Corona is still on everyone’s lips. Even if the federal and state governments are now gradually loosening the measures, companies are still faced with many unprecedented challenges. Online marketing signals business readiness even in times of crisis and thus helps to face challenges.
Read more on health topics/corona.
Winner and Loser
The current situation is hitting some industries harder than others, especially in the long term.
The event industry is certainly a loser, as there will be no major events until further notice. Despite the easing, the catering and travel, and leisure industries are having a hard time.
Winners and losers in the Corona period
But some areas will emerge stronger from the crisis. These include, for example, parcel services, packaging manufacturers, drug stores, grocery stores or streaming services. The losers need to react now.
Big players like Facebook, Google or Amazon are helping companies and users to get through the crisis well. For example, Facebook makes it possible to set temporary updates for companies. Changes in opening times, offers and services are prominently displayed. It is similar to Google My Business. But Google is also on hand to offer advice and assistance. To do this, the search engine giant uses its insights into the processes of a wide variety of companies. From these insights, three ways have emerged in which companies deal with the crisis:
The companies implement these phases with different priorities. But Google goes even further and evaluates the extent to which users’ search behaviour is changing. These types of users emerge:
- Users who (virtually) discover new connections and maintain relationships.
- Users who practise self-care and are there for others.
- Users who adapt their routines to the Internet.
- Users looking for critical information and content to meet basic needs.
- Users who go online with multiple devices to an unprecedented extent.
With this knowledge, companies can react to the dynamic environment. For this, it is important to know your own target group exactly and to adapt the online marketing strategy accordingly. However, this is not always easy. But various tools can help and make decision-making easier. These include, for example, Google Trends, Shopping Insights or Find My Audience.
Social media is the weapon against corona. It is not only a good channel to communicate with the outside world but is also suitable for entire marketing campaigns and as a sales channel. For example, there are currently inspiring campaigns for hashtag #stayhome, #staythefuckathome or #flattenthecurve. There are no limits to creativity here. Social media content has the advantage that production is much faster and less time-consuming than starting a complete marketing campaign.
Social media is also a channel for direct sales, especially for stationary retail without an online shop. In posts and stories, retailers can present products in detail and purchase via direct message or WhatsApp. In addition, direct contact with the customer can be maintained with the help of telephone or video advice. To create brand awareness and win new customers, companies can post competitions, discount codes or the like on social media. However, it should not be forgotten that such campaigns are associated with further losses in sales, which must be taken into account in advance.
In the current crisis, many companies are making the mistake of reducing marketing activities to zero. Existing ads should, if possible, continue to run so that no listings are lost. In this context, it is important to check whether budgets are optimized so that uneconomical campaigns can be identified. However, advertisements should always be linked to the availability of a product because nothing annoys the customer more than an advertisement for a sold-out product.
Adapted online presence
One factor that companies can directly influence is their own website. Here the customer should get all information related to Corona. This includes opening times, delivery conditions and times, and hygiene measures. To continue to be visible in the search engines, the website must not go offline. Otherwise, the company will not be able to get started again after Corona. Instead, individual page functions should be restricted. This includes, for example, marking products as sold out or switching off the shopping cart and the checkout process. In this way, the user remains informed, and Google continues to list the page.
Long-term online marketing strategy
One thing is clear: after the corona crisis, there are more potential customers on the Internet than before the crisis. Customers who otherwise only use stationary retail are now discovering the advantages of the web. This means that companies have to start thinking about their online marketing strategy now at the latest.
Questions that arise are, for example:
- Who does the company want to reach online?
- Where can the company reach customers online along the customer journey?
- How can the website be found even better in search engines?
- How can the traffic to the website be increased?
- Is the company already running performance ads?
- If so: can these still be optimized? Which channels can still be used?
- If not, should I invest a budget in performance marketing? What do I need for that?
- How can the company generate additional reach?
- Do you already have a social media strategy?
- Is Content Marketing an Option for the Company?
- To what extent are existing contacts used, for example, for email marketing?
These are just a few questions to consider when developing a strategy. Because right now, it becomes clear: Those who are not present online often only play a minor role offline. That is why companies should not only rely on digital marketing in crises. Creative ideas such as podcasts, webinars, streams and virtual reality experiences help stay in contact with the customer. And that regardless of opening times. It is always important not to lose sight of the customer and user. Only those who know what customers need can react accordingly.