How your marketing changes when the world shuts down. Hint: it doesn't

3 min read
18-Mar-2020 9:15:00 AM

The only certainty we have right now is uncertainty.

With the virus making its way across the world, many business owners are feeling uneasy about the future. But that doesn’t mean everything has to change.


How should your marketing strategy change?

It shouldn’t. 

There you go. Mystery answered. We can all go back to work now.

What’s that? You’re looking for a little more detail than that? Alright, let me explain further.

Are you following the best practices for digital marketing? Do you

  • Conduct kick-ass keyword research?
  • Write compelling content that your draws your audience to you?
  • Nurture your leads with the right information at the right time?
  • Use automation to maximize your sales team’s efficiency?
  • Provide a personalized experience to your website visitors?

If so, then you shouldn’t change anything. Continue to create and share relevant content about how your products and services address the needs and challenges of your client base. If you typically post 4 new blogs a month, then continue to post 4 new blogs a month. If you run highly-successful PPC ads on Google, then keep doing that. Don’t let recent changes derail your success.

New: The Beginner's Guide to Generating Inbound Leads

It’s important to stay the course

“But with all this uncertainty I feel like I need to cut my marketing budget.”

You may feel that way, but guess what? Search engine algorithms don’t realize there is a global pandemic and they will continue to do their thing. They will continue to traverse the web, ranking sites that:

  • Follow best practices
  • Continue to post new content
  • Actively build backlinks

The moral is this: if you hit “pause” on your marketing program now, you will lose position and authority to those who don’t.

Now is a fine time to ramp up your digital marketing

“With all this uncertainty you want us to ramp up our digital marketing? Surely you can’t be serious!”

“I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley.”

For those of you who haven’t seen the movie Airplane! you’re going to want to check out the clip below. For those who have seen it, you should still watch the clip because we could all use a laugh these days.

Now, back to the subject at hand.

As we mentioned earlier, a number of your competitors will get cold feet. They will cut costs, and marketing is typically one of the first things to go. So this is your chance. Their hesitation will lose them search result position, lower PPC costs for ads, and flatline their domain authority. Your actions right now will help close the gap on bigger competitors and put more distance between you and the lesser ones.

The other reason it’s time to ramp up your digital marketing? You’re not going to hit up tradeshows and networking events anytime soon. With governments recommending events of 10 or more guests be cancelled or postponed, all those traditional lead generation tactics won’t be available to you for the next little while.

What about incorporating the name of the pandemic into all of our messaging to take advantage of the search volume?

Be careful. People have long memories.

If your business offers a product or service that specifically and very clearly addresses a need of the pandemic, like medical testing services, then you should optimize your content around the appropriate keywords. 

But if your business addresses issues, challenges, or opportunities created as a result of the pandemic, then focus on those motivators, not the pandemic itself.

Take our friends over at IAmI Authentications for example. Their platform addresses the inherent flaws in traditional two-factor authentication. With the pandemic forcing so many people to work from home, their application is ideally suited to help address the security concerns of remote workers. It would be easy for them to tie their messaging to the current crisis, but that could feel like “war profiteering.” Instead, they are staying the course. They continue to produce content that gets right to the heart of cybersecurity, strong client authentication, and data protection. Those are the real challenges they help with.

Long story short, focus on how you help your prospects overcome their challenges—leave the fear-mongering out of it.

Three key take-aways

  1. A solid marketing strategy will always outperform a knee-jerk reaction.
  2. Staying the course gives you the opportunity to grow your online presence (while others drop in rank).
  3. We’re all looking for ways to grow our businesses, but it shouldn’t be done at the expense of our reputation.

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