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Digital Marketing in Challenging Times

By on March 26th, 2020 in Clever Marketing

Digital Marketing in Challenging Times

You know the drill by now.

Stay at home. Don’t leave the house. Unless, of course, you need basic provisions, one session of exercise, to collect medications, or to tend to a vulnerable relative or neighbour.

The effects of the coronavirus outbreak have been massive, both on a personal level and for businesses too. So, what advice does Clever Marketing have for firms in this current climate?

Is it a Good Idea to Cut My Marketing Budget?

As a business we understand that firms need to look at saving costs during challenging times. We saw this during the financial crisis of 2009 and, right now, there’s still a lot of uncertainty over Brexit. Now, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, there are even deeper and more immediate concerns.

Right now is a good time to take a step back, and have a clear look at your business. Are you thriving or are you just surviving in the wake of COVID-19?

For some industries, particularly travel, hospitality, retail and leisure, the current situation is extremely challenging. Flights have been grounded, rail firms have sought government support, and the treasury has drawn up extraordinary plans of financial assistance for businesses and workers.

But can you secure your future through marketing?

If your business is quiet on the marketing front you may be forgotten or overlooked. Marketing visibility is crucial during a time when so many businesses have gone full digital and all employees are working from home where possible. If you don’t look after your brand it may not benefit when we all come through “the other side”. It is this very notion that forward-thinking businesses are focusing on right now.

A quote from a study by Harvard Business Review back in 2010 says:

“Firms that cut costs faster and deeper than rivals don’t necessarily flourish. They have the lowest probability — 21% — of pulling ahead of the competition when times get better…”

Let’s look at the pros of thriving through continued marketing spend…

Pay Per Click (PPC)

Pay Per Click campaigns get your message in front of the right internet searchers at the right time. PPC allows your product or service to stand above all others in a competitive and crowded marketplace.

At a time when your competitors may be reducing their ad spend on PPC, there is an opportunity here to make gains.

In terms of awareness alone, you can protect your brand through PPC. Brand campaigns will ensure that your intellectual property stays yours in the search engines, and they also make bidding on your terms expensive for your competitors.

Or how about the fact that you may actually just now have fewer competitors and so your ads may be cheaper? With fewer competitive bids, your PPC ad budget may stretch a lot further than it once did.

We manage individual PPC accounts with budgets over many thousands and have seen great successes over the years. From doubling enquiries for £100,000 products (and on the way to quadrupling these) to reducing effective ad spend from £5,000, with another agency, to just £1,000 a month. One client actually has too much work due to the sheer number of leads we generate for them every month.

PPC is a winning channel whether it be Google Ads or Bing Ads, we have a track record of success in paid search.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

More complex than PPC, Search Engine Optimisation gets you “free” organic results in search. If you keep up all the hard work that’s been invested in optimising your website then you will maintain rankings and keep ahead of the competition.

Anecdotally, our Digital Marketing Manager once worked on a large business advice website where he optimised the site daily. When he left there were no daily site updates in Google Webmaster Tools. Without the highly qualified staff, and no more attention to detail, a decade’s worth of effort was lost. The site tanked in the SERPs and eventually the project was abandoned.

The moral of the story here is look after your website, and your website will look after you. Keeping it in good shape means the search engines will appreciate your efforts and you’ll enjoy as much success as you’re prepared to put in.

Social Media

Remote working means that everyone is online right now. Your staff, your competitors, your clients and potential customers are all now digitally connected. For the benefit of everyone’s mental and social welfare, it’s good to talk.

Continuing to work on social media means that you keep talking, keep having those conversations. Whether it’s paid or organic, there’s never been a better time to be social.

Brands that have embraced social media and are regularly active, are the brands that people will engage with.

Updates to inform the world that you’re still open for business, that your staff are safe and to enquire on the well-being of your clients is a major positive. Use every social media channel that you feel comfortable with. And within those channels again use whatever tools are most appropriate – have you tried LinkedIn Conversation Ads for instance?

Inform, entertain, reassure. There is so much your business can be doing on social, so take to the airwaves or make sure your agency does for you.

To a Brighter Future

When we step out into the brave new world, things will be different. The world will be a different place and how you’ve readied and adapted for that change is key.

Businesses that are proactive now will be ahead of the curve when the new era comes. Necessity is the mother of invention and rising to the current challenges will make you stronger.


Clever Marketing, Hampshire Digital Agency.If you want to maintain your digital marketing in challenging times then speak to us now on 01276 534 680.

We’re here to assist with your SEO, PPC and social media, paid and organic, so take a look at our digital marketing services.

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