Here are three tips to help businesses prepare for the post-pandemic period.
Leverage digital marketing to guide the virtual consumer journey.
Consumers are online like never before and that includes business decision-makers, doctors, buyers and administrators. Sales reps are grounded, and in-person meetings are rare. Grocery store buyers, doctors and hospital administrators are overwhelmed.
The way that most businesses have been able to sustain and even succeed in this environment is by providing streamlined, on-demand digital experiences for consumers with limited-time and personal access. Digital experiences aren’t just about presenting information online — though all marketing information should be made available. Digital experiences must also allow consumers to connect with sales reps and place orders remotely.
Digital marketing channels such as search marketing or paid social media should be designed to help consumers navigate virtually through to the point of sale. Digital marketing should not be viewed as a supplement to sales teams, but rather as a virtual guide for the consumer journey.
With so many consumers getting more and more used to working from home, this shift in behavior will most likely continue for the long term. Businesses should use this time to streamline digital experiences and enhance digital marketing campaigns.
Start planning marketing campaigns for the post-pandemic.
With businesses closed and so many Americans home, the future demand for goods and services is certainly brewing. At the end of the pandemic, when stores and restaurants reopen their doors and business networking resumes, there will likely be a resurgence in the economy like never before.
People will be lining up not just to go to restaurants and the movies, but also to go to the dentist, schedule medical procedures and get haircuts. They’ll also want to visit with family, friends, customers and vendors. Businesses will need to prepare for the release of the pent-up demand that has been building.
Having marketing campaigns in place that are ready to intercept consumers at this pivotal time will be essential. Those who wait will miss out on the largest spike in the economic recovery. Search marketing and paid social media are some of the more turnkey marketing channels to activate. However, planning a targeted marketing campaign, even within these channels, often still takes months. Online media inventory needs to be assessed. Budget allocation recommendations need to be determined. Creative assets need to be developed, and campaigns need to be set up.
I believe there will also be a shortage of skilled marketers able to develop these campaigns because, just as demand for restaurant reservations and haircuts will surge, so will the demand for marketing services.
Make sure you have good SEO for your website.
SEO is one of the most cost-effective marketing channels. It includes the process of conditioning a website so that it ranks highly for relevant keyword searches within the organic or nonpaid results on Google.
Content should be developed with target keywords in mind, and websites should be developed in a manner that allows search engines to determine what keywords to rank the site for within the search results.
Even though the coronavirus stimulus package is providing relief across the U.S. economy now, we don’t know what the future holds. In a worst-case scenario, where marketing budgets are cut and media buys are scaled back, having a website that is search engine optimized would be essential. High visibility within the organic search results can remain for some time. Therefore, for long-term security, SEO is pretty much fail-safe.
Though tragic, the coronavirus pandemic has been an eye-opening experience. Businesses can endure, even when cities and states are locked down, through digital experiences fueled by digital marketing. The reliance on digital has never been higher and will likely continue. Many businesses suffered a loss in revenue over the past weeks. However, those that plan to activate marketing campaigns now will hopefully be able to recoup earnings during the economic resurgence, which hopefully will sustain. An investment in SEO now would add additional security.