Over the past few weeks, COVID-19 has impacted our lives in unprecedented ways. Businesses have closed their doors, people are being ordered to stay in their homes, and uncertainty surrounding the economy is mounting. In times of crisis, the marketing budget is often the first thing to go, but it shouldn’t. At this moment, keeping your customers informed and engaged is more important than ever. However, brands need to make a plan to find new ways to communicate during this time. For some guidance, here are a few Dos and Don’ts to follow when reassessing your digital marketing plan amid the Coronavirus.
DO: Pause any automated messages that don’t make sense today
This is COVID-19’s world, we are all just living in it. Depending on your industry, it might make sense to reevaluate your creative and copy for sensitivity purposes. For example, as an airline, it may not be a good time to send out an email telling customers to book a vacation. Take a look at your existing messaging and ask yourself if your ad placement is right for this moment and in this context. If it isn’t, find ways to adapt that message to our existing environment.
DON’T: Eliminate all of your paid advertising during this time.
While you reevaluate your digital marketing efforts, keep in mind that this isn’t the time to eliminate all of your paid advertising. Within any crisis, there are opportunities and those that pause all of their paid efforts will be left behind once things start rolling again. During this time, people are online more than ever before. Businesses are still moving and customers are still looking for your services. Instead of pumping the brakes on everything, look at your most effective campaigns and shift your budget into those. Now is also a great time to get creative. Is there a way that your brand can be relevant and helpful through all the uncertainty? Many restaurants are offering discounted delivery and ecommerce retailers are extending discounts as well. Marketing publication, Ad Age is also running a tally of new and unique campaigns that have come out amid the crisis. Take a look for some inspiration.
DO: Grow your presence through owned media
If your business has been affected by COVID-19 and ad spend is a factor, consider refocusing some of your efforts onto your owned media, such as blogs, emails, and organic SEO. Do some keyword research on the top searched terms for your industry and its applications and inject those keywords into the content you produce. Take advantage of the fact that people are at home and online by delivering engaging content through email campaigns. If you don’t already have one, now is a great opportunity to create a robust content marketing plan.
DON’T: Ignore your social media because of the crisis
While most of our newsfeeds are inundated with news about COVID-19, that doesn’t mean that you need to stop your own social posts. Find ways to break through the news cycle with timely and relevant posts about your own brand. As our options for social contact dwindle, more people are turning to social media sites to connect with others. This can spell a great opportunity for brands looking to grow their following through these channels.
DO: Include digital marketing in your crisis management plan
COVID-19 is our current crisis but it surely won’t be our last. Even high profile brands were not prepared for the impact this disease would have on businesses. If your business has a crisis communication plan, consider adapting it in line with your digital marketing efforts as well. Determine your company’s potential risks, what types of messages will need to be paused or reconfigured, who the owners of that content are within your company, and general response strategies. Do a few “fire drills” with your team to see if your plan will hold up when the next crisis strikes.
DON’T: Be afraid to ask for help
Managing an undertaking like this one can be daunting for any marketing professional but an experienced team can help immensely. Depending on your industry, you likely have a lot to handle right now. Take one task off of your plate by sending your digital marketing efforts to a dedicated team.
At Americaneagle.com, we are here to help you succeed amongst all of this uncertainty. Our team can assess your business, all of your current marketing efforts, and create a plan that will get you through the storm that is COVID-19. Contact one of our professionals today.