Should You Shift Marketing Budget to SEO During the Pandemic?

Expecting the corporate climate to stay the same after COVID-19 would be a huge mistake on your part.

As skepticism penetrates global communities, large, mid-sized, and small companies share a common goal – devise ways to stay in business. It’s compelling them to modify resources (cut budgets and manpower) and implement new policies.

Most are taken aback by the slump and willing to cut unnecessary marketing expenditures, according to Business Insider Intelligence.

One of the tactics companies can deploy to stay afloat during these times is a focus on a high-impact SEO strategy. With brick-and-mortar stores temporarily shut down, SEO can help to attract new customers and reinforce the loyalty of the current client base as business focus shifts to online operations.

In the latest Conductor survey, 65% of marketers anticipate a decrease in their annual marketing budget. And, over half of marketers believe that SEO is more critical during this time, as it offers a lower cost option.

Given the difference of opinions, it is evident that there will be new winners and losers once the COVID craziness ends. To make sure you fall under the former category, focus on your share of voice in organic search.

Here are a few more reasons to convince you of its importance:

Less competition

Markets are inherently irrational. An economic downturn is always an opportunity for bold ventures.

For some time, your rivals may take their foot off the pedal due to low income. Google, however, will not stop working. People are still searching online, and Google continues to rank all registered portals.

A Bain & Co. study indicated that those who remained in a measured growth mode through the 2008 recession saw a 14% profit advantage after the economy recovered over those who were more conservative.

Therefore, COVID-19 is also an opportunity to put some distance between you and the competing entities.

Image: Source

Cost per Mille (CPM) for Instagram and Facebook is down. These ad platforms work as auctions, and less competition means winning is cheaper. When winning is less costly, you will have more opportunities to grab attention and convert users into buyers.

Prospects spend more time online

It has been around four months since Coronavirus began to flip our lives upside down.

With most of your prospects stuck at home, SEO will pave the way for you to reach them there. People are spending more time online, and so it’s about time, you put all your energies into SEO planning. It gives you a chance to stay relevant. Even though the visitors will not necessarily make a purchase, they might do that once things normalize.

According to the preliminary statistics reported by Forbes, internet use has surged by 70%, and streaming jumped by 12%. Maria Rua Aguete of Omdia, the tech research arm of Informa Tech, says that besides gaming and streaming, “Ecommerce will be the other sector that will see a revenue boost as a result of the pandemic, adding $175 billion in revenue in 2020, which represents a 5% increase.”

pandemic people spending more time online

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Your target market probably has more time at hand to respond to the emails and check out your platform. SEO will make sure they get their eyes on you.

A chance to upscale

This pandemic has been a game-changer for the economic climate, pushing all forecasts of potential growth and booming GDPs under the rug. It has been particularly terrible for some industries like travel. Delta Airlines, for instance, is burning $60 million a day.

However, for many, it is a chance to advance their brand. One way to do that is to fill gaps in the customer’s journey through quality content. This may not be the right time to convert leads, but you can work to strengthen the relationship with them. The content you create, optimize, and publish now will serve your brand in the future.

An essential element to integrate into your content strategy would be sharing safety messages with the audience. People are spending time browsing through the web to find what is happening with the Coronavirus. The spikes in interest in this Google Trends chart happen between 7 and 9 am daily in the US.

google trends spikes in internet usage

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Intersection, a popular free public Wi-Fi network in the world, has been supporting local agencies across the US by publishing prevention notices, closures, restrictions, local resource info, and segments of gratitude for essential workers on its Link kiosks and other digital assets.

So once you put the finger on the content needed by prospects, you can then craft it using relevant keywords. I really liked a blog published by GrowthProton.com. According to which, it is not an ideal approach to create content randomly. SEO and Content go hand in hand.  Therefore, it is important to understand what a prospects expects from you.

SEO is measurable

Achieving and increasing measurable ROI is a critical objective for 70% of medium organizations. Many marketers expressed that they want to improve the ROI on search, but struggle with quantifying the opportunities.

An insight into SEO analytics will help you tweak strategies before the onset of a calamity. Thanks to tools like Google Search Console, you can track your search rankings. It allows you to see the number of people who visited your site. Meanwhile, with Google Analytics, you can follow the conversion rate from visitors to customers.

This ability to track and measure results make SEO an effective marketing strategy. It helps you create and execute an SEO strategy that will boost your rankings.

Remember that overall public spending is down. Consumers are shifting their dollars to e-commerce. So, it is inevitable that brands would pull their spending from there because that is where a large part of the opportunity to draw a brand through the downturn lies.

Compared to the traditional methods of sales tracking, SEO is pretty affordable. Even if you are a small venture with limited resources, you can succeed by optimizing content for local SEO. None other strategies will help you scrutinize the market at such minimal costs.

Final Thoughts

SEO is the need of the hour. But do not think of exploiting the situation as your competitors narrow down their approach. Instead, focus on how you can empathize with potential customers. For example, FootJoy created a COVID-19 page detailing how a portion of their sales will go towards relief efforts.

Cooped up in their homes, people are highly sensitive to the slightest signals of arrogance emitted by the brand.

Make sure you do not cross over those lines. And when everything falls in place, SEO will help you score the upper ranks on the grid that you always dreamt of!

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