This is an extraordinary moment in time. The kind we read about in history books.
This is also a vulnerable time for all of us. Businesses of all sizes across different industries are being impacted, causing significant disruption for marketers everywhere.
As the CEO of the Squirrly Company, I’ve talked to many business owners, entrepreneurs, and marketers who are worried about the future of their companies. These are people who have suddenly found themselves in the position of not knowing what their next move should be.
You are not alone in this, and it’s okay to feel anxious. It’s okay to freak out a little.
Many things are out of our control right now. But there are also things that we can control.
And, in life, you control what you can.
Whether you are a freelancer, a business owner, or an entrepreneur, your hands are NOT completely tied up behind your back during this crisis.
There are things you CAN do, marketing-wise, because there are always new opportunities that shine through the darkness.
So, you have a choice to make.
You can either focus on all the negative things happening around the world which are completely out of your control.
You can choose to focus on the ones you can control.
There’s a quote I like which I find to be very appropriate for the time we’re in. It’s by Brené Brown, and it goes like this:
‘Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change.’
Think about what that quote means in the context of the world right now and remember that marketing is all about change.
The question now is:
How is marketing going to adapt in the coming weeks and what can YOU do to adapt, ride this wave and not drown?
Here’s my answer.
Marketing in the Age of the Coronavirus: What Works and What Doesn’t
Coronavirus did something most of us have never experienced so far in our lifetimes: it placed most of the world on hold.
It’s like a giant PAUSE button has been pressed and the music stopped playing. And it feels like we’re all waiting for things to get back to normal so that we can resume “dancing.”
But there’s no pause button in marketing. The dancing never stops.
It’s only the music that changes.
Now is NOT the time to put your marketing efforts on hold. This is a time to try new steps and adapt your moves to the new rhythm.
So, what kind of marketing is relevant and effective during this crisis?
Well, let’s look at the facts.
- Companies are canceling events and even giants like McDonald’s and Apple are closing their stores overseas. So clearly, planning in-store product launches or any other type of event that takes place offline is NOT the way to do marketing right now.
- Physical distancing measures are in place all over the world, so in-person meetings and services are out of the question. You could still try to market your services or products via online meetings with your leads, but chances are that most people won’t be ready to buy right now.
- Concerned, anxious consumers are stuck indoors and are mostly active online. Statistics show that social media usage has soared. However, online advertising has plummeted.
I’m not surprised.
In times of crisis, buying behavior changes.
Fear and stress are at an all-time high right now, and most people are no longer rushing to buy stuff just because an ad looks interesting or cool. People right now are trying to be smart with every dollar they spend. Impulse-buying is less frequent.
There is limited shopping going on, and business is slow everywhere in the world.
So, there are very few industries in which it would make sense to invest in ads right now.
What’s more, nobody will remember an ad they saw months ago, so ads won’t even help you with generating brand awareness.
Plus, ads don’t help you long-term! When you stop paying for ads, the results stop.
The better approach during this time is to focus on marketing channels that bring long-term results.
The one that stands out in this category the most is:
It Makes Sense to Invest in SEO Right Now. Here’s Why –
Now is the perfect time to do SEO because:
- SEO provides long-term results.
Search Engine Optimization is one of the very few marketing strategies that don’t stop working once you stop working on them but rather they compound and grow over time.
Results keep coming even months after you stopped working on a page (stopped working on a page, NOT on the whole site; that still needs to happen).
- People have more time.
Doing SEO successfully takes time. But if you get to work NOW, by the time this crisis ends, you will be way ahead of your competitors who didn’t invest in SEO.
So I recommend you get started with creating valuable SEO content, content that shows thought leadership and educates your audience as soon as possible. That’s how you stay ahead of the game.
- This crisis will die down.
The world will overcome this new virus. Things will eventually go back to normal.
Consumer habits will shift once again, and we’ll see new growth on demand.
Most people won’t be found on search engines then. But YOU can be found by customers by the time we reach the other end of this crisis – if you start working on your SEO today.
I’ve shared these arguments with several business owners when discussing changes and shifts in strategy that make sense right now. And by the time we reach this point in the conversation, they usually ask me one question.
Can you be successful with SEO even if you are a beginner? Even if you’re just getting started with all this?
The answer is:
You can. You will. Squirrly SEO will help.
Everything inside Squirrly SEO right now is built to help you navigate Google’s complex ranking algorithms so that you can rank your pages on the 1st Page of Google Search.
And with the 2020 version of the plugin, we’re doing something that no other company has done before.
We went to great lengths to be able to give you a private SEO Consultant (in the form of Squirrly 2020: Smart Strategy), to help you maximize the time you spend on SEO and finally get amazing results.
It’s the first-ever private SEO consultant that is not a human. Based on A.I. and Machine Learning, the consultant will guide your SEO efforts and show you everything you need to do to be insanely successful with SEO.
You can think of it as the SEO expert on your team. Only it’s always available, always there for you when you’re ready to work on your SEO.
Nothing like this has even been done before.
Make sure to sign up to be a part of the official Launch Event for Squirrly SEO 2020: Smart Strategy here. This gives you exclusive VIP access and front-row seats to the event.
I also Suggest Focusing on Organic Social Media Marketing Right Now
As people are practicing social-distancing, they try to replace some of the offline social connections with online ones. This translates into social media usage being very high. Now is important to show empathy and care in your organic social posts.
Take note of the fact that social media is over-saturated with information on the virus which can put your brand completely out of the spotlight.
Make your voice heard, get your message out, and remain visible in your customers’ social media feeds.
Keep building those relationships.
Keep the lines of communication open, and prove that you are in tune with how your audience is feeling right now.
You need to show them you are still alive and kicking but do it thoughtfully. Project confidence. Offer assurance.
Otherwise, by the time the crisis is over, you will have been forgotten.
Finally, I’d say: Keep Doing Email Marketing
If you have an established, engaged email list that you’ve built over time, it will prove to be an invaluable asset during this crisis.
When possible, continue to offer deals, free trials, or loyalty programs that can provide some relief for your audience during these hard times.
Sell the future.
Email marketing is still one of the best conversion channels that drive results.
However, conversions will be completely different than what you expect. You will most likely continue to make sales, but the pace will be different.
Sales cycles may be longer.
Be ready for that.
It’s difficult to predict exactly how the next weeks and months will look like.
But this much we know to be true:
We’re in the middle of a global crisis, and the only way is THROUGH.
Your response is what matters right now.
How you navigate this crisis – the marketing moves you make – will shape the future of your business.
While many businesses will never recover from this, others will come out at the other end stronger and more prepared for the future.
Those who make smart choices, come up with creative solutions and take timely action will be the ones who stay ahead of the game and protect their business.
This is a storm. Some boats will sink. But some boats will rise.
You can be among those who successfully weather this storm. Focus on the type of marketing that will bring you long-term results, and you will. My advice is to channel your efforts towards SEO, email marketing, and organic social media right now, and I hope I’ve made it clear why.
This is the same advice I’ve given people in the Squirrly community, our users, AND our friends and family who have businesses to run and are struggling to figure out what to do right now.
I hope all of you reading this are able to stay healthy and safe during these crazy times.
Better days will come. Keep focusing on what you can control, have a plan to adapt, and never lose hope.
You are stronger, more resourceful than you think.