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Viral (or is it Virus) Marketing

When this horrendous pandemic ends, we doubt there will be many businesses out there that won’t have been impacted by it, at least some degree.


As whole sectors struggle to survive amidst the death and financial destruction that has taken over the world in 2020, talking about marketing right now feels like a moot point. The thing is you’re right, but this isn’t going to go on forever.

Sooner or later, we’re going to get back to some sort of normality, and businesses large and small are going to have to do all they can to weather the storm, even when the worst of it is over.


If your instinct right now is to slash your marketing budget to the bone, we’d ask you to reconsider for a minute. Why? Because putting a hold on spending completely now might make the recovery even worse when the time comes. Instead, now is the time to call upon trusted clients and partners to look at how to pivot any marketing strategy you may have to ensure you remain in customer’s minds when we finally get through this crisis.


Let us explain a few things that your own company needs to consider going forward to give you a fighting chance when the time comes.

COMMUNICATING WITH CLIENTS

Most people will have an inbox, at some point during this pandemic, filled with emails from companies they use or are interested in detailing what they are doing regarding the coronavirus.


Whilst it can be annoying for some, it’s a vital tool in communicating with your clients and customers. If you haven’t done anything yet, then all you’re doing is creating a space in which the conversation will happen, but you’re not a part of it.

Like all of us, customers are looking for answers and, for the ones directly related to your business, they need to come from you. Customers are wanting a proactive response from you. What you write might not be ground-breaking information in the great scheme of things, but it’s important to do it. If you’re not sure about what to include, we’d suggest (at the very least):

  • What you’re doing to safeguard your staff (and everyone else) safe.

  • If customers have bought from you, then let them know what your refund or cancellation policy is.

  • How the pandemic has impacted your business, including changes to things like opening hours, delivery schedules, etc.

  • What you’re going to be doing over the next few weeks.

If you have the staff and resources available, it’s also a good idea to create a ‘task force’ to tackle inquiries more quickly and responsively during this period.


If you haven’t already, create an action plan to address concerns of your employees, customers questions and, if relevant, any media requests. Bear in mind these things can come through a number of avenues, such as social media, website, email and blog comments, so ensure all your bases are covered.

DELIVER WHAT CUSTOMERS NEED (NOT JUST PRODUCT)

Around the world, businesses are feeling a very real impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. For many, the implications have meant complete closure, for others, they will have had their opening hours curtailed. If your business involves the delivery of goods, then you will have had to reevaluate how you’re going to do that.

It’s not only the physical delivery of goods that you need to look at. Whilst the world is on lockdown, that should mean that your website is experiencing more traffic. More traffic should also mean more conversions, but that doesn’t happen by magic.

If you’re finding yourself with more time on your hands, then you really need to be making sure your website content is well-optimised for search. It’s the perfect time to conduct a website SEO analysis. If you need any help with that, please let us know.

In addtion to that, you want to make sure the user experience on your site is geared to increase online conversions. It might have been done to work with ‘normal’ traffic, but as the visitor rate goes up, it might need some re-evaluation.

If your sales are down, then it’s a good idea to look at delivering new marketing materials to stand out. Things like video marketing can help you stand out in your customer’s news feeds across social media platforms. You want to be looking at delivering a compelling experience to your customers no matter how they interact with you.

RE-EVALUATE MARKETING CAMPAIGNS

Before the coronavirus pandemic hit, chances are you were working on some pretty incredible marketing campaigns. You’d spent weeks, if not months, on honing your message and creating the perfect hashtag or promotion that would thrust your company to the front of their mind.


If they are still sat there waiting for you to push the ‘Go’ button, then don’t be too hasty to fire them off when this is all over.

The way the world has changed in such a relatively short space of time has meant that a number of campaigns that sounded like such solid ideas just a few weeks, now may not be. Hygiene practices have changed across the world, so your existing campaigns need to be looked at. Do they still work in this new world?

Campaigns need to look at how we, and our habits, have changed. KFC's ‘finger-licking’ campaign isn’t going to work. The American chocolate manufacturer Hershey had a campaign that emphasised handshakes and hugs. That’s not going to work right now either. You don’t have to be a huge corporation to feel the impact of this.


As we come out the other side of this pandemic, think about your campaigns and ensure they are sensitive to the world. Even the most innocent of ideas can now seem inappropriate, so be careful.

THE FINAL WORDS - THINK ABOUT TOMORROW

Yesterday and today have been pretty horrible in terms of what the world is going through, but it won't last forever. (we hope!) Whilst it’s obviously difficult to keep businesses going now, when this is all over, you still need to be at the forefront of your customer’s mind.

Now more than ever, people are looking for solutions to their problems so create some content that answers these issues. Whether that’s a ‘how-to’ video’, design tutorials or innovation ideas that help your customers in these difficult times. Making sure the content is relevant, sensitive and appropriate, you can keep yourself in their mind through good times and bad.

 

We hope this blog post gives you some pointers, some insight and a little hope in these dark times.


If you’ve got any ideas of your own, please write them in the comments below, we'll love to hear them.

If you need any assistance with your own marketing campaigns, copywriting or web design, we’d be delighted to help you. Just get in touch - we’ve put all the links below in the footer and we’d be delighted to hear from you.


Blog photo courtesy of Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

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