Coronavirus has undoubtedly caused a huge shift in consumer behaviour and businesses are feeling the effect on a global level. But while these are testing times for business, it’s sensible to look at adapting your marketing strategy to potentially lessen the impact. Admittedly, in all the doom and gloom it can be difficult to see the business opportunities. However, the reality is, that certain companies will be well-positioned to benefit in the behavioural shift we expect to see.
In the B2B space, almost all in-person interaction will be on hold for a while – but this doesn’t mean businesses have to shut down. Instead, you must ask yourself where your clients and potential business have moved to. We have spent decades building a hyper-connected online community for people to work irrespective of location – and as a result, the answer for most will be they’ve moved online.
Working from home, people will be spending significantly more time on their laptops, checking their emails, scrolling down social media channels and reading industry news. This is a real opportunity to invest your time and money in keeping your audience engaged on these digital channels, as well as capitalise on the highly engaged audiences from your previous digital marketing.
An agile marketing strategy
Put simply, an agile marketing strategy is measured on your business’ ability to adapt quickly and tailor your strategy in response to wider change. In the current climate, it involves taking a step back and a close look at what you already do and where your current marketing efforts are focused. Are there any areas which will now have limited impact and can be put on hold? What aspects of your marketing strategy can be amped up to drive further engagement with an existing audience, and what aspects of marketing can enhance your strategy in this period? To make things easier, we’ve compiled a list of how we predict the marketing landscape will change in the next few weeks and how your business can adapt effectively.
An appetite for content
Seeing as there will now be little face-to-face interaction, the appetite for content as well as the size of the existing audience will increase rapidly. This is a great opportunity to adapt your content strategy. Perhaps there is room to enhance your SEO strategy or mix in additional content, such as thought leadership, that will make up for the time lost face-to-face. Not only will this reassure your clients that it is business as usual but it will keep future business engaged with your brand while physical meetings are off the cards.
A transition to digital
shift towards a digital-first approach will mean more people will be spending more time online. This is a huge opportunity to take your digital marketing efforts to the next level and drive engagement across email, social and site. But first, it is vital to understand where your audience is located digitally. For B2B businesses, this will likely be LinkedIn but also their inboxes. Email is already the main point of contact, but with remote working set-ups, people will be checking their inboxes more regularly. This is an opportunity to deliver your best email campaigns yet, or test aspects of previous creatives to optimise future sends.
There is also potential to move spend from elsewhere in your marketing budget to paid social. This is a great way to strengthen your social presence, target the right people and stay at the forefront of their mind during this time.
Whilst often overlooked, it’s vital to keep your internal team engaged. Social isolation doesn’t have to mean total isolation. There are many creative ways you can check-in with your team to sustain communication and keep up motivation levels across the business. This could involve regular video-call meetings, sending out team comms more regularly and recognition of individuals who have proved themselves during this time. Dedicated channels to social office banter (such as Slack) are also an effective way of keeping up morale and keeping inboxes focused. Video calls are great for checking in but the more creative you are, the better – your team will notice!
Equally, your team’s mental health is super important at this time. Make sure you’re checking in to ensure they’re not feeling isolated and to monitor how they’re dealing with anxiety around the virus.
Take time to evaluate your current marketing strategy
Often we can get so wrapped up in the day-to-day of running the business, we can forget to take a step back and have a look at what’s working and what’s not. However, with the time saved from the commute and business meetings, this is an opportunity to re-evaluate your strategy:
What has done well in the last year? Which channels are performing? What is your social presence like compared to your competitors? Does your content cover the key themes you want it to? How could you amp up your email campaigns? Could your tone of voice be more consistent across the business?
These are really important questions to ensure your marketing strategy is the best it can be and can easily be neglected with the demands of everyday business.
These are trying times for businesses, but, we truly believe there’s an opportunity for you to re-tailor strategy, shift channels of communication and maintain effective engagement with your business – and possibly even increase it. Coronavirus has reshaped how we communicate in the business space, but we are now more digitally connected than ever before. Your ability to cope as a business will significantly rest on your understanding of where your audience has moved to and how you target them online.