Nine-point action plan for digital in the time of corona

digitalWith the uncertainty of coronavirus hanging over every business, marketers have already been warned not to just sit on their hands and pray for the whole thing to blow over.

Now, digital agency Mediaworks has issued a nine-point digital marketing action plan for companies to implement, which it claims will enable businesses to be agile and adapt their marketing approach, based on potential digital opportunities and threats.

1. Review your analytics from the point of business impact to inform marketing tactics
Harnessing insights through analytics can support decision making and reduce risk on where to invest in the coming months. Check on emerging products and only promote where there’s an appropriate level of stock. Alternatively, analyse your Search Query Report (SQR) to see a shift in how people arrive to your website, which is likely to be a lot more generic and top of the funnel searches.

2. Regularly review and update your online contact information, listings and opening hours
Although it might be business as usual, customers might not be aware of this. We’re advising all businesses to check their contact details on their online and offline assets and listings, including Google My Business, Bing Maps, and Waze.

So many businesses are changing their opening hours, working location, and more generally, the services which they offer. Therefore, a constant update ensuring all business information remains accurate across all platforms is crucial.

Review your onsite calls to action, guaranteeing they are working, relevant, and prominent. Your social media channels can also be utilised in order to update clients and prospects with any potential changes to business.

3. Directing investment towards in demand tactics
Take advantage of e-commerce platforms such as Amazon and eBay marketplace to help encourage increased traction to your product ranges – the former is currently recruiting 100,000 new employees to assist with growing demand. A recent report by CommerceIQ, analysing spend on Amazon following the outbreak of Covid-19, discovered that spending on certain products such as dog food increased 13-fold in the past month alone.

4. Interact with customers through social
As measures of staying indoors become particularly more stringent, one thing we can be certain of is more people spending more time online, especially social media sites. Seize the opportunity to share helpful information on the platforms that matter most, providing regular updates to consumers on changing situations.

5. Reassess your PPC budget
As people isolate, they are going to spend more time than ever online. Some markets will benefit massively from this, but if you aren’t in one of these markets then you need to be thinking long term. Create a presence in the user’s mind so they remember you when they restart their purchasing intent following the end of Covid-19. Create display and programmatic strategies and invest more in upper funnel activity. While it may not generate a return now, having that consistent online presence will be beneficial in a few months.

In addition, examine your current location targeting. If you are targeting locations abroad you can no longer deliver to, then reassess whether that is still a viable option. Look at terms that were previously converting but no longer are – are they viable? You may want to reconsider your target keywords, especially if they are time sensitive.

6. Don’t neglect content production
Although this might seem like a time to avoid producing content, as other tasks may take priority, by producing high quality, informational blogs and webinars, you can add considerable value to your brand. During times of crisis consumers are desperately seeking answers, therefore creating a set of FAQs that relate strongly to your industry, product range, and the current situation, will allow you to stand out as a thought leader.

7. Fine-tune your media allocation
Cancel your out of home and cinema advertising as they are going to show large declines in effectiveness. Similarly, consider re-allocating your budget into radio or on-demand TV services such as ITV Hub. These audiences can be accessed regionally and by interest category, so budgets can be completely flexible. Also, consider leveraging spend into editorially led advertorials through local newspaper sites if you want to position yourself as an expert in times of need.

8. Pivot short term marketing initiatives
Unique circumstances offer the opportunity to pilot, measure, and scale or discard new approaches against short-term consumer demand. Now is a great time for lateral thinking, so consider your payment terms, delivery methods, product and service bundles, along with new target markets and audiences.

9. Plan for your rebound in the long term
Companies that master the delicate balance between adjusting marketing costs to adjust to short term changes and investing to grow tomorrow are those that succeed through any short-term downturn. All of the aforementioned changes, such as PPC ad spend and media allocation present further opportunity, this is not a time for abstaining, it is a time for repositioning.

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