At WISE Digital Partners, we market roughly 65 brands and businesses. Out of these, there’s not a single business that hasn’t been touched by the pandemic. Some businesses have suffered more than others and some are thriving. In this WISE Guide, I wanted to share some observations and insights into how we and our clients are successfully navigating the current climate regardless of where each business is at.
On a personal note, and as an owner of multiple businesses myself, we all have a choice in how we respond to our current business challenges. This unprecedented crisis in particular has created time and space to strengthen our businesses, unlike almost any other moment in history. We’re all held back from doing business as usual. Look at it as a reset, a pause to focus so to speak. This is an opportune time to work on your business processes, rethink employee training, lower your operating costs, review your partnerships, and evaluate your business and marketing strategies.
Based on our work with current clients, and in the transitioning of new clients from other agencies and marketing companies into our agency, we’ve seen some very interesting things in the last two months.
Pandemic Marketing Trends and Observations
- We see a dramatic rise in search engine and social media use, and we see a significant change in people’s behavior in these places (think about how much fewer sports posts you’re seeing)
- Remote consultations (phone and video conferencing) are on the rise and everyone we talk to is asking how to incorporate that into their business—from a marketing and operations perspective
- Substantial increase in website traffic for businesses with a good SEO foundation. Businesses that put these strategies in place before are seeing substantially extra benefit now
- Higher exit rates on website pages with no live support or interactive components
- Wasted or vulnerable ad spend due to lack of optimization related to changing behavior around coronavirus
Responding to The Current Market
The businesses that we see winning the most are those that have an ability to immediately shift and take on new clients in areas of demand that coronavirus has created.
Before you approach your audience, take stock of your services and define how you will provide support during the coronavirus crisis. Forget the hard sell, focus on helping.
Whatever your industry, we’ve also seen it beneficial to prioritize your service offering around what people need or will need help with now. Take a look at the following fields and examples of what you can incorporate into your own business.
|Legal & Professional Services||Use video conferencing, prioritize practice areas with high search volume, discover new practice areas|
|Home Services||Adjust advertising on search engines and social media to focus on services with unusually high demand due to the pandemic|
|Mortgage & Real Estate||Start a blog or newsletter to help educate clients on mortgage rates and real estate insights|
|eCommerce||Analyze changing buyer behavior and shopping patterns|
|Financial||Launch newsletter, use video conferencing, host a webinar, shift tone of advertising copy|
Your New Marketing Gameplan
Here are shifting habits you can implement to come out ahead and prevent history from repeating itself.
- Collect customer data. Want to have a better handle on your past and current client emails or phone numbers? How about a marketing list for prospective clients? We’re helping many of our clients put together a process for managing all their client data.
- Create a newsletter program. Do you wish you could have immediately started a newsletter to begin communicating with current and prospective clients during the crisis. If you don’t have a newsletter process setup, now is the time to do it.
- Develop a social media marketing plan. Communicating in real time with fans, customers, and more on Google, Facebook, Instagram, Yelp and LinkedIn has proven very beneficial for the clients we manage this for, as well as our own business.
- Invest in your website & SEO. Consumer and business habits have changed because of this crisis. Salespeople and business owners are no longer networking, having in person meetings, and cold calling is continuing to evolve. Your prospective clients are going to search engines to find the products and services they need.
- Get a handle on your Business Listings – if you are a local business, your key business information is on dozens of websites, and unless you’re working with a marketing agency to support changes, you’ve likely seen how difficult it’s been to manage COVID changes. Professional Listings Management is more essential today than ever.
- Analyze your PPC Management. Modify your ad budgets based on developing events, use Google Trends to update negative keywords lists, include variations for “virtual meetings,” “virtual consultations,” “online consultations,” “telemedicine” as a part of your keyword and ad copy strategy.
- Provide multiple ways to get in touch. Do you offer multiple ways for prospects to reach out to you? On our website we have Live Chat, Form, and Phone CTA’s. Over the first quarter we saw 100+ leads well distributed across all three choices.
- Add Live Chat – are you providing users a way to ask questions directly on your website and get answers with a live chat representative? Clients using our done-for-you-chat service saw an overall 40% increase in leads to vs their colleagues without it.
- Blogging. Is your business getting a lot of repetitive questions? Write a detailed blog on the answer. Are you doing something different or have a unique spin on dealing with common client and customer challenges? Write a blog on it and become the thought leader in your space. Couple this work with SEO and watch your website traffic, and client leads coming in off that topic, soar.
- Sell Online. Can you sell physical or informational products online? Some of our professional service clients are asking us to set up eCommerce solutions to offer some of their products and services. Medical practices are offering over the counter products that need to be reordered. Other professional service businesses are setting up LMS (learning management systems) to offer online education that you have to pay for to access, capitalizing on their experience, and giving them future passive streams of income.
- Analytics & Tracking. If you don’t have strong tracking in place, you can’t predictably grow and profit more. Make sure your business is set up with professional reporting and tracking services. Reach out if you want to learn more about our platforms and how they compare to the free tools you might be using.
Remember, during this time of crisis, we want to make sure our approach to marketing is more customer-centric. Focus less on your products and services, and more on your client’s needs. Cater to those needs with the proper tools, strategies, resources and marketing campaigns.
Tools To Help
My team compiled this list of some of their favorite resources that have helped us stay on top of trends, marketing ideas and pandemic related data.
- Google Trends. See what type of topics & search terms are trending up and down on Google to adjust your advertising and content strategies.
- Reddit. Reddit is a news aggregator and massive discussion forum. If you think of any topic, there is probably a “subreddit” for that. It’s a great tool for research.
- Search Engine Land – Search Engine Land has been putting out great content and updates regarding changes in both the paid and organic landscape due to Covid-19
- AdWeek – For marketing inspiration and news from what brands all over the world are doing.
- WSJ CMO Today – This is Wall Street Journal’s media and marketing-specific page.
We’re Here to Help
Need assistance with your marketing plan? Tell us about your business and get a complimentary consultation.
You can book a 15-minute meeting with us here easily:
For WISE CEO, Patrick Dillon, book here.
For WISE Director of Sales, Jeff Yamauchi, book here.