Right now, it is difficult to escape the reach of coronavirus, the constant news cycles promote a sense of urgency which can leave many companies panicking.
However, it is crucial not to have a knee-jerk reaction which will negatively impact your business when this all dies down and normal life resumes, as it will.
Whilst continuing marketing may be the last thing on your mind, now can be the perfect time to make a positive impression to potential customers whilst keeping your current customers informed and happy.
Play your cards right with our marketing advice and when normality returns, you will be the first thing people think of.
This article is part of our Content Hub on how businesses can proceed with digital marketing during this period of uncertainty. Bliss is pooling our 10 years of industry experience to create these free and informative guides to help you, with weekly updates.
Stage 1 - Respond | Transparency with your customers
The most important thing you can do now is show your customers that you have made allowances for this period. Whatever they have been, by acknowledging the pandemic, you will seem confident and assured.
And confidence is key, especially in times like these.
By projecting confidence, they will trust you and your services. It is about positioning yourself in the best way for when this is over.
We’ve created a checklist of things you should make sure you get done ASAP, to show customers confidence and transparency. After this, you’ll have time to pause and evaluate what can happen next, and how to continue with marketing.
1. Make sure you have an information page on your website with a front-page bannerEXAMPLE: Argyll Holidays doing it right - with a clear headline and links to more information
It is crucial that you have a highly informative page on your website, so anyone visiting can find your full policy and contact details easily. Start with this, and then you can link all email and social media marketing back to it.
DO have a visible banner on every page linking to this information page
2. Email your customer databaseKeep customers updated by email
Let your customers know exactly what you are doing in response to the virus and who they should contact if they need to. This should also ease your phone line by providing an alternative means of communication.
DO write an official, respectful and informative email
DO link to your information page on your website
DON’T try to sell your services - this will seem greedy and inauthentic
3. Post on your social media channels and pin it to the topMake sure that your social media posts link to more information
Inform all of your followers your latest status regarding the virus and pin it to the top of your social media accounts. This will also allow you to continue other social campaigns afterwards, as it doesn’t look like you are avoiding the virus.
DO be personable and purposeful
DON’T forget to reply to any responses
4. Continue to communicate
Reassure your customers that you are responding to the ever-changing climate with frequent updates.
DO use different marketing channels to keep everyone updated no matter how they access your content
DON’T stop posting updates, even if your business temporarily closes. Customers will want to know how you are doing
Check out our Guide on How to Communicate with your customers during Coronavirus
Stage 2 - Plan and Build | Your Marketing FutureMarketing strategy is key in the coming months
Once these steps have been taken, it is important to pause and consider your marketing strategy and plans for the foreseeable future.
Although this may not seem like the first priority - if neglected now - it could take months to recover your current market standing.
Decide on Your Marketing Plans for the Coming Weeks
It’s time to put a pause on your 2020 marketing strategy, instead, think about how you can continually connect with your customers.
What content can you produce which will keep them engaged with your brand? How can you make the most of the type of demand you’re experiencing? What can you do to prepare for the future?
These are all questions to consider. Below, we have listed some top tips of stuff you can work on now.
Record Videos and Take PhotosTake lots of pictures and videos of the unspoilt scenery
Spring can be one of the most beautiful times of the year and perfect for taking photos. With emptier public spaces and fewer cars, now is the perfect time to get that peaceful imagery of your park which you can use for years to come.
Create Scrollable, Shareable Content
Being stuck indoors, without normal TV programming but with an overexposure to bad news, leaves people looking for lighthearted content. Is there any way you can provide this escapism to them? Local webcams, behind-the-scenes pictures, interesting blogs and purposeful quizzes are great pieces of content marketing to draw people to your site. Just be aware of the fine line between creating something fun and making light of the situation.
Reply to Online Reviews
Catch up on replying to online reviews and social media comments. It doesn’t take long to thank someone for their nice comment but it can leave a lasting impression for them. Similarly, even negative reviews can be mitigated with a helpful and understanding response.
Optimise your WebsiteBe creative with your website
Take the time to make what you have even better...
- Analyse query data for people coming to your site and make sure their questions are answered
- Make sure all metatags and descriptions are written
- Continue with content marketing so your rankings don't begin to slip
- Improve your landing pages to boost conversion rates
- Spruce up your website in general - check every link works and takes you where you’d expect, add in up-to-date content and imagery
Learn More about Marketing
Now is the perfect time to educate yourself on different aspects of digital marketing. By understanding the sector’s offerings, you can make a more educated decision on what will be successful and won’t be effective, both now and in the future when things have returned to normal.
Don’t Just Give Up!
Although marketing may seem like an expensive and time-consuming task right now, it is crucial that you don’t stop doing it. This period of time will come to a conclusion, and when it does, you want your business to be the first on people’s minds.
Similarly, organic ranking will be more important than ever before, with people spending more time on the web. You want your websites to continue to rank higher and higher on Google searches.
Ultimately, it is crucial to remember - by not moving forwards, you’re actually moving backwards, as your competitors adapt and perfect their marketing strategies.
And of course, above everything else on this list, the most important tip we can give to you is to keep yourself, your staff and your customers as safe as possible. We wish you all the best!
Check out our full Content Hub for advice, best practice and ideas on how businesses can proceed with digital marketing during the Coronavirus period.