Digital Marketing During A Pandemic – Part 1
To say we are living in very uncertain times could very well be the understatement of the year. The impact of COVID-19 – formally known as Coronavirus – can be felt across a multitude of professions. Alas, Digital Marketing is also one of those professions.
A Brave New World
In order to help you better prepare for a coronavirus phase, here at Siren Search, we have created a handy little survival guide on how to generate value for your clients in these uncertain times.
First things first, working from home is not a new revolutionary way of working.
If you are an agency or a business that uses digital marketing but won’t let your employees work remotely then clearly you are not doing the “digital” part of digital marketing correctly.
Dealing with the changes
Over the last few weeks, I have been reading out news of layoffs left and right within the digital marketing industry. Despite the UK government offering a massive help to retain employees in the form of a furlough scheme, a lot of businesses and agencies are choosing to let their staff go.
It is heartbreaking to hear, this only shows to employees how little they matter to the business. Any agencies/businesses willing to let their talent go only to survive short term lacks the true business foresight.
My Own Situation
I am one of the few lucky ones to be working for an SME Digital marketing agency and a boss who values his team more than short-term business survivability and before you ask, “no” I am not just saying that to be a kiss-up in order to save my job.
I also have some amazing colleagues who have come forward and asked for a pay cut to make sure others don’t have to. This just goes to show that business is not just about cash flow, it’s about people.
That being said, unfortunately, we have also had some clients suffer the impact of COVID-19 and they have asked us to pause their digital activity.
In these trying times, it is very important to keep a calm mind to ensure any decision taken may not cause even further damage.
How we are helping our clients?
As an agency, here are a few things we are doing for our clients before recommending a complete stop on all digital activities.
Name of the game is “Data”
Any good digital marketer knows & understands the importance of data. Whether it is for day to day optimisation or planning long term goals.
Data needs to drive your digital strategy, before recommending a complete stop, study the data and identify if you have noticed any significant drops in traffic and core metrics. Not all business/industry are the same so chances are not all businesses will need to completely stop advertising digitally.
Case and point, one of our client are from the food & beverage industry, we have noticed a sharp surge in demand for their goods. Therefore we have recommended keeping digital marketing active until we see a significant drop in traffic and conversions.
A Skeleton Budget
After studying the data if you notice the impact, the next step is to identify how to minimise the damage whilst not completely shutting down?. Here at Siren Search, we are working with our clients to create a bespoke skeleton structure for their brand that will allow us to target core activities that are still generating value for their business. This still keeps them active in the digital landscape and keeps us in business.
Monkey see Monkey do
No, I am not telling you to buy a Monkey. Chances are a lot of the competitors are pretty much in the same boat as you. In that case, you don’t necessarily have to shut down.
Keep an eye out for changes in CPC, lower CPC can indicate fewer competitors as some competitors might also decide to pull out. If that is the case then rather than shutting down reduce the budget. To further minimise spending look at your core traffic & conversion driving hours and only activate campaigns during those hours. In the sea of duplicates try to be original.
Bespoke Ad Copy
Change or Tweak the brand message, given the current situation it is worth reviewing your ad copy and customising them with a more emotional tone that can resonate better with your customers.
Clear and constant communication
A clear line of communication with your stakeholders is a very basic knowledge that a novice can tell you yet I hear stories where clients are not happy with how things are being communicated.
Here at Siren Search, we have increased the frequency with which we are communicating with our clients. This does not mean sending them lyrics to “I want to break free” by Freddie Mercury. We have also increased the frequency of our video calls just to check up on our clients. It doesn’t always have to be all about business.
Help others upskill
It is still astonishing to me how many people don’t really understand what exactly is Digital Marketing? Small businesses are in fact scared of it and therefore miss out on this amazing means of revenue source & brand marketing.
We are reaching out to all our clients and offering them free digital marketing training and guidance. This will allow us to deepen our relationship whilst making sure we are providing some value to our clients by helping them upskill their staff. We have already had a few requests from our clients to help train their staff in certain aspects of digital marketing.
Going the extra mile
Not everyone understands technology and that is okay. A lot of our clients are veterans in their industry that means that they have been around long before when facebook or even google was a thing.
To help them assimilate into a digital nomadic culture we are offering to set up project management & remote working tools free of charge. We are even offering free training on these tools to our clients to ensure they are 100% comfortable with them.
We are all in the same boat, worried and scared about our future. The important thing to remember is don’t just think about yourself. Think about how can you help others? if you have a special talent or skill use it. Think about moral and personal responsibility.
To be human is to endure. Humanity as a collective has endured so much but we have never stayed down for long. We have always gotten back up stronger time and again. So please help others fight back and in turn help raise humanity up once more and remember “Stay Home And Save Lives”.
How has COVID-19 impacted your life? Share your own experiences with us on our social media channels.