COVID has turned your business completely upside down. So, you’re probably looking for marketing ideas after COVID. Just to be clear, we are still very much during COVID. The reference to “after” means that you’ve accepted that your business has to operate after accepting that COVID is the new reality. And if you’re going to stay in business, you’ll have to create some new marketing ideas.
In this article, I’m going to share marketing ideas you can use during and after this period of COVID.
The marketing process begins with research and understanding the data. So let’s start there.
Benchmark Your Online Performance
The first step in research is to benchmark exactly where you are right now. If you haven’t made any changes to your online marketing, you’re going to. So sit down and make sure you document what you have right now before you make any changes. SmartInsights has an awesome download that includes templates you can use to choose your KPI’s. Just as important as what you DO measure is what they recommend that you DON’T measure success as vanity metrics or things you have no control over.
Incorporate the Latest Consumer Research
Let’s start with the fact that all the surveys and research done pre-pandemic about what to do and how to do your marketing have gone out the window. Thankfully, Anthony Helmstetter from Convince and Convert has pulled together a series of recent research reports that have come out in the midst of COVID-19.
Here are just a few marketing recommendations based on the five research reports covered.
- Move everything you can online.
- Your customers (yes, even the corporate B2B customers) have more free time and are spending it online.
- Clarify and quantify your value. Everyone is tightening pursestrings. But that doesn’t mean they are looking for the lowest price.
- Make your social media content more entertaining – consumers are increasingly using social media as entertainment.
- Consider advertising on social media – consumers say that social media ads are bringing them closer to brands.
Enhance LinkedIn Marketing With Video
If you’re targeting a B2B audience, then you’re probably already on LinkedIn. But have you been using video on LinkedIn? Maybe it’s time to take a fresh look. Luckily LinkedIn Expert and Trainer, Louise Brogan shares her tips on how to use video on LinkedIn. All of the tips in this article are FREE and something you can easily incorporate into your social media strategy on LinkedIn. Here are just a few:
- LinkedIn has introduced a new “Featured Profile” section in 2020 — record an introductory video there
- Upload an external video to LinkedIn.
- Add a LinkedIn Video Post. This is not the same as LinkedIn LIVE. Everyone can add a video post. Use it to share a tip, for example.
- Add videos to your experience section — this is awesome if you are a coach, speaker or trainer.
Earn Media Coverage
Every challenge or crisis tends to flood new channels with negative stories. At the same time, a crisis creates a yearning for good news. A recent article in Moz shares their tips on how to get positive media attention for your business. Not only will this position your business positively in your community, but you’ll also earn valuable backlinks to your website — and that builds credibility.
Embrace Consultative Selling and Being the Expert
When the economy is in meltdown mode, salespeople tend to retreat. But your customers are depending on your expertise at this very moment. Sales expert, Anthony Iannarino calls this being “one-up” and unfortunately, too many sales people are actually “one-down.” Think of it this way, you wouldn’t go to a doctor and expect to know more than him or her about medicine — right? So why would you, as an expert relinquish the authority and credibility that your customer is automatically giving you? Iannarino’s recommendation is to make sure that you know and understand your business and your customer’s circumstances, wants and needs.
Get More Sales Appointments
The COVID-19 pandemic has put a stop to sales visits and live events, trade shows and conferences. But this has opened up a huge opportunity for sales professionals who are willing to pick up the phone. This is the perfect time to make getting more sales appointments as a goal. Wendy Weiss, the Queen of Cold Calling has a process and a system to get 3x the sales appointments you’re getting now. The first step is to make a plan that answers all the basic questions. Who you will call, what you’ll say if they answer, what you’ll say if they don’t.
Create Attractive Offers
Small business owners and entrepreneurs are a creative bunch. SmallBizDaily has collected a list of ways that businesses from their community. The top three tips include creating promotional offers, adjustments to products and services and flexible payment options.
Improve Your Website to Increase Conversions
Your website is more important than ever as a marketing tool in the COVID era. Use your website as a 24/7 sales rep. The experts at SiteTuners share their tips for optimizing your website for converting website visitors to customers. Some of the best tips include: Taking a fresh look at your site from a visitor’s perspective. Are you answering all of their pain points and questions? Do you make it easy for them to connect with you, call you, set an appointment or purchase something?
When was the last time you reached out to your professional network just to check in? With so many people working from home, networking has become a forgotten marketing idea during COVID. Set time aside each week to reach out to potential partners, collaborators and referrals. This is a great time to check in on your professional contacts to see what they are dealing with and to uncover any new opportunities that may be open.
Use Industry Influencers
Influencers aren’t just Instagram celebrities! Every small business can benefit from these influencer marketing ideas after COVID. Influencer platform IZEA has some great tips that small business owners can use to find influencers in their market. Look for “on-brand” influencers. These are folks who are regular people and who are already using your product or service. By choosing an existing and enthusiastic user, you’ll get less “salesy” content. Another great tip in the article is to focus on an influencers content and engagement and not just the number of followers they have.
Use The Limitations of COVID to Inspire Marketing Ideas
Always remember that some of our most successful businesses were started during an economic downturn. Where there is challenge, there is opportunity. So, when others zig, you zag. It’s normal to feel freaked out and disoriented. But when you’re done with that, take the time to brainstorm, Use these marketing ideas during COVID to carry you through the pandemic and beyond.