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Four Ways to Supercharge Your Digital Marketing Amid the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Successful entrepreneurs learned at least one important lesson from the Great Recession: the ability to adapt is a primary indicator of businesses that succeed over those that fail. The current economic outlook may look grim to many, but shifts in business and consumer behavior spurred by COVID-19 are opening up new opportunities for those who are alert and ready to reinvent their approach to marketing.

Here are four opportunities to increase brand visibility, connect with more people and turn contacts into customers:

1. Pay Less Per Click

Internet traffic is at an all-time high as people around the world experience being alone — together. With so many people online during quarantine conditions, companies like Netflix have had to reduce their streaming quality in order to avoid breaking the internet. Facebook’s total usage has increased, with message volume up more than 50% over the last month in countries hit hardest by COVID-19.

At the same time, Cowen & Co. analysts report that Facebook and Google, the two largest purveyors of digital advertising, are expected to lose a combined $44 billion in worldwide ad revenues in 2020. But with many businesses pulling back on digital ad spend, the vacuum they are creating is introducing an opportunity for agile entrepreneurs.

According to top web influencer Neil Patel, paid ads are becoming cheaper, since the spend by small businesses that generally drives up the cost per click (CPC) for ads is declining. With less competition for inventory, the CPC is decreasing. Patel says, “When we average things out per industry and globally, we are seeing paid ads producing a much higher ROI than before the Coronavirus hit.”

More people online plus cheaper ads? You do the math.

2. Boost Conversion Rates

With so much uncertainty about the future, many are looking to reduce their cash spending. But that doesn’t mean conversion rates must plummet.

This is a good time for marketers to address consumers’ top conversion hurdles in any market: shipping cost and payment options. According to Barilliance, shipping cost is the number one reason for cart abandonment, and most consumers say that free shipping is their greatest incentive to close the deal online. Consider offering free shipping, even if it’s just for a limited time.

PayPal reports that 24% of consumers abandon their online carts at checkout because the retailer doesn’t offer their preferred method of payment. Think outside the box and offer alternative payment options, like payment plans, which allow customers to buy today while reducing their short-term financial burden. Online retailers can offer payment plans through third-party finance services like Affirm, Klarna or Sunbit. If you are selling consulting services or digital classes, offer an installment plan.

3. Think Globally; Act Locally

COVID-19 may be a global crisis, but not all countries are experiencing it the same way. While the U.S. has been among the hardest hit, other countries have felt less of an impact.

Do you have a product or service that is in demand in other regions? This may be a good time to diversify SEO in order to pull traffic from international markets. By translating existing content and leveraging international SEO, you may see a sharp spike in web traffic. You will also make your business recession proof, since your success will no longer be tied to a single country’s economy.

4. Grow Through Giving

Consider how you and your company can be of service to others. People are actively seeking information and resources that will help them optimize their businesses or find employment in the post-COVID-19 economy. What do you have that would be of value to others and that you can give away for free?

Could you offer a free trial or extend your current free trial offer? Are there paid features on your platform that you could activate at no charge? Could you offer a free consultation, white paper or training?

On April 3, HBO sought to ease the boredom of people sheltering at home by making 500 hours of programming available free for a limited time, under the heading #StayHomeBoxOffice.

Harvard University is helping people expand their knowledge and master new skills during lockdown by offering 67 free online courses ranging in duration from one to 15 weeks. Subjects include art and design, business, computer science, health and medicine, and more.

Author and digital marketing guru Eric Siu recently gave away a business course for free, a $1,497 value to his customers. The payoff for Siu is an increased number of social media followers and an opportunity to host a webinar about his services to a new audience.

When you create an offering, you will have something to blog about and share on social media. Next, you will have more traffic, and traffic leads to more customers. Recurly Inc., provider of subscription billing management services, conducted an analysis of 1,200 subscription commerce sites over a 15-month period. It found that 6 in 10 free trials convert to paid subscriptions for B2C businesses, while a whopping 2 in 3 convert for B2B businesses.

And after the crisis is over, people will remember your kindness. Even if they didn’t buy your service, they will likely leave good reviews and/or refer your service to someone else. That’s a win-win. The bottom line: goodwill is always a good investment.

The team at Big Chief Creative Media are experts in innovation, reputed for helping clients — from family-owned companies to global brands — adapt to changing markets utilizing the latest digital technologies and marketing automation tools. The internet is keeping the doors to commerce open even when our physical doors are closed. Big Chief Creative Media believes that even in times of adversity, there are opportunities, and it is poised to help you find them.