Getting Back To Normal
As more and more communities reopen, marketers are switching gears with regard to their marketing messages. Over the last year and a half, B2C and B2B buying behaviors shifted. Some businesses underwent dramatic digital transformations while others simply made adjustments. Regardless, we’ve all had to review our marketing through the lens of changing needs and attitudes. The following are answers to frequently asked questions now that we’re emerging from COVID-19 restrictions and a followup to our article from last year discussing what to do during the pandemic.
Frequently Asked Questions
- My business hours are fluctuating. What should I do about my Google My Business (GMB) listing?
In GMB, if your business is still closed due to COVID and you plan to reopen, you can mark your listing as temporarily closed. If you’ve changed your hours — limiting or expanding when you’re open for business — be sure your listing reflects the most current information available.
You can also leverage the COVID-19 Update post type to alert your audience about your reopening/availability as well as any other changes in service.
Be sure to keep your listing updated, reflecting national holidays, seasonal hours, or any days you’ll be closed. Remember your customers rely on this information. Don’t frustrate potential customers by having incorrect information listed.
- Is it time to reinvest in my PPC advertising campaigns?
The short answer is yes. If you have turned off campaigns during the pandemic, we recommend that you restart your online advertising campaigns in advance of any reopening dates or special promotions you’re planning. The advertising software (e.g., Google Ads’ system) needs time and data before it can optimize your campaign performance. Turning on your campaigns a minimum of two weeks in advance of special announcements or promotions also notifies people to create interest.
- What marketing projects should I be working on if I have the time and money?
It’s been a tumultuous year and buying behaviors have changed for both B2B and B2C. Make sure your marketing messages reflect changing attitudes and demand for online interactions. If you haven’t already updated your website, now is the time to check your analytics and make the adjustments needed to make it 1) easier to navigate and 2) provide the information your prospects need to make a purchase.
If you’re reopening after a long closure, or you’re getting back to full capacity, email marketing with highly relevant and engaging content could be a good way to get things moving again.
- Do I need to speak to my customers differently?
A lot has changed since March 2020. Your marketing messages should be sensitive to current trends and needs. You know your business better than anyone else. Has your industry been severely impacted by COVID-19? Are some of your marketing tactics, for example trade shows, unlikely to be as effective in 2021? You need to be aware of the changes COVID has forced upon your business and how that is likely to have impacted your customers.
If you have locations where you meet with customers, communicate how you are keeping your staff and visitors safe. Be open and transparent, as that will allay any fears of doing business in-person. Additionally, many customers are now more comfortable with meeting virtually. In some cases (especially for professional services), customers may prefer video conferencing as it reduces travel time and provides flexibility.
- Has the pandemic created any opportunities for businesses?
Many businesses had to digitally transform how they sold to and serviced clients. Even though the economy is recovering, studies show that buyers (both consumers and B2B) have embraced the new paradigm. Moving more of your business online may have helped you streamline some processes. Try not to slip back into old habits. This is an excellent time to integrate what’s worked in the last year permanently into your business.
- My leads and sales numbers have dropped. How can I gain momentum again?
The first place to look is at your data. Which of your current marketing efforts are working? Is PPC your top performer? Or are you getting more business through word of mouth at the moment? Focus on improving your strengths until things get moving again. Then, work on your weaknesses once you have leads in the pipeline.
One question you should keep in mind is: is the lack of momentum specific to your business or your industry? Do your research and try to find information on how your competitors are performing to see if you can build a benchmark for your expectations. That way you can better assess how to fix any problems you may find and identify opportunities.
- Should I talk about our businesses’ COVID precautions on my website?
If you have a brick and mortar store or you meet with your customers in person, share how you’re adhering to COVID 19 safety protocols. Even though people are venturing out more, safety information will alleviate any concerns your customers may have. It also sets expectations for everyone, including your employees.
Any More COVID-19 Reopening Questions?
Hopefully this Q&A above has helped you to navigate the post pandemic landscape. Have a question? Please reach out and ask!
Images used under creative commons from Pexels.