With the outbreak of COVID-19, we’ve all had to quickly adapt to a different way of life both personally and professionally. There is no doubt that this is a challenging time but our mental and physical health remains paramount above all else.
Whilst lots of businesses within our industry face a period of unprecedented challenges; this crisis will come to an end – and probably just as quickly as it started. For now, your audience probably has more important things to worry about than buying from you. However, itʼs also worth remembering that whilst painful, this current reduced demand for your goods or services, is really just delayed demand – it will return.
Automotive businesses realise that whilst most audiences arenʼt going to be receptive to hard sales messages right now, that it is absolutely critical to keep in touch. This has resulted in a deluge of empathetic communications from brands that you probably donʼt even remember buying from asking if you are OK and telling you about their ethics and how seriously they are taking the pandemic. In the first week or so these messages often contained necessary important information about operational changes within the business.
How can you ensure that your marketing is working hardest at this critical time? How can you not only protect and maintain, but improve your competitive position within your marketplace? Here are just a few of the ways:
During any economic downturn, we see businesses adopt either a fight or flight mentality with their marketing. Some reign in their marketing activities to save money, whilst others capitalise on the fact thereʼs less competition, and enjoy more visibility and cut through – often paying less for the privilege as media owners cut the costs of paid opportunities.
The key thing to remember with Covid-19 is that all your competitors are in exactly the same position – and this means that savvy marketing now can put your brand in the driving seat when things inevitably return to normal. You may not see the biggest return right away, but in the long term, you will.
The unprecedented evaporation of all channels related to shows, live events and conferences has impacted everyone. Some businesses will find it easier to divert efforts to their already well established online platforms, whilst others who are not digital-native might struggle. There are lots of Automotive B2B businesses for example, who have always relied on the annual circuit of trade shows and exhibitions to network and build customer relations.
However, with the right guidance and strategy, online marketing can work equally well for this group. Some observers suggest that the current pandemic is just speeding up an inevitable move away from the face-to-face channels mentioned and more towards digital events, in which case getting involved now will not only help drive business during the crisis but also put you ahead of your competition at the other side.
Time spent online during the pandemic has naturally rocketed due to people being confined to their homes. Staying connected is now more important than ever, with people and businesses relying heavily on social media to stay in touch with friends, consume the news, and be entertained. Facebook and Instagram alone have seen a 40% increase in usage, and there have been significant surges in time spent watching short videos and in mobile gaming. These unprecedented audience figures represent a huge opportunity for brands and businesses to maintain contact with an increasing number of people.
People isolating at home are hungry for entertainment and information. For this reason, there has never been a better time to develop new content and start to adopt new platforms for your business and brands. With the right content marketing strategies in place, communicating and engaging with your audience can remain undisrupted, no matter how the situation develops. Your content can be delivered in a range of different ways from emails, blogs and landing pages to case studies, infographics and eBooks. Identifying the right tactics depends on your target audience and objectives. For some that might mean producing short creative video for platforms like TikTok (which has seen usage as much as double); for others, it could mean producing a technical white paper.
During the pandemic, all businesses will face a unique set of challenges and opportunities. To help guide you through, WDA has launched a FREE Q & A session with our branding and digital marketing experts. The first ‘AskWDAʼ session starts on Friday 3rd on Facebook and then on Tuesday 7th on Twitter. Weʼll be holding these sessions from 2pm – 3pm and will continue to do so on the same days and times during April and May. Stay tuned to our social media channels for further updates.
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