At the time of this writing, businesses are preparing to come out of a government-imposed quarantine period. As you prepare for your business to reopen, one of your key strategies should be to invest in digital marketing because the “new normal” has created new opportunities that you can capitalize on.
Business At The Time Of The New Normal
For more than a month, the world came to a standstill in an effort to contain the spread of the fast-moving strain of coronavirus, Covid-19.
While necessary, the extended period of inactivity took its toll on several businesses. Many had to scale back operations and retrench but a number of small businesses could not survive and had to close down for good.
Several key industries have suffered massive losses due to Covid-19. Foremost of this is the travel industry which is projected to lose 820 billion dollars in revenues in 2020.
In the United States, many companies started to layoff employees in an effort to streamline costs as soon as Covid-19 was declared a pandemic and the government implemented community quarantine regulations.
Even as the world prepares to open for business, one thing remains clear: There is no going back to normal. Until such time that a vaccine is discovered, the risk of Covid-19 spreading throughout the population remains high.
On average, it takes scientists 2 years to develop a vaccine. Based on this, the New Normal – defined by quarantine periods, face masks, social distancing, frequent hand washing, and avoiding crowds – could continue for up to the next 2 years.
Similar to previous pandemic outbreaks such as the Influenza Pandemic of 1918 that affected St. Louis and Philadelphia, there will be intermittent periods of quarantine to contain the growth of new cases.
Thus, you should expect more work stoppages to occur. Businesses will be asked to close down during the quarantine period.
If your business is located in a commercial establishment, expect less foot traffic as people will continue to practice social distancing or avoid places that attract large crowds.
Why Your Small Business Needs Digital Marketing NOW
In view of the grim scenario facing businesses at the time of the new normal, why is embarking on an aggressive digital marketing strategy for your business a smart decision?
It depends on your view of chaos and uncertainty. As the saying goes, “In chaos, there is always opportunity.”
The global equities market took a sharp fall. Many investors were hit hard and absorbed massive financial losses. For others, primarily the speculators, they view the crash as an opportunity to “bargain hunt” and acquire blue-chip stocks at near-historical low prices.
The Covid-19 pandemic has triggered a chain of events that shut down many businesses.
It was unfortunate that these businesses had to close their operations but it’s possible they were in trouble before the pandemic started. The ensuing quarantine period merely exacerbated the situation.
By nature, the businesses that come out of the pandemic will be thinking of adopting short-term profitability strategies over long-term growth.
For the reason that revenue-generating opportunities may be few and far between, most businesses will probably adopt cost-cutting measures. “Tighten the belt” until business is “back to normal”.
But things will not be “back to normal” – potentially not until after 2 years.
Welcome to the New Normal.
It’s understandable why businesses would want to streamline costs. It’s hard to pull the trigger on spending when your streams of revenues are drying up. You want to shore up capital and tighten up on spending to keep the business going.
Yes, the coronavirus pandemic dampened economic growth but opportunities remain in your industry – if you are looking – and there will be less competition.
A study shared by digital marketing expert Neil Patel showed that several industries experienced massive drops in online traffic during the quarantine period. Conversion rates also showed a significant decline.
But people have remained online – searching for information that can be provided by the purveyors on the Internet. Information that could be provided by your business through a purposeful digital marketing strategy.
By investing in an aggressive digital marketing strategy, you will be capitalizing on opportunities for you to drive more traffic to your website, enhance your reputation as a valuable resource, and increase your online presence in the industry.
How To Run A Digital Marketing Campaign At The Time Of The New Normal
Now, time for some good news.
Businesses will recover. It will take some time – but make no mistake about it – despite the havoc created by the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy, businesses will see a brighter day at the time of the new normal.
In the same study, Patel shared the findings of a research conducted by Standard & Poor that revealed it takes 536 days for the equities market to recover if it suffers a loss of 20%.
536 days is more than a year but less than 2 years. That’s a good sign! We might be on the road to recovery before a Covid-19 vaccine is discovered.
Another study this time from Harvard Business Review showed that businesses overall performed 9% better after a recession but businesses that focused on cost-cutting strategies outperformed their competitors by 21%.
21% is amazing! But here is something even more impressive…
Businesses that focused their resources on progressive strategies – doubling down on spending – outperformed their competitors by 37%.
A 16% difference in performance could translate to thousands – even millions of dollars worth of revenue.
With your competitors experiencing less traffic to their websites, it’s an opportune time to re-align your finances and double down on your digital marketing strategy. Quarantine may have kept people out of the office but not the Internet.
1. Reach Out to Your Customers on Social Media
It’s not a pleasant time for most people. Many lost their jobs when the quarantine was imposed and their employers quickly moved to streamline expenses.
With their personal income compromised, these people are worried about how they can pay their bills, loans, rent, or afford their children’s schooling.
This is not the time to publish sales copy. People are not looking to spend on products and services that are not essential to their survival.
And even if your products and services are essential, it’s better to show compassion and empathy instead of coming across as indifferent.
Reach out to your customers and followers via social media and show them you care and understand the situation:
- Share Experiences – Write in the First Person Point-of-View and let your customers know that you are going through similar difficulties by sharing a few experiences with them. Post a short 1-minute video from your home. Give your followers an update of how your life has been since the pandemic broke out and your views of the future. Make sure your message remains positive and optimistic.
- Engage Your Followers – After posting your video, invite your followers to share their experiences in the comments section. If people do post comments, take the time to respond to as many followers as you can. Whether the comment is good or bad, remain positive. Do not be confrontational. Everyone is going through tough times but some people might be in worse situations than others.
- Blog About Useful Advice – “Listicles” and “How To” blogs will continue to be popular with readers. Now is the time to use your blogging platform to dole out useful advice to your followers. In the case of Mountaintop, we wrote about topics that could be of value to our readers during the quarantine such as “How To Set Up A Successful Work From Home Program For Small Businesses”, “10 Online Businesses You Can Start From Home Right Now”, and “How To Stay Productive – And Positive – While Working From Home”.
2. Be Generous – Give Your Customers Special Offers
When you are in a bad situation, you should always look for a silver lining. If anything good came out of the Covid-19 quarantine period, it’s that people came together to help one another.
Not being able to work and earn a living for over a month can put a serious dent on anyone’s cash flow. People are only going to spend for the bare necessities because money is very tight. Even if the quarantine is lifted, their future remains uncertain.
This is an excellent time to show your customers you care by giving them special offers such as generous discounts on products and services. People will look for ways to maximize their funds so discount offers will definitely be welcome.
At the same time, you don’t want people to misinterpret your act as a roundabout way of making money during a crisis. You want to capitalize on an opportunity but you don’t want to be seen as opportunistic.
Here’s how you do it:
- Come up with Call-To-Action (CTA) with a generous offer and place it on the home page of your website.
- Write a short post on your social media pages as a lead-in to the special offer. Explain to your followers why you are doing this. Keep the post short – no longer than 100 words.
- Include the link to your home page in your social media post.
Even if your product or service is not considered an “essential” item, the cost savings will entice the customer to take advantage of your offer.
Best of all, they will appreciate your generosity at this time of great need.
3. Get Found – Tighten Up on Your SEO Strategies
Just because there are fewer competitors in your industry, it doesn’t mean that you should get complacent with your SEO strategies. After all, even with the ones that are left in the industry, the business environment remains competitive.
Take the opportunity to tighten up your SEO strategies.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving the visibility of your website on the Internet by using a variety of techniques, tools, and processes.
Whether your industry experienced a decline in organic traffic or not, this is the time to re-focus on your SEO strategy. Remember, people are still online. They are searching for information that is relevant to their needs at this point in time.
Keyword research is an essential part of SEO. Keywords are the words and phrases that people use to search for information on the Internet. If you can uncover these high search volume keywords, then you will know what people are looking for.
The next step is to create content that uses these keywords. The main keyword should be in the title, the first paragraph, the body of the text, and the concluding paragraph. Mixed in a few secondary or low search volume keywords.
Make sure the content is relevant to your business or industry!
For example, if you are in the fitness industry, a good topic for a useful blog would be “10 Fat Burning Exercises You Can Do At Home” or “How To Stay Fit During The Quarantine”.
Try to publish 3 to 4 blog posts per week. To improve your search rankings, the ideal word count is 2,000 to 2,400 words per blog.
4. Invest in PPC Advertising
PPC or Pay-Per-Click advertising is an effective way of immediately giving your website a quick boost up the search rankings. When someone clicks on your ad, he finds himself on your website’s landing page.
PPC is also a cost-effective form of advertising because you only pay the agency whenever someone clicks on your ad.
In his study, Neil Patel shared that the cost of PPC advertising has gone down since the Covid-19 quarantine period started. Some marketers have estimated that the cost of PPC advertising has decreased by 6% across all verticals.
This is an opportunity for you to generate some good ROI on your PPC investment. The cost per click is much lower and there aren’t many competitors in the industry.
5. Focus on Building Your Local Presence
Local area marketing is more important now because people are staying close to home. Community quarantine procedures have restricted travel to within the town or city.
If you have a brick-and-mortar business, review your current local area marketing strategy:
- Find out if the business information in your online search directory profile is updated.
- Showcase the high rankings or scores that your business has received.
- Publish positive reviews whenever possible.
You might also want to consider incorporating a delivery service to your business for greater ease and convenience for your customers. Check if the community quarantine guidelines in your area have indicated a specific time for deliveries.
As difficult as the Covid-19 pandemic has become, in time, it shall also pass. Throughout our history, mankind has overcome worse afflictions such as the Bubonic Plague, influenza, measles, smallpox, the Ebola virus, and the earlier versions of the coronavirus – SARS and MERS.
Yes, we are in the new normal but believe it – business will go on as usual.
If you let your guard down, others will take advantage of the opportunities that are available in your industry. The quarantine is only a temporary cessation of activity but your drive to grow your business should never stop.
Keep your foot on the Digital Marketing pedal. In this time of the new normal, Digital Marketing will drive your business to a better future.
How are you dealing with the new normal? Please share your tips in the comments section.
If you need help getting your Digital Marketing campaign off the ground – and from your home – give us a call or an email. We’ll get you started and on the right track.
And if you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with your community!