COVID-19 has ended up causing financial ruin across the world. Names like Rolls-Royce, Airbnb, and Zara, among several others, have had to scale back their operations. Chances are they’ll have to face further losses before the pandemic finally recedes. Large and small enterprises are increasingly worried about their futures. Here are marketing strategies for businesses to stay afloat during this pandemic.
Whatever the future holds, the best thing for small businesses to do would be to understand that this is probably the great economic upheaval of our times. Fortunately for them, there’s still hope for them to survive amidst the current crisis. By reinventing their marketing tactics, they can hope to labor on and stay afloat during this pandemic. What are these marketing strategies, and how can small businesses benefit? Read on to learn more:
Understand the Challenges YOUR Customers Face
Understanding the challenges your customers are facing is the marketing strategy on top because it is an important distinction to make. In a crisis of this magnitude, nearly every entity and individual faces a different set of challenges. You must identify how the challenges YOU face are different from others.
Only when you identify your customers’ problems can you move forward towards provided a similarly tailored solution. Moreover, in a pandemic situation, how you provide the solutions can change as well. Understanding the problem is just a part of the equation, a vital and irreplaceable part, but a part nonetheless.
According to Jayson Demers, CEO of Email Analytics “The best way to identify your customers’ problems is rather simple; keep yourself updated on what’s going on in the industry. These developments can help you stay ahead of the competition and retain yourself as the ideal choice for your customers”
Another way is to ask the customers themselves. Surveying customers can help you identify problems that you may not have known even existed. You can only begin to solve your customers’ problems once you know what those problems are.
Double Down on Valuable Content
You may find that both your existing and potential customers are likely to become more selective in their purchases.
Sam Olmsted from Online Optimism says “The pandemic will have a lasting economic impact meaning that they’ll be extra careful and diligent when deciding what to purchase and what not to. The pandemic behavior is likely to continue for a while even after the pandemic has ended.”
Doubling-down on valuable content is a marketing strategy that brings both an opportunity and a challenge for digital marketers. For starters, businesses that rely on building relations and establishing rapport with their customers will find customers more amicable at this time. Content that reflects this commitment towards building a lasting relationship could be exactly what your brand needs to continue bringing in new customers.
As an additional benefit, this will allow you to enhance the quality of your content. Often brands, even the more reputable ones, can be prone to underappreciating the value of content that strikes a chord with your audience.
Optimize Your Targeted Channels
These are unprecedented times. Once the pandemic reaches its conclusion, we may find ourselves living in a world with completely different social norms and patterns.
Naturally, most users are spending more time online and various other digital platforms because of lockdown conditions than they would otherwise. This presents marketers with the kind of audience that is guaranteed to yield the best conversion, i.e., a captive audience.
This is the perfect opportunity for you to carry out a sort of mini-audit of your brand strategy and see how you target channels accordingly. You can pinpoint exactly which touchpoints, apps, content, websites, and mediums deliver the best results and focus your energies on ones that prove most promising.
Adam Lumb from Cashcow.media says “Brands will need to be both highly effective and efficient simultaneously to be assured of any success going forward. Optimizing which channels to target would be one of the best places to get started on that front”
Use Data to Figure Out What Works — and What Doesn’t
Uncertain times bring uncertain behaviors. This translates into uncertain and uncommon market situations. This can be particularly worrisome for online marketers as it negates the blueprints that help them navigate the digital environment.
However, even in times of crisis like this, hypotheses are easy to generate. More importantly, these hypotheses allow marketers to speculate on what strategies and tactics may work and what won’t. The best part is that any hypothesis is easy to prove or disprove based on data and analytics tools that marketers have been using for years.
These tools are just as good now as any time before. You can put different forms of data such as online visitors, sales, conversions, click-through rates, bounce rates, heatmaps, etc. through different metrics and see which ideas are likely to work for you. Not only does this allow you to create strategies that are certain to succeed, but they also help you classify which ideas do not work, so you avoid wasting precious resources on pursuing them.
Look at What the Competition is Doing
Finally, you can always see what your competitors are up to. I’ve placed it last not because it isn’t an effective strategy, but because it can quickly erode your USP. If your competitors are doing better than you, then it’s natural to want to try and emulate them. However, most brands forget the difference between emulating and downright plagiarism going down this path.
Your competitor witnessed success since they took the initiative to change their practices, and it paid them dividends towards the end. However, when I say look at what your competitor is doing, I mean their proactive attitude towards change and not their actual practices.
Losing your identity can be catastrophic and neigh impossible to recover from, especially after a pandemic.
According to Eric Edelist Founder and CEO of Bizooy.com “Learn from your competitor’s success, analyze how you can tailor your efforts based on their success, and whether you can add more value to it”
At some point, nearly every business may find itself on the brink. However, all is not lost. While the traditional landscape might change permanently, whatever goodwill your brand and business have accumulated over the years still means something.
The marketing strategies mentioned above are supposed to act as measures aimed at preventing the worse from happening. In the end, it depends entirely on how your small businesses adapt to the market and, more importantly, how you evolve as a brand.