Search Engine Journal Editor Danny Goodwin, host of The Search Engine Journal Show podcast, talked with Miranda Miller of Get Remote Ready this week about how to talk to clients who are already trying to deal with COVID-19 about their marketing.

Danny: “Coronavirus is going to continue to impact a lot of industries and businesses and, as we know, the first thing to go is usually the marketing budget. So we want to talk a little bit about what we can do to talk our clients off the ledge.

Miranda: “Yes, this is huge. The big picture is that this is going to end, but it might not go back to the way things were. That’s probably not going to happen actually. So if this is what part of the new normal looks like, what does that mean for someone’s business over the next 3 to 6 months?

What does that mean a year from now?

You don’t want to put yourself (or let your clients get into) that position where they’re starting all over. People have worked hard to put together campaigns and workflows and marketing stacks that work, so why sabotage that by completely slashing and burning your marketing department right now? It doesn’t make any sense.

I even heard from one SEO consultant—because this is a hot topic in groups that I belong to—that a client just completely liquidated their business because they don’t think they’ll be able to weather this storm. And you know if there were an analysis behind that, that’s a decision that some people are going to have to make. But as an emotional, knee-jerk reaction, that’s really damaging. You know, there are employees involved there and assets to be lost.

I think that everyone needs to take a really deep breath, and this is the idea behind Get Remote Ready:

What kind of advice do you really need right now?

What kind of analysis needs to be done?

Can you figure out a workflow that’s going to work for you in this new environment?

All of that is going to take time to figure out, and during that time people need to maintain at least their base marketing budget. It’s 7% or 8% of your gross annual revenue—that is the recommendation from the Small Business Administration, and that’s just your marketing and advertising on a normal day. If you wanted to grow, you might be spending more like 10% or 12%. But if you want to cut back to just the basics right now while you invest in figuring out what things are going to look like down the road, that’s totally fine. Just don’t sabotage your business by completely cutting everything out.”

Danny: “Absolutely great advice, and I hope people will listen to that and really think about the decisions they’re making right now.

You don’t want to make an emotional decision; you need to really look at your data and make sure you come up with a plan, like you say”.

Miranda: “This is actually an opportunistic time, if people can take advantage of it. If you have employees who can’t be doing their physical job right now, this is a great time to do some video interviews to use to inform your content marketing over the next 6 months, once you’re recovered. You could be doing an SEO audit right now and all of those little things that have gone to the wayside for the last 2 years while you’ve been really busy, maybe this is the time they get fixed.

This is the time to step back and really look strategically at what your business is going to look like in the future, and what opportunities you can take advantage of right now.”

Listen to the full Search Engine Journal Show podcast episode, Working Remote During COVID-19, Content Writing Tips & More with Miranda Miller, here.

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