The first quarter of 2020 brought us an unprecedented situation with a global pandemic that shut down parts of the country, creating economic uncertainty and record unemployment in the process. For a lot of businesses, that meant taking a new approach to marketing.
Now, almost a year into the pandemic, the road ahead is clearer than it was then. However, even with multiple new vaccines being distributed and an end in sight, we still have a rough road ahead in many ways. Here’s your 90-day post-Covid marketing roadmap.
So… the big questions are:
With that in mind, I have some post-Covid marketing thoughts on what you can and should do in the next 90 days to get (and keep) your business on track for success.
The first thing I suggest is a thorough audit of your marketing plan. A lot of companies hit the pause button — or drastically reduced their marketing spending — when the pandemic hit. For obvious reasons, that’s not a long-term strategy.
I suggest creating a short-term plan that takes the current climate into consideration, and then mapping out some long-term post-Covid marketing plans as the situation evolves. With COVID cases still spiking in the first quarter of 2021, we’re not in the “after” picture yet — but it’s getting closer every day.
In the early days of the pandemic, you may have been reluctant to drastically rethink your SEO, both on your website and in your ads. I think now is the time to make changes and do some planning.
If there are changes in the way you do business that may impact the way people search for your company, then you’ll need to incorporate them into your Google Ads and possibly your website. For example, if you’re offering Zoom consultations or curbside pickup, then you should be using those things to your advantage while the pandemic is still top-of-mind for consumers.
At the same time, I suggest choosing negative search terms — keywords that might be bringing you useless traffic. For example, if people are Googling “athletic shoes curbside pickup” to get to your site, and you don’t offer curbside pickup, you should list “curbside pickup” as a negative search term.
I’d also suggest keeping a close eye on your traffic and search terms and updating them as needed. If you add a service or find that a term has become more or less relevant, you’ll want to act to refine your traffic.
This next topic is a tricky one. As of the time I’m writing this, in December of 2020, parts of Canada and much of the United States are shutting down again as COVID-19 cases spike. Back in March and April, marketers noted a slow-down in mobile search as many people were working from home and glued to their computers all day.
Mobile traffic picked up again over the summer, but I expect to see it decrease again now and probably into the spring. The key is to do some non-mobile marketing while teeing up your mobile marketing strategy for the future.
Prior to the pandemic, estimates were that 75% of all digital traffic would be mobile by 2026. I don’t think there’s a reason to doubt that we’ll get there, but mobile traffic is down now so you should be aware of that — and market accordingly.
It’s always less expensive to retain existing customers than it is to attract new ones. It’s possible you might have the marketing budget to prioritize new customer acquisition, but if you don’t, I suggest a focus on retention instead.
That may mean:
Of course, all these things may change as we get closer to widespread vaccination. It’s important to review everything periodically and tweak as needed.
A lot of the business owners I talk to have told me that advertising channels that used to be fruitful are less so now. Of course, the reverse may be true as well.
That said, you should be tracking your ROI on every advertising and marketing channel and eliminating those that aren’t delivering the results you want. Doing so will then allow you to redistribute funds to the channels that are working.
Finally, I believe that using this time as an opportunity to streamline your marketing and set yourself up for future success is the smart thing to do. Marketing automation will save you a ton of time and money in the long run.
You may want to consider:
Best of all, using automation will make it easy to collect data and fine-tune your marketing going forward. If you can afford to do it, this is the ideal time to get automated.
These are uncertain times, but doing the post-Covid marketing steps I’ve outlined here can help you to navigate the remainder of the pandemic and be ready to adapt when it ends.
For professional help kick-starting your new post-Covid marketing roadmap, reach out to one of our experts at Outsourced Marketing now – this is what we do best, and we can help set your business up for success in 2021.
Ian Cantle is the President and Marketing Strategist at Outsourced Marketing. His 20+ years in marketing and communications in a variety of industries have provided him with a unique perspective on what works and what doesn't in marketing. Ian founded Outsourced Marketing to fill a gap in the marketplace between businesses and sound marketing strategies and marketing systems. His goal is to take the mystery out of marketing and show business owners how a systematic approach to their marketing can provide exceptional results while easing the burden on them. Ian has also co-authored the book that provides local businesses with an unfair competitive advantage, available on Amazon. Want to discover the Outsourced Marketing difference? Book a free discovery call or call us at 905-251-8178.