Marketing in a pandemic … Good times! COVID-19 is turning marketing (along with most everything else) upside down.
- Trade shows are shut down. They’ll return someday, but will the sponsors or participants?
- Other face to face events for networking and community building events are vanishing, as are the opportunities to speak in front of those groups.
- Even direct mail is going directly to the trash as people are nervous about contracting the virus.
- To top it off, sales as a growth channel has been made exceedingly difficult by fears of an economic downturn.
Many business owners have relied on one or more of these methods to grow their business. Now, with the US economy on the brink, they desperately need revenue. But how?
Establish an Online Presence
What do you do when you need to solve a problem? You Google it.
Your customers and prospects are searching for ways to solve their problems. They’re searching for you! It’s time to get found. But simply having a website is no longer enough. Social media posts alone won’t cut it.
There are three primary components to your online presence:
- A Website set up to share your story and generate leads 24/7
- SEO that helps prospects find you
- Content that meets the needs of your buyers, wherever they are in their journey
Of course, there’s a lot that goes into each of those pieces. But when you boil it down, that’s pretty much the core of establishing on online presence.
But First: Create a Marketing Strategy
Here’s the deal. Successful marketers, before they build their website, optimize it, or create the content to fuel it, answer these questions:
- Who is our ideal client? What are their demographics, values, and behaviors? Where do they hang out? What goes into a purchase decision, and what holds them back?
- What is our customers’ primary problem?
- What is our promise to solve that problem? What’s our main message?
- Why us? What’s our core differentiator?
Answering these questions is the strategic work you need to do first. The answers to these questions inform everything else. It’s pretty obvious who has done this work and who hasn’t.
How To Tell If A Business Has a Marketing Strategy
- Their promise statement to their customer problem is clearly stated, above the fold, on their website.
- It is clear who they are targeting as a client.
- They have hub pages dedicated to sharing advice, data, and examples of how to solve problems.
- They feature customer stories and reviews.
- Their copywriting includes keywords and phrases that their customers use.
In a nutshell, those with a marketing strategy talk about their customers and how to solve their problems. Those without a strategy talk about themselves.
So, before you rush to implement new marketing tactics or overhaul your website, take a step back. Consider your strategy first. It will inform all of your tactics.
If you are unsure about your marketing approach, or want to see how your website stacks up with your peers, fill out one of these forms below. I’ll respond with some actionable tips.