With the widespread coronavirus outbreak sweeping the globe, the impact of this pandemic is not only affecting the health of billions of people but also the viability of many businesses. As the push for social distancing increases, we’ve seen the cancellation of trade shows, networking events, and other business events where large groups would typically congregate. These are an important part of the marketing and lead generation strategy for many companies. Business owners are now being forced to pivot and adapt. Here are three digital marketing alternatives to in-person events to help your business continue to stay connected.
Ramp Up Your Email Campaigns
When’s the last time you ran a full email campaign outside of your monthly newsletter or weekly check-in? This alternative is a great way to continue to build a relationship with your target audience when most touch-points have been forced to go online. Email campaigns give your audience access to your knowledge and expertise without having to leave their home. They are also simultaneously connecting with your brand and the unique resources you bring. Need email campaign ideas? If you have a blog or YouTube video segment that’s performing well, expand those pieces of content into a more comprehensive campaign that peels back the layers of information further. Don’t forget to add a call-to-action at the end so readers know how to take the next step to get in touch with you.
Does your business typically hold events or classes for your audience? When that’s not possible, try taking things online! Webinars are very popular forms of content that allow a group of people to learn and discuss topics together. These opt-in style videos allow you to build your email list while also putting out good information in a one-to-many format. You can use webinars to educate your audience on a new product/service, provide an industry or company update, share exclusive information, and even include special offers for your audience. While you may choose to host the original gathering live, webinars are highly valuable because they can be recorded and saved and reused for months/years to come. After recording once, you can set up a webinar campaign to run consistently, continuing to grow your audience and amplifying your ROI from one piece of content.
Explore Online Networking
This classic marketing tactic bridges business strategy with authentic relationship building. If you’re no longer able to attend that tradeshow or networking event, take your connecting efforts to the digital space and leverage social media groups on Facebook and LinkedIn to seek out opportunities to connect. You can also follow a specific hashtag related to your industry/event and network with other people who are following that hashtag or have started a conversation within that hashtag. Was your trade show cancelled? By following the hashtag, you can still interact with others who were planning to attend. Also, consider setting up virtual coffee dates over online video services like Zoom or BlueJeans. While it may not be the same as sitting across from someone in person, it does help build a better connection when you can see someone’s face on video, rather than an email or a phone call.
Of course, these are not the only digital marketing tactics we encourage businesses to take advantage of, but they are straightforward to begin implementing right away and gain you some traction when your offline marketing plans have changed suddenly. The best defense against a variable market is to have a strong digital marketing strategy in place that consistently produces leads. However, in a tight situation, these ideas should help you start things on the right foot – and give you a foundation on which to build a reliable lead generation strategy for the future.
Do you need help creating a campaign to help keep your business afloat during the disruption caused by coronavirus?
We’re happy to brainstorm or give you advice. We have clients of various sizes, in every industry. Our team works as an extension of your team to carefully craft a digital marketing strategy that will keep your audience engaged and your business strong during this time of uncertainty.
CONTACT US to learn more about pivoting your marketing strategy.