approx 4 minute read
Have you ever run long distance before?
Like a half marathon, marathon or triathlon? The 4 deserts? (Kidding, that narrows our audience down a little too much). But if you’ve ever done some kind of endurance event you’ll know that it’s a journey through physical and emotional ups and downs.
There are times when it’s so hard you want to give up. Little voices will say you must be crazy to continue. Music can help you but each step is challenging. There’s a long way to go, but you can’t let yourself look too far ahead, it’s too daunting. Instead you lazer-in on the next milestone. And the next. And the next.
You try to avoid stopping if possible. You can slow down, but don’t stop. Because if you stop, it’s hard to get going again. And as you feel a new kind of pain in your hip, ‘Oh, hello, that’s new’, you realise you’ll never regain the same pace as before.
As businesses, we’re in an endurance event if we want to keep going.
Marketing is hard right now. But it doesn’t mean you should stop.
Let’s look at the logic
It’s a natural reaction amidst uncertainty to cut back. It’s logical, right?
But right now there’s a situation where:
- More people are at home, bored, than ever
- More people have more time than before
- And more appetite for content.
A third more TV and video is being consumed, record numbers are listening to radio, unprecedented levels of online searches are taking place. Every. Second.
Yet advertisers are cutting spend.
How’s that for logical?
Invisibility is not the superpower you need right now
When faced with these facts, it’s understandable to think perhaps ‘invisible mode’ is not a smart option right now. It does make you wonder whether the question is ‘Can you afford to continue marketing?’ Or rather ‘Can you afford not to?’
A recent article published in the Sunday Times studied marketing spend in times of recession. It claims that brands who cut marketing entirely take a longer time to recover than those who maintained visibility.
Reducing your SEO and content marketing efforts could significantly risk the chances of your rankings making a full recovery, even when the economy has shown improvement.
Don’t take that tone with me
It’s soooo devastatingly important to adapt your content and message right now so as not come across tone-deaf or insensitive. Is that obvious? You’d think so. But you’d be surprised at some of the big brands getting it so wrong.
This is not just about tone of voice. It’s about putting yourself in your customers slippers. ‘How would you feel if you received this right now? Is it adding value?’ If you can confidently say yes this is relevant and could be helpful, then it’s a good start.
But to answer that question, you need to understand what’s changed. Hint: Everything has changed. So what are the new needs, motivations and concerns? How can you solve a problem or simply make someone feel better about their day? No one wants to be sold to. What can you do to serve?
“The best marketing helps people first, and earns their business as a result.” ~ Rand Fishkin
Show your human side. If a friend or family member was going through a tough time, you probably wouldn’t talk or act in the same way. You’d be sensitive to their feelings. That pretty much sums up how you need to be now. You can be present. You don’t have to mention the virus each time. But you do need to be sensitive to the situation at all times.
Invest now for the future
Despite an expectation marketing budgets will decrease, 63% of marketers are investing more in SEO.
Because 20 billion searches are happening every day.
More people are searching, more people are browsing, more people are buying online.
What else is there to do? Even after binge watching Tiger King on Netflix, people are hitting Google, thirsty for more. (Tiger King searches are up 2100% in the last 14 days)
So organic search is a key area to focus on right now. And even if search volume has fallen for your key phrases, now is the time to double down on your content.
“White water rafting and whisky tasting Scotland” not hitting the usual monthly heights?
Ditch the ad raft and get on the content train.
Results show that companies who can afford to invest in SEO now will reap the rewards once the traffic returns. The ones that stop may never recover the same rankings. Request a free audit or get a call back from your local Nettl studio.