By Kyle Hotchkiss
President Trump recently extended the nationwide shutdown to April 30th due to the coronavirus pandemic. This means more uncertainty for our valuable workforce and industry leaders. The nation is in flux more now than ever.
There is so much fear and doubt circulating that it is becoming harder and harder for some of us to find the diamond in the rough, particularly for business owners and marketers, but it is certainly there. Many of us struggle to look for inspiration and hope at this time as we trudge into the second quarter of the year. I’ve done a little myself and I can’t help but think of a famous Martin Luther King Jr. quote: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
The American industrial world is resilient and ingenious. After the Civil War, a system of ambulance medical care was developed and investment in the telegraph exploded. The Second World War had successfully pulled our nation out of a 10-year economic depression and the U.S. turned into both a world power and an economic giant, becoming more closely intertwined with global alliances and putting thousands of citizens to work after a long period of high unemployment.
Mark Twain said that “history doesn’t repeat itself but it often rhymes” and the rhyme we hear after a quick survey of U.S. history is that adversity is the mother to American innovation and ingenuity. This is what will happen. We will persevere and we will innovate a way through this pandemic.
This week eMarketer reported that 69 percent of advertisers will experience a major impact on ad spending as we head into the second quarter. This is simply the wrong move. Instead of decreasing ad spend we should be reevaluating how we use our ad spend.
Parents are working from home, kids are home from school, and more and more people are becoming unemployed. In the age of technology, this implies higher mobile and desktop internet usage. Overall, this is a great time for local businesses and eCommerce companies to take advantage of this opportunity and this is why:
1) Customers are ordering take out at local restaurants.
If you are a restaurant owner who hasn’t taken advantage of delivery services offered by Uber Eats or GrubHub, this is your sign. People might not want to go and order take-out, but they would like to have it delivered. Set up a delivery service of your liking and then utilize and market that service to your customers via Facebook. The amount of time people are spending on their phones and computer devices is increasing which means you can market to more people and more frequently than ever.
2) People are still shopping online.
If you are a boutique store, small retailer, or anything inline with consumer products and haven’t started selling online yet, this is your sign. You can use Shopify, Amazon, or any other platform of your choosing. Once you have it set up you can start marketing to your audience online with targeted ad campaigns via Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The fact that we are all just scrolling through our social media accounts more than ever should be enough evidence to support the idea of marketing our products on social media.
3) Reallocate ad spend from one medium to another.
Many people aren’t going out and traveling, so perhaps old advertising like billboards and fliers are a “no go.” Also, if your company had planned to sponsor an event or hold a booth at a conference or show that has been canceled, use those funds to advertise elsewhere. Again, the internet is the optimal theatre stage right now. Depending on your goals and where your audience “hangs out” online, you can relocate those funds from traditional marketing and redirect them towards investments in email blasts, social media campaigns, and Google Adwords.
4) Okay, okay… You want to cut back ad spending, period.
The strategy is simple yet all-inclusive: content marketing. Apply the extra time you have if business is slow or completely stopped to start implementing some content marketing to your business plan and start creating captivating content that will grab your audience’s attention. We’re talking about leveraging webinars, videos, entertainment, and free e-books that you can share across all platforms. This content is designed to drive traffic to your website. That’s the end game. Raise brand awareness, drive traffic to your site, and turn those leads into solid prospects that turn into solid cash-paying customers.
Hopefully, you found these ideas helpful and useful. This is the time to rethink our marketing strategies and the way we utilize our marketing spend. After some tailored brainstorming for your business, I am sure you can apply these same ideas to come up with a solution. If you need help coming up with a solution or executing a marketing plan, please feel free to call us at (760) 723-7319 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.