The American economy is beginning to bounce back from the lows of March and April. Businesses are reopening, and restrictions are gradually being lifted.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic may have long-lasting effects on the U.S. economy — effects that could last for a decade or more. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that coronavirus may cause a 3% loss in "real" GDP through 2030. In other words, the United States may lose $7.9 trillion over the next 10 years as a result of COVID-19. This will likely have a trickle-down effect that will result in reduced consumer spending and business investment in the years ahead.
With lean times (probably) ahead, now is the time to streamline and optimize your company's marketing strategy. By implementing these six recommendations, you'll be able to weather the storm of a difficult economy and come out bigger and stronger than ever before.
1. Optimize Your Website
Now is the perfect time to optimize your website in terms of marketing impact. Identify any outdated information, old images and other obsolete elements. Give it an overhaul for the post-COVID world. Highlight remote services or new products that would interest your safety-conscious customers. For example, many HVAC companies are now emphasizing the safety precautions their technicians will take during in-home visits.
2. Evaluate Your Evergreen Content
In the marketing world, there's an adage that many successful companies have applied: "If it isn't broken, don't fix it — just mix it!" In other words, explore your catalog of evergreen content. If you have pieces of content that have performed well over a long period of time (blog posts, eBooks, images, white papers, videos and so forth), don't replace them; rather, compile them in one location, and then look for ways to repurpose them in emails, social media posts, etc.
3. Analyze Your Past Efforts
Use whatever downtime you now have to develop a strong (or stronger) digital marketing strategy. Evaluate which channels have been most effective in capturing the attention and interest of your target audience, whether your company website, Google My Business or social media platforms. Perform an in-depth analysis to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. This will help you to refine your unique selling proposition (USP) and target the channels with the highest ROI.
4. Invest in Social Media
The average social media user spends 2 hours and 33 minutes per day on social channels. Now that COVID-19 has appeared on the scene, that figure has increased dramatically. In fact, one survey of 25,000 consumers across 30 markets found increased engagement levels of 61% over normal usage. The point is, social media is an exceptional forum for engaging your target customer on his or her terms. Continue to invest in attention-grabbing photos, high quality videos and well-written copy to share via your social media accounts.
5. Focus on Online Reviews
More and more consumers depend on online reviews to make their purchase decisions. If you've let your online reputation slide a little bit in this regard, now's the time to rectify matters. Focus on damage control around negative reviews and boost your brand's credibility by aiming for an influx of new (positive) reviews.
6. Create a Referral Program
Over and over again, we've seen communities rally around the businesses that mean the most to them during this pandemic. For many companies, this type of "word of mouth marketing" has helped them to endure the losses brought on by COVID-19. In addition, businesses that actively reward customers for their referrals see huge benefits from doing so. With that in mind, consider developing a discount program or some other reward for customers that refer your business to others.
Even though we are facing challenging economic times, these recommendations can help your company to weather the storm, and even enjoy growth over the next several years. For more information on the importance of inbound marketing, and how to effectively implement it, check out our guide, Inbound Marketing 101. Ready to get started with a marketing consultation? Schedule a meeting with our founder.