How to Market to Your Users During a Quarantine

Future of Work

Marketers need to make careful changes.

Illustration by Vijay Verma
Words by Jack Riewe

With much of the world taking shelter inside their home, people are finding more time to login to their online accounts, moving their brick-and-mortar businesses online, and adjusting to their restructured workday by exploring new content. The internet has suddenly become more crowded and more competitive. This is an opportunity for a creative renaissance for marketers. With this post, we wanted to share with you some things we found as a new business. Being a machine learning tool, we’ll turn to the only thing certain in this uncertain time: Data.

In this post, we're going to address some common marketing concerns during quarantine including how to approach your event in the face of COVID-19, how to make your content appealing during the quarantine, how to approach your online community, and how to incorporate no-code machine learning in your decision making.

First, we want to share what we've experienced.

Our Experience With Quarantine Marketing

During the quarantine, we've had to readjust to our audience.

One of the first things we noticed as soon as our remote work began to spike is decision making is slow. While our team is partly remote itself and we see the benefits of remote work, it can be a little out of the ordinary for a lot of companies. They are going through a readjustment period. These last few weeks are also slow moving because companies are willing to spend less money in times of uncertainty and decreased revenue—especially on new products. 

We also found if a potential user really wants to start using your product, they have to meet one of these criteria:

  1. They are the team's decision maker and in control of the budget.
  2. Your marketing was inspirational enough to push through remote bureaucracy and get the team to adopt your product.

The best ways for your marketing to stand out during these times and find potential users who meet this criteria is rethinking your event and content.

What To Do If Coronavirus Affects Your Event

With the uptick of COVID-19 cases there have been a few useful datasets to allow marketers to readjust their marketing in the face of a pandemic in order to keep growing and remain consistent. 

With a publicly available dataset titled, “2020 Conferences Canceled due to Coronavirus” we can see the trends in how many conferences have been canceled and gone online using Obviously AI. 

Via Obviously AI’s platform.

Most conferences from the dataset have been canceled, but some are still holding on to them by postponing or moving online.

As a marketing team, you can actually save the months or years of event planning and move your event online and still increase brand awareness and revenue. There are some considerations when thinking about moving your conference online:

How quickly can you rebrand the event and write a press release with an update?

You can take the approach of Apple and publish a press release with the angle of leading innovation, for example. If you’re a smaller company and can move with agility, another way you can rebrand the conference is taking the “remote conversations” 

Do you depend on third-party vendors?

Obviously, events like SXSW and the Game Developers Conference rely on outside vendors more than others. If you can cut down on depending on vendors or have then collaborate virtually, you can still pull the event off.

Going virtual means more content.

At Obviously AI, we’ve been asked to attend a number of no-code and AI conferences this Spring and Summer and have seen an increasing number of content creators ask us for remote conversations. We expect to see this trend increase as the quarantine continues. Moving things virtually also creates more content for all involved parties. Your remote conversation will already be recorded, chop it into smaller pieces, syndicate, and transcribe.

Now, let’s talk more about content.

The Internet Wants Content. Use Data to Show Off Yours.

A few weeks ago, I made this hypothesis on my Twitter:

As many people are working from home or taking two weeks off, they are itching for more content as they go down internet rabbit holes. This is the time to get them excited and show off your content. 

However, as any content marketer knows you shouldn’t just throw content out there and see what happens. At Obviously AI, we use a combination of data, intuition, and creativity for our blog. 

Here are some big things we found with content marketing during the quarantine:

People want to read about coronavirus. Show how your product is fighting it.

The no-code community has come together on Twitter in a beautiful way to fight COVID-19. 

We started to see things like this from our friend Dan Parry at Tectonic London: 

And our friends at Makerpad are empowering others in the no-code community to make products to fight coronavirus.

This is a great opportunity to help others and show off how your product can do that. 

Create a piece of content around how your product is fighting COVID-19 and update it regularly in the coming weeks.

A few weeks before the coronavirus hit the U.S., we posted an article about how to use machine learning to predict coronavirus recovery and even made it to the first page of Google’s SERP for a couple of days. Not only did it show positivity by showing how to predict recovery rate, it also showed off how no-code machine learning can aid medical professionals in learning about viruses. 

This was a highly clickable post, but we also updated it regularly to appeal to the SEO gods, causing it to be our most popular blog post of the year. 

Power your content marketing with data.

This is an obvious thing most content marketers do. But, few use machine learning. 

There are many public datasets available, such as this one for Medium articles where a writer can use machine learning to identify relationships between the number of claps (a.k.a likes) and article characteristics like number of images and publish date.

You can also do simple things with data, like have some fun with Google trends to see what to call the virus and what keywords to go after based on trends.

We often use our SEO tool, Ahrefs, to export CSV files and plug into Obviously AI. This is incredibly useful for discovering relationships between COVID articles and article titles, number of words, publications, Twitter shares, etc. 

You can simply plug a CSV file from your SEO tool and begin to ask questions surrounding your data to see best performing content. 

Connect and Show Your Users Empathy

This isn’t the time to hold back fighting against the pandemic. Your product and empathy can fight it. Show empathy to you users and learn their pain points during this quarantine.

Obviously AI has made valuable friendships online and have collaborated with content makers sharing information on their approaches during quarantine. Just how we’re watering our relationships with our family and friends during this quarantine, now is the time to water relationships with your users and allies online. 

Here’s another example from Tectonic London on how they’re showing empathy, getting to know their users better, and fighting the pandemic:

Lastly, Adapt Everyday 

We’ve probably all heard the line “we’re living in a rapidly changing world” by now—usually it’s been when your favorite musician is cancelling a show via press release, but it still holds true. We do live in a rapidly changing world. 

This is your chance to set up a marketing infrastructure that can deal with pivoting messages and strategies. By now, you probably realized what needs improvement in your marketing team if you ever are forced to work remotely again or deal with a crisis again. 

Being a no-code machine learning tool, we stand by the power of no-code for adaptability, cost-effectiveness, and creativity in marketing teams. Marketing plus machine learning creates some incredible opportunities to adapt to this ever-changing world. 

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