Recently, like many other businesses, we had to make major adjustments due to the current crisis.
We’re all in the same boat; working from home, modifying our marketing strategies, tracking everything very closely, being all alone but together.
We had numerous video meetings to try and make the most out of this terrible situation. And while we were all pushing through, we heard about hope-filled stories, entrepreneurs and businesses finding new ingenious ways to keep their businesses afloat, marketers and agencies working tirelessly to keep businesses profitable.
Currently, digital marketers are one of the reasons why the economy is still standing; holding numerous businesses on their shoulders, saving their bottom line by crafting ingenious digital marketing strategies.
We want to do our part to help you out and get you through the crisis, which is why we’ve compiled a list of our best tips to help you steer your boat in the right direction!
First things first, as an agency, you have multiple clients to take care of, who most probably have drops in their sales, or even have temporarily closed their doors. So you need to make sure you don’t lose those clients right now.
Analyze every single one of their situations and marketing data, and craft a personalized plan for each of them.
Look at their data and assess the situation; which campaigns should be stopped? What are the marketing strategies that still bring sales? Are there new opportunities for keywords or ads to be run? In other words, how can you make the most of their current situation?
Invest more in some campaigns that still have a good ROI and pause any campaigns that aren’t profitable enough.
If the company had to close temporarily and can’t sell anything anymore, you’ll probably pause all their campaigns, but it doesn’t mean you just stop working for them, you need to start thinking about what’s next.
What will you do once the crisis stops, once the company starts up again? You need a plan for when everything will eventually go back to normal.
“Understand that things will return to "normal" soon. But that normal may come with new opportunities that are gleaned during this crisis. Customers and their behavior will change. Businesses and their agencies need to learn from this and evolve accordingly.”
Once you’ve crafted a strategy for each of your clients, you need to communicate your plan of action to them. Here are a couple tips regarding your client/agency relationship in times of crisis.
2.1 Stay confident
You know what you're doing. Make sure your clients feel confident that you will both get through it together, and once it’s all over, their business will be stronger than everyone else’s because you did not abandon or panicked; you planned everything ahead.
2.2 Keep in touch frequently
Make sure you keep close contact with your clients and have frequent touch-points, ask them how their business is holding up, and with every new development, every single day, you can adjust your plan accordingly.
2.3 Stay honest and transparent
Now is not the time to try and hide bad results, after all, you both want your campaigns to work, you both know what is going on in the world right now, so it’s no use trying to hide bad results, the best approach is to be prepared for it, and have a plan A, B, C, D, and E.
2.4 Be ready for the next steps
This crisis will not last forever, and once it ends, your clients will need your services more than ever, so make sure they know you’re ready for when that happens. Even if the plan right now is to stop all campaigns, make sure you keep your clients confident in your work, and aware of the next steps.
Let’s not forget that a good relationship with your clients can really make all the difference, if they feel understood, they know that you’re honest with them, that you adjust your services to their needs quickly, they will want to keep doing business with you.
“Genuinely look to help people. The more people recognize you are a port in the storm and genuinely care about helping everyone through this, the more people will spread your name.”
Co-Founder and Grand Poobah of Strategy
Right now, there’s nothing worse you could do than ignore the current situation and invest money on ads that spread a message that simply isn’t relevant anymore. Not only will it most likely not bring you any sales, but it might hurt your brand (or your client’s brand) by being tone deaf.
As our friend Rand Fishkin recently stated in his blog; read the room.
In other words; adjust your message to today’s situation. It does not necessarily mean to talk about the outbreak, but you need to be aware of what’s going on in everything that you post.
It might be good to stop ads that promote a finger-licking good chicken, or lots of friends cheering at a bar with corona beers.
Instead, here are a couple of examples of marketing strategies you could do to adjust your message.
3.1 Give tips to help out in the current situation
If your business can help others by giving advice, free tutorials, guides, or anything similar, do it.
Let’s help each other out!
For example, Moz recently published a quarantine edition of their famous whiteboard friday:
3.2 Show how to use your product
If your business is already in the healthcare industry, or offer products that can help out (i.e.: you offer deliveries, your product can disinfect, or you can help people who work from home) give a little more information to your audience about how to use your product right now, and how it can help.
For example, some bleach companies, like Clorox, are giving tips on how to create your own disinfecting solution with their product at home, and how to stay safe during the outbreak, which can be quite helpful right now;
3.3 Show how your company is helping
Some companies are switching their production to help make healthcare gear, masks, or other products and services to help fight this pandemic. If this is your case, you can tell your audience about how you’re doing your best to help out. If you’ve put in place a fundraiser, or donated to find the cure, it would also be a good opportunity to promote your good deeds on social media.
For example, you can see multiple distilleries producing hand sanitizers now:
You can also simply show support to the cause, for example, on social media.
In our case, we changed our social media backgrounds and published a picture supporting the #Çavabienaller movement in our region (which means “It's going to be okay”). This spontaneous movement is currently aiming to spread hope across Quebec, with rainbows being posted everywhere.
As a general rule, discuss with your clients about what they are currently doing to help out during the pandemic, if they don’t do anything, you can help them find ideas like blogs, tutorials, or donations, and then share and promote it.
“We spend time connecting with our clients to ask how they are continuing to serve their customers in this new climate so we can make sure to share their stories in their marketing.”
Your plan can change any minute depending on how the stats are moving. If you suddenly see an increase in traffic on your client’s website, or see that a certain product is gaining popularity, you need to be there and adjust. Take advantage of every new opportunity that comes up.
4.1 Track everything and stay alert to new opportunities.
This way you’ll be ahead of the curve instead of simply in reaction to it.
(of course, our reports can help you do just that! 😉 )
4.2 Track the different channels very closely.
With more people spending time at home, social media channels are currently experiencing crazy traffic, so take advantage of that! Maybe right now Facebook Ads costs a little less and Google Ads costs a little more for your situation. With all that info on hand, you can adjust your campaigns and bids accordingly to make the most out of this situation.
“Look at utilising channels that have not been good for ROI before. Social media is usually used as a branding tool and not many sales result from it. However, in current times it is a great way to advertise what your business is doing and it has changed from TOF (top of the funnel) to MOF (middle of the funnel). Remarketing the visits from social media with ads can prove to be very fruitful.”
Founder | SEO, Link Building Geek
With all your clients’ strategies sorted out, it’s time to work on your own marketing strategies! You might have a little more time now, so why not take this opportunity to bring new clients!
Here are some of the ways you can adjust your marketing.
A lot of businesses are currently looking for a way to boost their sales, help their businesses stay afloat, and you can help them.
Position yourself as experts in crisis management and offer new services to help out businesses with flexible payment terms for companies in difficulty.
Once you’ve saved their bottom line, chances are they will be glad to keep doing business with you to have better results in the long run.
Not all industries are negatively affected by the current crisis, some are even busier than ever, I’m of course thinking about the healthcare industry, food industry, delivery services, e-commerce, etc.
In fact, wordstream compiled a list with 7 industries with increased volume/performance during COVID-19.
It might be a good new pool of potential clients for your business, so make sure to reach those industries to help them with their marketing.
“We have adjusted our own marketing by targeting new clients that are currently in thriving industries due to the crisis. Many industries, such as healthcare, food delivery, and supplements, have seen an increase in traffic due to the circumstances.”
Konstantinos Tsilkos, CEO
With all the changes that occurred in the past month, it’s time to re-prioritize everything that’s currently in your backlog and spend your time on what can bring out value right now.
You didn’t have any time for your own SEO or website optimizations before? Did not take the time to create new content for a while? Now might be the perfect time to do so! Take a look at the many internal projects you have on your plate, and take the time to work on what will bring the most value to your agency.
“While the rest of the world is somewhat sleepy and shut down, we recognize that there will be a rebound at some point. When that occurs, we are preparing ourselves to be well-positioned for the recovery. That means spending time on content creation, ad development and sourcing new opportunities through outbound marketing.”
You might want to diversify your revenue sources, now might be a good time to consider expanding your service offering. You could, for example, include more e-commerce, or website optimization services. You could decide to give some workshops or training, or expand your services to help businesses develop their e-commerce platform.
Some tools and websites also offer programs that could help you get a different revenue flowing. You can take a look at some tools you currently use and see if they offer a program for referring new clients to them, so that you can earn a new revenue for recommending those on your blog or social media.
Maybe your processes were not completely seamless, and now would be the perfect time to optimize them. Did you spend too much time on project management? Does your invoicing system need a little change?
You could use automated tools to improve different aspects of your business such as:
Now’s not the time to slack on checking your data.
Everything is moving quite fast and you need to stay on top of your game. Check out your own stats frequently, and adjust your campaigns. Look at the different trends, and make sure you invest at the right place and the right time.
Much like with your clients, stay on top of the trends and invest on the right channels.
In times of crisis, it might be a good idea to craft special offers for your clients. Give your clients discounts or promotions to help them through the crisis. You can help them access your services for less, or have a pause in payments for example.
Help them so that they can keep your services throughout the crisis. After all, it’s better to have all your clients at half price for a couple of months, than keeping only half your clients!
It’s also a good opportunity to get more clients who might not have been able to afford your services at full price during the crisis.
“During the hard times, we treat other businesses like we want them to treat us. In our agency, we have provided our clients with discount or bonus services (free of charge) based on their industry, business model and type of business.”
Gleb Myrko, Managing Partner
There are multiple ways for you to keep doing business in these harder times, these tips are just a few of them. But overall, we should all think outside the box, try and find new opportunities, and most importantly; go with the flow.
Refusing to change or tweak your message, your channels, your campaigns or your price during a crisis might be the iceberg you don’t need on your path right now. So stay alert, adjust, and keep being awesome as we know you are!
Be safe, stay home, keep pushing through, and we’ll all get through this together.
High tide or low tide, we'll be by your side!
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