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Why It’s Not a Good Idea To Abandon Your Marketing Efforts During A Global Pandemic

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It’s a global pandemic. Life has changed. Some businesses are being hit hard. Others, not as hard and others somewhere in between.

When life and business get turned upside down, it’s natural to go into “hunker down” mode. It’s understandable to want to cut all expenses and anticipate the worst. None of us should feel bad about these very valid (and sometimes practical) reactions.

We don’t know what the future holds and there are so many things out of our control right now. However, I’d like to offer an argument that marketing is not one of the things that should be suspended right now. In fact, there are many reasons why marketing should continue or even get more resources.

People are on social media a lot more right now

A recent study pointed to a sharp rise in social media usage right now. It makes sense because just about everyone is now working from home and spending a lot more time following current events.

If you run campaigns on social media, now may be a great time to double down. Attention is in high supply and the competition may be pushing pause, give you a unique opportunity to gain more attention.

In particular, the leading platforms like Facebook and Instagram are likely to be incredibly high-value as people follow breaking stories and argue about politics (Facebook) and share inspiration and life stories (Instagram).

Building a list may be easier than ever right now

People everywhere are looking for hope and inspiration. They are looking forward to the day when they can socialize again and see life get back to normal. Now is the time to create content that inspires and helps.

Whether you’re in B2B or B2C or both, the classic tenets of Inbound Marketing have not changed: provide value.

Now may be the time to launch that amazing offer, course, podcast, download, video series, webinar, or pillar page that helps your audience navigate their challenges. Now may be a great time to use content to build your email list, your social media custom audiences, your podcast subscribers, your video followers, and any channel that you are building a community around.

People in both B2B and B2C are looking for hope and guidance. Be part of the solution and provide help to them and when everyone is bursting out of this crisis and moving full-steam ahead in business, you have been part of the solution all along which gives you the social and business currency to turn that loyalty into revenue.

Marketing is not a switch; it’s an engine

In times of turbulence, it’s tempting to think of marketing as a switch that can be turned on and off. But that’s not how it works.

Marketing is an engine that starts slowly and then builds momentum as you spin it up (flywheel anyone?). The more you add fuel and the more momentum you gain, the faster and more effective it is.

If you suddenly grind it to a halt, you have to start over by building momentum again. You may have to re-earn loyalty from your audience if they haven’t heard from you in a while. You may have to re-gain SEO rankings because the competition kept going.

Rather than halt marketing, you are likely better off maintaining or even increasing your efforts so you are running strong when the storm passes.

Businesses are reinventing themselves

While some businesses are unfortunately truly struggling, others are reinventing themselves. From restaurants to breweries to retail, many B2C businesses are pivoting in response to the coronavirus in creative ways. B2B companies are less affected and in some ways, they are thriving (take Zoom for example). Many industries, especially technology, are experiencing unprecedented demand.

How can your business serve the community in the current environment? What can you do to pivot and adapt your message? Yes, there is some negative news out there. But there are also some amazing opportunities.

A recession is the time to increase market share

No one likes saying the word out loud but it’s pretty much accepted that we are going to see a recession. We don’t know how long (or short) it will be but it’s likely.

When this occurs, your competition is likely to cut back. This is your chance to gain ground.

It’s been well-documented that increased spending in marketing and advertising during a recession can pay off. From Forbes:

“…there have been a number of studies going back nearly one century that point out the advantages of maintaining or even increasing ad budgets during a weaker economy. Those advertisers that maintained or grew their ad spending increased sales and market share during the recession and afterwards.”

The article continues:

There are several reasons to advertise during a slowdown.

  • The “noise level” in a brand’s product category can drop when competitors cut back on their ad spend. It also allows for advertisers to re-position a brand or introduce a new product.
  • Brands can project to consumers the image of corporate stability during challenging times.
  • The cost of advertising drops during recessions. The lower rates create a “buyer’s market” for brands. Studies have shown that direct mail advertising, which can provide greater short-term sales growth, increases during a recession.
  • When marketers cut back on their ad spending, the brand loses its “share of mind” with consumers, with the potential of losing current – and possibly future – sales. An increase in “share of voice” typically leads to in an increase in “share of market.” An increase in market share results, with an increase in profits.

Many well-known companies like Kellog’s and Amazon became the uncontested leaders in their space by increasing marketing during recessions. And they’re basically unstoppable now.

A decision to make

So what should you do? That’s something only you can answer for your business. There are many very real considerations to work through including cash flow and financial situation. But if it’s feasible and realistic to continue your marketing or even increase it right now, it could pay off exponentially in the months and years to come.

Choosing the Best Colors for Effective Website Design

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A website is a dynamic document that combines intuitive user interface design and functional programming with engaging copywriting and creative graphic design. Modern web browsers and high resolution computer monitors are no longer limited to the 256 color pallet of old-school web design. The power of color should not be underestimated when redesigning a website.

Dr. Strange Lion or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Inbound Sales

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I have a confession to make. I’m not a salesman. Personally, I have a deep suspicion of sales people that call me, unsolicited, to tell me about what their product can do for my business. My guard goes up even if I know it’s coming after I fill out a form to get some “free” content, because as the saying goes, “there’s no such thing as a free puppy.”

I don’t like getting those kinds sales calls myself. But new business development is part of my job description. So, I’ve always harbored reluctance (read: been scared to death) to make sales calls myself. Fortunately, I am grateful that that is changing.

WTF is GDPR and Why Should You Care?

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As you’ve browsed many websites recently, you may have noticed more and more that display pop-up banners with a message asking you to accept cookies. Sadly, they’re not offering your choice of chocolate chip or oatmeal or inviting you to a bake-off.

Instead, this privacy notice is in response to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) act, a new law enacted in the European Union on May 25, 2018.

Strictly Business Facebook Policy Updates

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In light of recent concerns with privacy and the way info is handled on social media applications, Facebook has announced some changes to the way they will be handling automatic posting from third party applications.

Thankfully, if you do all your social posting for your personal and business pages using Facebook directly, this issue shouldn’t concern you! However, if you use an integrated third-party application such as HubSpot, MailChimp, or Constant Contact you may need to keep Facebook’s new changes in mind.

6 Steps to a Successful Advertising Media Plan

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As a business person, you might ask, “Why do I need to plan my advertising?”

Think back to your last vacation. Before you left, you probably selected the best airfare for your budget, a hotel closest to the places you wanted to visit and activities that would interest all of the people who were traveling with you. After the trip, while scrolling through your Instagram posts, you probably had some thoughts on what you might do differently and decided next time to negotiate with the hotel to include breakfast. Planning, reviewing and adjusting is something that is an important part of any process and media planning is no different.

5 Ways to Tell if You’re Ready to Hire a Media Buyer

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Advertising on television or radio used to be simple – there were only a handful of channels and programs to decide from and you could put a plan together in no time. Today, there are endless options when it comes to advertising media – television, radio, cable, satellite, outdoor, print and digital – to advertise your business. With all of these choices, how do you know if your message is even reaching the right people? It might be time to turn to an expert advertising agency that specializes in media buying.

7 Content Marketing Ideas for Customer Retention

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A successful Inbound Marketing program depends on creating high quality content that resonates with prospects at every stage of their buyer’s journey. Blogs are a common format for Top-of-Funnel (TOFU) content used in the Attract stage of the Inbound Methodology to bring visitors to a company’s website. In the Convert stage, downloadable eBooks on landing pages with forms capture a visitor’s name and email address to become a lead. Marketing automation and sales processes take over in the Close stage to nurture the most qualified leads. But the Inbound Marketing Methodology doesn’t end when the deal closes and the lead becomes a customer.

6 SEO Tools To Track Local Google Rankings

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If you want to run a successful business, you need to include SEO in your marketing strategy. There are a lot of ways to track your SEO performance, but when you want to measure your results on a local scale, it becomes less clear. Luckily, there are a few tools available now that are designed specifically for local Google ranking tracking, so you can analyze what’s working and make big changes. Here are the top SEO tools to track your local Google ranking.

WordPress vs Drupal vs Joomla: Options for Open Source CMS Software

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When building out your web presence, there are several factors that you need to consider. One of the most important is which content management system (or CMS) to use. Your CMS is the software you use to build and maintain your website. While there are many CMS solutions on the market, not all of these platforms are equal; the specific needs of your business will make some of them more helpful than others.