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Marketing in the time of Covid

11 November 2020

Marketing during a global pandemic might feel like it should be at the bottom of your priority list. Yet with customer behaviour and needs shifting and the online market becoming even more saturated, now is an essential time to ensure your brand and offering stays relevant, providing genuine value to your customers or clients. 

While many small and medium-sized businesses are looking to protect cashflow in the current circumstances, investing whatever budget you can into marketing can ensure your business stays ahead of your competitors. Here are a few ideas for marketing during this ongoing crisis.  

Understand your clients 

If you deliver B2B services, speaking with your clients to better understand how the pandemic is affecting their business should be high on your list of things to do. It’s vital to understand how they are feeling in the circumstances and how you can meet their needs. Surveying both clients and your client’s customers is a useful tool for gathering information – you may find something out that could be pivotal to the way you work, communicate and market your business. Some Covid-related changes to the way that we do business will remain in place; discovering this will stand you in good stead now and for the future.  

Consider the customer 

This pandemic has changed customer behaviour and needs – most products and services are being sought and bought online and people are feeling vulnerable, looking for assurance from the brands they consume. Covid-19 has also changed the way people want to interact with each other. Are your communications empathetic and sensitive? Have you told your customers or clients that you’re there for them? Are you set up to provide extra support and alternatives to face-to-face meetings? Are you building trust in your services through testimonials and case studies? 

Get online  

Businesses with a high-street presence, with a reliance on store-front signage, almost disappear in the event of lockdowns and restricted interaction in public. So it’s never been more important to be found online, where your products and services are easily available. Have you identified where your potential customers would search for you? Are you ranking well in search listings? Could you utilise social media channels to reach the right audience? Pay-per-click advertising that puts you at the top of a Google search pays immediate dividends, while on-site search engine optimisation can improve engagement and sales in the long term. 

Pivot your products or services 

Consider whether there are alternative ways your brand can deliver your products or services in these changed times. If there are, tell your customers! Whether in customised emails, social media posts, site pop-ups or updated website copy, let your customers know how you’re operating in the circumstances – from consultations over Zoom to providing in-person services in full PPE. 

Focus resources  

While budgets might be tight as you protect cashflow right now, consider focusing funds on areas that will offer long-term returns. A website audit, in-depth analytics to help understand online customer behaviour, or investigation of your site’s user journey can reveal areas for improvement that could mean making a difference to getting the right traffic to your site and a boost in enquiries or sales.  

Update your key information 

As uncertainty reigns around us, it’s important to be transparent about your operations. Keep changed business information like new working practices, opening days, times and ways to contact up to date across your communications and website, so potential customers know exactly how to get in touch and when. 

It’s never been more apparent that marketing can be successfully customised to the circumstances. And though it may seem cutting marketing budgets is essential to survival, making an investment in smart, sensitive and up-to-date marketing is key to getting your business through these challenging times and what’s still to come. 

For more information on updates, website audits, search engine optimisation or any of the other services we offer, get in touch with ie Marketing on 0117 907 9930 or at info@ie-marketing.co.uk

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