Marketing During a Crisis

Posted on May 22nd, 2020 by nms
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The coronavirus pandemic currently gripping the nation has created numerous challenges for business owners. Economic hardships on the part of consumers, coupled with mass layoffs and companies halting operations, mean that businesses have begun to curtail marketing in an effort to slash expenses. While this is a common reaction during crises, content marketing and digital marketing have become more valuable now that consumers have moved to online environments. Business owners need to understand the practical aspects of content marketing in a crisis – here’s how to maximize the power of this critical marketing strategy no matter what challenges stand in the way of business.

Evolving Content Marketing Strategies

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of consumers were under restriction-of-movement or self-quarantine orders, forcing businesses to change the ways they conducted operations and mandating a shift to online shopping across many different industries, including insurance. Consumers could no longer visit the businesses around them, and increasingly conducted research on products or services online. Even as lockdowns begin to ease, it is clear for many business owners that it is simply not “business as usual”. Some of the factors influencing business include:

  • Changing consumer behaviors and preferences.
  • Competition for business has become fiercer.
  • New audiences are discovering businesses around them.
  • Consumers are being more careful with their finances, often out of necessity.

Because audiences and consumer habits are shifting – including altogether new audiences with financial concerns – smart business owners know that their digital and content marketing efforts must also shift.

The Fundamentals of Content Marketing in Crises

It is no secret that the business environment is tough during any crisis, and the coronavirus pandemic is no exception. Faced with evolving consumer habits and tightening finances, what can businesses do to maintain visibility via digital platforms? In crises, stripping down content marketing efforts to the fundamentals is the key to continued success.

The fundamentals of content marketing during the pandemic include:

  • Focusing on who the message is for – has the audience shifted? Are there new audiences seeking information about your business services and products?
  • Sharing the concrete and intangible benefits of your company’s products/services.
  • Demonstrating that your company’s product/services are essential during and after the crisis.

Content marketing strategies for insurance agencies must reflect these fundamentals, in short telling site visitors what your products and services are, why they are important, and how they can benefit an individual or business owner – for example, by managing risks or by providing liability coverage for employees and managers. It is important to remember that content is king in the digital marketing equation, and as such has the power to convey powerful messages to consumers while improving online visibility.

Key Considerations in Crisis Marketing

Economic declines across industrial categories have made it difficult for many companies to justify expenses associated with digital marketing. Unfortunately, skimping on or eliminating these budget expenditures during the pandemic is a recipe for disaster. Still, many companies will want to be cost-conscious going forward, and that means sticking to limited marketing budgets. To get the most out of tight content marketing budgets, companies can employ several strategies, including:

  • Putting an emphasis on brand awareness campaigns through content development.
  • Creating promotions or special offers to encourage money-conscious consumers to spend.
  • Identifying and capitalizing on emerging consumer trends.
  • Remarketing existing content for key audiences.
  • Eliminating wasteful practices in content marketing and across the digital marketing campaign.

Most importantly, marketers and their client companies must remember that search engine optimization (SEO) remains the foundation of effective digital marketing efforts. It is imperative that marketers continue to leverage SEO for the purposes of improving search visibility; as more insurance consumers do their shopping online, content marketing is only good if consumers can find the information they are looking for. SEO can also be extremely cost-effective, and it works in conjunction with other digital marketing facets like paid strategy, pay-per-click (PPC), and brand building campaigns.

With these strategies and fundamentals, insurance companies can continue to weather any economic changes related to the pandemic. In any crisis, focusing on the key aspects of content marketing can reach new audiences, strengthen relationships with existing audiences, and build brands in a cost-effective manner.

About Agency Tsunami

Agency Tsunami is the digital marketing division of Neilson Marketing Services, who has provided the insurance distribution sector with innovative marketing and communication solutions for over twenty-five years. With our Agency Tsunami program, we have implemented an integrated marketing strategy that includes optimized, professional websites supported by high-quality SEO and Social Media for hundreds of insurance retailers and wholesalers. Our goal is to help your insurance business perform and generate new opportunities. Give us a call at (800) 736-9741 to learn more about how we can do that for you.

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