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Navigating Marketing During COVID-19

Eight takeaways we’ve learned in the past few weeks.

Confession. We’re still figuring out what marketing looks like in this new COVID-19 landscape. We had a whole content strategy planned out, and now it just feels, well, off. So it’s back to the drawing board, and more importantly, the chalkboard. Everyone, across every industry, is learning right now.

We think it’s super important to share what we’re learning. The more we can share, the better we all do. So here’s what we’ve learned in the last couple of weeks.

  • Don’t Quit. Adjust.

It’s a difficult time to be a business. Many of you have had to shut your doors or completely change the way you deliver your product. You may wonder, “Should I even be marketing right now?” The answer is yes. It may just need to look a lot different, including your marketing budget.

On this topic, we found this recent excerpt from Entrepreneur useful:

“If you expected marketing spend to take up 18 percent of your budget, project your numbers for the next month and spend 18 percent of that total on marketing. While this does mean spending fewer actual dollars on marketing, your percentage of company spending will remain consistent, putting you in the best possible position to remain solvent without abandoning your customers.”


  • Stay Social

There’s never been a better time to put energy into your social channels or try out new ones. Other than the time it takes to make content, it’s free. It’s a great way to show the people behind the product and build budding relationships during this time. To grow your following, you can use paid ads (which are cheaper than ever), create useful content, and follow Gary Vee’s 1.80 rule. While it’s focused on Instagram, you can use it on other platforms, such as LinkedIn and TikTok. (P.S. With the quarantine, more and more millennials are jumping on the TikTok bandwagon.)

  • Take a Week by Week Approach

Our world is changing fast. Keep this in mind when marketing. At this point, you should plan your marketing week by week. Why? Because some things are going to get dated fast. For example, when COVID-19 first ramped up in the states, companies quickly put together ads to reflect that. Only a few short weeks later, these videos have started to feel tired and identical.

We’re not saying these weren’t a good idea. They showed that each brand was aware and responding. But now people need more positive messaging. Which brings us to our next point.

  • Be Positive

During the Great Depression and World War II, people turned to the movies for escapism. You can see this same attitude now. John Krasinski introduced Some Good News on YouTube less than a month ago and it has quickly amassed 2.1 million subscribers. Find ways to brighten people’s days with your content. Or, find ways to support those creating positive content.


  • Show Your Support

If you’re able, find ways to support people in need right now. It’s a great way to help out and earn good PR. AT&T gave away 3 free months of service to healthcare workers, Subaru and State Farm banded together to give the world a special episode of Parks & Rec.




We get that not everyone has their kind of budgets. That doesn’t mean you can’t make a positive impact. Just look at Duluth Grill’s Lift Lincoln Park initiative or any of your local stores partnering together to make positive things happen.

  • Don’t Sell. Build Relationships. 

Now is the time to build relationships.

We love this quote from Dan Tyre from HubSpot.

“[It’s] Not a particular good time to sell. It’s a great time to start a relationship, which is the foundation of the Inbound sales process.”

If you watched Dan’s video, you’ll notice something. The video quality isn’t great. This leads to our next lesson.

Screen Shot 2020-04-30 at 3.19.34 PM

  • No One’s Expecting Perfection

These days, info beats perfection. Everyone understands that most of us are working from home. You can’t hire a full camera crew. Your phone footage is acceptable and natural these days. If you have high-quality cameras at your disposal, use them. But it’s not essential.

  • Educate

People working from home or furloughed are looking to learn more than ever. It’s the perfect time to offer your expertise up. We’re currently using that energy to focus on creating useful ebooks and downloads. For an example, check out our Inbound Flywheel Worksheet.

This All May Change

While we believe wholeheartedly in the above advice, we realize it may change as times change. We’re here to keep you updated on those changes, though! Through our own experimentation, deep reading, and staying in tune with our partner, HubSpot, we’re continuing to learn. We’re gathering these lessons in our Week x Week blog series. It’s worth a read.

Subscribe to our email newsletter to stay in the know. If you’re looking for help with navigating the world of marketing right now, reach out. We’re happy to help!