digital marketing in times of Coronavirus

A couple of months or so ago, no one ever heard of coronavirus or COVID-19. Today, it’s the subject of every newscast and internet news piece. In other parts of the world, whole countries are on lockdown. Here in the United States, many states are encouraging social distancing or sheltering in place. Many people can’t go to work or have been laid off temporarily. Perhaps one of the most difficult things to deal with is that we don’t know how long it will last. These are desperate times. For many people, it’s easy to see the glass as half-empty, if not drained completely.

For digital marketers, the impact of a pandemic doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. Consider the unique opportunities that COVID-19 affords you to improve your skills and serve others. 

How the COVID-19 Crisis Affects Digital Marketers

Large and small businesses are finding their own ways to handle the crisis. One of the truly great things about the field of digital marketing is that the internet is our playground and it’s always bustling with activity. As long as the internet is up and running, there is work for us to do.

When the rest of the world is shutting down, don’t shut down with it. Here’s what you can do:

  • Work on your own business plans
  • Work on your client portfolios
  • Invest in additional education and training

Digital Marketers Working During a Health Crisis

The word crisis is a scary one because it indicates a serious event. It’s also important to consider that a crisis is temporary. This, too, shall pass. 

When there is a disruption in the regular workflow, it presents a suitable time for doing a little digital marketing spring cleaning. Break out all those projects that you’ve been wanting to tackle for so long and just haven’t had the time. Take the time to do some thorough marketing planning so that you can hit it hard when things get closer to normal.

If you’re a digital marketer that’s been quarantined at home, you’re saving on the commute time, so why not put those precious hours to good use? Consider how you can use the top of COVID-19 as an example of how to use current events in digital marketing. 

When the whole world is silent, the one thing that’s alive and active is the internet and it has aa 24/7 audience.

Take Time for Training During a Health Crisis

Whether your regular work has slowed down or stopped altogether during times of a serious health crisis, there are lots of opportunities available to help you perfect your craft. Now you have time to take advantage of them. 

Look for digital educational opportunities such as:

  • Training seminars
  • Webinars
  • Podcasts
  • Blogs on the internet about digital marketing
  • Online conferences on digital marketing  
  • Engaging in networking

Many educational opportunities are free. Digital marketing is a rapidly evolving field. There’s always something new to learn and there is much to learn about different applications for new methods of digital marketing. 

Take a look at the following examples:

digital marketing during Covid-19

My Personal Plan for Surviving and Thriving Through COVID-19

I’ve been working remotely for some time. For me, the effects of the quarantine are not as challenging as what others are dealing with. From a personal standpoint, I’ve found that focusing on digital marketing helps to distract me from the terrible effects that are occurring around the world from COVID-19.

My digital marketing glass is still half full rather than half empty. As digital marketers, we’re blessed that we can work through whatever life throws at us because when the non-digital world stops, the digital world picks up the slack. I’m choosing to take my own advice and I’m taking some time to write content for my personal blog, my agency blog, my Forbes column, and some other contributions.

I’m also taking time to network in the SEO chat where I learn so much from my colleagues. I’ve decided to commit some of my time to catching up on reading my favorite digital marketing blogs and engaging in some remote learning so that I can stay at the top of my game. Part of my plan is to strategize on ways that I can apply the new knowledge that I’m acquiring to help my clients by refining their marketing strategies to bolster their overall digital marketing efforts.

Disruption Can Lead to Increased Productivity

Rather than think of this time as a tragedy, try to think about the new opportunities that may arise from it and how you can use them for good for yourself, your peers, and your clients. With that being said, remember to always be genuine, ethical, and empathetic, especially during this time. When considering the opportunities that the current times present, be careful not to SPAM your customers or take advantage of them. As digital marketers, part of our role is to inform, all year round. Be aware that these are sensitive times in that people are dealing with the sickness, the loss of income, and a vastly different lifestyle. The quarantining can result in increased stress, loneliness, and depression.

It won’t be long and the current orders for quarantining, social distancing, and sheltering in place will be lifted. Take all that you’ve learned and put it to good use. That’s the way to keep your glass full and perhaps even take it over the top. Remember we are blessed to work in digital marketing in times of Coronavirus

content marketing strategy

Early in my digital marketing career, I read something that had a lasting impact on my approach to marketing — an essay published on the Microsoft website by Bill Gates called “Content is King.” Bill Gates is a true visionary. What amazes me is that content marketing has taken many different forms over the last decade or so, but it is still king. Content marketing is a cost-effective way to bring in a steady stream of new leads and keep your customers coming back for more. That essay continues to inspire me to reinvent my content marketing efforts and conquer them like a champ.

One thing that I always make a priority is keeping track of my goals. When I’m not getting the results that I’m looking for, I revisit my original marketing goals so I can reground myself and rework my plan step by step.

Knowing Your Market

Do you know who your company’s audience is? If not, you have some homework to do. Send out a survey, create reader personas, ask for feedback and monitor your content to learn more about who needs your products or services. Use analytical tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Audience Insights or review the demographics of your current customers. It doesn’t really matter which method you use, as long as you do something to find your target audience, so don’t get bogged down with semantics.

I like to think that I know my company’s audience pretty well, but I’ve also learned that audiences can change over time. Even seasoned marketers need to spend some time conducting market research from time to time to keep their marketing efforts sharp.

There’s another reason I like to reassess who my target audience is. Our current clients are already hooked, but I like to continually challenge myself to expand our customer base. In addition, new products and services call for new analysis of the target market.

Establishing Your Goals And Objectives

Two very important steps follow identifying your target market. First, you need to be clear about what they need. Second, you need to learn how to quench their thirst for information. To sum up, relevant content is a valuable commodity.

Once you’ve acquainted yourself with who your customers are and what they need, you’re ready to establish your marketing goals and objectives. Do you want to spark the interest of your current audience? Do you want to build a new audience? Expand your current audience? Promote a new good or service? Increase brand awareness?

It’s important to establish goals and objectives so you know how to move forward. It’s also essential to define successful marketing campaigns. Have you thought about how you’ll know when you have achieved your goals? Think this through before you put your marketing plans in motion. Will you measure it by increased revenue, lower marketing costs, targeted customers or some combination of benchmarks?

Creating The Content Of Champions

Unless you are at the starting gate of your marketing plan, chances are good that you have some existing content to work with. Take a hard look at the work you’ve already done and decide whether you can reuse any of it. Can you update past articles to make them more relevant? Can you add to existing content so that it better enhances your brand or becomes more engaging? Can you beef it up by embedding links to products or services?

Putting The Plan In Motion

With the basic framework in place, it’s time to build on the cornerstone of your efforts. Determine your main formats and advertising channels and develop an overall marketing strategy.

I’ve found that even when my marketing strategy is complete, it helps to leave a little room for experimentation. I like to experiment with a variety of advertising opportunities like sponsored content, social media advertising, infographics and videos. Your marketing plan might include podcasts, e-books, workshops or webinars. Whichever formats and outlets you use, don’t forget to investigate your competition’s marketing efforts to make sure that you’re differentiating yourself.

There are a few different ways that you can manage your content marketing and publication schedule. I like to use a master calendar of what I’m publishing and on which outlet. You can control all the posting and publishing yourself or use an app on which you can load your ads and articles and schedule them to appear at specific times and dates. If you’re working with a marketing team, develop a plan for who will be responsible for creating, posting and publishing content.

Final Tips For Content Marketing Strategy Success

Keep a pulse on how well your marketing plans are connecting to your goals. If you’re not getting the results you want, review your marketing strategy to make sure that you’re following it exactly as planned. You might find that it only takes a few tweaks to get things moving in a better direction. And don’t fret if you’ve made a mistake or two. Learn from them and make better changes moving forward.