Digital Marketing During COVID-19
As the novel coronavirus makes its way around the globe, Americans have adopted a lifestyle that seemed unthinkable just weeks ago. Today, we have closed schools and shuttered businesses while limiting travel as much as possible. As the economic landscape continues to shift, a strong online presence has become more important than ever. In this post, we’ll provide you with our top tips for digital marketing during COVID-19.
How Coronavirus Changes Your Business
COVID-19 has begun to devastate economies on a national scale. States have issued orders designed to keep citizens at home; these “shelter in place” directives have had widespread impact on local companies. Under these guidelines, non-essential businesses have shut down for the foreseeable future. Essential businesses, like daycare centers and addiction treatment providers, may remain open with additional precautions. However, the way that these companies promote themselves will have to change dramatically.
It’s important to note the shift in consumer behavior that has occurred as a result of these orders (and the pandemic in general). People are avoiding work, restaurants, and other public places in which it is possible to catch COVID-19. They may also be more hesitant to spend money during this period of economic uncertainty. Because these people are not seeing billboards or listening to the radio on their way to work, businesses must reach them where they are. Digital marketing has become the best way to reach customers during the coronavirus outbreak.
Coronavirus Illustrates the Importance of Digital Marketing
According to the Washington Post, there has been a nationwide jump in screen time over the first few weeks of quarantine. In the midst of COVID-19, many people stuck at home have turned to their phones and computers to connect with others. Social media has become an important outlet for venting and commiseration. It also provides an easy way for loyal or new customers to receive updates from local businesses.
With this information in mind, here are our recommendations for marketing during COVID-19.
1. Acknowledge the Situation and Adapt
We’re going through an unprecedented worldwide event – don’t ignore that on your website or social profiles. Your first order of business should be informing your audience of how your company is changing policies due to the coronavirus. For example, some addiction treatment providers have adopted new cleaning protocols in their inpatient facilities, while others have begun to offer telehealth services to people in outpatient programs. Create a succinct page outlining your new procedures moving forward. Next, link to this page prominently from a brightly colored banner at the bottom of your site. This provides a quick reference point for your potential clients.
2. Update Your Audience
Have your hours changed due to the virus? Have you temporarily closed? Are you providing extra services to the community during this time? Be sure you log onto Google My Business and update your listing to reflect this information. They’ve created a robust suite of tools that allows you to clearly communicate COVID-related changes to your customers.
3. Foster an Online Community
The time for sales-forward messaging has passed. Posting content about your new product launch or offerings will come across as tone-deaf during the coronavirus outbreak. Today, the most effective step any brand can take is to lean into their customers’ desire to connect. Create posts that acknowledge their feelings and encourage open discussion about the issues at hand. Consider putting up advice about managing the anxiety and restlessness that come along with months of self-quarantine. If you’re genuine and authentic, your followers will appreciate it, and you’ll become a bright spot in their cluttered feeds.
4. Pause Automated Messages That Don’t Make Sense
Many companies operate with monthly content calendars; frequently, copy for e-blasts and social posts will be created in a large batch, then scheduled out at the top of the month. Go through your scheduling software and reevaluate your content for sensitivity to the current situation. Don’t advise gathering or promote events that have been cancelled. Instead, rework your messaging to acknowledge coronavirus and the steps you are taking in response to it. This is a key element of digital marketing during COVID-19.
5. Don’t Hesitate to Ask for Help
It can be challenging to overhaul your digital presence at the drop of a hat. If you need a hand prioritizing SEO or rewriting a dozen ads, be sure to reach out to industry professionals or your peers for assistance. We’re all in this together!
Digital Marketing During COVID-19
As the world continues to change, remember that adaptation and quick thinking are critical to your success. By meeting your customers where they are, you’ll build trust and keep a people-first mindset. If you need help adjusting your digital presence during COVID-19, we’re here to help.
Webconsuls is a full-service digital marketing agency with offices in Nashville, TN and Los Angeles, CA.