4 minutes

Getting out of the woods: Marketing during downtime

In marketing, we know that a pause or slowdown can feel frustrating. We’re used to a market that moves constantly, across a selection of modern platforms. However, marketing doesn’t exist in a vacuum — we’re sometimes faced with the reality of unpredictable situations. 

The ongoing coronavirus global pandemic has demonstrated exactly this, bringing new challenges to marketing managers across all retail sectors.

Here are five top tips to tackling downtime head on and keep your marketing operations flowing, even in tough times.

Acknowledge the situation

As a brand, you have a responsibility to stay aware of any circumstances that have affected (either directly or indirectly) your sector. Using the Covid-19 outbreak as an example, we’ve seen many companies use their marketing strategies to recognise the unprecedented nature of the situation — as opposed to shying away from it. 

Maintaining a presence during downtime will help to sustain trust between your brand and your customers. Staying aware of any developments and being truthful in terms of how your services/delivery are impacted (where applicable) will reassure customers by giving them peace of mind.

Keeping your brand active during downtime will require considerate communication, and your brand’s tone of voice has to reflect this. The approach to email marketing or social media should keep key messaging at the core, demonstrating that your brand is conscious of the situation, and here to support consumers however you can.

Landing page TLC

Take some time to assess your landing pages – there are many free tools out there, such as VWO. From sharpening CTAs, to monitoring load speed and refining headlines and copy, there may be plenty to look over. Landing pages are key for securing new custom, so they need to deliver when it comes to selling your wares.

By making sure that your landing pages have all of the necessary information for a user, you’re simplifying their next step along the purchase funnel. Adding clarity to your landing pages during downtime is a long term strategy, as a well-written landing page can boost your Google quality score if you’re running PPC ads — showing that you have plenty of relevant content on the page for users.

Follow the demand

The coronavirus pandemic has triggered a shift in both the way customers are shopping and the products that they want to buy. Using the current situation as an example, most retailers still in operation have gone online only as a safety measure. Therefore, product descriptions are essential and they must be both concise and clear for customers to navigate and find the items they need. 

Many e-commerce marketers have had to refocus their optimisation strategies, assessing the reality of what people need and what they are currently searching for. For example, search volume around terms such as ‘desks’ and ‘home workout equipment’ have soared with many offices working remotely, and the temporary closure of gyms. By optimising this key content, businesses are able to improve their rankings and offer exactly what their customers are looking for. If you stock these high demand products, why not move individual products or category links to your homepage to offer a reactive experience to your customers?

Delve into data

Use downtime to uncover the data you’d been meaning to. By decoding your analytics and evaluating your data, you can strengthen your campaigns in time for business picking up again. By tackling audience data, you can understand who you should be writing for, and find opportunities to speak with new audiences you never knew you had. As well as this, you can keep tabs on your traffic breakdown and apply information you’ve found on user-behaviour to tackle those drop-off points and keep users engaged.

Plan and strategize content

Take this opportunity to develop a new strategy which enables your team to continue delivering content. Sensitivity is a key consideration during any downtime, but where possible you should create an adapted strategy to keep content going, making it more relevant and of course, valuable to the user. This is also prime time to get organised with a schedule for when activity picks up, so make the most of putting new content calendars together.

Are you looking for new marketing ideas to help your brand bounce back with a bang? Get in touch!