media platforms such as posting them in your stories, using hashtags and reshares by your current followers.
4. Learn Paid Ads ( Google Ads and Facebook Ads)
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Pay-per-click Ads (PPC), as the name suggests are advertisements that your business pays each time a potential lead clicks on your ads.
If you want to generate sales and customers right now, running PPC ads on Facebook and Google is essential especially since ads tend to quickly reach potential customers to show that you’re back in business and or promoting new offerings.
How else can your potential and existing customers know that your products and services are now available online?
You might also want to further read on how you can conduct PPC marketing through Google Ads. It is a valuable step for your business as it is the most popular search engine and it gets massive amounts of traffic and the most impressions.
READ ALSO: Facebook Ads for Local Business: A Guide
People are stuck at home and are spending more and more hours on the internet and social media. However, don’t burn yourself out by making yourself available on each social media platform there is.
Get to know where your market is at first by answering:
- Who they are
- Where they work (Look for this in LinkedIn)
- Their interests or hobbies
- What are they in the market for
- What they’re searching for on Google and other search engines
Before you get overwhelmed with thoughts on what to do on your chosen platform. You can try searching and checking out what your competition is doing and learn from them. But do it better and never copy their content and materials.
Finally, your online ads must be engaging and must generate interest in what you are offering to result in sales. Don’t worry about the costs as online advertising prices have been at its lowest and reports say that for Facebook and Instagram it is down by almost 51%.
5. Use Video Conferencing for Meetings
If you are one of those service based businesses that depend on close contact with clients. You can explore online video sessions and consultations for your clients.
This will improve your business relationship with your clients. Where businesses such as:
- Fitness instructors can provide 1-on-1 personalized training sessions and coaching
- Legal professionals can continue providing consultations
- Clinics and doctors can provide online assessments and appointments
- Contracts can ask their customers to take measurements and the like
- Teachers and tutors can provide online classes
And you can also upgrade the skills of your staff and that are spread across the world. And can leverage on the flexibility of video conferencing by consulting experts for advice.
You don’t need to spend money on this except for your Wi-Fi bills. But you’d be surprised how many instructors are using Zoom, Skype and many more video platforms just to meet with their clients.
However, don’t forget to run ads on Google and Facebook for you to promote your new video sessions.
6. Provide Items for Home Use
During a crisis, you must spend your money wisely. It is critical to maximize your sales as quickly as possible. Which means that you are likely to promote items that are in demand and those that could be of use around the house.
With people hardly going out of the house, items like kitchenware, slippers, or sweatpants are more likely in demand than handbags, lipsticks and sunglasses. Skincare products are also a good choice.
Focus on promoting items that can be used. Such as baking, home decor and the like. Couple them with some clever messaging that targets the current living and working conditions of your consumers, and resonate with their needs to get the traffic and sales that you need.
7. Get More Leads by Retargeting
As we get to the point of spending some money on ads, your priority must be on efforts that’ll lead to fast and immediate returns.
As you’ve probably understood by now, online ads are a necessity in getting the word out to the online market. It generates a lot of website traffic and product views but it will not mean that people will buy them immediately.
Only by retargeting your ads are you able to give your consumers the reminder to return and complete their purchase.
READ ALSO: Lead Generation for Local Business: A Guide
The increase in online time has provided businesses with more opportunities to re-engage their previous website visitors. You can invite them to your site and offer free shipping or special promos and discounts.
Retargeted ads would mean that users are able to see the exact same product but perhaps with an added bonus such as coupon code could help them complete their order.
However, the pandemic is not the right time for broad prospects. You may opt to reach new people and audiences but target users that have already bought your products or have converted.
8. Adopt to The “Stay At Home” Mentality
If your core operations revolve around providing services, you would want to opt to transform that part of your services into products that can be safely delivered to people’s homes.
Restaurants have been among the most affected industries with the COVID-19 pandemic. However, they are also the group that has one of the most resilient and creative business pivots during these uncertain times.
They have slowly but surely combated the situation by offering food preparation kits to earn some much-needed revenue. They have shown their great skills that helped them become successful in staying top-of-mind and nurturing customer relationships.
Partner those food preparation kits and freshly cooked meals with online video classes. Chefs can use a live video or pre-recorded cooking classes to teach customers on how to prepare delicious meals at home.
As a bonus, you might also want to include your restaurant’s stock and offer fresh produce and liquor with those home delivery options. You are hitting two birds with one stone by providing customers with delicious meals and fresh ingredients and produce at the comfort of their homes.
You can also operate in a skeletal workforce by offering take-out, home delivery and curbside pickups.
So it’s not about closing your physical stores and waiting for things to blow over. That’s the last thing that you would want to do. Showcase your inventiveness, flexibility and experiment as this is the perfect time to try out new strategies as nobody will blame you if it blows.
There are truly a lot of ways in which you can turn your services into products if you are willing to put the extra effort in.
To prove our point, take a look at how:
- Fitness studios rent their equipements to their members to help them continue their training at home.
- Beauty salons may have closed but they still offer hair and beauty products online.
- Massage salons have offered homecare kits in place of their regular services
- Dentists have also begun selling equipment that their clients can use at home.
9. Use Virtual Showrooms for 24/7 Presentation
What are highly-valued items? You can think of them as luxuries such as jewelries for starters. Or complex products that need personalized products or services.
A virtual showroom is where you can provide consultations to help you customers pick the right product size, color and more.
For realtors, they have been using virtual tours for a while now to promote homes online. Car dealerships also have virtual showrooms for online purchasing. So it’s definitely a strategy that you want to look into on how you can apply it to your industry.
10. Use Data and Analytics to Better Understand Audience
Knowledge has always been power. And you don’t actually have to look too far to do research as most of the information you need is already available on the internet.
Always let the data guide your business decisions and uncover new opportunities that you didn’t know where possible.
But where should you turn your eyes for this information?
You can start by checking out Google Analytics, it allows you to analyze your traffic (website visits), keyword, landing pages and more. With it, you can dig through your reports and identify which products are in-demand and items that can deliver you the most sales.
Google Trends can also help you uncover trending products and services by checking out what people are searching for on Google.
11. Scale by Automation
Digital marketing and onlines sales will allow you to automate a huge part of your operations to preserve much needed cash.
For one, chatbots can automatically answer your customer’s questions. They can even take orders on your behalf and cut down on customer services costs.
READ ALSO: Social Media Marketing Trends for Local Business in 2020
Chatbots allows you to automate frequently asked questions. However, complex issues still need to be taken over by your staff.
However, the objective is to generate leads, provide faster transactions, online bookings, and offer real-time support. So stay organized and always offer quality service.
12. Build Your Email List and Database
If you are unable to pivot your business during these uncertain times, you must still take advantage of the current low Cost-Per-Click (CPC) to reach your potential customers.
Build your database or your email list for the leads you can contact and retarget in the future. Offer online quotes, strategy calls, e-books, cheat sheets or lead content magnets to capture contact information on your website.
If you take a look at Google Trends, you’ll notice that many services are still in high demand even though companies are unable to provide them. And remedying that part of the equation can help you increase your sales.
However, you still need to be available online for your potential customers to search for what you offer and capture them so that you can target them once your business resumes.
The end thought is that if you are not there, you can bet our reputation that your competitors will be.
But avoid being rash in your ad messaging. Always reflect on the current situation and offer relevant products in your services.
13. Segment Your Audience via Geography
Remember that COVID-19 is a global issue. It is affecting some countries worse than others. Or it could be affecting part of your provinces differently.
For example, Manila is looking at an increase in covid-19 cases and MECQ has been extended. But Samar has gradually recovered and has become one of the provinces that is free from COVID-19.
For this reason, you should never forget to consider diversifying the regions you get your traffic from. Including the content of the ads that you show to your consumer’s location.
If you want to check COVID-19 free provinces in the Philippines, you can check them here.
14. Buyer Persona Relevant Content
Moving forward, remember to dedicate yourself in creating messages and content that are useful and valuable to your buyer personas.
Adapt your message to the new reality that your customers are in, be it in your blog posts, social network profiles, videos and more.
You can bet that your audiences are now expecting clean, humane messages that empathize with their struggles.
Your online content creation should consider this especially during COVID-19 and long after it has passed.
Take into mind that what you are sowing now, you can reap later. Boost your branding and customer loyalty with the right business plan. And that is to redistribute your investment for advertising.
For one, during lockdown, users are more into audiovisual contents so you might want to create those types to capture more leads.
15. Utilize Free Tools and Test
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Digital marketing tools have always been available but it wasn’t as explored as today. There are countless marketing and software companies who are supporting communities by offering free access to their tools and resources and they usually handle:
- Email Marketing Campaigns
- Keyword Research Tools for SEO and PPC
- Social Media Management Tools
- CRM and marketing automation
- Online video and conferencing
- Business operations
- Remote Work Supervising Tools
- Marketing Promotions
- Accounting Software
With the time you have available on your hands, there are actually quite a lot of tools you can use to manage, market and run your business more easily from home. Alleviate your burdens by transferring your business online.
We Live in A Very Challenging Time
In every crisis lies an opportunity, you just need to seek it out.
However, before you focus on your sales. Make sure that you prioritize the safety and healthy of your employees and staff. They are your cells at work, without a strong and vigorous team, your goals and innovations will still be ineffective.
Second, use the strategies we’ve provided to you in order to cope and survive. Take everything in your own pace, it’s okay to have baby steps into this new online market. As long as you continue to learn and progress, you are making valuable use of your time.
Finally, after setting your foundation. Take a look into the future. Even as lockdowns begin to lift, the world is now operating differently. The new normal will likely focus on health, sanitation and hygiene.
There will definitely be changes no matter which industry you are in. Hopefully, uou won’t turn a blind eye on these changes and be left behind by the rapidly evolving market.
We hope this guide has shown you or sparked an idea for your business pivots. And that there are opportunities waiting for your action.
If you want to learn more about covid-19 digital marketing strategies, online marketing, or building your own ecommerce website. Don’t hesitate to contact us and get in touch.
We hope our list has shown you or sparked an idea for your business pivots. To learn that there are opportunities waiting for you to take action.
If you want to learn more about covid-19 digital marketing strategies, online marketing, or building your own ecommerce website. Don’t hesitate to contact us.
You might also want to read Digital Marketing Mistakes To Avoid During COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis.