Developing and implementing a digital marketing and digital PR strategy during COVID-19 is riddled with challenges, particularly for small businesses already fighting an uphill battle in terms of reach and resources. Even so, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t mean digital marketing strategies should be tossed out the window. The goal of digital marketing remains the same: to reach audiences on their level and to lead existing narratives with purpose.
Times of uncertainty affect the sales of firms across a multitude of industries, and consumers and businesses alike are being more considered with their purchases. Moreover, with the full economic impact of COVID-19 yet to be realized, this is unlikely to change once the current emergency has passed. While this will definitely make sales conversion a tougher challenge for some businesses, it also provides opportunities for brands who are committed to telling stories and building relationships with their audiences in a calculated way. Firms should be committed to creating COVID-19-specific content that works to convince audiences why their products are worth choosing despite tighter budgets.
2.Answer Specific Questions
In order to boost the conversion rate of new content, brands should focus on keywords related to questions that audiences are currently asking. This is the best way to ensure deliberate and focused visits to a site, and make for as short a customer journey as possible.
3.Understand Customers’ New Challenges
Pandemic or no pandemic, the only way businesses can effectively market to customers is to solve a pressing problem- or problems- they face. Extraordinary measures forced on by COVID-19 go hand in hand with a host of new health, security and lifestyle challenges; brands should work hard to understand these before developing a specific digital marketing plan.
Amid skyrocketing levels of unemployment, many shoppers are tightening their belts. Others might need specific items more urgently than before. Understanding these new challenges will impact any brand’s strategy and talking points when reaching out to their audiences.
4.Consider New Customers
Most, if not all, businesses are having to pivot entire strategies in order to stay afloat during COVID-19. The current health crisis is only temporary, but it is still unknown how long current measures will need to be in place; as such, it may be necessary for business leaders to take their brands in directions previously not considered.
A custom clothing business, for example, may consider shifting gears to produce face masks amid skyrocketing demand. Landscape firms might create DIY garden kits, gyms could focus on online video services, and hairdressers might sell at-home trimming sets and instruction manuals.
Shifting marketing strategies to reach new customers, and retain existing customers in new ways, is an essential way to stay afloat for the time being.
It goes without saying that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has made for vastly uncertain market conditions for all industries. As such, it has never been more important for brands to keep their finger on the pulse of changing market conditions, and to adapt to the needs of existing and targeted customers.
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Ronn Torossian: Insights from a Native New Yorker and CEO of 5WPR
Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals.
Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 200 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions.
Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, and a recipient of Crain’s New York 2021 Most Notable in Marketing & PR.
Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller.
A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities