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Tara Swingen

Be Proactive Not Reactive – Marketing During A Crisis & How

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As our world continues to change at a rapid pace, where each week feels like a month – leaving so many of us, myself included, feeling completely out of control. This is a difficult time, it’s a new time and ultimately, it’s uncharted territory for everybody.

As the economy reels from the impact of this global pandemic, businesses are shifting strategies, hoarding cash and preparing for the worst. Businesses are struggling and questioning whether or not they should continue to advertise during these uncertain times – and that’s a logical question. But the reality is… businesses can thrive in downtimes! New opportunities are emerging every single day.

Are you ears starting to burn and you find yourself sitting on the edge of your chair?? Well, keep reading!!! We’re just getting started.

The word “opportunity” to most businessmen (and women!) implies a setup for advancement, success or growth of the company. Although we are experiencing a challenging and unusual time, marketers have a huge opportunity to take advantage the market and gain market share over competitors. They’re playing it safe, sitting on the sidelines until there’s less uncertainty. While I certainly understand that, I also want to help you win! I know I want to play offense; I want to take BIG leaps forward and continue to grow — while others are falling behind, and I’d like to assume most of you do too.

The obvious next question would be: how do you double down on your marketing during a global pandemic so that you don’t end up doing damage to your brand and reputation? (now we’re getting somewhere huh!) Well, what everyone needs to know is that same old marketing and advertising messages just won’t cut it. (not right now anyways). I’m going to touch now on why marketing during a crisis is so important and the best ways to put your message out there:

5 Reasons to continue marketing during crisis:

 

  1. People are online now more than ever!!

With a nation quarantine in place, social distancing has become the new norm, so ask yourself what do you find yourself doing now more than ever?? Majority Rules –- Surfing the net!!

With majority of the world working from home, attending online classes, and trying to stay connected to family and friends – internet use has grown by a whopping 70%, with streaming up 12% from just February to March, according to New York Times.

Social media, zoom calls, online shopping, tik tok videos, and the list goes on. People are cooped up at home and need to pass time – and the internet is THE way they are filling that time!

  1. Ads are affordable!

With so many businesses pulling back that inventory is wide open!! What does this mean?

It’s a buyer’s market for advertisers. You’ll see a lower CPM/CPC when bidding. Take advantage of the opportunity to launch targeted SEM, paid social, and programmatic campaigns at a more affordable rate.

  1. Competitors have pulled back!

 It’s simple. People and businesses are trying to be conservative in spending. But, keep this in mind – while  competitors are pulling back, now is time to take advantage of the open real estate!!

I am definitely not saying spam the world with “purchase my product” ads – but instead, this is an opportunity to showcase your brand in a way to be there for your community!

Brand awareness is always, and now especially, a useful and strategic tactic in the advertising world. Keeping your business name out there during these unknown times is crucial.

Now more than ever before is a chance for your business to position itself as an educator in your industry – that credible resource for your community to turn to for information and support.

  1. Be mindful of your messaging.

All this being said, you shouldn’t keep on keeping on with what you were doing before. The campaigns you developed two months ago are likely irrelevant now. Put that advertising money behind campaigns that speak to your audience with sensitivity.

Make sure your business has chameleon-like tendencies! What the heck am I talking about??

Be adaptable!!

This is the time to consider your core values as an organization and as a leader. This isn’t the time to wonder, “how I can profit off a crisis?” Do you have what it takes to weather the crisis with integrity? People will remember who helped them and who should true genuine support and empathy.

  1. Double down on content marketing

Content marketing and search engine optimization are a long game. Take steps now to be in a better-than-ever position as the economy stabilizes and your consumer behavior returns to something closer to normal…. (or a new normal.)

 

Remember, things WILL get back to normal! Period. This is just reality. We can’t live in an isolated bubble forever.

So, as tempting as it might be to conserve resources by cutting spending dramatically, this will only create a bigger hole for you to climb out of. You’ll save in the short-term, but you’ll lose in the long run. Post-recession, when your competitors haven’t experienced as much of a dip because they stayed the course, you’ll have to spend more to get back to where you were.