5 Tips On How To Jump In Front Of Your Competition During The COVID-19 Pandemic
Coronavirus came from out of nowhere and caught us all by surprise. But this doesn’t mean we can’t react and get back on top of our business as soon as possible.
While many businesses around the world have been affected in some way by the pandemic, the smart ones are staying calm, refusing to panic – and finding ways to grow.
This article will share some tips and tricks that will help you adjust your business strategy so that you jump in front of your competition.
1. Inject More Money Into Your Digital Marketing Strategy
A lot of businesses are spending less on marketing during the pandemic. It’s understandable – revenues are down, projections are poor, which means they’re scaling down their marketing budget.
However, you can look at this two ways. You can choose to shrink your marketing budget too OR you can move your budget around a bit and be bold.
For example, you won’t be spending any money during the next few months on trade shows. Neither will you be spending money on conferences or any other type of in-person events. Any money that you’d set aside for things like that, you can then shift over to your digital marketing strategy.
If you still feel as though you won’t have enough resources to get stuck into a digital marketing strategy at the moment, reassess where you’ve previously been putting your money. For example, lots of online businesses have decreased their Google Ad spend recently. You may want to do this as well, and move that cash over to SEO. Why? Because doubling down on your SEO now will mean that you’re ranking higher than your competitors when all this is over.
Speaking of SEO …
2. Improve Your SEO
The great thing about SEO is that it’s flexible – which means it’s really useful during a recession.
Working on your SEO during the pandemic, for example, tells potential customers that your business is still alive and kicking. Just that one thing alone can help you jump ahead of the competition who have stalled during these strange times.
Secondly, more content + more SEO = improved search visibility. This is so important during a time when your competition might be resting on their laurels.
Here are the main things to remember when working on your SEO:• Make sure that your content is well-written• Make sure that your content adds value to the end user• Make sure that your content is original• Make sure that you use sensible links
3. Use The Time To Build Meaningful Relationships With Your Customers
It’s not enough that you’re a faceless brand that sells to people. In 2020 and beyond, customers want better relationships with businesses. If you can’t sell at the moment, now is the time to build a meaningful relationship with your customers that will pay-off in the longer term via a strong content marketing campaign.
Now is the time to tell your story on social media. Who are you? Why did you start this business in the first place? Stories allow us to create emotional connections with people. Your customers will bond with you.
Get involved in conversations with your customers. Use social listening on Twitter to interact with them and answer their questions 1:1. Show them that you care.
Ask for feedback. Now is a great time to invite your customers into the conversation. Send out surveys or ask them questions on Facebook that will allow you to refine your business going forward. Asking for feedback and then making changes shows that you’re listening.
Don’t be scared to talk about coronavirus, too. Research has shown that 37% of customers don’t mind if businesses address coronavirus online (even via ads) as long as they make them feel positive.
4. Give Back
We always remember those who helped us out during the bad times. If there’s something your business can do for people right now, do it. You will spread goodwill during the short term, and your reputation will forever be increased over the long term.
For example, there are businesses who are switching up their production lines so that, instead of brewing beer, they’re making hand sanitisers. Loom, meanwhile, has made Loom Pro free during the pandemic for teachers and students. LinkedIn has done their bit as well, releasing 17 of its courses for free.
LinkedIn have released 17 of its courses for free during the pandemic
Have a think about how you could give back without breaking your business. Even if it’s a small thing, it will do you a lot of good.
5. Alter Your Delivery Methods (And Publicise Them)
Whatever type of business you have, you might be able to change your delivery method. For example, if you usually offer in-person consultations, you could offer virtual consultations. If customers usually come into your restaurant to eat, you could launch a delivery service.
There are all kinds of things you can do, but you’ll need to think creatively here. For example, a massage spa might think they’re currently at a bit of a dead-end. But how about selling your products online?
Lots of other businesses, meanwhile, are promoting discounts and loyalty cards for upfront payments. The idea is that the customer purchases a discount now that can be used later when the store reopens. This is an excellent way of generating cash flow, promoting goodwill and attracting new customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Whatever you do, make sure that you publicise your new delivery methods. Go on social media and put the word out there that your business is still thriving. Your customers must be kept informed at all times, otherwise your older, existing customers will feel left out. This also goes for any changes to your operating hours and/or contact details – everything must be updated ASAP. Otherwise, it will simply look like you don’t care.
Ultimately, there’s every chance that your competitors are trying to survive right now. As such, they’re more concerned with clinging on than moving things forward. Now is your chance to zoom ahead. Don’t waste this opportunity! Use the tips in this article to stay one, two and even three steps ahead of your rivals during COVID-19.
Founder & CEO of Market Ease Business Promotions, Binh has worked with, and advised, some of the largest national campaigns and biggest brands in Australia and around the world, including Hyundai Motor Company Australia, Subaru Australia, Etihad Stadium, yd., Tarocash, Connor, Cartridge World Australia, and the Australian Federal Government.