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Hackernoon logoRemarkable Marketing Strategies to Survive COVID-19 by@Christina Josh Wilde

Remarkable Marketing Strategies to Survive COVID-19

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@Christina Josh WildeChristina Josh

An SEO Guru, Helping Professionals

With these uncertain circumstances, companies need to adapt their next marketing campaigns to alleviate risk strategically.

In a recent survey, 1 in 3 consumers indicated that the horrifying news of coronavirus has already changed their shopping behavior. 47.2% of US internet users polled last month claimed they are currently avoiding malls and shopping centers.

Marketing channels, such as PPC, already see a decline in the budget. Google search ads lost 7% of their impressions from January 13, 2020, to March 9, 2020.  SEO, however, is seeing a strong uptick: brands like Daillyburn.com are seeing a 300+ increase in organic search visibility from January 19, 2020, to March 19, 2020.

With these variations, there is a great opportunity for SEO professionals and content marketers to ramp up their impact, creating content that drives conversions now and establishes their brand long term. Savvy marketers are already making shifts in their strategies and investing more SEO. 

According to Google Trends, the search term “SEO” and related terms have seen a spike in interest in the United States since February 2020.

Regardless of where in the world your business exists or what market you serve, the current COVID-19 pandemic has transformed and reshaped your business strategies forever.

According to Sam Olmsted, Search and Content Director at Online Optimism:

"During the Coronavirus pandemic, many companies may be reluctant to spend money on advertising, which means now is the perfect time to invest in SEO for your business. The top SEO strategies to survive Coronavirus are blogging, gaining press coverage, and cleaning up the backend of your site"

In the unexpected reality that has revealed many SEO strategies over the last few months, businesses are adopting new ways to survive or entirely shut down and hoping to open again.

Whichever side of the coin you stumble on, thinking about your marketing and SEO efforts has likely been a top priority. 

Are you still going to invest with limited funds in your pocket and where the world has seemed to stop rotating? Or are you planning and waiting to invest when the world for business comes back to normal.

Maybe all of these questions are real and viable for business owners and companies these days.

According to Will Cartwright, Co-Founder & CMO at Supplement Manufacturing Partners Inc:

"SEO optimizations come in many forms. But some to focus on in these tough times would be to building backlinks and create better content than your competitors. Building backlinks is one of the strongest ways to grow your pages. They should be links from other high-authority webpages that are in the same industry as you for the best results"

You might have seen a list of coronavirus symptoms and how you can keep yourself secure, but today but this list is a vital one for businesses; one that could change your outcome post-pandemic.

 Here are some of the best SEO tips to help your business survive COVID-19.

Use of Google Trends and Exploding Topics to find New and Emerging Topics

Finding new and emerging topics in this pandemic will be crucial in seeking traffic for new search demand. You can create the right piece of content for the right audience at the right time could make a difference between someone coming to your site or going to a competitor. But fleshing out a content strategy against the topics people are searching for is quite a difficult task.

Since the main aspect of your SEO efforts is finding the right keywords according to search intent, using Google Trends is important. For creating content, Google Trends should be the first priority you should reach out to understand the changes in search behavior. The data displayed in this tool offers information on how people are searching for different content in different industries.

Because there has been a significant shift in search demand and trends in the last month, some of the keyword research tools like Keyword Planner may not have the latest data as these tools figure out the monthly search volume.

On the other hand, Google Trends gives you the information about a specific period of time which is really handy these days with so many changes happening around the globe.

Another really insightful platform is Exploding Topics. This platform calculates data across search engines and trends across the website to formulate emerging topics. After that, they curate that data into an easily understandable interface, which you can drill down by time period and industry. 

Consistently exploring the data can reveal new and changing opportunities to target for your business.

Jayson Demers , Founder at Email Analytics suggested a small trick that will help your page to rank better with more keywords:

"Here's a trick to make your already-ranking content rank even better in Google. Open Google Search console and open the "Performance" report. Click "Pages", then select one of your top-performing pags. This will create a filter to show you only data for this page. Next, click "Queries" and you'll see a list of all the keywords that are driving traffic to that page. 

Next, go to your page editor (in Wordpress or whatever CMS you use) and edit that article so that it includes all (or most) of the keywords from the list in Google Search Console. Add them naturally, not in a spammy or weird-sounding way. You want them to read totally naturally. Doing this will make your content more authoritative and thorough to Google, and will help that page rank better and for more keywords. 

Right time to Market your Brand on Social Media

Because the use of Social Media during this pandemic has witnessed a significant surge, make sure to market your brand on social media to show your online that you are alive and active. Customers always look out for your Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram Channels and Twitter for the most up-to-date news. If your social media is inactive, it will most likely harm you with losing your customers.

Some of the news and updates you can share on your Social Platform includes:

  • What are your crisis management strategies, what steps your company is taking to take care of employees and customers(sanitizing workstations, not letting sick employees work, ensuring employees wear gloves, etc.)
  • What changes to hours or business policies your company witnessed? (for example, only letting one person into the store at a time)
  • If you’re taking online orders and/or offering free shipping
  • If you have private shopping or curbside pickup options
  • Uplifting quotes or personal messages

Using Visual Materials to Promote your Content

Another method is using Visual materials like infographics regarding precautions to take to protect yourself from coronavirus with your brand logo and company name on the visual which can not only help customers to learn safety tips but also can boost your brand name and brand searches. 

Written content is undoubtedly useful but today visual materials such as infographics or videos are outperforming for content marketing and they will continue to be one of the most frequently used content marketing strategies in these difficult times.

Because the human processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text, it is far simple for people to remember visual information than the same information in a written form. That is why marketing videos and especially infographics are all the rage now for increasing traffic to your website.  

Using Email Marketing to Engage and Nurture Customers

According to Klaviyo, an email marketing platform that taps into a network of 30,000 businesses for insights, 22% of brands said they are spending more on ads. And 66% of brands that are spending more on ads are also seeing increased efficiency, with a reduced cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM) and cost per click (CPC).

A small message or email these days can actually develop close relations with your customers. This is the golden time to get bondage with your customers where the whole world is locked down. A positive and strong message like asking about how they have been holding up these past few days and whether they are ensuring to stay at home could mean a lot. Make sure not to send them messages constantly, this will leave your customers with a negative impact as if we are trying to cash-in the opportunity.

Move towards Digital Campaigns

In a world where top businesses and companies are shut down, many entrepreneurs and business owners are much relying on digital strategies. Most of the companies during this pandemic already transformed their business online and making the most of digital campaigning.

In fact, Larry Kim from Mobile Monkey just wrote,

“One new customer closed their brick and mortar locations nationwide and found web traffic is up +150%.”

I know what you must be wondering…

You can market your business online during this pandemic by using Google or Facebook, Instagram for Business or LinkedIn Ads to direct your audience to:

  • Well-researched and useful blogs and videos
  • Online products with free shipping
  • Virtual services you can offer
  • Gift cards that can be used now or in the future

Make sure not to be afraid to pause campaigns in this difficult time because of thinking about losing your customers. Many companies and businesses during this pandemic are knowing when to re-strategize and pivot, rather than continuing with a regular ad campaign that is not going to help with—or even offends—your target audience.

Expert Quotes From Marketing Experts

I interviewed some of the top Marketing Experts to give their insights to the story, some of the best tips include:

  • Joanna from www.JoannaVaiou.com says "HARO (HelpaReporter.com) is a place where journalists and sources meet to help each other out.
    Journalists submit PR requests where they ask for an expert quote from sources who are registered on the network and are willing to provide their expertise for free. When a source's quote is approved publication, journalists also include the name, website, and social media profiles of the source."
  • Andrew Ruditser, Co-Founder & Lead Technology Coordinator at  MAXBURST, Inc. says "One of the best SEO strategies for marketers to help advance their brand during a pandemic is to tweak your content and keywords to those that relate to COVID-19. Many people during this time are worried about their jobs, bills, health and could not have any interest in your products during this time, but that does not mean they aren’t spending any time online.. People are quarantined in their home, with not much to do but spend time online researching more about this pandemic and whats still to come" 
  • Kodi Fletcher from Retention Media says "Create a page that can be the go to resource. It can be for COVID-19 resources for your customers, it can be for your industry. Put some time into this page and make sure you link to this page from your homepage and share it on your social media and with your newsletter subscribers."
  • Christine Glossop, SEO Content Specialist from Looka says "COVID-19 has changed the face of the business landscape—if you want to survive, you need to adapt accordingly. One of the key ways that Looka has adapted to the times is by turning our SEO efforts towards on-site tactics. Off-site SEO often relies on people outside of your organization for its success, whether that's people on social media posting your latest blog or another website accepting a guest post."
  • Kevin Miller, Founder and CEO of The Word Counter says "If you're in a strong financial position, this might be the perfect time to recruit some upper-level talent; some companies have been forced to part ways with marketers because of the pandemic, so you can offer a much-needed job and recruit some extra marketing muscle. If you're making it, but really need to come out swinging at the end, consider some refinements to your content strategy. This might mean just writing some more material for your marketing funnel since you have the time, or it may require trying a new or different approach"
  • Jay Eckert, FOUNDER & CREATIVE DIRECTOR of Parachute Design Group Inc. says "We’ve taken a hard look inward with our SEO strategy as brands struggle to adapt to the impacts of COVID-19 and Google’s core algorithm update in May. With the extra down time we’ve mapped the keyword competition and gap opportunities between our website and top 10 competitors and begun a focused content creation campaign to bolster our keyword strategy and make small wins within the keyword gap analysis to incrementally increase our keyword footprint."
  •  Tom De Spiegelaere, FOUNDER at tomspicky.com says "Ride the wave and go with the trends. Now is the time to create content that will be useful for people in quarantine and companies who are trying to transition into an online setting. Get the keywords "at home", "quarantine" and "work from home" in your content. Create informational content that will help your readers deal with the pandemic. Release articles, tips, infographics, ads, online resources, and anything that will educate your audience further"

Final Wordings

The current situation of the world is very unusual and millions of people are affected by this pandemic. The daily routine work has stopped causing business, lives, jobs and even relationships to end because of this deadly virus.

However, life must go on, and remaining indoor will not only help save many people’s lives but end this pandemic.

And, NOW is the best time to make the best use of SEO to build your brand.

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