The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has created an unprecedented situation that requires some innovative approaches to ensure our businesses stay relevant. Here is a short checklist of things your business should be doing during this critical time.
1. Keep your website updated with pertinent information
Now, more than ever, customers will be turning to the internet. It’s important to ensure that when your customers visit your website, they are seeing accurate and up-to-date information. If you’re a restaurant, this means ensuring your website has your currently available menu online, along with instructions on how delivery or pick up will occur. If you’re an online retailer, this means adding any additional notices about delays in shipping times, etc. If you’ve been forced to close temporarily, keep your customers up to date with your reopening plans as you know them now, and when new decisions will be made. Make certain your business hours are correct on your website as well.
A website with no updated information can cause confusion as to the status of your business. A simple notice on your website with the latest information can go a long way towards making your customers feel at ease about purchases during this time.
You or someone from your team should be maintaining a social media presence during this time, with constant updates and photos of your services or products.
2. Ensure the major online directories, such as Google My Business and Yelp are updated
As more users turn more often to the internet for information, your business will likely show up in more online search results. When a customer sees your business, you want to make sure this information is correct and up to date as well.
The first place you’ll want to update, and the most frequently viewed, is your Google business listing. Ensure your hours are updated and other pertinent information is correct. If you haven’t claimed your Google Business Listing yet, google “Google My Business” and follow the steps on the screen.
While Google is by far the most popular choice, it’s important to ensure your information is updated on other major directories, such as Yelp, as well.
When logged into Google My Business, Google now gives you the option to make posts for your business on Google’s search results pages that will appear when someone searches for your business or service. They even give you statistics on how many people have viewed or interacted with these posts, helping you to determine the type of content that your audience is looking for right now.
3. Go Live on Social Media
During this time of isolation, many are craving digital forms of interaction and this is a perfect time for your business to join that trend.
You could go live and introduce yourself as the owner. Maybe you’ve never actually posted a photo of yourself on your page. This is an excellent way to make your business more personable and form a relationship with your customers, which can increase customer loyalty.
Go live and let your customers know any changes that have occurred with your business in the interim too. Even simply sharing any changes to your delivery methods, hours, etc. using photos and/or video can be a fun and effective way to connect with your customers in a new way.
4. Shift your marketing budget to digital
While marketers have touted digital as the future for quite some time, it is finally coming into its own with the outbreak of this virus. With most customers quarantined, it’s time to move almost your entire marketing budget to digital platforms during this time.
Digital advertising includes social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn. But it also includes other advertising options such as radio ads on Pandora or Spotify as well as pay-per-click options such as Google Ads.
All of these methods can help raise awareness about your business during this time and increase sales. Google Ads are particularly helpful as you only pay when someone clicks, not when someone views, your ads. The cost per click is also lower right now as Google uses a bidding system to price their ads. With many advertisers scaling back right now, it’s a perfect time to scoop up some of that extra ad inventory for a lower price.
5. Reevaluate your marketing efforts
Adjust Schedules and Timelines as Needed
Evaluate visuals. Examine the art planned for current and future campaigns to ensure they are sensitive to the current situation. Avoid visuals of crowds or people touching including people working in offices or at social gatherings out of the house.
Adjust marketing language that involves people interacting. Avoid catch-phrases like “get in touch,” “work hand in hand,” “get closer,” “join in,” “drop by”, etc.
This pandemic will pass and we will make it out of these unusual times, but it’s important to adapt to the conditions right now. Steve Jobs once said,” innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity not a threat.” Don’t miss this opportunity!