Businesses across the world face challenging times due to COVID-19. While there are some recession-proof businesses that continue to grow and generate new customers, others are considering how much their companies will contract – and for how long. Self-imposed isolation and other safety measures hampering business can only last for so long, so one of the key questions your leadership team should be asking is, “How will we rebound?”
There are several marketing and sales strategies your team can deploy to rebound quickly after COVID-19. Use this time effectively to emerge ahead of your competition.
If you expect to bounce back quickly, you must cast a wider net and have a strategy for how to engage or nurture leads. It’s a bad time to rely on referrals and passive sources of leads. With a realigned marketing and sales strategy, your business can survive COVID-19 and emerge victorious. By deploying the five tactics outlined in this article you can feed the top of your sales funnel with more diverse MQLs – Marketing Qualified Leads!
Review Your Website and SEO Strategy
Your website is the hub of your online existence. Now, more than ever, buyers rely on digital assets to form an opinion about your business long before they connect with you personally. Do you provide the resources needed for web visitors to assess your product or service adequately prior to reaching out?
Ask yourself the following:
- Are you easy to find online through searches that don’t involve your company name?
- Can visitors to your site quickly and easily determine whether you’re a fit for them?
- Does the quality of your website reflect the quality of your work or products?
- Is your website actually generating quantifiable leads or sales?
- Can you identify anonymous visitors on your website and track their interests?
If you answered “no” or “I’m not sure” to any of these questions, it’s time to consider enhancing your website, either in part or in whole.
Sometimes all that’s required is a tweak to the homepage or conversion pathways, other times it makes more sense to completely redesign websites and leverage new design standards. Ensure your website gives leads the right impression of your company and build a memorable online presence.
Engage in Consistent Lead Nurturing
With so much on hold right now, it can be easy for leads to forget about your business or prioritize you lower than would happen under normal circumstances. This is no reason for your sales performance to slump though; make sure you remain top of mind with your potential customers. Consistent and meaningful outreach will ensure you stay connected.
Marketing Automation can help sales teams keep an active discussion with cool leads. Send leads regular check-in emails to see if you can add value to spark more discussions and get results!
Sales teams naturally want to follow-up with leads that are most likely to convert into customers in the shortest amount of time. Supply your sales teams with these nurtured, sales-ready leads without making them cold call or email prospects! Especially if you’re using a marketing automation platform to control these campaigns, you can use this email engagement data to further improve open and click-through/response rates.
Ensure No Opportunities Fall Through the Cracks
When the crisis blows over, the economy will release significant pent-up demand for products and services not consumed during the downturn. Companies need to fire on all cylinders to ensure they’re generating new leads and competing vigorously to get the attention of buyers. Whoever generates the most positive post-COVID attention will have the easiest and fastest time adjusting to the rebuilding economy.
With lots of new leads and sales opportunities to be generated over the coming months, how responsive will your team be? Do you have the systems in place to stay organized?
You can’t afford to drop the ball and let opportunities fall through the cracks. If you’re still tracking sales on spreadsheets or quote generating software, opportunities will be missed. We urge you to invest in a proper Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool that will support the proper tracking, reporting and communication with sales leads and customers.
Revise Messaging to Reflect the Needs of Your Audience
Have you mapped out your prospective buyer’s journey? When it comes to messaging, a “one size fits all” approach is significantly less effective than targeting your message towards certain groups of buyers. By developing “personas” for your different markets, you’ll ensure you’re providing value and relevant calls-to-action at all stages of purchase readiness.
Review your online and offline materials to ensure your messaging is cohesive and supports the education of leads. Effective content builds awareness of a challenge or opportunity and shows how your solution helps them address it.
Marketing content such as blogs, whitepapers, videos, case studies and newsletters that speak to prospects at the various stages of purchase readiness will help build your position as a subject matter expert. Not only will this help drive more leads back to your website from organic search (Google) and referral (backlink) traffic, but it will also fuel potential buyers to respond and reach out to you. Content marketing is a long-term strategy but is well worth it when viewed as building your library of digital assets. With the COVID-19 down time many business are facing, now is the perfect time to turn your attention to bolstering your website.
Divert Funds from Event Marketing to Digital Marketing
Trade shows and business events have been postponed or cancelled for the foreseeable future; this means that your event marketing budget can be diverted to more presently effective methods. Your business should remain agile and use the channels it still has to generate leads. Consider how you can re-invest into digital lead generation techniques such as webinars or paid on-line advertising through search engines or social media.
Establishing new campaigns such as digital events and advertising can help you reach new audiences targeted towards particular products, services, or interests.
For online events and webinars, you’ll need to invest in webinar technologies like Zoom or GoToWebinar and develop assets on your website to support registration. Once your event is ready, you’ll need to use all marketing channels like email and social media to let people know about it.
Social media or Search Engine Marketing (SEM) ads will help capture many of the leads online looking for solutions that your business offers. By using the right mix of keywords and bidding strategies, you can offer them relevant content such as a resource tool, video or page on your website. There they can learn more and convert into a new contact for sales/marketing follow-up. With Google Ads’ ability to pinpoint search terms that align with the right buyer intent, and social platforms like LinkedIn giving the option to tailor ads based on job title/location, it’s becoming more efficient and cost-effective to pursue advertising.
Survive COVID-19 and Prepare for Growth with Strategic DIGITAL Marketing and Sales Programs
YES… The COVID-19 pandemic is causing disruption, but how your business chooses to respond will be the difference between growing or contracting. Use this time to implement strategies and processes that will help generate leads no matter what’s happening in the market. Pivot your current strategies to focus on what’s most likely to generate sales in the short-term, but don’t forget about long-term sustainable lead gen too!
If your business is interested in learning more about how to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19, watch our webinar on How to Generate More High-Quality Leads.