Covid-19 was a surprise to the entire world, and with it has come drastic changes to how we think, as people and as customers. No longer can we afford to go out to businesses and restaurants in person, or afford to spend money frivolously. Everyone is feeling the pinch, especially businesses, and with the shift in mindsets and lifestyles, businesses have had to change the way they market themselves and interact with their client base.
SEO and SEM have never been more essential than they are right now, as the mobility of the world comes to an almost total standstill, and people find themselves spending even more time online than they did to begin with. In fact, the search term SEO has seen a spike in searches since January, as companies the world over make the move to centralize their business on the online market.
Businesses are even rebranding themselves or extending their product portfolio to offer more relevant products that reflect the times. This takes marketing with a high level of attunement to the current state of the world and the people you’re marketing to, be them old, new or potential clients.
Here are some tips for navigating the market and how to optimize your website not only to rank well but to earn the trust of your customers.
Create content that builds trust
As desperate as the times may be, now is not the time to be pushing hard sells, or looking to make a quick buck off of the pandemic. We’re all going through this crisis together, suffering the mental, physical, emotional and financial toll of the crisis.
That means that now more than ever, people are going to be cynical towards brands punting hard-sell messages. Don’t look at making money through sales pitches, but at solidifying your relationship with your current and potential customers by being reassuring, helpful, and in tune with their emotions.
No one can rush to your store to take part in a sale, but your clients will appreciate a message of hope, or to help them feel more in control during a time where we lack control in a lot of areas in our lives.
Create content that’s honest and sentimental
For many businesses, times are incredibly dire, and your customers aren’t nonchalant or unawares to this either. Especially for restaurants, hotels, and all businesses in the tourism and entertainment industries. Don’t try to market yourselves as selling vouchers for the future to make cash, because people can see it for what it is, a desperate sales tactic.
Rather, offer vouchers to customers as something as valuable to them, but be honest. Every voucher goes towards keeping their favourite local restaurant afloat and paying the staff they provide jobs for. Appealing to sentimentality and a sense of community is genuine, and affirms your relationship with customers.
If you can afford to, helping other businesses and people in your community is not only beneficial to all, but it improves your standing as a business. Larger retails like Spar, for instance, have removed the stationary from their shelves to encourage shoppers to buy from the nearby stationery store or stopped selling burger patties to encourage customers to buy a burger from the local restaurant nearby.
Create content people can experience at home
Your marketing strategies can also be used as a means to inspire and grow excitement for when things can return to normal, or better yet, provide customers with experiences that they can enjoy at home. While you may not make financial gains from this form of marketing, you solidify yourself in the minds of consumers as a brand that cares about its customer base, which pays off more in the long run than marketing your brand new designer face masks or urging customers to act quickly and buy things they can’t afford or don’t need.
This is the time to look into virtual reality, video media, and panoramic photography. If you sell hiking equipment, take the time to craft media centred around nature.
If you run music events, offer live broadcasted performances instead. Museums and art galleries around the world are offering virtual online tours, allowing anyone in the world to see amazing pieces of history and art from the comfort and safety of their homes. This is the kind of media that brings joy and inspiration to people and makes their small worlds at home that much bigger.
Create informative content
In times of uncertainty like the one we find ourselves in, people want to feel in control of something however they can. That means finding out as much information as they can from a brand, and studies actually indicate that people are more likely to buy from/subscribe to brands that provide educational/informational content because they are seen as more trustworthy.
Early-stage, educational content around your product and related content strengthens brand affinity and ultimately increases conversions. It also makes you rank higher in the search, as you are seen as user-centric and a leader in your chosen field.
The best insight we can give you is to look into the mindset of your customers. If something seems insensitive to you, it’s definitely insensitive to others. We’re all in this together, and as marketers and business owners now’s the time to avoid hard selling money-making schemes, and rather promote unity, relationships, dreams and support. The benefits you’ll reap in the future outweigh the costs now.
If you’re in the dark as to how best to market your business during this time, or you desperately need help moving your business online, our team here at Web SEO is here to assist with Social Media, web development, marketing and SEO.