The novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 has affected businesses across not only the nation but the globe. Creative businesses are being forced to make tough decisions on how to keep their business afloat.
While some Entrepreneurs think the first step is to cut out marketing efforts, consumers are too invested digitally to stop ALL marketing. You can cut your marketing budget or outsource marketing to a digital marketing agency if you really want to save money, but do not stop interacting with your customers. Now is the time you want your customers to see you - and see you in a gentle and caring way. Focus on your messaging and what you want your customers to think about you - this is your BRAND.
Use the COVID19 Downtime to Focus on Your Company's Brand
Whether using Google, Facebook or another online platform, you can reach out to potential customers with customized branding methods. What is your business doing to help the community? How do you want your customers to think of you during this crisis? What will you be doing to make life easier for your customers?
By replacing your branding and messaging from sales-driven to those of general concern and care, you can impact the thoughts consumers have about your company. Reaching the right audience with a branding campaign increases your online exposure, and could make you one of the most known businesses in your industry. An effective branding campaign draws attention, stirs curiosity, and although not immediately, when customers are ready, they later convert.
More About the COVID19
As the Center for Disease Control (CDC) continues to closely monitor the situation, they have issued a set of guidelines to minimize the spread and prevent outbreaks. Among the best practices issued for the public, the CDC advises that social distancing measures be adapted for anyone experiencing symptoms or risk factors like diabetes, respiratory complications, or an otherwise weakened immune system. As the virus spreads over the next few months, and if the virus reemerges again in the fall, expanded self-quarantine measures could go into place to reduce community outbreaks and relieve the burden on healthcare facilities.
How can your business survive a pandemic?
You can help minimize any economic impact and maintain your market share by planning ahead for a decline in business because of the coronavirus. With a plan in place, you can prevent undue losses with smart digital marketing strategies and whenever possible, pivot to take advantage of new markets, platforms, and technologies.
Prevent Losses with Smart Marketing
During a pandemic situation with widespread quarantine recommendations, it’s important to keep your budget trim and reduce any unnecessary overhead expenses. The goal is to get your business through the event and prevent any long-term damage to your brand or your customer base, and that means making strategic marketing decisions. While you may be desperate to save money anywhere you can, it’s important to maintain a coronavirus digital marketing plan tailored to your needs and desired outcome.
Review current ad campaigns and suspend any that no longer make sense, or make adjustments to your advertising strategy. For example, one business might increase targeted ad spending on social media platforms to highlight a new delivery service or video chat option. But for other businesses, it may be more important to save money by reducing ad spending altogether. After all, if your hours are reduced and customers aren’t coming in the door, there’s no need to blow your advertising budget on campaigns begging people to stop by and shop the coronavirus sale. Instead, it might be a great time to get back to basics with your SEO digital marketing.
You can boost your site’s organic reach by updating webpage titles, H1 descriptive headers, and meta tags. Refreshing your page content with new information and updated backlinks will help keep your brand at the top of search engine results when your customers naturally come searching for your products or services. Building your organic search traffic can have huge benefits to your business. It’s a cost effective way to establish brand credibility and solidify your online presence, and it can effectively block your competition from even appearing on the same page of results.
Pivot to New Markets and Services
Some businesses will thrive during a pandemic. Food delivery apps like Doordash, meal kit companies like Hello Fresh, and e-commerce sites will have the most to offer during a pandemic. After all, today’s instant gratification consumption culture means people are accustomed to getting what they want, and they’re used to getting it fast. In normal circumstances, everything from groceries to personal care items, medications, and meals can be at your front door in under an hour. Companies that are able to capitalize on the high demand for online shopping and deliver convenient service will see exponential growth, especially during a viral outbreak when people are stuck inside.
If you begin to experience the economic impacts of COVID-19 on your business, it could be a great time to pivot. Stay in touch with your clients and let them know about any changes or precautions you’re taking. Plus, remind them that any temporary setbacks will end and business will eventually resume as usual. If you’re able to jump into rapid delivery or online shopping options, use this as an opportunity to capitalize on the increased need for e-commerce and porch-side service. Utilizing video calls for conferences and sales pitches? Let your audience know you’re being proactive and working hard to provide the products and services they rely on, all while protecting the health of employees and customers alike.
Current COVID-19 recommendations suggest people with non-urgent symptoms self-isolate at home for 14 days, so anything that makes quarantine more bearable will be in high demand. Gaming companies, streaming platforms like Netflix, and cable providers will likely see a bump in sales and subscription services. Meanwhile, content creators on YouTube and TikTok, as well as podcast producers, will have more viewers at home eager to consume new media. Spend some time brainstorming how your company can create new content for new platforms you haven’t reached yet. Informative or entertaining video clips, articles or blogs, and photos for social media stories can all help boost your organic reach and in some cases, even monetize your digital marketing efforts. By creating engaging content, you’ll stay fresh in the minds of an audience actively seeking out new media. You can lower your content creation expenses and save money by outsourcing your writing projects.