Now that we’re in the middle of the coronavirus emergency, an important question has come up with our clients and even fellow marketers: how can one market at a time when everyone is focused on much more important things?
It’s a critical question because marketing is essential for any business, even now. Why? The pandemic has moved the U.S. and possibly the entire world into a recession quickly. Yet historically, businesses that have consistently marketed themselves during previous recessions have outperformed businesses that cut back on their marketing efforts.
The Key to Marketing Now
There’s something of an “art” to marketing in times such as these. Your efforts can’t be focused on selling so much as showing true care and concern for your prospects while offering information that will help your target audience get through this emergency as healthily – economically and emotionally, if not physically – as possible.
This probably sounds familiar to you: it’s the ethos of inbound marketing: providing information and solutions. This has been and forever will be, and it’s absolutely critical during times like these.
Provide Value, Value and Ever More Value
Whether you sell B2C to B2B, you’re selling to people, and all of your marketing should be focused on helping your customers – human beings who now no doubt are pretty much in full freak-out mode – get through the next few months.
So now that your marketing job is to show concern and care and provide value, your first step is to take a hard look at your prospect personas and decide what information will speak to their particular current concerns.
Then, get busy providing that information in the form of:
- Blog posts
- Social media
- Email newsletters
- Free webinars
- And so on.
Look At All Current Messaging and Change, If Necessary
It’s time to look over the content on your website and, if it sounds too “salesy,” now’s the time to change it. If you have newsletters, social media content and blog posts scheduled for broadcasting in the next few weeks, get busy changing them to reflect the current situation.
The idea is to be seen as a resource, not someone asking for something. You want to be seen as someone who is here to help, someone who has advice, and someone who wants nothing more than to provide this advice.
In Other Words: Provide Don’t Sell
Wondering what this might mean? Here’s an example:
In many blog posts, the last line is a call-to-action, something akin to “to learn more about our services, download this free report….”
Instead, you can certainly provide a free report (in fact, you should), but you could instead say something such as: “Many of our clients have questions regarding [an issue you know your personas have now] and we’ve put together a free report with some solutions.” And you imbed a link to the report in the text.
But – and here’s an important change regarding free reports – you just provide the report to them, without asking for their email address, as you normally would. In other words, you want nothing from them. You just want to provide them possible solutions. For free.
Don’t Worry: They’ll Remember You
There are other places you can ask for their information in exchange for something free so that you can send them information directly to their inbox. (Offering a free webinar, for example, will require that they provide you with their email address, so that you can send them the link to it.) But now most of your marketing should be all about providing information and resources for free.
But the idea is to become a resource, someone they can turn to again and again for wisdom and advice.
Bottom line: the only thing you should ask of a prospect is “How can I help?”
Let Ingenex Digital Marketing – and our own expertise in using marketing automation tools – help you in your digital marketing efforts. If you prefer the “old fashioned” way of contacting us, please feel free to send us an e-mail message, or schedule a meeting with us! We look forward to hearing from you!