What should your digital marketing strategy be during coronavirus?

Tips for the messaging, channels and audiences that should dictate your COVID-19 marketing

The world of content and digital marketing has changed rapidly over the last several weeks. There is no telling how coronavirus will change these industries, particularly those that rely on events, live workshops and conferences. Marketers have had to completely rethink what they say, to whom, and how they say it. The stakes have never been greater. Below are several tips and tricks to help guide your marketing strategy amid the pandemic.

What to message

In order for your brand to stay relevant during coronavirus, you must have a “do the right thing” effort in place. COVID-19 is a sensitive subject, so your efforts must be sincere. Be conscious of what is happening in the world around you and signify a genuine way your company is or can be helping.

Where should you message your efforts?

The ideas and campaign you decide to move forward with should be a multi-channel effort. This should include conducting public relations outreach on how you’re responding to COVID-19, promoting relevant and helpful content, and using tightly focused targeted advertising placements that match your goals. These are all great options to promote your brand.

Public relations is perhaps your most important tool during this time. (Please note that it’s vital to be transparent with your messaging.) Reuters recently reported that a record numbers of users are reading online publications. The world is consuming everything in print, online and on the radio about the spread of the virus. These stories are now crucial for companies' strategies. Proactive public relations outreach efforts can result in a huge spike in web traffic and app downloads.

Your advertising efforts should be focused and highly strategic. Some advertising options may not be as valuable as they once were. Search advertising is declining as its return on investment worsens. A recent prediction by eMarketer estimates that the first half of 2020 will see a decline of between 8.7% and 14.8% for search advertising. Conversely, in the beginning of March, it was predicted that this industry would see a gain of 14.4% for all of 2020.

Why? My best guess is that potential customers have developed different search patterns during the pandemic, which can leave certain industries removed.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use search. Your goals, intent and content strategy need to match with the medium and your intended audience.

If you are not advertising much on social media, it may be time to consider this option. Social media seems to have the most effective outcomes right now. There are also countless platforms and promotions to run on social media. However, it is vital to test then mold your strategy based on results you collect.

The world has changed, now is the time to optimize your strategy

There is no hiding that COVID-19 has changed digital marketing. From pivoting your business model to the social media campaigns you run, it is important to stay thoughtful for those around you. How can your business help the community? Take these ideas and considerations with you as you decide the next step for your company’s strategy.


Justin Kraft is the founder of Cast Influence. He founded the company in 2017 after serving in senior marketing roles in-house for 18 years. He manages strategic operations for the agency, oversees brand positioning, and informs the engagement strategy to enhance our clients reputation and awareness. He also created and hosts InfluenceNow, a marketing and business strategy program.

Categories: Business Insights, COVID-19, Sales & Marketing