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Marketing vs COVID-19

In the last 13 years the Highlands, Scottish and UK economies have dealt with severe threats to their stability. The financial crisis of 2007/2008, the slump in oil prices and Brexit. The latest addition to this list is COVID-19. It’s tempting for many businesses to pull the plug on their marketing budgets at the first sign of trouble. Traditionally, Digital Marketing and “survival-mode” were not seen as compatible partners.

However, now more than ever getting your content and messaging right for your customer base is vital. The actions, images and perceptions that brands evoke during this time will be remembered clearly for better or worse. But how do you stay relevant yet considerate during this time?

Help Others

It may be difficult to focus on your business when COVID-19 continues to have such a devastating impact on many people’s lives. However, many businesses have used COVID-19 as an opportunity to help others. At teclan, we offered a free-of-charge email marketing campaign for all our clients to ensure they were able to send efficient but professional messages to their customer base regarding on-going operations during lockdown. As a company we were able to forge stronger relationships with our clients but more importantly we were there for them in their time of need.

One of our local clients produced hand sanitiser from their distillery in response to the national shortage. Since giving away the hand sanitiser for free, they’ve seen a sharp increase in online revenue. Helping others can be a win-win.

Paid Ads are Cheaper

During the past few weeks, we’ve reduced the bids on many of our client’s pay-per-click campaigns. Google Ads makes money through an auction system, which runs every time it has an ad space available on a search result, a blog, news site or some other page. Each auction decides which ads will show at that moment in that space. Your bid puts you in the auction.

Currently, many small businesses have paused their PPC campaigns, which has left a bidding vacuum for many keywords and product groups. Whilst lockdown has created a surge of daytime online users, roughly doubling the UK’s internet usage.

One of our clients who runs an online supermarket, saw a 495.33% increase in revenue during March compared with March last year. Traffic on the web is up and there are fewer advertisers. Now may be the perfect time to capture market share and create a new revenue stream via paid ads.

Communicate with your Customers

Communication is key. Communicating in the right way is a difficult balance to strike, but it is worth the difficulty to ensure customers are well-informed and feel supported during this difficult time.

Our email marketing and social media teams have created some of their most innovative promotional work during this time. For one of our clients, our social media team created a step-by-step guide on how to convert synthetic vacuum bags into face masks.

However, it’s the consistent yet sensitive stream of communication our social media and email marketing departments have created that has impressed the most. Consider the following points when communicating to your customers:

  • Use the right tone
  • Stay true to your brand
  • Be clear
  • Be transparent
  • Provide timely updates
  • Audit your email marketing and social media posts
Update/Upgrade your Website

Your website isn’t in good condition, with plug-in updates required, your SEO results are poor and you’re not happy with most elements of your website. Sound familiar? Due to a lack of resources and time constraints many organisations struggle to effectively manage and maintain their website.

teclan are offering a website health check to ensure that your website is ready for the economic upturn. Once the economy begins to recover you may be too busy to dedicate time to your digital strategy and those website changes you had in mind will remain unfinished.

Looking Ahead

In Inverness and the Highlands, it’s been difficult to witness many tourist-based businesses struggling since the effect of COVID-19 took hold. It would be ignorant to dismiss the very real concerns held by many business owners and pretend that most firms don’t face hard times. However, one source of optimism is the resilience of the Highlands & Islands economy at dealing with tough economic situations.

During the global financial crisis and after the collapse in the price of oil, unemployment remained low. In fact, over the past 13 years (compared with the rest of Scotland), the Highlands & Islands has consistently held higher rates of employment, lower rates of unemployment and higher rates of economic activity. Cited by many journalists as a model of economic success. Despite the consistency of the local economy, a Digital Marketing gap appears to have formed.

Recently my attention was drawn to a statistic from the Highlands & Islands Enterprise (HIE). 80% of businesses in the Highlands & Islands recognise the importance of having a digital strategy in-place, but only 20% of these businesses are actively working on their digital strategy.

This is now the time for many businesses to address this imbalance and implement a 2020/2021 recovery plan with a solid and clear digital strategy.

Will you be helping others whilst raising positive brand awareness?  Opening your first paid ads account? Communicating the right messages to your customers? Or upgrading your website?

If you need assistance with anything detailed above, please get in touch. We’re more than happy to help.

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