Guide to marketing during a crisis

published by Ana García

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Your business might not be going through the best times right now, so how can your marketing adapt?

Here are some tips that successful companies are using right now and you should use too:

Reflect and plan ahead

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It’s important to react to the situation and adapt your marketing to the new circumstances, and we’re going to focus on how you might do that. But there’s another angle to consider: you should also spend some time thinking about how you will manage the return to work, and reflect on how you might do things better in future. Often there isn’t enough time to stop and think about these things, or implement them. Now is the time to pause, reflect and improve.

Although things seem to be bad, this is one of the opportunities that are there if you dig for them.

Better measuring + do more of what works

As the famous consultant Peter Drucker pointed out, you can’t manage what you can’t measure. This is true for any kind of business. Questions like how much you are spending to get one customer, what marketing channel has a higher ROI, or what ad brings you more traffic should have an immediate answer.

If you haven’t been paying attention to these numbers before, now it is a good time to dive deep into your analytics, ad accounts and website data to find what is working better for you.

But also try new things, test and experiment

On the flip side of the previous point, try new things and you might discover new winners in your marketing strategy.

The landscape has dramatically changed so what was true a month ago might not be now. If you have some crazy idea that you think might work, and it doesn’t cost much to try, simply do it! You might surprise yourself.

Have you been wanting to start a podcast? Or an email newsletter? Or publish a guest post? Now you might have the time to try, and the good thing is, once you discover something works you can continue working on it even after the crisis is over.

What can you do now?

Here’s one of the most important questions that you need to ask yourself now: How am I going to stay in front of my audience?

There are many things you can do to ensure your current customers don’t forget you, and many more potential customers find out about you.

Help your community selflessly

Maybe your shop/business is now closed, but there are many things you can still do to help those who need it more:

  • Bring free food or coffee to healthcare workers
  • Put your customers in touch with people who might need help
  • Create an extended free version of your software for the education sector
  • If you’re a textile company, start producing hospital material

Focus on lead generation

Now is the perfect time to convert strangers into people interested in your business. For many businesses the process of becoming a customer is not immediate, so now is a good moment to collect the names and emails of potential customers and start curating your relationship with them.

You can generate leads in a plethora of ways:

  • Offering an e-book, video course, email course etc.
  • Creating an email newsletter about your industry
  • Creating a quiz

Even if you can’t offer your product or service to your customers right now, start building your email list and generating interest and trust. When they are ready to buy, they will come to you.

Content marketing

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Now is the time for all those document projects you always planned to do, but never had time for!  Updating your existing docs and/or creating new ones for now or the future:

  • Create a new product sheet or brochure for your most successful products
  • Create an e-book to use as a lead magnet and get more signups from your blog
  • Create a new pitch presentation for your startup idea

And if you think you don’t have the skills to design such documents, don’t worry as we have plenty of templates in Xara Cloud. You just need to select the one you like and start adding your content.

Search Engine Optimization

In some marketing channels it’s possible to start generating sales immediately, but SEO is definitely not one of them. And it’s because of the need for immediate results that some businesses ignore this powerful channel.

Unfortunately many businesses can’t focus on immediate results right now, so it can be a good time to consider investing some resources into content marketing and SEO.

  • Create in-depth blog posts targeting interesting keywords for your industry
  • Create landing pages for some of your services
  • Do guest posts in other blogs and win some extra traffic

Social Media presence

Now is a good moment to spend time planning your ‘WE’RE BACK’ social media campaign.  Think ahead, be ready.

Besides planning for the future, now is the time to ramp up your content to help stay in the minds of your customers and followers. You can quickly create social media sets for all your channels in Xara Cloud using our templates, even if you’re short on time and don’t have a designer in the team.

Besides the type of content that you normally post and that is working for your audience — no reason to change what is already working — here are some other ideas you can try:

  • Share inspirational and encouraging posts with your audience.
  • Provide ideas on how to spend the time at home or how to work remotely.
  • Share stories. Talk about past challenges, solidarity examples or your own experience.
  • Are you delivering online or have special opening times? Let your audience know.

Gift cards and buy now & enjoy later offers

You can offer your customers the chance to support you now, and enjoy your products or services later. They can buy for themselves or it can be a nice gift to someone they care about.

Here are some ideas to promote your gift cards:

  • Email your list if you have one
  • Promote across your social media and encourage sharing
  • Promote with Facebook and Instagram ads by targeting your city or the area where you operate

Loyalty & Prime memberships

One option is to offer loyal customers who purchase membership now a ‘Prime’ service during a specific period after your business can operate again, for example including exclusive discounts.

The membership price and possible perks will depend on your industry, but here are some suggested benefits you could include, besides discounts:

  • Priority support
  • Free delivery
  • Free gifts with delivery
  • Preference when buying new items

Education and webinars

Inevitably many people now have more time on their hands, since weekend and leisure opportunities are extremely limited. So why not organize an online conference or webinar about some topic related to your industry?

This could be education in-house, or you could invite collaborators from your industry. Inviting external people has the added benefit of making new contacts and becoming known to a wider range of people.

You can offer this education for free, or charge a small amount.

We encourage you to start with one of these ideas at least, and see how they work! To create all the visual content you need to create impressive social media content, engaging e-books to attract more leads, ads to bring back your lost traffic and much more, you can use Xara Cloud.

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