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Topic: Digital marketing
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8 months passed since the world first heard of COVID 19. The impact of the virus on public health is obvious.

The most direct aftermath is its impact on the global economy. Stock markets drop, unemployment rate is higher than ever, and the majority of countries in the world are on the brink of recession.

In other words, businesses are struggling to survive. Only the ones that rethink their priorities and reassign their resources may weather the storm. But do not forget, opportunities arise out of every crisis.

Below is an insight on how to play your cards right online during the pandemic and prepare for what comes after.

OPPORTUNITY 1: MOVE YOUR CUSTOMERS ONLINE

At first glance, it may seem complicated or impossible for some businesses.

But when you think about it further, you’ll figure out that there’s often a way to deliver your service and/or sell your products online.

Restaurants and bars could start offering their dishes on food delivery platforms.

Retailers can work on developing an ecommerce website to showcase and sell their products.

Gyms & personal trainers should start offering online sessions.

Teachers should start offering online private tutoring.

Health professional may start providing video consultations.

Universities and schools can hold their courses online using videoconferencing tools.

Services that can’t be delivered online (hair dressers, night club, amusement parks, hotels…) should prepare for post-covid by engaging their audience with unique and educational content.

Rethinking your distribution is crucial during the crisis but it’ll also benefit your company post-covid. By diversifying your sales channel, you increase your potential customer reach and lower the impact of future crisis on your activity.

OPPORTUNITY 2: SPEND MONEY IN "CHEAPER" ONLINE ADS

Since the beginning of the crisis, overall broadband data usage increased by 47%. People are spending more time on the internet, especially on social media, video conferencing apps, news websites and video streaming platforms.

At the same time, the online advertising industry is looking at major loss in revenue in 2020. Many SMEs stopped advertising on networks such as Facebook or Google. The pricing model for those platforms is based on auctions. The highest bidder gets the advertising spot. Therefore, when fewer companies are bidding on a similar target/placement, the cost of advertising goes down.

OPPORTUNITY 3: PUBLISH EDUCATIONAL CONTENT

With record-breaking unemployment rates in many countries, people are looking for new opportunities. Attending training sessions to acquire new sets of skills is definitely a way to boost a career.

We all are encouraged to limit our social interactions, so in-class training isn’t really an option.  It leaves a door opened for online training.

You are an expert in your field. People would love hearing from you on the topics you master.

If you decide to offer your courses for free, you will attract new visitors to your website, get new back links, and strengthen your brand’s credibility and authority.

If you choose to offer paid courses, you will create a new source of revenue for your company. 

OPPORTUNITY 4: DEVELOP OR INTEGRATE ONLINE COLLABORATION TOOL FOR YOUR TEAM

Don’t see it only as a way to keep your business operating during lockdown but as an opportunity to improve the workflow in your company and to streamline cross-functional collaboration.

When the business is good, you are on a full schedule. It is fairly easy to postpone projects that are not essential to the current day to day operations. Nevertheless, those projects often are strategically important for the future of the company.

Developing internal collaboration tools is that kind of “postponable” project in normal times. With the business slowing down because of covid, you have the time and the necessity to take a closer look at those projects.

Solutions that you could look at are:

  • Professional video conferencing solutions
  • Encrypted enterprise instant chat solution
  • Interactive whiteboard solutions
  • Saas ERP system (enterprise resource planning)
  • Saas CRM system (Customer relation management)
  • Marketing automation software such as Hubspot, Salesforce Pardot, Marketo…

OPPORTUNITY 5: HELP OTHERS AND COMMUNICATE

Helping others can take different forms depending on your activity as well as your sensitivity.

If you are engaged in production activities, some of your machines may be able to be adapted for the production of essential medical supplies.

If you are a restaurant, you may want to deliver free meals to healthcare professionals of your city’s hospital.

If you are a web agency, you could decide to offer your services for free for websites dedicated to Covid-19 prevention.

If you are a B to C service company, you may also offer your service for free for a limited period of time.

Everyone can act in their own way. And if you do, you have to communicate about it on your social media as well as on your website.

Corporate philanthropy is an efficient way to build a positive brand image as far as you share your actions and engage with your audience.

SME’s are probably the companies that can benefit the most of it at a local level.

OPPORTUNITY 6: SPREAD YOUR OFFER TO NEW LOCATIONS

If your activity is mainly happening online, it’s a good time to explore new locations.

Although Covid-19 is a global issue, some countries are affected worse than others.

For example, as an American company, you may want to look at expanding your business to the eastern Asia region. Most of the countries in eastern Asia have fairly low infection rates, didn’t go on lockdown and still forecast economic growth for 2020.

Sometimes, expanding can be as “easy” as translating your website and creating great content for the local audience.

OPPORTUNITY 7: OFFER NEW PAYMENT TERMS AND METHODS

Since the outbreak, time spent on the internet increased but conversion rate decreased.

In those uncertain times, people are cautious when spending money and don’t want to spend big amounts at once.

If you run an ecommerce website, you should consider starting to offer payment installments at checkout with solutions such as splitit.com. They claim that offering payment installments checkout increases order’s value by 20% and reduces cart abandonment by 10%.

You should also offer several payment methods including digital wallets and crypto-currencies. Shoppers are generally more willing to spend money that is already credited to their digital wallet than from their credit card.

OPPORTUNITY 8: CONSOLIDATE EXISTING DATA TO DISCOVER PATTERNS

Take advantage of the current situation to consolidate your company’s data resources.

By organizing your resources, you will generate actionable data. Digital marketing is a world of data.

More than ever, you should feed your digital marketing strategy with relevant data. Let’s take a look at the simplified virtuous circle of digital marketing:

By using consolidated data to build your digital marketing strategy, you will be able to come up with a performing plan crafted for your audience.

Once your content is published, users will interact with it. If you collect the data related to those interactions, you’ll be able to use those fresh data to continuously adjust your digital strategy. 

 

Conclusion

 

For many companies, the situation is bad, that’s undeniable.

COVID-19 already caused substantial losses and the global situation is probably not getting any better in the short-medium term.

Instead of waiting for the wave to pass, we should all try to learn how to ride it.

Considering the need for social distancing and the numerous lockdown situations, “learning how to ride the wave” definitely includes reshaping your digital marketing strategy. 

I hope this piece of content will help you to come up with new ideas to cope with the crisis.

Stay safe!