The spread of COVID-19 has been completely devastating for people across the world. As a community, we are all concerned about many things. We don’t know how long this pandemic will continue or how many people will be infected.
While health is, and should be, the main concern for people at the moment, we also have to consider our livelihoods. The global economy is in turmoil, with stock markets crashing, people losing their jobs, and businesses being forced to close. Even if businesses survive the crisis, they are likely to feel the hit for years to come, as they try to rebuild while making up for losses in this period.
Small business owners across Australia are already feeling the hit. Many business owners rely on their regular customers to pay for staff, rent and even stock. Without money coming in, some are already closing their doors for good, while others are struggling through a quiet period.
As well as impacting bottom-line sales, the effects of COVID-19 can be seen in marketing campaigns, too. According to Neil Patel, the following is how COVID-19 has been directly affecting business marketing efforts.
- Organic traffic is down in most industries: There have been huge drops in organic traffic for most industries, particularly the travel industry.
- Conversions were also down for most industries: From a conversion rate standpoint, there were also drops in most industries, even in the financial sector, which had increased traffic, seen a drop in conversions.
Luckily, Marketing is Something that Can be Done When Business is Quiet
At the moment, we are all facing uncertain times. If your business has been forced to close, or, like many of us, you’re simply seeing a decrease in emails, phone calls and leads coming in, you can use this quieter period to work on your business. If you can put the work in now to ensure things are ticking over, your business will be ready to go again when the economy starts to pick back up.
The following are some of the marketing tasks that your business can do in the next few months.
1. Nurture Your Network
Your most important business asset is your network. So, it’s important to continue to work on your relationships and your network as much as you can when you have the time. If your business is quiet, it is likely that others are too, which gives you a unique opportunity to connect with clients, potential clients and other contacts at a time where they may be less distracted with the day-to-day.
Trying to sell them during this time probably won’t go down well, but building a relationship could be effective. So, if you are going to touch base with people, make sure you do it in a personal way. Simply send an email or pick up the phone to ask how they are and how their business is going. Let them know if there is anything your business could potentially do to help them. They may even appreciate being sent something entertaining to lighten their day a bit.
2. Build a Backlog of Blogs
Most business owners know the benefits of writing a regular blog. Blogs have benefits for SEO, as 72% of online marketers describe content creation as their most effective SEO tactic. Posting a regular blog is also a great way to share knowledge and position your business as an authority in the niche that it operates in. Despite knowing all of this, many of us still put off writing blogs, or simply just cannot seem to find the time to do it.
When you find yourself with a few extra hours, put the time to good use by creating a content schedule for your website for the next six months. Consider how often you will post, what topics you will write about, and what keywords you will target. Go into as much detail in your content schedule as possible, for example, by writing blog headings and outlining the key points to talk about in the article. Once you’ve completed the schedule, you can start writing the blogs so that they are ready to go when they are scheduled to go out.
3. Update Your Website SEO
61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority. SEO is one of the most effective ways of driving relevant traffic to a website. As such, many businesses see success the channel.
However, it’s not always the easiest channel to master as the discipline is continuously changing. Website SEO is not a one-off task, as Google constantly updates its algorithm. As such, it’s important for business owners to stay on top of key SEO changes so that the website continues to rank well in search engine results pages. As Google will always value fresh, worthwhile content, SEO can be improved by writing a regular blog. In addition, taking the time to redo Keyword Research and check on-page SEO elements such as title tags, meta descriptions and internal linking is also worthwhile. It is also beneficial to look at web page content again and update anything that is out-dated or add more information to the page that answers what clients are searching for.
4. Make Business & Marketing Goals for the Year Ahead
We all know we should be planning initiatives for our business. However, strategic business initiatives can be put on the back burner while we focus on operational matters.
Statistics show that documenting your strategies gives you a 538% greater chance of being successful in your efforts. So, now may be the perfect time to plan for the year ahead. Look at your data from the previous 12 months, and consider which marketing campaigns and channels have been most effective for your business. Consider the campaigns that you want to replicate and look at the things that may need to be improved. Then, set specific, measurable goals based on what you have learned. These goals can be implemented throughout the year. For example, is there a specific industry that you want to target? How many leads do you want to get from a specific campaign? How much budget will you allocate to each channel?
As well as looking at past data, you can also think about whether there is something new that you’d like to try in your business. Would you like to start running workshops or start a podcast? For these tasks, take the time to consider all of the things you will have to do to get them up and running. Then map out what you will do to achieve the goal in the upcoming weeks and months.
5. Keep Learning
Continuous learning means that we can stay up to date in our profession and excel in our business. It is an essential ongoing process that should continue throughout our careers so that we can ensure we stay on top of the changing trends and directions of the industry that we operate in.
All to often, personal and business development are not prioritised when we’re busy. Now, when business is a bit quieter than normal, it’s the ideal time to increase knowledge. This can be as simple as taking an hour or so to research online and identify current trends that are affecting our industry. Depending on the industry your business operates in, there will likely be articles, eBooks and online learning modules to complete. You can also enrol for online courses in areas that are of interest to you and may be of benefit to the business as a whole.
For more information or if you have any questions on the above, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Most importantly, everyone at the Lead Agency hopes that you stay safe and well during this time.