3 Ways COVID-19 Will Affect Digital Marketing Agencies

If your company partners with a digital marketing agency, then you may be wondering how COVID-19 will impact their business model, as well as your ability to work with them effectively. Let’s take a look at three ways that the global pandemic is likely to affect agencies.

Strategy

Every move a digital marketing agency makes is informed by their strategy.

How will it change?

The far-reaching effects of COVID-19 have impacted supply and demand online in nearly every industry. Agencies will be re-examining their strategy based on the following questions:

  • How have customers’ needs changed?
  • How have customers’ budgets changed?
  • Are we still providing the same value to our customers?

In turn, agencies need to ensure that their offerings still meet customer needs. This will be a major priority through the remainder of 2020.

How to respond:

Start by taking a close look at your customer profile, identifying their new pain points, and modifying your strategy accordingly. For example, as people stay home more, there has been a drop in “near me” searches and an increase in “delivery” searches. We have seen YouTube traffic rise by 15%, while ad revenue has declined.

Action steps:

  • Create a page on your company website sharing your COVID-19 response. It should be accessible from every website page, and should address all relevant changes to the business and what steps you are taking to continue serving your customers.  
  • Update your content marketing, email campaigns, and any other advertising mediums with your new messaging.
  • Create a campaign that clearly shows how you are helping your customers during this time. Track the results so you can run a follow-up campaign later on showing how successful you were in this endeavor.

Operations

It is clear that all organizations, including digital marketing agencies, will be forced to adjust the way they operate during these times.

How will it change?

People are going to continue working from home, even when it is no longer mandatory. Office rents are high, and agency net profitability is relatively low by comparison. In fact, rent is traditionally one of the largest overhead costs for agencies. But if customers stop wanting to meet in the office and staff continue wanting to work from home, agencies can use those savings to invest back into their business.

However, not having an office has drawbacks as well. Without common spaces, company culture, and team collaboration can suffer. Agency owners may face management challenges, and will need processes for accountability, time-tracking, and daily check-ins.

How to respond:

Ultimately, the decision is up to the agency’s owner, and time will tell how office norms change. But for now, video calls can be your team’s saving grace. Schedule calls for non-work related itemsreasons, like happy hours,  team building exercises, andweekly department check-ins.

Client Communication

The way that digital marketing agencies communicate with their clients will change, especially if they are accustomed to in-person meetings.

How will it change?

Traditionally, some clients prefer in-person meetings – especially for lunch, coffee, or happy hour. Unfortunately, that is out of the question for at least a while longer, so agencies will have to do their best to recreate those meetings through video calls.

How to respond:

Dress up a bit for video calls, and make sure your lighting and background are presentable. Consider creating a custom video background for your company’s employees. Fostering a professional environment goes a long way with clients, and video calls are no exception.

Conclusion

The impact of COVID-19 is wide and far-reaching. As we push through this crisis together, we will have to adapt in order to stay competitive. Digital marketing agencies should be focused on their customers’ needs, employee needs, and communication strategies. For businesses that continue to partner with agencies, know that we are grateful – and that your needs are our highest priority.

If you have any questions about how to keep your company’s marketing efforts fresh during this pandemic, reach out to Geraci Media here.

6 Digital Marketing Strategies to Guide You Through COVID-19

The COVID-19 outbreak has affected countless countries, communities, and businesses to a degree that we’ve never seen before. In these unprecedented times, one of the worst things you can do is to drop your digital marketing strategy out of panic. There are options you can explore that will keep your business moving forward and continue generating revenue.

Update Your Google My Business Listing

Update your Google My Business listing, whether your business has closed or remains open. Google Maps will display if a business is temporarily closed, and Google is encouraging businesses to update their listings. This is essential for local businesses, especially when “nearby” or “near me” searches are among the most common. To mark your business as temporarily closed, you must contact Google My Business Support.

Update your listing with your new business hours or closure plan, and add a Google post to explain how your business is responding to COVID-19. Do not set your listing as permanently closed!

Participate in Customer Service and Reputation Management

Companies like Facebook are creating platforms to keep customers informed on their COVID-19 response. As a small- to medium-sized business, you can use a blog to do the same. Create a space where customers can go for information about your business and your industry. Position yourself as a thought leader and give your customers informative, useful content.

Update Frequently Asked Questions

In these uncertain times, people need answers more than ever. Make sure your website fully addresses your customers’ most common questions and concerns.

If you offer answers to these questions, you’ll increase your chances of tracking higher on search engine results pages. This can boost your web traffic, click-through rates, and ultimately, sales.

Pivot your Budget

Buyer behavior will shift over the next few weeks and months, and you will need to adjust your strategy accordingly. This may require adjusting the amount that you spend on pay-per-click campaigns or changing the keywords you are targeting.

Businesses that use mostly traditional marketing methods, like print advertising and events, should pivot to online marketing equivalents at this time. Budget wisely, and focus on actions that have a measurable, short-term impact on your business. If your budget allows, invest in a marketing agency that can help you build a long-term plan.

Run Google Ads Campaigns

Letting customers know that you are open during this time is a top priority. If you are concerned that your customers are not getting the message, you can create a campaign using Google Ads or Facebook Ads that informs customers and reaches prospects that are ready to make a purchase.

As we see lower demand for certain products and services, now is the time to use online advertising to push discounts.

Engage on Social Media

People spend more time on social media than ever, so make sure to use those channels to keep customers up-to-date. Be active and online as often as possible and create a variety of posts to keep customers engaged.

Some social platforms have implemented helpful tools during this time. For example, Instagram launched a “Stay Home” sticker for Instagram Stories to encourage social distancing. Profiles that use the sticker in their stories are grouped into a special “Stay Home” story on the Instagram main page. Tools like this can help ensure that customers see your content.

This is an uncertain time for everyone, but remember: the long-term effects of halting your marketing efforts could be far-reaching, and could have negative consequences for your business that even outlast the pandemic. Remember to stay active online, answer your customer’s questions, and inform them about the steps you are taking to protect them, your employees, and your company.

If you have any questions about how to keep your company’s marketing efforts fresh during this pandemic, reach out to Geraci Media here.

Geraci LLP & Brella Introduce First Fully Virtual Conference for the Private Lending Industry

Brella to provide exclusive in-platform video and text networking opportunities to fill need in industry

IRVINE, CA., April 24, 2020 – Geraci LLP, a non-conventional lending law firm and full-service media company, has partnered with Brella, the world’s leading networking and virtual events platform, to empower private lenders around the world to continue making personal connections despite the COVID-19 outbreak.

Lender Connect, Geraci Media’s upcoming virtual conference, was created to provide networking opportunities and education to an industry that is in serious need of both. Typically, Geraci LLP hosts 2-4 in-person events a year. However, when COVID-19 started to spread, Geraci knew that they needed to pivot in response to the current environment. Thus, Lender Connect was born.

Lender Connect will take place virtually on a conference platform on May 20, 2020. Geraci LLP is leveraging technology through virtual tools like Brella to allow for continued networking and learning in an efficient and scalable manner.

“In this industry, networking is everything,” says Alicia Carter, Event Director at Geraci Media. “Consistent attendance of industry events throughout the year is essential to the financial health of the lending community. To help our clients facilitate deal-making and beneficial networking opportunities, we must create innovative ways to bring the right people together in this space. We saw a need and decided to go for it!”

Lender Connect will provide 1-1 and group meetings via video or text chat, an exhibit hall with branded, interactive booths, and virtual panel presentations from the best in the industry with live Q&A chat features. This event will closely mirror the experience that would typically be seen at an in-person, Geraci Media-hosted event, and will be using key features from Brella’s virtual event platform.

“The only way through is together. The more resources we can provide each other and the more help we can offer, the better-positioned we will all be at the end of this crisis. A rising tide lifts all boats,” says Max Berger, Content Manager at Geraci Media. 

Topics for this event include:

  • The New Normal – What Changes You Need to Make in Your Business Now in Response to COVID-19
  • State of the Market from the Ground Floor
  • High Net Worth Investors Vs. Institutional Investors: The importance of Resilient, Trustworthy Capital
  • What Do Private Lenders Need to Do to Get Access to Bank Capital
  • How Family Offices Invest During Times of Crisis
  • From Main Street to Wall Street – The Life Cycle of a Private Loan

For more information about this virtual event, visit https://geracicon.com/conference/lender-connect-2020/.

                                                  ###

About Geraci LLP

GERACI LLP, the parent company of Geraci Media, is at the forefront of the ever-changing non-conventional lending space and caters to non-conventional lenders worldwide. Our legal departments include Banking & Finance, Corporate & Securities, and Litigation & Bankruptcy, while Geraci Media not only organizes conferences and puts out a monthly magazine, but also provides a full array of marketing services to help raise your brand awareness.

About Brella

Brella provides the world’s leading event networking platform for conferences and exhibitions. With the world’s first intent-based matchmaking algorithm, powered by Artificial Intelligence, Brella is used by the largest events in the world to help attendees and exhibitors reach their business goals. The company has enabled thousands of events across 56 different countries in the world, working with thought leaders like Google, Microsoft, AT&T, Informa Knect365, Ernst & Young, Qualcomm, IBM, TechCrunch, Techstars, Hubspot, Ericsson and The Linux Foundation.

Contact:

Alicia Carter

Event Director

Geraci Media

a.carter@geracillp.com

949.379.2600

Email Marketing Considerations During COVID-19

We are all being bombarded by COVID-19 emails from supermarkets, pet stores, doctors, restaurants, gyms, and every other business with an email list. For some, this email is an official letter signed by the CEO of your company. For others, it’s a quick update with the latest changes.

As a business owner, you might be wondering if you should send an email of your own. If your email isn’t met with importance, consideration, and an additional value add at best, your message will be ignored. At worst, you’ll get backlash from clients who find your messaging old news.

To help you navigate this tricky landscape, we’ve combed through coronavirus-related emails and comments from clients on social media to pull the top takeaways. You can use these insights to consider how you should – or shouldn’t – be communicating.

When should I send an email about COVID-19?

If your products or services are impacted by COVID-19, you should send an email update. Reasons you might need to send an email include:

  • You have useful, important information to share.
  • Your clients are more sensitive to this crisis; for example, current status of deals with borrowers or supporting clients.
  • Your business has brick-and-mortar locations, or you see customers in person; for example, construction or real estate agents.
  • The Coronavirus impacts or changes your services in some way.
  • You’re offering to help your clients during this time, like providing supplies, offering virtual services, or waiving fees.

When should I not send a COVID-19 email?

For every email with a purpose, there are a dozen that didn’t need to be sent. Ask yourself why you’re sending the COVID-19 email and who really needs to receive the information. Someone who purchased from you or did business with your company five years ago probably doesn’t need to know the same information that current clients and prospects are looking for.

Here are COVID-19 emails that could upset your subscribers:

  • Your messaging is empty. You want to look like you’re doing something, but there’s no substance, and nothing is planned.
  • You want to tell people that COVID-19 isn’t going to impact your business.
  • You’re telling your email subscribers that your staff is working from home.
  • You’re just restating information from other sources.

All of these will only prompt your subscribers to hit that “unsubscribe” button, which is something you want to be extra cautious with during this time. People are taking advantage of their time, which means learning and cleaning. The last thing you want to do is prompt someone to unsubscribe from your emails as they’re cleaning up their inbox.

5 ways to make your COVID-19 emails more effective

Since most people don’t have time to go through all the COVID-19 emails they’ve been receiving, go through the considerations above and make every message one that your subscribers will engage with. If you’ve decided to send something, it should be purposeful. Here are some tips for effective messaging.

Only include useful content.

Don’t send an email just because everyone else is. Send it because you have something to say. Think about your clients first. What information are they looking for? This can be a reminder of virtual services or an update on one of your policies.

Make emails easy to read.

A lot of COVID-19 emails contain large blocks of text, making it hard to skim and find the important key points. This example from Lyft, with large titles and bullets, is very easy to digest. Also note that Lyft’s entire business is based on person-to-person interaction, so their customers will have big questions about service changes.

Keep it short.

Your COVID-19 email shouldn’t feature an excess amount of information and jargon. Your subscribers are busy and overwhelmed, and they’d prefer a concise, easy-to-read message.

Include a note about the virus in your newsletter.

You don’t necessarily need to send a dedicated COVID-19 email. Oftentimes just a note at the top of your regular newsletter is more than enough.

Ask subscribers for their input.

Some brands are sending their COVID-19 email and then conducting business as usual. Instead, ask clients what they want from your brand in these uncertain times. Don’t be afraid to ask.

Other considerations considering COVID-19

Don’t forget about your automated emails. Spirit Airlines learned this lesson the hard way when a scheduled email blast saying “Never A Better Time To Fly” was sent as COVID-19 was upgraded to pandemic status.

COVID-19 isn’t something to take lightly. People around the world are worried about their health and their livelihood. Make sure you’re giving it the right amount of concern and that your messages are appropriate. Think about how your brand can be helpful and supportive.

As always, we are here for you and the private lending industry at Geraci. We would love to learn about the current marketing initiatives you are facing and advise you on the best next steps to take. Reach out to us here.

5 Considerations for Marketing During COVID-19

In times of crisis, brands can either help or hurt our collective experience. When something impacts the world as drastically as COVID-19 has, brands should address the issue with tact, empathy, value-add, and mindful marketing strategies.

Context is key for marketing during a crisis. Marketing teams should re-evaluate current and planned campaigns and adjust communication approaches. Every brand is different, but there are some basic guidelines that can help marketers make the right and appropriate choices during a crisis.

Here are five considerations for marketing during challenging times:

Adjust marketing campaigns and planned content timelines

Some brands take a risk by quickly producing new content for a specific moment – for example, Ford recently swapped its vehicle ads for a Coronavirus-response campaign. But this method isn’t realistic for most brands.

Instead, you should audit what content you have running and what is in your pipeline. Decide what should be paused immediately and push back campaigns if you’re not sure the content will be appropriate or relevant as people’s mindsets and current initiatives have changed. You don’t have to scrap the campaigns altogether, just reserve them for when things are back to normal. Consider how you can adjust your existing content. Maybe you can move some items up, adjust your messaging, or add a CTA as simple as lending a helping hand to those who might be in need.

This content break can give you an advantage once the crisis subsides. Take this time to prepare fresh content for the next cultural moment. Stay on top of the quarantine advisements in the private lending area, so you can be proactive in communicating with your clients as things change.

Evaluate imagery and language

Think about the message your brand is sending through visuals and word choice. For example, avoid visuals of crowds, people touching, and people working in offices. If you have current or future campaigns with visuals that might not be appropriate, revise now or push the campaign back to later in the year. In the same vein, re-frame marketing language that describes close interaction, like “work hand-in-hand” or “get closer to your borrowers.”

This doesn’t mean redoing your whole website. We’re speaking about “push” content, which means the content you’re actively putting out – e.g. emails, advertisements, and social media posts. Visitors will be more forgiving about pre-existing content and brand elements like your logo and homepage.

Don’t capitalize on the crisis

This rule is especially important in times of tragedy and fear. Your goal is to keep people informed. Clients and Partners expect to hear from brands about measures like policy updates and closures related to COVID-19. However, don’t be an alarmist. Be aware of dramatic language and be careful about additional information you’re sharing (e.g. make sure news sources are credible and up-to-date).

Be mindful of your tone. Do not promote “COVID-19 sales.” Remember that many people are out of work and are uncertain about their futures. Any communication during this time should have a tone of humility and empathy. Even if communication isn’t offensive, if the tone is off, it can be perceived as clueless.

Be positive, but not ignorant

You don’t need to meet a grim cultural moment with a grim brand tone. Look to your purpose, mission, vision, and values to remind yourself what your brand stands for, and what that means in a crisis. Don’t be afraid to show your vulnerable side.

Lean into human stories and offer well wishes. Imagery of people smiling and living normal lives doesn’t have to be offensive. In fact, it can inspire hope for the end of quarantine. During the last recession in 2008, many brands released campaigns promoting optimism, hope, and empathy, like Coke’s “Open Happiness” campaign.

Create employee-generated content to spotlight your people and your culture. What are your team members watching on Netflix? How are they staying healthy? What are they doing to keep things light? What has helped them to be effective while working remotely? Use this quarantine to show your brand’s human side.

Highlight how your brand can help

Think about how your brand’s products and services can help during this stressful time. What can you do to enhance people’s lives while in quarantine? Communicate your benefits and create helpful content. Even if your brand doesn’t directly help people during a crisis, how can you inspire them? If you keep your focus on your clients, your marketing doesn’t have to stop.

Remember: this won’t last forever. Although no one knows exactly when the quarantine will end, we’re expecting it to be over sometime this year. In times like these, we remember that marketing isn’t a life-or-death practice. But being proactive and thoughtful, and feeling like we add value to the world, is meaningful.

If you’d like to learn more about how Geraci can be a resource for your marketing during this time, we’d love to schedule a free consultation to discuss these tips. Reach out to Geraci Media here.

Geraci Media Announces Online Conference to Bridge the Gap for Networking and Education in Private Lending Due to COVID-19

Lender Connect – Scheduled to Take Place in May of 2020

ORANGE COUNTY, CA – March 16, 2020 – Geraci Media recognizes the concerns and hesitations about networking at conferences due to the latest news and information about COVID-19. While many events have made the appropriate decision to cancel during this health pandemic, Geraci wants to ensure all private lending professionals that we are here to help.

On behalf of the private lending industry, Geraci Media will be providing an Online Conference to create education and networking opportunities for lenders, brokers, investors, and service providers in the space. Lender Connect will take place in May of 2020 and is currently seeking business professionals who would like to get involved. This one-day conference will provide valuable educational sessions, networking opportunities through our online networking app, and most importantly, the convenience to continue making deals and raising capital.

While this event is not made to replace any of our other conferences, Geraci Media wants to instill confidence that you can continue your day to day work virtually anywhere with the appropriate tools, mindset, and business partners.

Alicia Carter, Event Director at Geraci Media, stated the following: “I understand how important face-to-face interactions are when creating a new partnership, discussing potential deals and investments, and gaining insight from industry peers. However, with the current state of the nation, we understand that it is unsafe for these in-person events to take place. Therefore, we will be hosting an online conference with a networking component, where you can still network and learn with one another from the comfort of your own office or home. We want to ensure you that we are here to help and that we will continue to provide opportunities for you to grow and expand your business, as well as the lending space at large, in 2020.”

If you are interested in getting involved, please reach out to Geraci Media’s Event Director, Alicia Carter, at a.carter@geracillp.com.

# # #

GERACI LLP, the parent company of Geraci Media, is at the forefront of the ever-changing non-conventional lending space and caters to non-conventional lenders worldwide.

Our legal departments include Banking & Finance, Corporate & Securities, and Litigation & Bankruptcy, while Geraci Media not only organizes conferences and puts out a monthly magazine, but also provides a full array of media services to help raise your brand awareness.

Media Contact:

Ruby Keys
Vice President, Geraci Media
r.keys@geracillp.com
(949) 379-2600