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Going Digital Business Support Marketing Strategy

Marketing in a Crisis

Tony Eades

Major events around the world have either been cancelled, postponed or gone online. From the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo to the Cannes Film Festival to South by Southwest, the annual media festival in Austin, Texas. Forbes’ Coronavirus Cancellation Tracker revealed that more than 57 Million attendees had so far been affected after their events were cancelled or rescheduled.

Rewind to 2017 when the Australian live performance industry generated total ticket sales revenue of $1.88b on an average ticket price of $90.59. If we round that to an even $100 there’s a potential $5.7 billion of available budget up for grabs for savvy marketers. Think of it this way. There’s an audience of 57 million people who had planned on attending a live event for inspiration, education or entertainment that need an alternative fix right now.

Marketing in a Crisis | $155 a month budget

Now we know there’s a potential audience but how do we create an effective marketing strategy on a shoestring budget. According to media buyers and planners, and marketers, ​COVID-19 will have a bigger impact ​on advertising than the ​GFC​. So what could you do with a marketing budget of less than $200 a month?

Create a long form blog post

In a world of uncertainty people need direction, thought leadership and inspiration. First to the topic - what content are people searching for in your industry? Let’s ask the audience with https://answerthepublic.com - a clever site based on Google search data. Simply enter a topic, brand or product and explore your keywords from all angles to inspire the best content ideas your audience is searching for. Cost - Free.

If you are stuck for a topic try Google Trends to see what topics are rising in popularity over the past 30 days or longer. 

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Or you could use HubSpot’s free Blog Topic Generator. Cost - Free.

Now you have a title or two for your blog post, next comes the content. With Copify (https://au.copify.com) you can find a perfect writer for your brief and have your blog post fully proofread, formatted and generally delivered in under 48 hours. Cost (500 word post) - $40.

Create a CTA (Call to Action)

Having people read your awesome content is one thing but ideally you want to create some action. This is where a compelling CTA (Call to Action) comes in, like book in for a free consultation, discussion or some kind of valuable experience. For this you’ll need a couple more tools.

You need to be able to make your offer (a free consultation) as seamless as possible. Adding to the end of your post or a direct meeting link for prospects to select that own day and time for a session is both practical and efficient.

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HubSpot Sales Starter (https://www.hubspot.com/pricing/sales) provides meetings scheduling straight into your Google or Outlook calendar automatically blocking out the times you aren’t available and sending email reminders ahead of the meeting. HubSpot’s platform also gives you access to Live Chat and Chatbots for your website, document hosting and email automation including tracking, scheduling and sequences. Cost - $60 per month

Add Zoom (https://zoom.us/pricing) so you can host the meeting virtually (a must in today's Covid-19 world) and enjoy unlimited one on one virtual meetings. You could even host a webinar for up to 100 participants with Zoom - maybe that could be your offer?  Cost - Free.

Publish your Blog Post

Probably the best platform for this is https://www.canva.com with access to over 8,000 free templates, 100 design types (social media posts, presentations, letters, and more) and 

hundreds of thousands of free photos and graphics. There’s even virtual backgrounds for Zoom (more about Zoom later).

If you want to create a blog to host your new post (and others from here) then Wordpress is the best option (https://wordpress.com/pricing/). Choose a blog theme - here’s some of the latest free templates for 2020. Cost - $5 per month.

Build Traction

One user found by republishing the post he received 24 times more views, from a common 109 views for the first post to an incredible 2,656 views in total.

Re-spinning the content is a far better strategy than boosting a post. For example you can take the blog content, record an audio file and turn it into a podcast. You can use podcast hosting platforms like PodBean so you can share your recording across your social channels. Alternatively grab your smart phone and record a video instead and post to YouTube. To make it easier to record, download a free app like Teleprompter on your phone from GooglePlay or the App store, to act as an autocue. Cost - Free. 

If you have opted to use your Zoom account to host a webinar as your offer then using Rev (https://www.rev.com/transcription) you can take your 40 minute Webinar recording and transcribe it into your next blog post for $1.25 a minute. Then follow the same process as before to publish and share your content. Cost - $50.

Now you have an active marketing strategy for under $200 a month and a few hours of work you need to keep up the work. According to the Content Marketing Institute,  Content marketing gets three times more leads than paid search advertising. You may have started with a 500 word blog post, but as you get into a writing momentum you need to be thinking longer form in 2020. Based on HubSpot's data, the ideal length of a blog post intended to generate leads is 2,500 words. Of the 50 posts that generated the most leads for them in 2019, the average length was 2,569 words, with the longest post in this cohort being a whopping 8,197 words.

Marketing in a Crisis | Grow your Brand

To learn more download HubSpot’s 2020 ‘Not Another State of Marketing Report’ for 64 pages of trends and data from over 3,400 global marketers plus progressive strategies and master your marketing by up-skilling at HubSpot’s Academy or downloading some handy free tools.

Whatever you do during the impact of Covid-19 is don’t stop your marketing efforts all together.

A survey of more than 35,000 consumers globally by Kantar found that just 8% thought brands should stop advertising with 78% believing brands should help them in their daily lives.

Roland Vaile, a graduate from Harvard during the Depression of 1921, studied the fortunes of 250 firms. He followed these companies, tracking both advertising investment and annual revenues, through the recession and into the growth period that ensued. His results demonstrated that companies that increased their ad budgets during the recession grew sales much faster than their rivals – not only during the downturn but also beyond it. Companies that decreased their advertising spend saw their sales decline both during the recession and then for the following three years. In relative terms, these companies actually underperformed even those that elected to do no advertising at all.

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