In today’s ever-changing business landscape, it’s more important than ever to know how to help your clients adapt to unexpected change. With the Coronavirus pandemic forcing companies across industries and geographies to quickly adjust, some have done so more successfully than others.
While we can’t always predict major market shifts like this one, we can take steps to help clients prepare for the unknown. By doing so, we protect ourselves from potential revenue loss or failure altogether, and can even help increase clients’ competitive advantage in the face of hardship.
In this article, we’ll cover proven practices to help your clients implement flexible marketing strategies and build businesses that can weather turbulent times. You’ll also be better equipped to answer questions like these:
- What can you do differently to optimize your client’s online presence?
- Should you invest more in existing customers? Or target a different audience base?
- What resources can you offer your client’s customers to help them at this time?
- How can you expand your client’s customer community?
- What changes should you make to your client’s SEO content?
- What can you learn from competitors?
- What tests can you run? What are customers now responding to?
Let’s dive in.
What Is Flexible Marketing?
Flexible marketing is where you adjust to change in real time.
It’s a crucial part of any organization’s success and is especially important during challenging times. You may also know this concept as agile marketing or adaptive strategy.
Maybe you’re already applying aspects of it to your own business or your clients’ without thinking of it in these terms.
If you haven’t integrated flexible marketing or adaptive strategy into your or your clients’ businesses yet, no need to worry. It’s never too late to apply these principles and help clients become more resilient immediately and in the long-run.
In fact, now’s the perfect time to do so.
“The unknown might feel nerve-racking or intimidating to you and your clients—and understandably so. The key is to go with the flow as much as possible and encourage your team and clients to do the same.”
7 Short-Term Adaptive Marketing Strategies for Your Clients’ Businesses
1. Optimize Your Clients’ Online Presence
With the world now working from home, now is the time to edge your clients’ businesses online where everyone can access them.
Start by taking stock of the products or services your client currently offers and make it easier, or altogether possible, to use them digitally. This might include specific aspects of their business, just one of their services or all of them.
Some possibilities to consider:
Maybe you can add another customer support channel to their website, like live chat or a chatbot to their homepage or help center.
It could be streamlining their fulfillment mechanism, so customers can check out faster, or adding live tracking. Or maybe it means automating part of your client’s sales process, like creating an AI-based lead prioritization system.
It could be as simple as improving their customer communication and setting up triggered emails. These adjustments don’t have to be drastic to make an impact and will help keep your clients afloat in the midst of change and uncertainty.
We recently asked our Partners how they’ve found success during this challenging time. Here are some of the responses we received that you can use to get inspired:
One agency moved a real estate client to the cloud.
Another set up store pickup as a delivery option for a catering company.
And another integrated Zoom into a yoga studio’s website, so they can offer online classes.
Additionally, driving your clients’ businesses forward in the wake of the Coronavirus may also mean improving their existing online presence.
If your client already offers their customers digital services or their entire business is already on the web, take a more holistic approach to see how you can help them optimize their user experience for a crisis.
This could include creating mobile-first experiences, helping your clients be available in real time, or building a more intuitive site structure.
Multiple Wix Partners have shared that they’ve added pop-ups, new site pages, and other resources to their clients’ sites to guide them during Coronavirus shutdowns.
2. Reevaluate the Target Audience
With seismic changes in the way the world does business, like what we’re seeing today, you and your clients may also want to reevaluate who they’re trying to reach.
To make the most of your client’s resources, you may want to target a more specific segment of their usual audience. Or maybe there’s an entirely new group of prospective customers that are suddenly relevant to your client’s business.
Alternately, you may want to consider how the crisis is impacting different segments of their audience and see how your client can cater to each of them differently, in a way that matches their needs and state of mind.
When thinking about this strategy, for each segment of your client’s customer base, ask:
- Where are they physically and digitally?
- How does the current crisis affect them and what would motivate them to convert?
- Has that changed since the start of the crisis at hand?
- What’s the best way to reach them?
Part of understanding segments of a customer base means keeping up with their latest needs. You can use your preferred SEO tools to identify the keywords they’re searching for.
Maybe they also communicate in groups on social media or other online forums. See what they’re talking about right now, so you can help your clients capitalize on that intent.
3. Offer Relevant Resources
Just because your client is responding to a major shift doesn’t mean they have to pause their lead generation. Just the opposite: You can still sustain growth during times of uncertainty and make the resources your client currently offers even more useful to their customers.
For example, if your client offers lead generation assets (e.g., ebooks, case studies, infographics), see how they can be updated to be more relevant to this present moment.
Helping clients make the most of their content resources may also be a matter of packaging. Perhaps your client keeps their ebook as is and instead simply updates the social media ads driving traffic to them to speak to customers’ needs or pain points in light of the current situation or highlight the most relevant aspects of that asset.
You may encourage your clients to create new resources altogether. Customers have more time on their hands and are looking for answers and useful materials. Now is the time to invest in those blog posts and thought leadership pieces.
4. Strengthen Clients’ Customer Communities
With the world more isolated, people are looking for ways to connect. Help your client create spaces where customers can communicate with one another.
Whether it’s a place for customers to relate to each other about how they’re using your client’s products or services differently in light of the current crisis or voice general thoughts and concerns will depend on the client and their customers. Work with your client to pitch ideas along these lines and figure out what will be the most helpful.
Additionally, encourage your client to run webinars. Popular video conferencing platforms like Zoom and BlueJeans make it easy to bring large groups of people together and co-host from multiple locations.
You can also record those events and make them available to customers in the future, or leverage them as lead generation assets.
You can also help your client make their current communication with customers more interactive. If you’re running social media posts for your client, for example, ask a question and invite customers to respond in the comments.
Maybe you can create a Facebook poll where customers can vote. Maybe you can have your client create a blog post that invites customers to comment with their personal thoughts.
You and your client can also consider creating a more exclusive community, where the most loyal customers can have a place to connect. One way to do this is by adding a member’s area to their website where only certain customers can create profiles and access features that aren’t publicly available.
Finally, as an added benefit, when your client creates spaces for customers to connect, it shows that they’re not solely focused on their bottom line, but that they care about bringing people together.
5. Evolve Your Clients’ SEO
It’s likely your clients’ customers’ search intent has changed as a result of the current crisis.
Because adaptive marketing and evolving your client’s content strategy also apply to SEO, consider implementing these tactics:
- Use Google Trends to identify shifts in search intent.
- See if there’s new search intent in Google Search Console, so you can optimize accordingly.
- Create dynamic pages where you can quickly update SEO content and meta tags.
- Focus on long-tail phrases and update existing ones to match what customers are searching for.
As you can now personally attest, crisis situations are fluid. This means it’s key to check for changes in organic search trends frequently – and react quickly – to keep your clients’ SEO content up-to-date and ranking as strong as possible.
6. Strategize Your Clients’ Competitive Edge
Global crises like the one we’re facing now affect everyone, including your clients’ competitors. This may impact the way they’re strategically positioned against them. To your clients’ surprise, this may actually be the right moment to transform a threat into an opportunity.
Research competitors to see how they’re handling the current crisis and pinpoint ways you can help your client fill any gaps. You can also source inspiration from competitors to make sure your clients are keeping up, too.
7. Iterate & Test
It’s now more important than ever to try different types of content and see what leads and customers are receptive to.
A Harvard Business Review article entitled Adaptability: The New Competitive Advantage highlights the importance of experimentation as part of a business’ adaptive strategy:
“…in an increasingly turbulent environment, business models, strategies, and routines can also become obsolete quickly and unpredictably. Adaptive companies therefore use experimentation far more broadly than their rivals do.”
This can apply to a client’s web design, SEO, or site content, as well as to their business model as a whole.
Additionally, don’t let failure get you down. Each test that doesn’t work brings your client closer to options that will. Even in the middle of a live marketing campaign, allow their business to constantly evolve, remove what doesn’t work, and try more of what does.
Applying Lessons From the Short-Term Post-Coronavirus
Learn From Your Clients’ Own Experience
Because each business is different – and because you and your clients know their businesses best – many of the key takeaways in the aftermath of an unexpected change can and should come from lived experience.
Once the dust has settled and you’re able to take a step back, take stock, and answer the questions covered at the beginning of this article with your new perspective.
Have a post-mortem meeting with your client after the major shift and get on the same page about what you want to integrate into their website or business to make them better prepared.
The only part of this time period that’s for certain? Change.
The unknown might feel nerve-racking or intimidating to you and your clients – and understandably so. The key is to go with the flow as much as possible and encourage your team and clients to do the same.
Additionally, there’s no need to try to hold all the answers. By adopting the principles outlined above, your clients will be positioned as strongly as possible, even when no one knows exactly what the future holds.
Use a Platform That Allows You and Your Clients to Adapt Quickly
Choose an all-in-one platform that lets you create and collaborate quickly and efficiently. Without a centralized system in place, you lose time piecing together your business tools.
Instead, manage your team’s workflow in one place and focus your resources where they matter most. With Wix, you can build your clients’ online presence most effectively, do their SEO, analyze site performance, and more.
Find out how you can drive your agency forward as a Wix Partner.
Kobi Gamliel is the Head of User Marketing at Wix.com and an experienced digital marketer. He managed a digital agency for more than 8 years and now uses that knowledge to lead marketing solutions for Wix users.
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The opinions expressed in this article are the sponsor's own.