Many small businesses out there (us included!) are adapting to the current crisis. They’re doing their best to serve existing customers while trying to generate new business that will be critical to staying afloat. Digital marketing is a powerful tool for accomplishing both of those things. And during the current COVID-19 crisis, everyone is handling their marketing a little differently. Some are sticking with their existing programs, some scaling back, and others are ramping up.
When clients come to us asking how to scale down, we make our recommendations based on individual goals and budgets. But we know that small businesses appreciate any advice they can get right now, so we’ve put together a few items that we think, regardless of your situation, you should keep (or start!) during this time. We chose this list because these tactics yield consistent results and will be fairly inexpensive to implement.
But before we get to the list, an acknowledgment:
We know, we know. You’re tired of hearing how ‘every company on the planet’ is handling COVID-19.
But think about it. Somebody communicated with you recently about how they’re doing business right now and it was actually quite helpful. (Bonus points if it wasn’t tone-deaf and showed the genuine side of their company culture.)
My dog’s vet office comes to mind. (Shout out to the heroes at West Arbor Veterinary Hospital!). They sent out a really helpful and informative newsletter to their clients. Included in the newsletter was a video about how curbside vet appointments work. After watching the video, I knew what to expect and felt confident in keeping my upcoming appointment. My dog, on the other hand, was not happy.
Now onto the list…here’s what you should focus on for marketing during covid-19.
1. Post Twice A Week on LinkedIn
For B2B marketing, LinkedIn is the most important social media platform out there. Posting helpful, relevant information on LinkedIn will display thought leadership and help showcase what your company is doing to serve customers, your industry, or the greater good. Until you can run your social media program at full steam again, just stick to LinkedIn. If you have the bandwidth to post on all of your social channels, just adjust your original LinkedIn content accordingly for length and tone to work on other channels.
Here’s a couple of great examples from two of our clients, both deemed essential businesses, and both tackling the need to communicate clearly with their clients to set expectations about service right now:
2. Run a Paid Ad Campaign
If you haven’t done this yet – now’s your chance. Web traffic is up, paid ads are cheap right now, and there are fewer advertisers so ROI on PPC campaigns is higher than ever.
You could also consider running a YouTube campaign. They can help build brand awareness, increase lead generation, and drive traffic to your website. YouTube (the second largest search engine after Google) even helps you increase the chance of your YouTube channel being found through organic search. You can specifically target your desired audience. Consider using existing video content that you’ve got on hand – or create something at home on your laptop. We recently did an ad for YouTube ourselves. And yes, we shamelessly featured our really cute office dog, Doug. But hey – you’re at home right now with a cute dog or a kid or a cat or maybe even a comely houseplant – so get cracking!
3. Keep That Newsletter Going
A newsletter done well is a beautiful thing. They are a great way to keep in touch with current customers or to engage your prospects. As a matter of fact, HubSpot data has shown us that for some of our clients, newsletters helped influence thousands in revenue, and even deals won.
Your audience and your goals will direct what kind of content you publish in your newsletter. For example, if your goal is lead generation, you’ll want to include case studies and blog articles that position your company as a leader. The key is to keep your messaging simple, helpful, and genuine.
And don’t forget to include video (like my vet did!). Video is often the best performing area of a newsletter.
In a couple of weeks, we’ll be publishing examples on our blog of newsletters that have been effective for our clients, and for Hivehouse Digital.
Bonus Suggestion: Work On Your Blog
Blogs are a low-effort, high-reward tactic that helps with your search ranking and positions you as a thought leader. We recommend that you use your blog to answer questions and pain points that your customers have right now. Your blog should be less about selling (although a careful mention of your services or your people is ok) and more about helping. New to blogging? Here’s our two-part series on B2B blogging basics to get you started:
Marketing During COVID-19 Means Being There When They Need You
The best thing to do right now is to be there when people need you. If you go dark on marketing during covid-19, you’re missing an opportunity to answer questions and provide the help your customers and prospects need.
We know that our readers might need us right now too, so we encourage them to visit our Resource Center. It’s a magical place full of free templates, tools, quizzes, guides, and checklists that will help you navigate your marketing programs now and long after this unpredictable time.
If you find yourself still struggling to execute the tactics mentioned above, we can help. Contact us to pick our brains about how we can develop a digital marketing strategy or how we can execute that strategy for you. In the meantime, stay safe, be creative, and keep going.