In our last article we mentioned how the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic can lead to new opportunities for your current workflow, processes, and procedures however we didn’t mention how this time can be spent preparing your business for growth once everything has returned to normal. Although your business may be forced to shut down for a bit, or you have had to make changes to your staff hours, it would be a very good idea to utilize this time to communicate more with your customers as well as working on your overall marketing efforts.
Keeping your marketing going during this difficult time will be critical to help your company hit the ground running once the quarantines have been lifted. What do we mean by hit the ground running? We mean that you won’t lose any traction. You need to stay in touch with your customer base and prospects, keeping them calm and appraised of your situation and how it will affect their production and your relationship. In addition to that, you could also potentially pickup some additional work supplying customers and new prospects that aren’t able to get product from companies who are shut down or manufacturing overseas.
By shutting down your marketing efforts at this time you are truly shutting down your business. Marketing takes time to ramp up and take effect – it’s a long-term steady process that, once it’s up and running consistently will keep new prospects coming to you. You have already invested a considerable amount of time, money, and effort building your marketing – you really don’t want to start from square 1 again.
Keep your marketing in place by:
- Finding ways to better assist your customers during this time
- Consider things that may be a bit out of the norm for you to do but will help your customer
- Offer to help them with things that will help keep them going during this time
- And, most importantly, keep producing good content and helpful tools
Let your customers know that you’re either:
- Open for business and taking appropriate steps to help your employees stay safe
- Or, if you are closed, make sure that they know the closure is only temporary. Let them know you have staff working remotely (if that is the case) and you have a plan in place to re-open quickly and you will get orders processed in record time to make up for any delays this pandemic has caused.
Here are the key areas we recommend working on right now:
-Email Campaigns / Regular Newsletters – As stated above, take the time to regularly update your customers with the status of your business and reassure them that you will still be there for them. Are you open? How are you handling this pandemic? Are you taking appropriate measures? Will there be delays in production or shipping?
-Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – This is a great time to take a look at your current SEO measures. Has your website been optimized for SEO? Where does your website rank in search engines? Does your business have an up-to-date, fully-populated Google My Business or Bing Local listing? What other websites is your website linked to? Are you placing content on other sites with back links? The Rico Group offers a free website SEO and PPC Audit, including a competitor analysis, to give you a good look at your online performance and what improvements can be made.
-Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – Do you currently run any PPC ads? If not, this is a great time to plan out a PPC campaign strategy. If you do, now is the time to reassess your messages and make any changes. Where did you run PPC ads? Are there any new platforms you want to start running ads on (LinkedIN, YouTUBE, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.)?
-Social Media Channels – Right now is a great time to work on, or build, your social media pages. Do you have a social media strategy? Are your customers engaged with your brand? How effective has your social media strategy been so far? Are there platforms that you aren’t using that your competitors are? Is the content focused on you or your customer’s needs? Is the content provding solutions for your customers?
-Blogging – If you haven’t started a company blog now is the time! 80% of the buying decision is done online prior to any prospect outreach. Engineers highly value content created by other engineers. What can you share that will help a customer or prospective customer better utilize your products?
-Website Maintenance – To keep your site secure and functioning properly you need to make sure to regularly keep on top of all site updates. Do you have an SSL certificate installed on your site? Are you employing a website security platform for automatic malware scanning and removal? Do you have an automatic backup platform added to your website hosting? When was the last time it was fully backed up? What platform is your site running on? When was the last time it was updated?
-Lead Nurturing and Follow-Up – This is important for sustained growth and should be prioritized year-round. Do you have any recent leads that haven’t been followed-up on? Do you have a consistent company-wide message for these leads? Do you have a system in place to nurture your leads to turn them into sales ready prospects?
Need more guidance?
If you need help generating ideas or just want a bit more guidance for your overall marketing strategy please download our free comprehensive digital Industrial Job Shop Marketing Guide. The guide walks you through the process of generating more qualified leads for your industrial manufacturing company.
Grab your FREE copy now:
-The Rico Group