The COVID-19 pandemic has done the impossible – it has forced the world to slow down and just be. After the first couple weeks of shock and adapting schedules, businesses quickly began shifting their focus. Many started asking, “How can we use this time to evaluate, improve, and innovate?” Most likely, your target market has shifted, your hours have changed, or your team has been furloughed or transitioned to remote work – life is different now and it’s important to use this shift to your advantage.
Now more than ever, it is time to be proactive, innovative, and ambitious. The world won’t be in this pandemic forever, so every move you make during this uncertain time will prepare you for the future.
If you find yourself with more capacity, use this time to perform an internal, self-evaluation that is focused on your messaging and marketing platforms. We’ve laid out five elements of your business to focus on and we believe they will put you ahead of the rest when the world starts to spin a little faster again.
Evaluate Your Target Audience
Sometimes called a buyer persona, this is a representation of your target audience. It identifies the most important attributes, values, and demographics of your ideal customer. It states who you’re speaking to in your marketing, because if you’re speaking to everyone, you’re speaking to no one.
Before COVID-19, you knew who your buyer persona was. You had spent countless hours in the discovery phase, but it’s possible this pandemic has shifted who your target audience is and what services you offer. Ask yourself, “How does this pandemic affect my industry as a whole, my company, and my clients?” The answers to these questions will guide you to re-discover who your target audience is and how to reach them.
Analyze Your Social Media Platforms
As social media evolves, it solidifies the necessity of businesses to be on social platforms to reach your target audience. Simply having a Facebook Business Page won’t suffice. You must post regularly, and every post should bring value of some sort. Ask yourself:
Do my posts offer value?
How often am I posting?
What is my message during this crisis?
What will my message be when COVID-19 is over?
Through social media, you can be a resource for your clients and offer a helping hand in this challenging time. Now isn’t the time to push sales pitches to your target audience. Your customers need to hear that you do not have an indifferent outlook concerning this pandemic. You can accomplish this by producing helpful resources, changing your messaging to be sensitive about the current pandemic, and helping your clients whenever and however you can.
If you’re worried about how your company will stay afloat if you forego sales pitches, try not to give into that mindset. Your clients will view your company as more relatable and personal because you acknowledge this pandemic. This will increase their loyalty with your brand and undoubtedly bring you more profit now and in the future.
Remember, your messaging is fluid. When COVID-19 has passed, your message will change again! With a great content marketing strategy in place, this transition will be seamless.
Appraise Your Website
On average, you should do a major evaluation of your website every 2-3 years, and that evaluation should consider your design, technology, content, and search engine ranking. Let’s start by thinking about your website and your evaluation in automotive terminology:
Design is the exterior of your vehicle: How does it look? Is it dinged and dented or smooth and polished? Depending on your answer, it might be time for a paint job. From full-width design to hidden menus, your website design can entice your viewers to explore your website and engage in your products and services.
Technology is the motor: Is it outdated and in need of a tune-up? Does it make funny noises when you try to drive it faster than 60 mph? You could have the most beautiful website design, full of engaging content that is optimized for search engines, but without the ability for your customers to act, it won’t live up to its full potential.
Content is the wheels: Is your content flat and lumping along or do you have good momentum? Do you need to add some air to the tires? Your content breathes life into your website. Your design and technology capabilities will entice the readers to stay, but the content is what hooks them into buying your product or service.
SEO ranking is your gas mileage: Is it dragging and losing performance or running efficiently? Will you be able to reach your destination, or will you become stranded on the side of the road? At its most basic level, search engine optimization is how well your entire website is developed for search engines like Google and Bing to find your website. When your website meets certain requirements, it has a higher chance to show up on search engine results. The higher your ranking, the better chance your potential clients will find your site.
(For an in-depth look at how to evaluate your current website, check out this informative eBook.)
Examine Your Digital & Traditional Advertising
The marketing strategy you had pre-COVID-19 must be paused, as it’s likely not 100% relatable to your target audience. Now more than ever, people are tuning out advertisements that do not add value or address their current situation. Your approach to your digital and traditional advertising must reflect the time we are living in today. This will accomplish several things:
- Your company will be viewed as relatable.
- Your target audience will feel seen and important.
- Your products or services will be more readily accepted.
Adjust your digital and traditional advertising to your target audience and market it in such a way that people are receiving it without hesitation. Also, it’s important to remember that as your target audience changes, so does your advertising strategy. Your ads should be focused on your target market and where they spend their time.
Assess Your eNewsletter
If you ace social media posts, excel with digital and traditional advertising, boast a gorgeous website, and know exactly who your buyer persona is, do you really need an eNewsletter?
We want to answer with a big, resounding, “YES!”
An eNewsletter is one of the most important resources to consistently produce, as it maintains ongoing communication with current customers! This communication reminds your customers that they are important to you and, in times of crisis, tells them that you are still operating.
The two important elements of an eNewsletter are content and design. Provide valuable content such as company updates, how you’re helping your customers during the pandemic, changes in business operations, and more. Second, the design must be done exceptionally well. Your customer will evaluate the design of your eNewsletter before he ever starts reading the content. If you lose him on the design, he won’t bother reading the content.
Now is the best time to start consistently producing eNewsletters because there is less competition in your customer’s email inbox. Right now, you can stand out from your competition if you’re communicating through this avenue!
Allow M&R Marketing to Help
We are under no impression that this thorough evaluation will be a walk in the park for you. For some, it might be difficult to even start. If this is you, we can help. Partner with us, and we will help you evaluate these elements of your business so you can be confident in what the future brings. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation.