The COVID-19 pandemic has tossed business into turmoil, and marketing and advertising budgets have been a casualty of the times. Brick-and-mortar businesses around the world have been forced to temporarily close their doors, which has by necessity caused them to choke off their marketing campaigns. Several types of online businesses have also been hard hit by the economic circumstances caused by the pandemic. But now, as the economy begins to gradually reopen, previously disadvantaged businesses have been graced with a tremendous opportunity to step forward and claim valuable online real estate.
The COVID Marketing Toll
As of the end of March, 2020, 69% of brands expect to decrease ad spend in 2020; 74% say they have slowed down social media posting. This data was gleaned before the pandemic reached its spring peak in the United States; given the trend, effects since then may very well be greater.
Not surprisingly, consumers have flocked to eCommerce sites to purchase those items they can no longer purchase in person at a non-essential business. Searches for the term “buy online” exploded beyond 27,000 from 15,000 at the beginning of the year.
Forester cautions that one thing you don’t want to do is stop marketing altogether. They point to a multitude of studies that indicate that giving up on marketing altogether even if you can’t sell at full capacity diminishes your probability of recovery out of a downturn. In particular, a McGraw-Hill study of the 1981-82 recession indicated that companies that marketed aggressively had 256% higher sales than those that did not.
Bottom Line: If your business is not considered essential, you very likely have felt and will continue to feel significant drag due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But, this too shall pass. With businesses taking a cleaver to their marketing budgets, how do you optimize the budget you have available to take best advantage of the most cost-effective marketing methods and mediums?
Make Sure Prospects Can Find You
As a marketer, your overriding goal remains to ensure that anyone searching for the products or services you provide will find you without needing to delve too deeply into an online search. Pay-per-click marketing is one way you can do that, but it fails the cost-effectiveness test. Paying per click with a low likelihood of an actual sale will chew through your marketing budget quicker than you would believe.
On the other end of the spectrum, organic
So is there a happy medium between those two online marketing methods?
Tapping Influencers To Drive Traffic
Along with Instagram, blogs also remain a prolific source for enthusiastic traffic. Partnering with bloggers who passionately promote your product can bring hordes of enthusiastic prospects straight to your sales path.
The cost for this depends on the influence of the blogger, and there are companies that will handle all the details for you.
One potentially powerful search engine marketing method is to use guest posts on high-authority, influential blogs to point back to your site. If you’ve got the time, expertise and inclination, you can do this yourself; or you can buy guest posts from a guest posting service.
This is different from influencer marketing because you’re not asking the blogger to partner with you to promote your product; rather, you’re using their blog strictly as a source of quality backlinks, which will in turn increase your search engine ranking. Combined with a solid
If COVID-19 has lowdown your marketing budget, guest posting can be a solution for you. You just need a little bit of time, writing creativity and/or just a consultation with a link building an expert. You will learn about how such a guest posting campaign can be an effective addition to your internet marketing arsenal.
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