01/06/2020 6 min read by Ivan Teh

What Next? How To Prepare Your Post-COVID-19 Digital Marketing Strategy

It literally feels like a lifetime ago that COVID-19 hit our shores and we traded coffee catch-ups for Zoom conference calls. If you’re anything like us, chances are you feel a bit like Tom Hanks in Castaway right now:

In reality, it’s been two months. 

A lot has happened in the past eight weeks. Aussies have slowly adjusted to the ‘new normal’ of social distancing and working from home. Companies have been left reeling by closures, and received government relief packages to help weather the storm. And finally, we’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel as restrictions lift and businesses start to reopen.

At AdVisible, we’ve been working closely with our clients to pivot their digital marketing strategy for COVID-19. Now, we’re helping them build their post-pandemic recovery plan for the short, mid- and long-term. In this post, we distil some of our key insights and considerations for the future, to help you bounce back stronger than before.

Digital Marketing During COVID-19: What’s Worked So Far?

Last month, we earned a feature on SourceBottles experts panel about brand behaviours due to COVID-19. We also shed some light on five critical things businesses should do to adapt their marketing during COVID-19. 

In the early stages of the pandemic, it was all about survival. Businesses had to adapt to remote working, overhaul business plans, and get creative to keep the revenue flowing in. However, while physical stores closed, many industries were booming online as people spent more time on screens.

We worked with our clients to adapt their digital marketing campaigns during this time, and stay top-of-mind where people were spending the most time: online. As restrictions gradually ease across different industries, we’re seeing this investment pay off with higher impressions, more clicks, better clickthrough rates, and greater conversions.

One example is a dental client who we’ve been helping with Google Ads management. Throughout the pandemic, we maintained the same ad spend and saw occasional conversions over the past month. However, once the government lifted the ban on elective surgeries, we saw a massive 3-5x increase in Google Ads conversions:

We’re seeing similar results with clients in different industries, from Dentists to Waste Management. On top of this, retail and eCommerce have seen steady growth since the pandemic started — showing that people are still out there and willing to spend for the right product.

Consumer spending hasn’t stopped, even during COVID-19. And when we look at countries like China, who are coming out the other side, we can see that once restrictions ease, sales come back…and they come back BOOMING.

The takeaway? As measures start to lift, it’s time to hit the drawing board, and start thinking about your digital marketing plan for the future.

5 Tips To Nail Your Post-COVID-19 Digital Marketing Strategy

Unfortunately, we’re not out of the woods yet. There’s still a while to go before we start seeing life return to some semblance of norma — but when it does, recovery won’t be by accident. The brands that will come out on top are the ones that start planning, investing, and building now.

In other words…

Dust off the plans and start thinking for the short, mid, and long term. In the coming weeks, here are a few things you can do to make sure you’re prepared and ready to bounce back stronger than ever.

🔍 1. Continue (or Restart) Investment in Search
If you’ve been consistently investing in search and display ads over COVID-19, keep going. Over the coming weeks, you should start to see the numbers increase I

f your business paused or reduced ad spend during COVID-19, start gradually ramping up your campaigns again. Rather than go in guns blazing, work with a digital marketing agency on targeted campaigns. This way, you can be strategic about your ad spend and get the most bang for your buck.

⌨️ 2) Work on Your SEO NOW

Search engine optimisation is a marathon, and you need to put in the hard work over time to see the results. It usually takes around one to three months to see the true results of SEO, so if you want to rank on Google for high-converting search terms once restrictions are lifted, you need to start today.

Make sure your website design is optimised for search, and work to build out content on your target keywords. In particular, try to focus on the low hanging fruit: target keywords where you’re ranking on page 2, or on the bottom half of the first page.

❤️ 3) Reconnect With Your Followers on Social Media
Slowly but surely, it’s time to re-engage with your audience on social media. If you’ve been a bit quiet following the slowdown in business activity, get ready to get active and put your brand out there again. 

At the same time, if you’re running digital marketing campaigns, make sure to include social media remarketing. This provides you with additional touchpoints to connect with customers, and stay top-of-mind even after visitors leave your site.

📧 4) Build Your Email Database With a Lead Generation Campaign

Even if your visitors aren’t quite ready to convert, it’s important to add them into your database so you can market to them consistently over the coming months. Your email list will be your evergreen source of revenue for years to come, so it’s worth putting in the effort to grow this. 

Create an eBook and offer it to customers in exchange for their email, or incentivise newsletter signups with an exclusive deal. Once you’ve integrated them into your database, keep the lines of communication open with ongoing content, offers, and updated business information.

🖥️ 5) Don’t Ditch Digital Marketing

If you’ve shifted your business online to survive during the pandemic, don’t throw your work out the window. Even as physical stores open up, digital won’t take the back seat. The pandemic has made us more comfortable with communicating online, browsing online, and shopping online. These new consumer behaviours will be here to stay, and your digital strategy should be too.

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