When people hear “crisis” or “recession,” the first thing that they want to do is cut marketing budgets. 

In a bear market, you’re inevitably going to have to cut your budgets somewhere, but if you can find marketing avenues that will be ROI positive and continue to generate revenue, then continuing to invest in the revenue drivers for your business will always pay off. 

Digital marketing does not always need to be expensive or pay to play. A digital marketing strategy that utilizes content to nurture your customers and partners intentionally is incredibly less costly and, in ways, more effective at creating brand loyalty than pay-per-click advertising.

Through effective content marketing takes time and thoughtfulness, the investment will always pay off and will undoubtedly help your business stay solvent during the COVID-19 shutdown. By breaking down the reasons why you should double-down on digital marketing during COVID-19, and the strategies to do so, we hope to help you create a powerful digital marketing strategy that will help you come out of the crisis on top.   

Why Digital Marketing is More Accessible and Effective Than Ever

1. Customers are Directed Into One Channel

For the first time, you can direct your marketing efforts in one direction online. Before COVID, marketing was everywhere – from PR to grassroots, to experiential marketing, the number of marketing channels you could use was overwhelming.

COVID has swept all that away and has pushed everyone onto one channel, which makes marketing simpler. You can direct all of your strategies and efforts in one direction, versus trying to take one message and segment it into different formats. 

2. Larger Corporations Cut Back Their Marketing

If you are already running a skeleton crew or a bootstrapped team, there is an opportunity for small businesses to disrupt and stand out in traditional markets because big players slash their marketing at the first sign of a recession. 

In other words, there is more space than ever for you to compete against the big players successfully. 

3. You Can Nurture and Educate Your Customers 

Even though everybody wants marketing to have immediate results, digital marketing (especially in our current reality) is a long term game. 

The nurturing that you do right now is going to influence your customers in a way that keeps you at the top of your consumers’ consciousness. That way, when the economy bounces back, you’ve generated enough brand loyalty for consumers to want to come back to you. 

How to Market and Position Your Business During Corona

Reposition Your Messaging Strategy

Right now, your messaging can take the fear angle, which shows your consumers that you are panicking.  

Or you can take the high-road model with supportive, optimistic, and nurturing messaging like these two successful companies: 

Glossier

Glossier just released a new hand cream, and their messaging strategy was brilliantly tailored to the times and consumers’ needs. 

The product launch was a massive success because they didn’t “sell” or offer, “20% off our new hand cream, come buy it.” 

No, instead, they said, “We’ve had this product in the works for two years. We’ve received tons of requests from healthcare workers on the front lines that wanted a hand cream because their hands are so dry from frequent washing. We donated the first 10,000 to them.” 

We understand that not every business is capable of donating 10,000 units of product, but we also want to assure you that you don’t have to operate on this scale for the same messaging strategy to be successful for your business.  Because at the end of the day, it’s about how you can create and market products from a position of genuine need that’s relevant to the current circumstances. 

Spindrift

Spindrift recently released their “Small Moment(s) of Joy” newsletter. In no way was their message salesy or panicky. They thanked healthcare professionals and expressed support for restaurants (who account for a large portion of their distribution):

Related: Our Favorite 5 Companies With a Strong Social Game

The big takeaway from these brands is that your digital marketing message needs to be: 

  • Intentional 
  • Informative
  • Thoughtful

People are being inundated with all kinds of digital marketing messages right now. But the powerful ones that stand out always intentionally serve the business and inform their audience while being thoughtful or empathetic to the consumer’s circumstances. 

Create Multimedia Content

Content marketing is not blogging. 

Instead, it’s the strategic use of: 

  • Blogs
  • Whitepapers
  • Testimonials
  • Case studies 
  • Webinars
  • Videos
  • Pictures
  • Graphics
  • Podcasts

-in ways that entertain or educate an audience. 

Though many people focus on blogging as their primary content source, right now is the time to start expanding to create multimedia or various content types. 

Why? 

Because people are spending more time online now than before COVID. 

When you have all your consumers’ eyes on one channel, then it becomes a matter of assessing what content types are the most impactful ways to reach them, rather than only creating one type. 

Further, by repurposing content into different media, you’ll meet more of your audience where they are. Not everybody is the same type of learner or consumer, so reformatting your content in a way that more people can read, listen, watch, and share will help you engage and expand your reach further.

For example, part of your audience may enjoy reading articles, but others may prefer watching a video. By creating both content types, not only do you ensure your entire audience is engaged, but increase the likelihood of your content reaching new audiences. Various forms of content also have incredible SEO benefits which overtimes improves your search rankings on Google. 

Related: It’s Time to Ditch These 8 Myths About Content Marketing

Implement Micro and Macro Outreach

Outreach is strategically seeking out individuals or organizations that have similar interests and values as your company.  Outreach marketing helps build invaluable relationships, audience size, and traffic back to your website. 

There are two types of outreach to consider: 

  • Macro: Targeting large groups of people on email or social with a singular thoughtful message
  • Micro: Targeting ultra-specific individuals for one to one communication

With Corona, macro outreach has become mainstream since businesses realize that one email blast is way more effective than it was before.  But in the endless waves of macro outreach, we’re experiencing that micro outreach is becoming lost. 

There are certain relationships with long-term customers and partners that have a lot of value that you don’t want to leave on the table. Therefore these should be nurtured individually. However, all you need to do is open a genuine conversation with them, rather than hard-selling your business.    

For example, you could say, “Hey is your business experiencing this? Can you tell me more? Can we hop on a call and talk about it?” You can also ask them to be featured in your content, personally invite them to attend your webinar, or, better yet, attend one of theirs. 

A micro outreach strategy is incredibly powerful because it’s incredibly personable—you’ve taken the time to personally show that you have a vested interest in the relationship beyond a sale. 

Micro outreach doesn’t have a set strategy like macro. Thus it will look different based on the individual needs of your business. Regardless, it helps everybody regain some of the socially intuitive, humanizing, and personal behavior that’s lost when we go digital. 

Rather than pushing a hard sell, it creates an authentic connection based on experience and circumstance. 

Whether or not they become a customer or not down the line, you ultimately get the value in offering some kind of value as well—even if it’s just being available for providing extra support. 

Keep Nurturing Your Audience With Authentic Marketing During COVID

Even though we all enjoy immediate results and instant gratification with marketing, we’re all playing the long game during COVID. 

But when you double down on a nurturing style of marketing, the long term dividends will pay off through and beyond the pandemic. This ultimately lets you stay top of mind in the consumer conscience and boost your brand loyalty for years to come. 

While marketing seems intimidating, you have to start somewhere. 

Taking it one step at a time is perfectly fine. You don’t need to overhaul and try to execute a vast marketing strategy tomorrow. 

Take it bit by bit, piece by piece and the more you practice, the more marketing will become intuitive.

If you need additional resources, here’s how you get started: 

For additional support, reach out to us; we’re here to help you move through and beyond COVID stronger than ever.