The covid19 pandemic has been a threat to the entire global economy and without a doubt; businesses took the biggest hit of all. While there is still some hope left, several brands already declared bankruptcy in the wake of eroding resources and dwindling assets. Brands hard-pressed for finances can also get the ball rolling by making certain essential tweaks.

With social distancing keeping many people at home, there have been major shifts in behavioral trends. Revaluating the branding strategy at this moment seems like a plausible way ahead. Moreover, the approaches enlisted here do not require massive capital infusion, but intuition and coherence with the changing times.

Reassure Your Customers About How Your Company is Responding to the Pandemic.
To stay relevant to the consumer’s needs today we need to send out messages reassuring them about how your company/brand is responding to the pandemic.  We all will agree that the best form of marketing is always when you create goodwill. People remember the good thing your business does. For example several perfume making companies have changed over their production lines to making hand sanitizers. Few have donated ventilators, donated money to various relief funds, distributed groceries to the needy etc. Talk about the initiatives your organization has taken to go an extra mile during this difficult time.

Use video with strong, warm, embracing visuals. After all, TV is the best medium for site, sounds and e-motion. Try to communicate your philanthropic activities well. Don’t forget there is a thin line between creating a sense of urgency and a sense of panic. As a brand, you must be a visionary and not an alarmist.

Move Your Brand Online to Stay Connected to Your Customers.

Moving your brand even more online will keep you connected to your customers and enable a unified customer experience. If you’ve only been depended on sales executives, make them the faces of your social media accounts. Let them interact with the people. They already have the knowledge about what people look for and ask about while interacting with them.

SEO – Three key areas to focus on will be your story, website and data. 
Given the current scenario one must revisit their current content marketing and keyword strategy. Try and rethink how is your product/service related to the questions people have about pandemic? Leverage keyword research and social listening tools for topics that provide insight into specific information they are seeking. Check your PPC (pay-per-click), too. Keywords targeted yesterday may not be the most relevant today, as search volume and term trends could be fluctuating. An email or social media campaign can connect a marketing message to your targeted audience for a fraction of the cost of a print campaign or TV ad, immediately. It probably depends on your industry, but now could be the perfect time to increase your (PPC) advertising. More people than ever are on the internet, giving a greater chance for your ads to appear before relevant pairs of eyes. This can give you a tremendous competitive advantage.

Focus on Customer Relationship Management (CRM).
Customers today want a relationship with the companies with whom they do business. They want to go beyond the transaction to a more engaging, human place. The hard sell has to be shelved at present. If you do not already have a regular cadence of communication to your customers, now is the time to build one.  You need to get a well- rounded CRM tool. If you are in e-commerce communicate with your customers online regarding your logistics and supply chain. They should know when they can expect to avail your service. If your service/product does not fall in the essential service category, take some time to rethink how you can position yourself.

Digging into Your First-Party Data
Do a deep dive into your analytics and sales/lead data. We should know what our customers want. Compare offline and online trends and determine what you could change now that you possibly did not have time to do in the past. Use Artificial Intelligence (AI) seriously, if you haven’t been using it already. Adapt your communication to the analytics emerging in real time. Observe consumer sentiment and responses while drafting new messages.

Infuse Empathy in Your Marketing Communications
There are many resources available to help brands build a literal empathy map that can be used during a team exercise after customer interviews and surveys have taken place. Use primary research to understand the emotions customers exhibit before, during and after using your product or service. This will help to communicate effectively. You cannot put in effort with the expectation that your ROI will skyrocket because you made a video letting the customer know your business is still around in “uncertain times.”

Adapt Your Offers to the Circumstances:

Have you noticed all those television ads of late that seem irrelevant to the current situation? Television networks have even still been running ads for travel agencies, suggesting you should take time out now to travel the globe. Successful marketers move quickly and adapt to the circumstances. There is little point continuing your marketing as normal if consumers are unable or unwilling to buy your usual products at the moment.

Geography diversification
COVID-19 is a global issue. But it is affecting some countries worse than others. For example, South Korea has had better luck controlling the spread of the virus compared to many other countries. And countries like the United States and Italy have exploded in daily cases. With over 84,000 new cases a day and growing quickly, the spread of the virus or the slowdown of the virus can affect your traffic drastically. For that reason, you should consider diversifying the regions you get your traffic from. Through international SEO, you can quickly gain more traffic and be less reliant on one country’s economy.

Use this Down Time to Finish Your Digital To-Do Lists

Now that we are not commuting to the office or taking in-person meetings, our schedule has likely freed up some time for you. Those marketing items that may have fallen through the cracks and been overlooked can now be addressed. Perhaps your website needs a fresh look with a redesign. Website professionals can overhaul your website in two months all while working remotely. This is also a great time to have a conversion rate optimization specialist perform a CRO audit of your website to ensure your call-to-actions (CTAs) are turning leads into customers. Also, it’s an ideal time to do an SEO audit of your website to ensure you’re maximizing your optimization strategies.

Start planning for post-Covid marketing.
We are in the acknowledge-and-adapt phase of the Covid-19 pandemic. With three months of lockdown passing by, we should now start putting in place a contingency plan. As we move further, marketing heads must try to keep their customers happy by thinking realistically and trying to analyze what awaits us from the outside-in approach. Even after the pandemic clears, there will be many changes which one needs to be abreast with to increase their ROI post COVID marketing.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors’ and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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