Since early March 2020, much of American enterprise has been at a near-standstill. While there is no on-off switch to the national economy, there is an indication that the “dimmer” is slowly moving its way to “on,” with governors in several states laying out plans for a phased lifting of restrictions based on the guidance of their health officials. We are also seeing the first indications of how companies are thinking about the future. Just as quickly as marketers needed to respond to the massive shift in the market at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry will be expected to bounce back just as quickly as possible, when given the green light.
In challenging times, marketing frequently gets considered as a place to cut budget or pause activity. But, this is actually the best time to make sure your marketing house is in order while your competitors may be in a holding pattern. Here are five areas to shore up right now while you have a chance.
1. Re-Evaluate Your Customer Personas and Journeys
For those of you that have taken the time to document your customers’ personas and journeys with your category and brand, it’s time to take a second look. Are they still representative of today’s environment? Do they need a tweak to account for what business might look like the rest of this year and beyond? Think about that now and how it impacts your go-to-market strategy.
2. Clean Up Your Website
Now, more than ever, your virtual front door IS your business front door. Not only does your website need to be a great manifestation of your brand, it must be a high-performing business driver. Everyone has a list of things they want to do to their site, but they often get kicked down the road.
Now is the time to attack that punch list. Does your home page need a refresh? Maybe your blog lacks connection back to your website proper? When was the last time you did a comprehensive technical SEO audit of your website? How about all those 404 redirects? A website is like a new house. It looked wonderful the day you moved in but after a few years, it needs a deep clean: the garage has become a storage dump and a fresh coat of paint can do wonders.
3. Create Content. Analyze Content. Repeat.
Content drives traffic. Good content drives relevant traffic. This is when you need to be building your content library. Content, in all forms, is still an essential component of building and communicating any brand; it’s mission-critical to reach your audience.
Now is the time to build a deep library of blogs, videos, webinars, and other assets so you are ahead of the game and are ready to publish in a thoughtful way over the months ahead.
At the beginning of each round of content creation, you should look at what’s working and what could be improved. Head to your analytics package. Start by looking at your landing page data over the last 90 days or so, looking at the top pages. Are those pages telling an accurate story of your brand? If not, it is time to re-evaluate that content. Then, look at analytics specifically for your blogs. What were the pieces that earned more organic traffic, lower bounce rates, more time on your website, and drove goals?
Then, look at insights on each of your social channels. Look for patterns in the data: what content themes are your audiences responding more to than others?
Use those insights to inform more content creation and editorial direction to help get that next batch of content creation cooking.
4. Take a Deeper Look At Your Data
Now might be a good time to go beyond your standard dashboard that you review regularly and do a more thoughtful evaluation of your data. Inevitably, you will find some new or interesting insights that can give you ideas on how to cast forward in your business. Maybe it’s a new offering, a new category of content, or a new way to get customers to engage with you. You’ll find something.
5. Audit Your Google Ads Account
Hopefully, you have an experienced professional managing your Google Ads (Adwords) account. Now would be a good time to look for those keywords and ad groups that are spending a lot of budget but aren’t driving conversions within your CPL goal. When was the last time you did negative keyword mining? When was the last time you wrote ad copy to test against your current top performing ads? Can you beat the champion? Are you maximizing your ad space with allowable descriptions, extensions, etc.
People across the world are already chomping at the bit to get back to “life as normal.” This is your moment to make expedited progress while others are waiting in the wings. Don’t miss your chance.