Your Old Plan is Not Useless, But it Must be Re-examined
Chances are, you had a marketing plan before COVID-19. If you didn’t, that’s okay too. Whether you’re needing to tweak your marketing strategy or create one entirely from scratch, the following Guide to Marketing After COVID-19 will assist you with key elements to consider when it’s time to start advertising your business again.
User Behavior Has Changed
The world you advertised in before does not exist anymore. People are not going to snap back into the exact same place before Coronavirus. We have been through a trauma and this will affect how we return to daily life. We will continue to go about our lives, but there will be a mindfulness that didn’t exist before and it will change how we behave. Take something as innocent as a birthday party. There will no longer be someone blowing on a cake just before it’s served. We will adapt, however, and continue the tradition. There will be a similar routine with the birthday song and cupcakes. Our lives will return but we will adapt to new circumstances. It’s these nuances that you’ll need to consider when developing your messaging and honing your new strategy.
The experience we have been through and the awareness we now have on how quickly germs can spread will create a deep-seated impact on our daily lives; therefore, every message you send and keyword you bid on must be rethought. During quarantine, we learned new behaviors either by choice or necessity and will bring these new behaviors with us into the new world. The boomer who was skeptical of online shopping is now getting her groceries delivered and enjoys the time savings it allows her. The parent who has never walked their kids around the block before COVID-19 may have found the act therapeutic.
As our behaviors change, the way we search and consume media will also change. When designing your Marketing Plan, you’ll need to re-examine your basics: Price, Product, Place and Promotion. If you’re a restaurant and you found success offering family take-out meals during the quarantine, you should consider keeping that product on your menu. As such, people may continue to search online for “family take-out meals”, so you’ll need to optimize your website for that term and make sure it’s included in your Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign. Don’t have a website or run PPC? You need to take a step to change that, today. In the world we now live in, the average person spends over four hours a day on their smartphones. Your business MUST be accessible to them on that device.
Social Trends Change Even Quicker
With the time we spend online and on social media amplified, trends pop up and gain traction at record speed. If you had an organized social media regimen before COVID-19, where you scheduled content for the week or even month in advance, you’ll need to rethink that or at the very least be flexible.
New trends appear and fade out quicker than ever before. Even though your business isn’t on TikTok, you’ll need to know what’s relevant on that platform this morning because by 11 a.m. it’s all over Instagram, then an hour later on Facebook. Before you know it, the message you had scheduled today at 2 p.m. now comes across as “tone deaf” because there is a taco challenge trending right now and you just posted about burgers.
You can learn to use these trends to your advantage. If there’s a taco challenge trending right now and you sell tacos, then everyone is going to be in the mood to order tacos for dinner. Make a taco special, post about it and boost that post so more people see it. The internet has basically already initiated the desire and brought people into your sales funnel. It’s your turn to make the close.
Riding these trends is sort of like surfing, you get to choose your wave. Go with the flow and let the trend do most of the hard work. While surfing you would never paddle out expecting to catch every single wave. You get into position and wait for the right one. Watch the trends, get into position and choose the right ones for your business to ride.
Social Media is an excellent place to reach new customers and build your business. However, you have to “live and breathe it” to keep up with the trends and keep your messaging relevant. If you still don’t have social media accounts, make that a goal this week.
Speed is Everything
People are looking for information on their phones, and their attention spans have become even shorter. The good news is that publishers such as Google and Facebook understand this and make it easy for you to provide critical information and updates to your customers online.
Make use of the features available to you. Things like “pinning comments” to the top of your Facebook feed or updating your Google listing will make important information about your business easily visible online.
Once your off-site profiles have been updated, take stock of your website. There is no excuse for a slow website; beware of overdesigning. All of the cool animations and huge images can take a toll on how quickly your website loads online. Images are very important for your website but they must be saved in the correct format and have “alt tags” behind them.