These are trying times and most, if not all, industries are being impacted in some way. The world is frightened, cautious, and clinging to their toilet paper like it's gold.
In all seriousness, there are a lot of things that businesses have to consider when it comes to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and somewhere near the top should be your marketing and sales efforts.
First of all, it is important to remember in your marketing and sales process that everyone's first thought right now is about their health and their family. After that comes business. Be sensitive to it and make sure to empathize with what your prospects and target companies may be going through. Now let's look at how your business can move forward and even grow during the virus.
Moving everything online
The most obvious issue with COVID-19 is that we can't be out shaking hands and meeting people in person - for what sounds like a substantial amount of time. Because of that, conferences all around the world are being canceled and people are starting to worry about events and conferences all the way into the Fall! Companies that rely on conferences and in-person interaction to grow will need to pivot and focus much more heavily on digital marketing and inbound marketing tactics - like right now.
That means developing an on-the-fly strategy and starting to execute right away. There is no time to delay here. Inbound marketing can take some time to start showing big results so the sooner you can start, the better.
Consider quick win opportunities
Like I mentioned, inbound marketing is going to take some time, but there are some quick wins to be had. Start looking into utilizing pay-per-click advertising through Google (and even Bing) as well as social media networks like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Paid advertising can produce some quick results while the other inbound marketing tactics are ramping up.
You may also want to consider targeted outreach on LinkedIn, especially if you're in the B2B segment. Do some research on your target businesses and then connect with the decision makers or target personas at those companies. This can be very helpful to start a conversation.
PRO TIP: Don't approach your LinkedIn outreach strictly from a sales standpoint. Be helpful and share content that is important to them. If you can educate, you can win.
Consistency is one of the hardest things to keep in times like this, but it's extremely important. Google has made it clear that consistency is a big factor into how they rank. That means that if you've been blogging every Tuesday, it's important to keep blogging every Tuesday. That will keep you ahead while this virus runs its course.
When tough times hit, usually marketing is one of the first things to be evaluated. By cutting your marketing budget, you may save some dollars today, but you'll be sacrificing more dollars later.
Stay the course. Stay consistent. Everything will work out.
Don't lose all you've worked for
Like I just alluded to, consistency is key for ranking and if you give up on staying consistent with your inbound and digital marketing, you're going to start losing all that you had worked for. That can mean your website traffic, your authority, your search engine rankings, even your engagement with your social media following.
There are always going to be tough times that come up throughout our business lives, but it's important to not make any crazy decisions and instead remember everything that you've worked for and lean into them. Don't let a couple crazy months ruin your whole year.
Now may simply be a chance to pivot and find new and creative ways to reach your target audience. Think outside the box and find some fun and innovative ways to sell.
Doubling down on new opportunities
While most people are looking at the Coronavirus as a huge hardship, for some businesses it can be an opportunity. And regardless of how the opportunity arises, it's your responsibility as a business to capitalize.
If your business benefits from everyone being home, or keeps people healthy, or keeps kids entertained while they're out of school, or delivers products so people don't have to go out - USE THIS TIME! There is a huge opportunity here and people genuinely need your businesses. Now is the time to double down on your marketing and sales initiatives and reach more people.
These are tough times, but I urge you to not make any drastic decisions that will prolong the impact of the virus. Keep moving forward and keep filling your pipeline. When the virus blows over, you'll be setup for a great finish to 2020.
If you have questions on how you can manage your marketing spend while continuing your efforts or on how you can double down with opportunities, please feel free to schedule a meeting! Our team is here to help.