Last Updated on September 29, 2020
We’re helping many of our clients work through this uneasy time where COVID-19 is changing how they do business. The following are questions we’ve answered over the last several weeks.
- What Should I do with my GMB listing?
- Should I stop paid advertising?
- Where should I focus my marketing budget?
- How can I keep up to date on COVID & marketing?
- My sales funnel has dried up, now what?
- How can I market sensitively during a pandemic?
Frequently Asked Questions
- What should I do about my Google My Business (GMB) listing?
If you haven’t already, be sure to update your GMB listing so it accurately reflects your business operations. For many businesses, their offices may be closed yet their employees are working remotely. It’s important to reflect that information. You can also take advantage of adding a post, communicating how customers can reach you. Note: due to COVID-19, GMB functionality and support may be limited.
- Should I stop my online advertising campaigns?
Even though most of us are sheltering in place, it’s not stopping us from working, shopping, and streaming entertainment. If you’re able to fulfill customer’s needs for your product or service, we recommend continuing with your online advertising strategy. For some clients, we’ve found that there’s an opportunity to gain market share while some advertisers scale back or stop their campaigns.
At a minimum, we recommend that our clients continue their brand campaigns. Brand campaigns are specifically designed to build and retain brand awareness. When customers search for your brand name, a brand ad — along with your organic listing — should appear on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
- What marketing projects should I be working on if I have the time and money?
Excellent question! This indicates you’re looking forward to when the COVID-19 pandemic eases.
Dust off your marketing plan and update it. The COVID-19 pandemic is teaching many of us some hard lessons. Some experts say that this is the first of many waves. Buying behaviors are shifting, and many pundits think this shift in attitude will become a more permanent part of how we do business moving forward.
If you haven’t refreshed your website in the last two years, now is the perfect time to critically look at its performance (dig into Google Analytics and Search Console), update any lagging technology (mobile-first), and make sure it supports your business objectives.
Here are a few examples of projects we’ve helped clients pre- and post pandemic:
- Set up accurate goal/conversion tracking in Analytics
- Audit PPC accounts to identify low-performing campaigns and test new opportunities
- Analyze visitor behavior on pages that contribute to lead conversions
- The business world has dramatically changed. What resources do you recommend?
COVID-19 is dominating the news cycles. To separate fact from fiction, we turn to trusted sources based upon proven research methodologies. Think with Google released five principles that guide Google’s media teams during the pandemic. It’s well worth a read. Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank; their mission is to inform the public about issues, attitudes, and trends shaping the world.
If you’re looking for a specific source for your business or industry, reach out to us. Depending upon your question or need, we can offer more personalized suggestions.
- My leads and sales numbers have dropped. What should I do?
Obviously shopping behaviors for many businesses have changed since the pandemic started. For some clients, we’re finding a trend where B2B customers are using the time while sheltering in place to do online research in preparation of launching projects for when business operations return to “normal.”
If your business can operate and serve customers while communities are in lockdown, this is a prime opportunity to improve your website and online presence. Making it easier for potential customers to find and do business with you is a competitive advantage.
Economists and business leaders are forecasting an economic slowdown. However, some communities may recover faster than others. It’s a fact of life that economic growth ebbs and flows. There are specific sales-related activities you can tend to now:
- Have a communication plan for your existing client base. The 80-20 rule often applies; 80% of your business comes from 20% of customers. Solidifying relationships, selling or upselling should be on your to-do list.
- Cultivate relationships with like-minded businesses where your products/services have synergy.
- Join organizations and networks where your qualified customers may go for info or a directory of vetted companies like yours.
- Offer something low cost or free. As mentioned earlier, now may be the perfect time to gain market share… as long as you’re sensitive to context and what’s appropriate given what’s happening locally and in your market. Customers who are willing to invest now (with their email/contact info or a nominal fee) can be nurtured over time where you can upsell or deepen the relationship.
- Map out your sales process if you haven’t already. Dig into the content or information a prospect needs to in order to buy from you. The point here is to understand from your customers’ point of view. What are their motivations, concerns, and milestones in their buying journey?
- If you’ve already nailed down your sales process and buyer’s journey, great! You’re a top performer. Now look at your lead-to-closed ratio. What can you do to improve it? If you aren’t closing a high percentage of potential deals, now is the time to uncover why. Is it lead quality? Then go back to where those leads come from and retool your marketing. Is it your sales scripts? Revising the language you use when pitching new business may be in order
- How can I market my businesses during Covid-19 with empathy?
During this unprecedented time… Aren’t you tired of hearing the word “unprecedented?” While it’s absolutely true, it’s been so overused in the media and in marketing messages that (at best) it’s an ignored phrase. At worst, it may come across as disingenuous.
- Show your human side. Many of us are struggling with balancing our work and home life as evidenced by this brave woman’s social post that went viral. While we’re not advocating oversharing, there is a way for a business to tap into our shared human condition. Take for instance Julie Collins from The FruitGuys. She recently shared her personal struggles while working from home during a pandemic in this article titled 4 Tips for #ParentinginaPandemic. Excellent example to showcase a brand story.
- 50% are open to trying something new. According to a PWC survey, 50% of us are trying new brands and products. Are you making it easy for new customers to try your product or service? Lower the barriers in forging new relationships. There’s a chance those new relationships last beyond the pandemic.
- 50% of Americans say their lives will remain changed forever. We’ve hit the 6-month mark living amid Covid-19. Pew Research found that 50% of us expect our lives to remain changed in major ways even after the pandemic is over. What attitudes have shifted for your customers? Are your marketing messages reflecting that shift?
- Be of service not just for profit. A quote from Maya Angelou sums this up beautifully: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
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