This article is part 3 of Doing More with Less, a 4-part series on public relations and marketing strategies that can be doubly effective for continuing momentum in the current, turbulent climate. Read the previous article here.
For those of us that are lucky enough to have full-time jobs, there is an expectation of productivity that, if anything, has grown as a result of the pandemic. Buyers must still buy and sellers must still sell, both for today and to be well positioned for tomorrow. Building brand awareness and cultivating sales funnels can’t come to a grinding halt; but grabbing the time and attention of clients and prospects today is harder than ever. That’s where marketing must rise to the occasion.
Doing More with Less: Digital Marketing
Among the advantages of working from home is the extra time that comes with no commute, business travel or in-person meetings. Use that time to undertake a comprehensive review of your marketing and sales tools and collateral. Try your hand at hosting a live webinar. Consider promoting your content with a paid campaign. Here are some good places to start:
- SEO – Visibility via a Google or Bing search is critical to business success at any time, yet, search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t always a top priority. Use this time to evaluate your options. To start, conduct an audit of current SEO rankings and effectiveness. A limited budget won’t impact your ability to be smarter with keywords, link building and in-depth content. Google searches have skyrocketed since the onset of the pandemic and there’s an opportunity cost that comes with failing to maintain brand visibility. SEO campaigns, beginning with a simple audit using performance tracking software like Moz can set the stage for stronger SEO and with time and attention, generate leads and sales.
- Website Development Hacks – Large organizations typically overhaul or build a new website every two or three years. For most of us however, bi-annual makeovers can be out of budgetary reach. Nevertheless, there are plenty of cosmetic and content focused edits and additions that can In fact, ongoing website maintenance is almost always more cost effective than beginning a new project from scratch. And you will have plenty of updated content and design features to pull from when you are ready for that website overhaul.
- Webinars and Virtual Events – For the foreseeable future, traditional trade shows and conferences will not be a viable marketing strategy. Nonetheless, much of the same content––seminars, panels, keynotes, demos––can be replicated with price-sensitive technology platforms and tools online. Be mindful that businesses cannot afford to come to a screeching halt despite the obstacles posed by COVID so it is critical to continue networking, marketing and selling in this environment. By harnessing the power of virtual meeting platforms like Zoom, Go-To Meeting and LinkedIn Live, you can replicate the trade show and conference experience for a fraction of the cost. Traditional trade shoes are the not the only way to make new connections and drive sales leads. Make sure to leverage the power of existing technologies so that 2020 sales and business development goals remain within reach.
- Paid Social and Search – With marketing budgets slashed across the board, social and digital advertising costs have dropped significantly. Why? The cost of visibility for a LinkedIn, Facebook or Google advertisement is derived from a bidding war between competing parties. Businesses across all industries have reduced their social and digital advertising budgets and as a result the cost of those advertisements can be bought at a discount. Now might be the perfect time to try out a paid social media or search campaign to boost a new infographic or blog post.
- Drip Email Campaigns – The line between spam and valuable communication was already a thin one and with the current slew of exploitative sales pitches, the line has only grown thinner. However, if your content is truly credible and useful (absolute requirements always, but especially during the pandemic!) then an email drip campaign, particularly when combined with a powerful CRM tool, landing page and website, is a cost effective way of reaching broad swathes of targets at a reasonable price.
- Marketing Automation – Now might be the right time to evaluate options for incorporating a marketing automation solution. The tool can mean different things for different organizations, but there’s consensus that an email campaign, paired with timely and relevant follow-ups, is critical for converting leads into sales. Marketing automation tools help your sales team keep leads warm, provide analytics and data to assess the effectiveness of a given content campaign and more. And maybe most importantly, a marketing automation solution will help your organization save valuable time and bandwidth that can then be spent on other marketing and sales functions.
These are challenging times for all of us. We are all being told to do more with less, which has dialed up the pressure on marketing and sales teams. We hope this series will serve as a conversation starter for marketing and sales departments that are committed, despite today’s challenges, to maintaining their standard of quality and success.
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