Businesses worldwide are facing an unprecedented economic disruption due to the Coronavirus pandemic. It has reduced economic activity in all countries, forcing the US to shed about 26 million jobs in five weeks.
Even as many institutions as slashing their forecasts for 2020, it’s still possible to focus on your business growth. The virus has really slowed down normal business activities, but it also has pushed more people to the Internet.
This Internet boom allows any business to increase its market share provided they implement the right strategy. By strategically placing your message in front of these growing online audiences, capturing the attention of the right customers is possible. Here are strategies you should look to leverage immediately.
1. Keep Your Online Ads Running
It’s tempting to pause your ads or slash your advertising budget to stay afloat. That’s exactly what some businesses have opted to do, but this is likely to have a negative impact down the road.
Nielsen, a global marketing research firm, estimates that companies recover 47% of their marketing costs after a year. This means that businesses that are cutting their budgets now are likely to experience falls in revenue down the road, and their messaging might be less impactful.
Instead of pausing your advertising budget, review your accounts and campaigns and try to identify opportunities to take advantage of less competition during this time.
2. Leverage the Changing Media Consumption Habits
About 80% of consumers in the US and the UK have said they have consumed more content since the pandemic started. The report by the Global Web Index also revealed that broadcast TV and online video platforms (such as YouTube and TikTok) are the primary mediums for all user types.
This uptick in media consumption means companies need to reevaluate their content creation and delivery strategies. Take time to identify the types of content people are mostly consuming, and improve your content offering if needed.
It’s also wise to identify platforms where people flock to most and the times when they’re most active. By paying attention to these trends, your engagement rate is likely to be higher, thus building your brand reputation.
3. Take Advantage of Reduced CPM Rates
In mid-March 2020, cost per mille (CPM) dropped to $0.81 from about $1.88 in November 2019. The rates are down by more than half during this pandemic, and marketers can take advantage of the reduced rates now to increase exposure at a lower cost.
Keep in mind that the CPC on Facebook in March 2020 was 19% lower than it was in January 2020. This drop offers an opportunity to launch your remarketing campaigns to keep your existing customers. You could also focus on particular segments if you want to acquire new customers.
Keep in mind that the reduced rates are not consistent across all industries. Those industries that have high demand continue to have increased rates. The most impacted industry is the tourism sector, which saw the most significant drop in rates.
4. Redefine Your Messaging and Strategy
If you have the resources to keep your marketing campaigns going, consider adjusting your message and strategy to suit the current landscape. COVID-19 has changed brand messaging, and it’s not uncommon to see the pandemic mentioned in campaigns.
Customers are likely to trust you if your messaging is sensitive to the current situation. Consumers need to see you as a source of hope and empathy. Your message should strive to reinforce public health communications and provide frontline assistance.
You also need to put out a statement to help customers understand how your business will be impacted during this season. The statement should highlight your changes in operation hours, customer service, and delivery methods. Also make sure to send out updates as often as you can with any changes that might affect your business.
5. Use Analytics for Better Decision-Making
For effective management of your marketing budget, you need to use analytics to make sound decisions. COVID-19 has made time a luxury that many businesses don’t have, and the tides are continuing to shift. Using analytics for its problem-solving and predictive prowess can help you accomplish more with the little time you have.
Through analytics, it’s possible to identify possible supply-chain disruptions, forecast demand, determine the effectiveness of your marketing strategies, and streamline your operations and services. Using custom insights can help you increase your ROI by up to 40%. Businesses that apply the learnings from their data will be in a better position to unlock value during this period.
Be sure that your analytics are aligned with your business priorities. For example, during the COVID-19 outbreak, the priority of many businesses has been to identify emerging challenges. This has helped them to report on business-critical issues to develop long-term solutions and guide their near-term decisions.
Ensure your frontline teams have easy access to your data to address your full customer journey better. This allows you to know what to offer, who to target, and how and when to reach your target audiences. With the right team in place, it’s possible to test new ideas and improve your offers by leveraging your data. The result is an enhanced engagement rate during these turbulent times.
The Coronavirus has cast a wave of uncertainty across the business environment. From budget cuts to shutdowns, businesses have been pushed to the edge. But now is not the right time to throw in the towel. With the right marketing strategies, it’s possible to reach your audiences and grow your customer base.
Being relentless will help to protect your brand reputation and health. Understand where you are right now and plan your way forward in this dynamic environment. This includes reviewing your pricing, optimizing supply chains, and gaining insights into customer behaviors.