Paused your online marketing because of COVID-19? It’s time to get back online

The last few months have been a tough ride for a lot of businesses, employees, and people in general. As a marketer who has worked through a financial crisis and ups and downs of the economy in general, I know that the first thing businesses look to save money on when things are hard is marketing.

In some circumstances, this is the right thing to do, in others, it isn’t. The key learning from working as through the COVID-19 and financial crisis was that those businesses who persevere with marketing come out on top as things return to normality. This is exactly what we’re going to see in the next few months. As head of SEO at Embryo Digital, it’s my job to guide organic search clients through the changes that COVID-19 has brought us and to ensure that clients are making the most of the new marketing opportunities that it has enabled.

COVID-19 online marketingThe new normal

The reality of coronavirus is that we’re heading into a ‘new normal’ and we’re not going to see a button press return to how things were before, it’s going to be a gradual thing. With businesses in the UK being instructed to open back up in the coming weeks where they haven’t closed down, social distancing will remain key so shops will have queues to enter, as will the shopping centres, and suddenly heading out becomes a mammoth task. My prediction is that we’ll see the strong shift to online shopping stay because of two reasons. The first is that consumers are still going to be wary of heading out shopping and being surrounded by other people, and secondly because it’s just easier under the current circumstances.

Why now is the time to restart your online marketing

Confidence is rebuilding in the economy, businesses are getting back to work, and most importantly, people are searching for goods/services again following a huge dip in demand. It was as some predicted, a short, sharp, shock when it comes to online demand.

Those businesses that did stop marketing over the last few weeks have lost the opportunity to capture an audience where the conversion wasn’t the goal immediately, but education was, and those searches found businesses to learn about WHY they are the right company to work with in the future. This strategy switch of education rather than conversion has lead to businesses still taking bookings/sales for the future. For the business that either already sold online, or shifted to selling online have taken advantage of an audience which doesn’t have walk-in access to products anymore.

Restarting your marketing efforts now is going to allow your business to have a springboard as you get back to work. It’ll get the phones ringing, the sales rolling and the enquiries coming through the website. It’s going to engage an audience that may not convert on the first visit, but they know where to come to when they decide it’s time. Businesses who are not marketing right now are losing out and will continue to do so as things move forward. Marketing is time-critical, and ensuring you have budget in the right places is the job of the agency you work with or your in-house marketing team. Never should “it’s because of everything going on outside” be an excuse because opportunities always exist.

Deciding on the right marketing channels

No easy answer exists for deciding on the right marketing channels and this is a conversation that you should have with your agency or in-house team. For some businesses, SEO/organic will be perfect for engaging the audience and working to build brand awareness for future conversions. Social media again will be great for brand awareness and building a following to market to in the future. Pay per click is perfect for businesses that want conversions as quickly as possible so they can get employees back to work. Google Shopping is perfect for businesses either already selling online and starting to. Perhaps a mix of the channels above would be the best fit. It depends entirely on the goals, but the opportunities are there if you look for them, don’t accept a subpar marketing strategy in any circumstance.

Life after COVID-19

We know that COVID-19 isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and it will cause a need for businesses and marketers to adapt and overcome the challenges that it presents, but isn’t this the reason we do marketing? Be creative, invest in your marketing strategies, be bold, and most importantly, be safe.

If you need some advice on how to make the best of marketing during the next few months, you can visit our website and get in touch with the team: