It’s no secret that business has been far from usual over the past few months. COVID-19 impacted virtually every brand in one way or another and this period really demonstrated how the right marketing strategy can determine whether your business sinks or swims during tough times. Now, as restrictions begin to ease throughout Australia and the rest of the world, brands need to start looking at what they can do to perfect their marketing post-COVID.
The good news? By using the right campaign tactics, you can come out of COVID with confidence. Here’s what you should be focusing on in the upcoming weeks and months.
Follow the data
Data is the best insight a brand has into the hearts and minds of their customers. And in this post-COVID world, it’s a great way to understand what avenue your next marketing strategy should take.
Your website and social analytics allow you to find the answers to questions like; how was our audience interacting with your brand during COVID? Which social networks proved most effective for us during this time? How has traffic been flowing through our website recently? What products or services were most popular during this time?
Not only will your data show the answers to these questions, but it will provide you with the foundation for a great marketing campaign. If your Instagram stories suddenly started booming during COVID while Facebook turned into a ghost-town, that’s a clear indication of where your audience is situated.
If your customers suddenly stopped buying your once-popular range of loungewear, it might be worth looking into whether promotions or sales are needed to entice people to spend their money. The trends we saw during COVID-19 aren’t going to magically disappear overnight. By following the data trail, you’ll be able to create a campaign that speaks to your audiences wants and needs.
Focus on authenticity and purpose
As businesses adapted their marketing in response to Coronavirus, there was two key qualities that separated the success stories from the failures; authenticity and purpose. Consumers (and the media) loved talking about brands who focused more on helping others than selling products during this difficult time.
A great example of this is Woolworths, who was one of the first retailers to introduce dedicated shopping hours in which the elderly and vulnerable could buy essential items with ease.
On the flipside, of course, there were brands who were seen to talk the talk but refused to walk the walk. In particular, the travel industry was criticised for sending out ‘we’re all in this together’ messaging – despite refusing to offer refunds in a time where tens of thousands of Australians were losing their jobs every day.
What we’ve learned from this experience is that consumers want more from brands than just products. The experience of a global pandemic has put a new lens on the way brands operate. Now, those who care about more than profit are bound to come out on top.
As communities and livelihoods continue to be effected by COVID, now is the perfect time for your business to establish a purpose that connects with the hearts and minds of your audience.
Perfect your local SEO
In the midst of Coronavirus, brands who already had a local SEO strategy in place came out on top as more and more people searched for businesses close to their homes. Now, even as restrictions begin to ease, this is a critical marketing strategy that businesses should continue to focus on thanks to one simple hashtag: #supportlocal.
Over the past few months, there has been a huge social shift towards supporting local businesses. The pandemic didn’t just shine a light on how vulnerable these brands are, but also how important they remain to our everyday lives. From coffee shops to cafes, restaurants, beauty services and local retailers, the push to support your local brands has never been more prevalent.
However, if you want to benefit from this trend, you need to make yourself visible to locals. First and foremost, that means perfecting your local SEO strategy. This approach is the number one way to connect with a customer base who you know are looking for your service or product in your particular area. When done right, this technique has been found to render a conversion rate as high as 80%.
What this tells us is that local searchers are usually ready to convert, making it an amazing investment for your business. This approach can work in tandem with your general SEO strategy, allowing you to reach a larger community of customers looking for your product or service. Combine this with the post-Corona push to get out and support local brands, and you’ll be setting yourself up for a strong comeback.
Reconnect with your customers
The worst of the pandemic may seem to be behind us, but that doesn’t mean you should go back to the same tactics you used before COVID. Now is not the time to hard-sell your products – after all, restrictions might be lifted but countless people are still dealing with the aftermath of job loss and financial insecurity.
This is why building a strong, personable relationship with your audience is so important. How you interact with consumers over the next few months will determine how they feel about your brand in the long-run.
Whether it’s via EDM, social platforms or in your website copy, your first campaign should reassure customers that you and your product or services are still here. It’s also a great idea to get personal in your approach; talk about your experience as a brand adapting to the challenges of the past few months.
Talk openly about any changes you’ve made and what your game-plan is over the next few months. Your business may not immediately gain back the ground it lost throughout the pandemic, but this personal approach will set you up for a more sustainable relationship that can benefit you in the long-term.
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Founder & Director