30 Digital Marketing Tips: Adjusting Messaging During COVID-19

Business Marketing, Content Marketing, Email Marketing, Paid Media Advertising, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media

Take any suggestion here with a grain of salt. Not every tip will apply to all industries or businesses. And we wrote them at the beginning of April, so things like “update your website with a COVID-19 notice” isn’t going to feel like ground-breaking advice in the middle of May.

We’re all wading through this mess together. Information changes quickly, sometimes within the same day. So knowing how to adjust your marketing strategy and brand messaging during this time is not an easy feat. We’ve compiled a variety of digital marketing tips for you to peruse to help you guide your marketing and content strategies during this time.

Many of these tips will continue to be relevant over the coming months, take what you want, and ignore what doesn’t seem to apply to your organization.

#1 General Marketing: Adjust your 2020 marketing plan – the goals and tactics you outlined may need to be edited. Set new goals and action plans.

#2 General Marketing: Update your homepage and/or contact page with a message about your business hours and availability during the coronavirus quarantine. Avoid any confusion from current or potential customers!

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#3 General Marketing: Make sure you’re talking to your team. Internal marketing and communication are as important right now as talking to your customers.

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#4 SEO: Update your Google My Business page with your COVID-19 adjusted hours and services. Make a Google Post about it too!

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#5 SEO: Create a short (200-300 word) company statement and publish it on your blog about what your company is doing differently in light of COVID, how you’re adjusting, and how you’re following guidelines.

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#6 PPC: Audit your ad copy with things like new operating hours, whether you are operational or not, extra safety precautions that have been implemented, changes to delivery or services, etc.

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#7 PPC: Keep an eye on your ad auction competition

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#8 PPC: Look at overall search volume in the Keyword Planner or Google trends. Has overall consumer interest decreased or increased since the outbreak?

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#9 PPC: Review Search Impression Share regularly and compare it with the overall volume of your market. If search impression share is going up and search volume is stagnant congrats! Competitors are pulling budget but consumers are still researching and buying.

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#10 PPC: If your cost per conversion is increasing, consider moving ad budget up the funnel towards awareness. Now is a great time to get cheaper impressions and build awareness. Then when the dust settles and consumers are ready to buy, you’ll be top of mind!

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#11 PPC: Run some of your highest performing keywords through keyword planner in combination with covid keywords to see if users are looking for any particular challenges or info regarding your industry. For example: “local moving companies Oregon covid” tells me consumers might be looking to find out if moving companies are still operational under shelter-in-place ordinances. This insight could bee actioned with an original blog post, updated copy, social updates, and more.

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#12 PPC: Straightforward: focus budget and time on products and services that will sell during this down-turn. Adjust additional budget toward general branding.

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#13 PPC: Whenever possible, try to avoid turning ads off completely. Ad platforms don’t do well with big changes, and you’ll face higher bids and lower quality scores when you do turn ads on, delaying your ability to bounce back.

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#14 SOCIAL MEDIA: Monitor cost per conversion along with overall impression volume. Red flags would be cost per conversions increasing and overall impressions decreasing. This indicates decreasing consumer action, and that ultimately you’ll be spending a lot more money to acquire customers than if you likely wait a few weeks.

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#15 SOCIAL MEDIA: Update all ad copy, business info and organic posts to acknowledge any changes in your business like new operating hours, new safety measures, new policies, skeleton crews, delays in your supply chain, etc.

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#16 SOCIAL MEDIA: Be honest and transparent in all communications about where your business stands amid the crisis. Is your product much needed and appreciated right now? Are your supply chain and operations struggling? Are you barely staying afloat? It’s ok, to be honest. There are no guarantees for anyone and we’re all in this together.

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#17 SEO: SEO is zero sum. When your organic rankings drop competitors directly benefit. That’s why it’s more important than ever to invest in a long term SEO strategy. When your competitors slash their SEO budgets (and many will) and the economy bounces back (and it will), you’ll be right there to capitalize on open SERP real estate.

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#18 SEO: Update your FAQ page. How has the coronavirus impacted your business? Make sure you update your website’s FAQ page to include any coronavirus-related questions.

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#19 SEO: Don’t forget about technical SEO. Closely monitor your rankings, crawl rate, and indexation in Google Search Console just to make sure everything looks good. Aim to check in weekly, if not daily, for any abnormalities.

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#20 SEO: Be careful making website changes. There’s never a good time to break a website, but now is DEFINITELY not the time to break a website. Focus on fixing minor bugs related to performance rather than implementing new features.

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#21 SEO: Did you know there is schema for the coronavirus? Utilize the “Special Announcement” type to mark up your coronavirus response as it pertains to changes in schedules and events.

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#22 CONTENT: Prioritize top and mid-funnel content. As buying habits change in the near term, you may have to rethink your overall content strategy. Focus your content initiatives on the awareness and consideration stages of the buyer’s journey to influence future conversions. Start by creating a list of topics that you haven’t covered yet that target these stages.

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#23 CONTENT: Perform a content audit to evaluate old content. Now is a great time to freshen up old content that may be underperforming. Dive into Search Console to identify keywords for blogs that may be on page 2 or 3 of the SERPs. Then go through and update/optimize those blogs to try and get onto page 1.

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#24 SOCIAL MEDIA: Connect your messaging. Are you posting COVID-19 updates on your blog? Share them across social media, too. Remarket these posts to users who have visited your site before to keep them coming back and engaging with your brand.

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#25 SOCIAL MEDIA: Boost branded content. Some users are getting hit hard in the downturned economy, so sensitivity and compassion instead of hard-sells may be the way to go for some industries. Use this time to circulate your brand in a tasteful way.

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#26 SOCIAL MEDIA: Audit your audiences. Your data may be skewered pretty dramatically over the past and coming few weeks, but take this time to dive in to see what’s working. Are new demographics emerging within your campaigns?

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#27 SOCIAL MEDIA: Offer new ways to connect. Communications and interactions are turning more and more online as “shelter in place” proclamations are rolled out. Make yourself accessible on social media – be online and let users know they can Call, Message, or Chat you (or your business) with any questions they have about your services.

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#28 E-NEWSLETTER: Check in with your current & previous customer base. Show them gratitude, offer loyalty incentives, or just let them know you’re there.

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#29 E-NEWSLETTER: Consistently provide updates on your business hours, availability, services, etc. If/when anything changes, email your list.

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#30 E-NEWSLETTER: Discuss how you’re rising to address the crisis, including safety measures you’re taking internally and externally, and what you can do or are currently doing to help those in need of support.

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About the Author

Nick Footer

Nick Footer is an entrepreneur and founder of Intuitive Digital, a national award-winning digital marketing agency in Portland, Oregon. With over 15 years of experience, he has helped hundreds of businesses improve their online presence through search engine optimization, paid advertising, and website design.

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