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How to Adapt your Marketing Strategy During COVID-19

June 2020 4 min read

It’s been almost ten weeks since the UK imposed strict lockdown rules to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, and life as we know it was completely changed.

Our New Normal

From cancelled dinner dates and weekends away, to catching up over a Zoom call instead of a face-to-face meeting, COVID-19 has brought us a ‘new normal’ – one that none of us could have ever anticipated.

We’re all trying our best to keep our heads above water, remain business as usual, and find any positives – no matter how small – to keep us going.

The government has put some fantastic measures in place for supporting those of us whose jobs have been affected by the outbreak, but business owners still have a lot to consider when thinking about business contingency planning.

Although it might be tempting to scale back on marketing efforts, you should instead think about adapting your marketing strategy with consideration, empathy, and mindfulness.

We’ve put together some tips and general guidelines for marketing protocol and how to utilise your digital channels during these difficult times.

A New Approach

According to a survey by Econsultancy, 12% of respondents said that marketing campaigns are still “going ahead as planned”, and 28% say their businesses are continuing planned strategic initiatives like digital transformation or restructuring.

However, your audience will be responding differently during this time, so you should consider changing how you market to them. Communication is key – you might create a COVID-19 landing page on your website to communicate how your business is responding to the outbreak, or send an email to clients to explain any business changes or closures, and reassure that you’re there to support them.

Think about where your audience is right now, what they need, and how you can help – and adjust your marketing campaigns accordingly.

Continue Advertising

We're Open

If you’re a travel company or in the hospitality sector, it might be worth holding off on paid ads for now, but stopping all advertising can be risky in the long run.

Instead, rethink your advertising plan. Ask yourself what can be paused immediately, e.g. if something is inappropriate or isn’t contextual right now, and look where there might be room for opportunity, e.g. supporting your audience or positively contributing to the situation.

Pay Attention to your Website

With social distancing measures in place for the foreseeable future, more and more of us are online, the internet being our virtual space on a 24/7 basis. If you don’t have a website yet, build one. If you do, make it better! Make some much-needed updates to older pages with no real purpose, update your staff pages to reflect your current team, redesign your homepage, or review your analytics and identify any trends or opportunities to focus your efforts on.

Optimise your SEO

While reviewing your website, why not do an SEO audit and see where you can make any improvements?

Optimise page headings, ensure your content includes relevant keywords, and check that all of your images include alt text – even small changes can help your search rankings. Find out more about the trends we can expect to see in SEO this year here.

Get Social

Unless you already live with your partner, family, or friends, virtual socialising is the only thing we’ve got for now. People are spending more time than ever on social media looking for support, something relatable, or just a bit of light-hearted fun.

Update your content calendar appropriately – your content should be sensitive to the situation and certainly not ignore it, but give your audience something to feel good about or have a laugh at, rather than joining in with the typical media scaremongering.

Work on Organic Content

According to Virgin Media, the UK’s internet usage has doubled during the daytime since we’ve all been at home. Your audience has more time to consume content, so consider putting together some valuable, informative blogs or videos.

Which topics can you cover that could help your business during the outbreak? How can you answer your audience’s specific questions? Can you update any older content to make it more relevant during the coronavirus crisis?

Go Virtual

Thank goodness for technology (we’re a tech company but still, this isn’t a biased opinion). Your events might be cancelled, but why not give it a go virtually?

Webinars are proving to be more popular than ever, and a number of organisations are taking their conferences online or providing e-learning services to their users.

Be Positive

“Optimism is the most important human trait because it allows us to evolve our ideas, to improve our situation, and to hope for a better tomorrow.”

– Seth Godin

COVID-19 is not an opportunity to take advantage of or profiteer from. Trust, authenticity, and empathy are crucial – we’re all human and we’re all struggling, so just trying your best to convey positive messages in your marketing efforts will make all the difference.

Create employee-generated content for internal staff. We’ve been sending out biweekly newsletters with trivia and funny BuzzFeed articles to try and encourage our team to stay positive and fill the void of the usual office interaction.

For St. Patrick’s Day, Guinness encouraged people to celebrate by lifting each other up as they would a pint glass. Other brands including Nike have adapted their tones to suit the pandemic: “play inside, play for the world”.

This is a weird situation for everyone, so just do your best.

We wish everyone health and safety during this time. If you would like to talk to us about anything – whether it’s marketing strategies or just a chat, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. 

Written by Tabby Duff Digital Marketing Executive

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author unless explicitly stated. Unless of course, the article made you laugh, in which case, all credit should be directed towards our marketing department.