In the past few weeks, COVID-19, or Coronavirus, has massively impacted the nation’s health, lifestyle, and economy. With cities shutting down and almost all major events and large gatherings canceled, many businesses are already feeling the strain. Now, more than ever, people are searching for digital solutions to help them find answers, work remotely, and stay connected to their communities. Strengthening (or creating) your digital presence is key to retaining your current customers, finding new audiences, and pivoting your products and services to meet consumers’ unique needs during this time.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced most companies to toss traditional marketing tactics out the window. With most of the nation inside and on their computer, digital strategies like targeting become critical to getting the right message to the right audience. Let’s look at how targeting across different channels can affect your business’s interaction with current customers and new audiences:
Almost every business has addressed their customer base with updates on how they’re responding to COVID-19. To get the most out of these emails, segment your audience geographically based on their IP address. This will allow you to align your message with what’s going on in their location. Customers in a quarantined city may receive updates about new online service options, while emails to customers in less-affected areas could discuss altered store hours or locations.
Because Pay Per Click (PPC) allows you to target specific questions and search queries, it’s easy to hone in on the audience who is most likely to convert. From there, you can tailor your messaging to where users are in the marketing funnel. For example, top-of-the-funnel users may ask a question and be served your ad. If your ad copy is well-written and answers their question, you’ll capture their attention and they’ll likely click on your ad. PPC targeting also allows you to retarget existing customers. Using PPC to give existing customers incentives for repeat purchases helps them convert from one-time purchasers to continuous users of the product or service.
It is important to keep a close eye on your negative keyword list during COVID-19. Search volume is up substantially. You do not want to burn through a budget for searches that are unlikely to convert for you. During dramatic changes in consumers daily routines new opportunities emerge. Adjustments in your Adwords campaigns to capture the opportunities during COVID-19 are critical.
With more people spending more time inside, social media usage and engagement has surged across the United States. One study found a 76% increase in daily accumulated likes on Instagram #ad posts over the last two weeks. Taking advantage of this spike could be a huge opportunity for your company to introduce your brand to new users and keep your business thriving.
Even with razor thin marketing budgets, the smallest budgets can generate worthwhile results on social media. Social media is the cheapest form of advertising today, allowing you to reach thousands of users within your target market for only dollars a day. Sites like Facebook and Linkedin also offer extremely granular targeting options, allowing advertisers to choose from geographical locations, interests, purchasing behaviors, job titles, and more. This helps ensure every cent you’re spending isn’t being wasted on users that aren’t likely to convert.
Schema helps search engines understand what your webpage is saying, and using it often helps your page be featured as a rich snippet. As events go virtual or become cancelled or postponed, Google has rolled out several new properties that allow business to indicate their event’s most recent status. Using these new options, you’ll be able to easily communicate if the event is canceled, rescheduled to a future date, postponed to an unknown date, or if the event is now being held virtually. To make sure your updates are noticed by search engines (and therefore, users), both Google and Bing recommend submitting content through search console.
COVID-19 has affected almost every business. To make sure your customers know your COVID changes or policies, create a Google Post that explains the changes and links to a COVID landing page. Then, make sure you update your Google My Business (GMB) account with changed hours and services due to COVID-19, including a new, “temporarily closed” feature. If you have several locations, you’ll be able to post location-specific information. Since most people use GMB over visiting the website or calling you directly, updating your GMB profile can help your customers understand what’s happening.
These are uncertain times, and as lifestyles are affected, consumer behavior changes. With the right digital marketing strategy, your business can continue to reach the right audience and find new customers. During this time, Fruition can help your business not only survive, but thrive. Reach out to us to learn more!
As Fruition’s Lead Creative Strategist, Emily designs and executes short- and long-term content strategies for each client. Emily is passionate about storytelling and capturing the unique voice, tone, and perspective of various brands. Her time as a copywriter for a Fortune 250 company deepened her love of content creation and sharpened her skills for writing everything from advertisements and press releases to video scripts and more.
President & Founder, Tru Family Dental
Marketing, Dependable Cleaners
President & Founder, Family Travel Association