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Budgets have been paused. Strategies thrown out the window…

David Cooper

April 16, 2020   Strategy

Time to rethink your digital strategy.

It seems Coronavirus is leaving a virtual tumbleweed fluttering across the empty plains of digital marketing platforms. From working with sectors from rail to events and home improvement, Fountain have seen first-hand the effect that Coronavirus has had on the business landscape.

Marketing is usually the first head on the block in times of economic shock, though with such a vacuum on the web left to gain, dialling down your marketing could be doing more harm than good.

I am, of course, not just talking about Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads or taking up digital real-estate with media spend. Marketing is far more than this alone and there are numerous strategies out there that will benefit different companies of different industries and different sizes. To make the best move for your company, you need to know exactly what these options are and where they can benefit you to avoid the cyber-guillotine.

Below, I will outline three different digital marketing strategies that could help to keep you afloat during this time:

1. Search Engine Optimisation

PPC’s brother in arms is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Where this might work is with departments whose media spend has been withdrawn or who are running on limited marketing budgets as it requires no media spend. There is lower risk involved than with PPC in terms of finances, though the time investment for the outcome is greater. With more people on the internet for longer and less companies spending on ads during this COVID-19 pandemic, this may become less of an issue as Organic site traffic should increase.

The aim here is to maximise your site visibility on search engines, like Google and Bing, by optimising on-page content, improving the quality of links to and from your site and refining the technical aspect of a page’s make-up. With a lot of us marketers finding certain campaigns have been paused, or activity has been postponed, we now have more time to address these more labour-intensive tasks so that we can soar the ranks on search engines and organically get our brands out there.

2. Conversion Rate Optimisation

The backbone to any digital marketing strategy should rely on having a site well-optimised to leading users to make the action/s that you want them to. Another digital Coronavirus-fighting strategy that requires no media spend is Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO). Let’s take our eye off of driving users to your site and now focus on what they’re doing on your site. Are users signing up? Are they purchasing? Are they engaging with your pages in the way you want them to?

Using session-recording software you can view heatmaps of how far down a page users are scrolling and where they are clicking, as well as viewing the sessions themselves. Whilst this requires a fair few sessions to get a data back-log big enough to make calls on, you can also experiment with changes to your site through tools like Google Optimize, to see which versions of pages work best. If your campaigns are paused and you have time to visit those jobs you never got around to, this is an ideal strategy for your team.

3. Pay Per Click

I know I said we would talk about other strategies, but hear me out, as there’s some vital information that could change your perspective. Whilst Covid-19 has managed to scare most marketing divisions into disarray, or worse, complete shutdown, it has left a vacuum on the web. Take my advice and take advantage of these empty plains whilst you still can, before they are once again flooded with marketing material. We have seen the cost of impressions drop by as much 57% for some of our clients and Facebook has not been this cheap for 6 years – a long time in the digital marketing world when you consider that Facebook users have increased by over 100% from Q4 2013 to Q4 2019.

You also want to be wary of lead-to-sale times, as if your pipeline dries up, then it’ll leave you a longer time to recover than if you pushed even the smallest campaign of brand awareness to keep you front of mind in potential customers during these hard times. They will remember you for offering them even a simple blog with useful information so that you will get returns the instant that this Coronavirus is gone, instead of having to wait another 3 months.

So, be versatile with your marketing. If you have no paid media, that doesn’t mean you have no options left. If you’re worried about digital competition on advertising platforms, there’s never been less. Above all, make sure you pick a strategy that works for your company in this trying time, not just the strategies you’ve always done.

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