It’s safe to say that the adjustment to our new COVID-19 reality has not been easy for anyone — individuals and collectives alike — even a year into this. With so many fearing for both their physical and financial health, why would a business even dare to promote itself in the current climate? And with most of society in a virtual lockdown, how?
As a business, especially a small business, you should continue to market — with a heightened awareness and sensitivity — because it’s what people expect. Going out, doing things, interacting, and engaging with the world around us — these are all normal facets of a free society that will resume once the threat has passed. Despite all the workplaces closed and individuals quarantined now, relationships must continue to be fostered for the future. You cannot do that while remaining silent.
Right now, the Internet is your single most important communication channel and your audience’s single most important learning resource. That being the case, fine-tuning your digital marketing strategy is more of a must than it ever was (FYI, it always was).
“Everybody is going to be at home, on their phones or online. Now really is the time to double down on digital marketing efforts.” — Epic Web Studios CEO David Hunter
Adopting the right digital marketing mentality
Reports on COVID-19’s economic repercussions are dynamic and ever-changing, disproportionately harming some industries more than others. For instance, the travel industry is projected to suffer a loss of about $820 billion. Meanwhile, the media, healthcare, and pharmaceutical industries have seen an uptick in financial support as people prepare themselves with information and supplies. Recent organic traffic and conversion statistics (compiled by search guru Neil Patel) bear out the industry-by-industry impacts of the coronavirus outbreak, and it’s clear where consumers’ interests and priorities lie. During a global state of emergency, what is vital or essential is always going to take precedent.
But even if your business has been dubbed “non-essential” by your local government, you cannot rest on your laurels and wait this one out. Brand awareness and relationship marketing will position you for a more rapid recovery when society resumes full operations. Be transparent, share in your audience’s concerns (they’re all of our concerns), update frequently, and communicate! Respond to all of your messages and comments on social media. Prepare the best deal you can reasonably offer and push it hard — the economy, especially the local economy, must continue to be stimulated. Encourage your customers to leave reviews on Google or Facebook to increase your visibility and profile (and respond to these too!) — trust is invaluable during trying times.
Global recession = digital marketing introspection
Cumulatively, the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is expected to hemorrhage $2.7 trillion from the global economy. Few businesses, if any, will be unaffected. Some have already dissolved. Others may not survive. Nonetheless, this is a rare opportunity to look inward, comprehensively assess your digital marketing strategy, and improve. During the forthcoming recession, competition will inevitably thin. Hold strong in the following departments, and you’ll stand a little taller among those left standing.
- Website user experience (UX): Do your pages include prominent calls-to-action (CTAs)? Is your brand messaging consistent visually and verbally? Are navigation paths logical and easy to follow? Is the site optimized for mobile?
- Organic content: Share your thoughts, plans, and focuses with blogs and newsletters. Do not hesitate to empathetically inject humor or personality to demonstrate an understanding of your audience’s circumstances.
- Social media strategy: Interact with your audience with stories, posts, and updates (don’t be afraid to incorporate video!)
- On-page SEO: Take a deep dive into website analytics, optimize pages for target keywords, supply missing metadata (alt text, meta-descriptions, etc.) Consider presentation of elements and their impacts on time on-page.
- Off-page SEO: Claim your GMB listing (if you haven’t already) and utilize it to its full potential! If you’ve been overlooking GMB as a powerful tool in your digital marketing tool belt, now is the time to open your eyes.
- Promo offers: Creatively incentivize support now for reward in the future.
We’re in this together
At Epic Web Studios, we continue to stand by our clients (at a responsible distance, of course!) as we navigate these uncharted waters. With a thoughtfully devised digital marketing strategy, your customer relationships will be better equipped to weather the storm.