In 2020, we watched as many businesses struggled through the devastation of COVID-19. Owners struggled to keep their heads above water. Larger companies downsized, jobs were lost, and smaller businesses were forced to close their doors, cut hours, or change their business models.
And as a marketing agency, we held our breath for what we knew would be the inevitable next step for many organizations…
We know the first thing any organization will do when a large financial crisis strikes is examine the budget. And, one of the first victims brought before the guillotine is almost always marketing spend.
It seems logical. Why put money into marketing when your business is suffering through a lack of customers or a drastic decrease in consumer spend?
In actuality, abandoning marketing efforts and draining the budget to zero is one of the biggest mistakes organizations make during a crisis situation. Why? Because at some point, things will go back to normal, and you’ll be behind. 100 years-worth of research bears this out. Companies that maintained or increased marketing spend through tough economic times ultimately survived the crisis, and in some cases, emerged in a better financial position.
Maybe your company isn’t in a position to increase ad or marketing spend right now as a result of the pandemic. You can still adapt your strategy to keep pumping up your brand.
Simple marketing strategies to help you protect your brand and maintain your brand presence
1. Keep Posting on Business Accounts Consistently
It won’t cost you more to remain active on social media. You were there (hopefully) pre-crisis, and you will still be there post-crisis. If your brand has never had a social media presence, we need to have a larger conversation. The point is it’s not going to cost you more money to maintain your social effort. Keep posting. Be authentic, and share your experiences. If your business is having a tough time, talk about it. Stay positive, but it’s ok to be transparent. Honesty humanizes you to your customers and makes you more relatable. Social media is a great way to showcase the human side of your brand.
2. SEO Strategy for Your Business
Do not skimp on SEO. It is so critical to helping people find your business online. Consumers drastically increased the amount of time spent online and online shopping during the pandemic. This trend is continuing into 2021. If you cut SEO spend, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to take advantage of an online consumer-base that’s growing at a steady clip into the new year.
3. Turn to Digital
With regards to marketing efforts, your customers live their lives online. So, you are never going to go wrong investing or reallocating spend to a digital marketing strategy. If you need help adapting your digital strategy through crisis, we’re here for you.
Turning services digital was the number one, greatest pivot that occurred in 2020. Nearly every business had to course correct and find a way to deliver services with a digital mindset. The businesses that invested in digital communications, digital methods of delivery, virtual customer engagement and outreach did very well.
Organizations that waited to adapt to digital (both services and marketing approach) inevitably struggled to catch up.
4. Watch Your Tone
A common marketing misstep during any large crisis is an absence of tone. It’s important, for your brand, that you remember this crisis is impacting your consumers too.
Compassion doesn’t cost you more, and it can pay dividends later.
Contrarily, a lack of compassion or tone deafness can have a devastating, negative impact on your brand. So, you need to be sure your marketing strategy guides you through the crisis with an appropriate tone, measure of compassion, and human approach to your audience.
5. Document the Journey
Amid crisis, brands (particularly small organizations) can feel like they’re in survival mode. But remember, the struggle eventually comes to an end. And, when that time comes and your company is thinking about how to move forward, someone is going to blurt out in the middle of a random marketing meeting, “Did we document any of that?”
So here is our advice to you today.
You may not have a plan to advertise right now. You may not have a marketing plan for this moment at all. Still, pick up your phone and hit record. Take pictures. Do Facebook Lives. Stay involved in a positive and relevant way and document everything. If you’re not sure how to approach something, send us an email. We’re happy to help. So when the crisis ends (and it will end), you have materials to help construct powerful pieces of creativity. That’s one decision you’ll never regret.
If you’re not sure what content to post, take a look at this (social blog) or schedule a free consultation.
If you liked this Symboliq Media blog, you might also like: