6 Alternative Marketing Channels to Try During the COVID-19 Pandemic
With the advent of COVID-19, many marketers are suddenly finding their budgets slashed or paused as a result of quarantine measures. While the reliable, comfortable ways of marketing and getting results are out of reach, there are still opportunities out there to get your message noticed and acted upon. Because people are working from home, you have a unique opportunity—and if you do things right, you could actually see an increase in business.
The most important thing you can do is to think creatively and strategically. Money may be tight, spending may be down, and campaigns may be paused—but by no means is online marketing “dead.” With these six alternative marketing ideas that you can use during COVID-19, you may find that your business comes out better positioned than before! Let’s look at what you can do during the pandemic.
1. Take Advantage of Ad Credit Promo Offers and Partnerships
Advertising networks don’t like campaign budgets being cut, so they’ll often send free promo codes for a certain amount of free advertising. Some web hosting companies will also offer credits on Facebook or Google Ads to entice users to sign up. With a drop in spending due to the coronavirus, you can bet that major ad networks are going to roll out the red carpet and get advertisers back into the game with some ad credit carrots.
In a similar vein, many organizations that host in-person events will be struggling and seeking out alternatives so that they can recoup any lost revenue and use their resources effectively. By partnering with them or reaching out, you may get access to their contact or attendee lists at a discount or get in front of their audiences through virtual events.
2. Create a Google Alert for Great Content Ideas
This period is a great opportunity to consider your business from an end user’s perspective. What kinds of questions are people asking? What do they want to know more about your industry and how you can help them? One effective way to learn more about what people are searching is to create a Google alert.
For example, let’s say that you sell web hosting for WordPress sites. You could create an alert for “WordPress,” but that would include everything under the sun: themes, plugins, and other things not directly related to hosting.
Instead, you could create an alert for “WordPress web hosting” or “WordPress hosting” and then choose the sites from which you want to see alerts. Sites like Quora, Stack Exchange, and Reddit are superb sources of possible questions, while other sites like BuzzSumo and Feed.ly can help you see what kind of content is trending. With these sites, you should soon have plenty of content ideas to keep you going.
3. Create Instructional Videos or Courses
With so many people quarantining at home, now’s a splendid time to dust off that YouTube channel and create some instructional videos related to your product or service. Going back to our WordPress hosting example, you could instruct people on how to set up their first WordPress website, what plugins to install when they’re starting out, or give them a guided tour of what control panel options they should configure to maximize their site’s speed or other features.
Due to the lack of interaction and social distancing, there’s been a big focus on online learning as well. While you might not want to undertake something as complete as a full course, it might be worthwhile to teach some of the basics and a few advanced tips and tricks.
Obviously, whether you can use this approach depends on your industry. But for most, now is a great time because so many are at home and eager to learn new skills and stay relevant in this job market. You could help people get certified with a little badge that demonstrates that they’re a “WordPress Web Hosting Expert” (for example). This training helps people learn new things, build credibility, and create their own additional stream of income.
4. Repurpose and Update Your Old Content
Put a new spin on by refreshing your popular blog posts. Case in point, there are tons of posts on the internet about unique marketing ideas, but few of those have been repurposed through the lens of maximizing marketing efforts during a pandemic. What unique spin or updates could you give your existing content? What has changed since you last wrote it? Resources come and go, tips and advice change, and a modern update can help you bring in fresh traffic that’s eager to act.
5. Turn Videos into Blog Posts (And Vice Versa!)
Users are consuming a lot of content on the web, both through text and video. Why not get your marketing content to do double-duty by repurposing blog content into videos or existing videos into blog posts? Online video creation tools like Animoto have a low learning curve and are great for creating these kinds of videos quickly. Likewise, you can turn your existing videos into blog posts or even infographics using tools like Visme or Piktochart.
If you want to take your repurposing efforts even further, you can also reuse old content for e-books, social media posts, or even podcast episodes.
6. Create a Joint Webinar
Along with online courses, videos, and blogs, people are taking advantage of webinars now more than ever before. Some of our clients are seeing webinar attendee counts double or triple their pre-COVID numbers. Online platforms like Zoom are exploding in popularity. A standalone webinar might perform decently, but you could double the odds of reaching your ideal customer if you host a joint webinar with a company that’s not in your industry (so it’s collaborative rather than competitive).
Going back to our previous example about WordPress web hosting, you could host a joint webinar with a website security company on how to protect your WordPress blog from hackers and spammers. Or you could reach out to the different theme designers and create a webinar on how to choose a reliable, cleanly coded theme for their website. There are lots of possibilities and little (if any) costs involved to set it up and launch it.
Marketing Isn’t Dead
Marketing evolves with technology and people’s changing attitudes and life circumstances. As you can see, there are plenty of creative ways you can repurpose existing content and information to reach people that want to read, watch, and consume it. The important thing to remember is that although this event is temporary, what we build right now can have a lasting impact if we invest in its success.
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