The last few weeks have been filled with uncertainty and concern. In the midst of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, many people are wisely opting to stay indoors. If you’re a business owner, it’s smart to take this time to adjust your digital marketing strategy. Helping your customers by offering them ways to cope during isolation, or acting as an information resource are great ways to stay connected to your community during this time. Here are some ideas for adjusting your digital marketing strategy during the COVID-19 outbreak.
1. Do not exploit COVID-19
The Novel Coronavirus outbreak has led to worldwide fear, whether being brought on by memes on the internet of our society headed towards I Am Legend-style apocalypse, price surges, or ads with misleading claims to purposely heighten people’s fears. Communicating support through social media channels, offering resources and encouraging positive mental health are great ways to stay in touch with your audience, while not exploiting their fears.
2. Update your audience through social media and email
Throughout the uncertainty that COVID-19 brings, consumers are becoming more sensitive to the actions companies take to help prevent the spread. It is important during this time that you use every social media platform to communicate updates about your business’s changes, such as store closures or revised policies. This means communicating to your audience via Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Twitter, and any other social media you are active on.
3. Offer free virtual services and events
With the closures of gyms, restaurants, and a variety of retail stores, many businesses are offering their services online. Since most people are practicing social distancing and choosing to stay indoors, companies need to be creative with how they offer their audiences their services. Depending on the industry you are in, there are a variety of ways to virtually provide your to consumers. Companies in the fitness industry are offering virtual workout classes; Tech companies are providing free tools and webinars; restaurants are offering free delivery on meals. The opportunities are endless. Offering these services and events show your customers that you are willing to go above and beyond for them during the outbreak, which will help strengthen customer loyalty when this time passes.
4. Create dedicated web pages about COVID-19
Your consumers’ main concern during this time is the wellbeing of their families and themselves. They will be wondering about what actions your business is taking to reduce the impact of COVID-19. Through the creation of blog pages and/or an FAQ page dedicated to the virus, you should answer any questions your consumers may potentially be wondering.
Here are some examples of potential questions your audience may be wondering about that you can use this time to answer:
- What cleaning practices are you taking to ensure cleanliness within your store?
- What employee safety measures are being taken?
- Are there updates to in-store hours or closures? What is the expected duration of these changes?
- Are there any online services, deals, or offerings your business is providing to reduce in-store traffic?
The questions you should be answering are based on the industry that you are in. For example, a restaurant should create pages to provide information about increases in hand washing frequency and sanitation, removal of communal utensils, and offerings of online delivery services so consumers can avoid leaving their homes.
5. Offer leniency to your customers to show support and sensitivity
With social distancing, self-quarantine, and cabin-fever brought on by the new Coronavirus, your company should make things as easy as possible for your customers. It is important to show support and sensitivity during this difficult time to maintain the trust of your customers.
Many stores are currently offering free shipping without minimum purchases and leniency on return policies, airlines are eliminating cancellation fees, and streaming services are offering free subscriptions. Showing support and sensitivity is a great way to build your online community and illustrate your brand ethics.
Although times ahead are uncertain, it is important to revise your marketing strategies to illustrate transparency about your company’s current situation, as well as to better connect with your audience. Revising your messaging during COVID-19 builds trust, communication, and lets your consumers know you are working hard to ensure both their safety and wellbeing.