Today, in these uncertain times, we are all facing new and unforeseen challenges and feeling the economic impact of Coronavirus.

So, how do you prepare your business for the long haul?

Well, we need to work smarter and be ready to tackle the problems head-on.

Here are five digital marketing techniques you can use to prepare your marketing activity during this Coronavirus downturn:

  1. Work smart to retain your existing customer base
  2. Become highly visible in front of your target market
  3. Focus on driving conversions
  4. Measure and optimise
  5. Test and learn

Businesses need to look carefully at budgets, identifying the most cost-effective way to deliver products and services.

Marketing budgets may initially seem to be an easy target for companies looking to make cuts, but short-term changes in marketing activity will unquestionably have long-term consequences. Above all, maintaining visibility in your market is essential for long-term profitability and sustained investment.


1. Work smart to retain your existing customer base

Your churn level and loyalty programmes are vital as you need to keep listening and be in contact with your customers – or you risk losing them. Remember, it’s always cheaper and more profitable to retain an existing customer than acquire a new one!

  • Marketing automation is cost-efficient, easy to implement and an effective way of keeping in touch with customers. Businesses need to send out personalised, contextualised, targeted messages to existing customers who want to hear about updates and news. Moreover, you must keep in touch with your customers at every touchpoint in their digital journey. Doing this systematically and automatically will ensure the job gets done and will free up your more expensive human talents to deliver creative campaigns that will add even more ROI.
  • Content production is an essential ingredient for your tactical marketing campaigns and for keeping in touch with your existing customers. Share the innovations – things that differentiate your offering from your competitors. Promote your good news stories in terms of awards and client wins if you need inspiration for a B2B content marketing campaign.
  • Getting social means engaging in conversations with your existing customers. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook – these are channels where you customers are reviewing your products, discussing their purchasing decisions, exchanging views on your business. Create a low-cost plan for reaching customers at every point in the social media funnel. Use these tools to listen to your customers, hear what they’re talking about and learn more about your market. And remember, it isn’t about advertising – your contributions to the conversation need to be valuable and appropriate.


2. Become highly visible in front of your potential clients

You have to build your brand awareness and become more visible. This means driving visitors to your website to make the sales. One of the best times to get found by potential clients is when they’re searching for what you’re selling. You need to get found at every stage of the purchasing lifecycle; from exploring new suppliers to evaluating specific offerings.

  • The Mere Exposure Effect is the marketing phenomenon by which consumers develop a preference for your products or services merely because they are familiar with them. Now is the time to explore low-cost techniques that will keep your brand visible in front of potential clients on a steady basis. It may feel counter-intuitive but setting aside an advertising budget for keeping your brand visible will deliver long-term benefits.
  • Focus on creating high-quality content that is going to get shared, and reduce your budget for generating low-value, low-impact content.
  • Update content. Your business has an archive of perennially relevant, interesting content that does not become dated and is still of value to your customers… and the search engines. Revisit your content, update it, give it a ‘spring clean’, to improve your rankings in the search engines.
  • Conversations about your business are more important than what you say about yourself. Another low-cost way of getting visible in front of a larger pool of potential clients is to leverage the authority of other respected experts.


3. Focus on driving conversions

One low-cost, high-impact digital marketing technique to focus on is conversion rate optimisation. Small incremental changes to the user journey will turn more of your website visitors into customers.

  • Use social proof and post positive stories about your business. Revisit how you are using your cases studies, recommendations and reviews at every touchpoint in your marketing, and take the time to weave this content throughout your website and share actively on social media.
  • Customer experience is the ruler. Invest in your website to ensure you are giving a fast, personalised experience. And in terms of keeping costs down, remember that small changes on your website will colossal impact on the final results.
  • Leverage artificial intelligence. Now is the time to get up to speed on the latest developments in machine learning and artificial intelligence. This will give your business a competitive advantage and access to the right prospective customers at the right time. Taking advantage of current developments in AI will drive down your cost per acquisition of new clients by ensuring you are getting the right message to the right person at the right time and reducing waste.


4. Measure and optimise

If you don’t measure, then you can’t manage. And if you’re not managing, then you could be pouring money down the drain.

Measuring means demonstrating accountability for your marketing spend. You need to be measuring against your success criteria. You may want to measure sales, numbers of leads generated, upsells, or referrals. Now is the time to ensure you have defined your key performance indicators.

  • Configure your Google Analytics correctly. Ensure you are covering all the basics and that you are using the data to drive your marketing efficiencies. Do you have goals set up correctly? Have you connected your Search Console? Have you defined what you are measuring? Are you taking advantage of all the free data that Google Analytics provides to you that can shape your strategy?
  • Measure your social media ROI. When budgets get tight, you may need to make sound decisions on how you are going to spend your resources. One soft option might be to put the brakes on your social media activity. Social media can appear to be very time consuming and an optional non-essential activity. But before you make that decision, ensure you have explored how social media is contributing to your bottom line in terms of engagement, visibility, and profitability.

Remember – knowing what works makes it easier to make the decisions on where to invest your cash.


5. Test and learn

And finally, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the digital marketing puzzle.

You will need to be agile and creative. Measure your success and learn from the experiment. Here are some parting tips:

  • Experiments should be quick, cheap, and easy to deliver.
  • If it works, then well done, and more of the same, please.
  • And if it doesn’t work so well, then kill the experiment and move on. No harm done. Be quick and be ruthless. You will have tested something, learned from it, allowing you to move on and test something new.
Pilar Guerrero
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