Effective marketing requires you to set realistic goals and have a deep understanding of your target audiences. Your brand fits into the story you create from your understanding of the target market—their behaviors, interests, challenges, values, and lifestyle preferences.
Chances are you already had that figured out and your marketing strategy was delivering results. And then the COVID-19 pandemic started flipping people’s lives upside down without notice. Consumer behaviors and attitudes have changed since and many businesses are struggling.
Despite the challenges, the global pandemic has presented new opportunities—especially to businesses looking to affordably market their brands. Here’s how you can market your business during COVID-19.
Optimize and Update Your Google My Business Profile
The global pandemic has shown people how to live online. As a result, there has been a shift in consumer behavior. There’s no better time to update your Google My Business profile than now. Consumers are more interested in local brands, online payment options, and delivery services.
Studies have shown that 97 percent of consumers turn to Google when they need to find local businesses and brands. The numbers are even higher as more people perform “open now” and “near me” searches online during the coronavirus pandemic. Without a well-optimized Google My Business listing, your business will be invisible to your target audience. Setting up a Google My Business profile is free and easy.
It will also be helpful to take another look at your online stores and identify different ways you can optimize it. For example, if you don’t have a smart and comprehensive search feature, consider using a tool like Instant Search (learn more here: https://www.instantsearchplus.com/retail-merchandising/) With many platforms like WordPress and Shopify, you can also take advantage of easy to install integrations that enhance the user experience.
Be Pragmatic and Resourceful
This might not be the right time to force-fit your products or services into a market where they don’t belong. How relevant is your brand to the situation? It’s crucial that you be considerate of the real impact COVID-19 has had on your customers. Why not create a survey, for example, and find out how best you can help your audience? What do they need right now? Come up with creative ways to reach out to them. Bring your business to your customers since they can’t come in-person.
The number of people looking for new opportunities is high as businesses continue to lay off workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic. You can be resourceful to your audience by selling them education-based courses and creating a series of online classes with very specific, niche advice.
Stay Connected With Your Audience on Social Media
Social media platforms can be a great foundation upon which you build relationships and trust with your audiences. You have a new opportunity to reach more of your target audience on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook during the COVID-19 pandemic. Activities that can help increase audience engagement on these platforms include:
- Lucky draw giveaways. Offer a discount, gift card, or any other giveaway to a lucky customer who orders a particular product within a set time frame. Make it fun and exciting for your audience.
- Live sessions on social media. Take advantage of the free Facebook Live feature. Run live sessions where you answer questions from your customers, provide relevant advice, and engage your audience.
- Genuineness in your posts. Sometimes all you need to do is create a simple, heartfelt post on what you’ve been up to during COVID-19. You could just wish your social media community well as they go by their day-to-day business. Being genuine creates authenticity which helps to build trust with your customers.
- Use COVID-19 hashtags on LinkedIn and Instagram. Modify COVID-19 hashtags using industry and location modifiers and use them to expand your social media visibility. You can use #covidhomesecurity instead of broad hashtags like #COVID19.
If you’re open and have a product or service that your existing customers like, run social media ads to boost awareness.
Take Advantage of Paid Ads (They are Cheaper than you Think)
You could have the best product in the market, but without the ability to get it visible to your potential customers, it may as well not exist. Paid advertising is a great way to get your brand in front of your audiences. Businesses are required to create an ad and set their bid. It’s that simple and the results are almost instantaneous.
The cost per click (CPC) for ads rises when the number of small businesses setting up ads increases. With fewer businesses advertising during COVID-19, the cost per click (CPC) is low. This means paid ads are cheaper and you can save a lot of money. On the other hand, people are spending more time online which means web traffic is much higher than before the Coronavirus. If you’re looking to get a higher ROI from your marketing at this time, then you should take advantage of paid ads.