Digital marketing strategy is always a challenge and marketing managers have to fight for the resources needed to have a sound digital campaign. The rise of the coronavirus has certainly made their internal challenges a little tougher. Revenues are down. Budgets are being cut accordingly. All people—in both business and their personal lives—are having a gut-level, fear-based reaction to the national quarantine that’s causing them to slash spending and hunker down.
We won’t tell you the fears are wrong and that some cost-cutting might not be prudent in these strange times. But digital marketing is not the place to look for cost savings. The reverse is actually true. The COVID-19 era is a time when digital marketing is even more valuable and worthy of greater investment.
Let’s start with the biggest reason why: most people are stuck at home and that means they’re spending a lot more time online. A World Economic Forum study showed Internet use increasing by 50 percent.
While a lot of that increase is no doubt being spent working remotely, combined with increased social media recreation, it’s also fair to say that people have more time to do research on issues they may have been putting off. Like, for example, that pesky legal problem they want to address.
Maybe someone is having a dispute with their neighbor over property lines. Maybe it’s the need to do estate planning. Whatever area of law you practice in, there is some type of case that people will be more likely to research when they have extra time. Figure out what that is and produce content about it.
When you have valuable content, the increase in social media usage becomes a powerful friend. Share the content on your channels. Maybe even take out a paid ad to promote it to everyone in your geographic footprint. There’s never been a better time to be a content marketer than right now.
Then there’s the reality that good digital marketing strategies take time. Local SEO and organic search results, in particular, require a minimum of 6 months to bear fruit. That presumes a lot of work being done on the front end to make it possible.
For example, strong local SEO requires getting listed in directories. As anyone who has done this can tell you, directory listings are very tedious to fill out. Organic SEO requires not only the production of content but also ensuring that content is keyword-optimized with appropriate meta-tags.
Gaining directory listings and reviewing meta-tags is far from glamorous work—in fact, we say with confidence it will be some of the most boring stuff you’ll ever do. That’s why it often gets put off in the hustle and bustle of a normal workday. That’s why now is the best time to do it and get through the 6+ months it will take for search engines to recognize the work and start boosting your ranking.
Your law firm’s standard marketing budget may well include items like conventions and other in-person activities that have been canceled due to COVID-19. A lot of those events aren’t coming back anytime soon. Why not take some of the savings from this area of marketing and put it into digital? You’ll be reaching your audience where they’re at, saving money and building for the future all in a single fell swoop.