Updated: March 26th
For many businesses who’ve never needed to try online marketing before, digital marketing during the coronavirus is going to be your best friend. Keeping sales coming in is priority number one but setting a foundation for a strong return when normal life resumes could help you make up for lost time.
Obviously, providing online options while everyone is stress shopping on the internet is ideal. But many businesses don’t have that option. For those, you can build brand awareness and build your online/social relationships so that when you’re able to open your doors again, customers already have you on their list. Here are a couple of first steps to take to keep your customers up to date:
- Pin posts on all your social profiles with any changes to your business services, engage with any questions or comments you get!
- Consider sending out an email to your list updating them with ^ info
- Update your GMB page (more on that next)
First Step: Update your Website and your Google My Business Page
If you’ve changed your business model to take out only for food service, or are closing your doors to shelter in place, make that change-in-services easy to find for your customers. Updating your website is obviously the first place to start. But it is not the place everyone may look to first.
Most of your potential customers will simply check your Google My Business listing to see if you’ve changed your hours or your offerings. (I can’t tell you how many times I went to a restaurant only to find out their GMB hours weren’t correct and so they weren’t open yet.) The trick here is that you need to have claimed the listing and verified it’s your business before you can make changes to it. So if you haven’t done that yet, you need to do that right now.
There is chatter of Google making updates on your GMB page for you, whether you approve them or not. So you need to make sure you own the message and don’t let Google mark you closed if you’re still doing take out, or if you can still meet the customer’s needs with your online store and resources.
Google even added a special post category specifically for COVID-19 updates. Use it!
Paid Ads: To Run Them or Not
Do you have an eCommerce store set up? Then yes, if you need to continue pulling in revenue you should strongly consider running paid ads.
Do you offer an online service that people could take advantage of while stuck inside? You should consider ads too. Many industries are taking a hit, but many are also seeing increased engagement.
As people are trying to stay in their homes, they need to be able to order products from their couch, with their phones. And with communities banding together to support local businesses droves of people are looking to buy from local options, rather than the online monoliths.
For example, some of my friends and I decided to start a virtual book club (to keep us sane), and we all decided to purchase the book from Powell’s rather than Amazon. The potential big-win here is that you convert long-time big-box customers into local shopping heroes, who change their shopping habits not only for the time being but once we all are able to resume a normal life.
Stay Connected To Your Customers
Now is the time to really commit to that organic social media strategy you never thought you had time for. Your online community may be found on Facebook, Reddit, LinkedIn, or Twitter. Wherever you find them, keep them updated with what you’re doing to keep your business going, and how they can help. Or how you can help them. Or just share funny memes. Honestly, whatever you have to give right now is a gift.
Maybe start the blog you’ve been wanting to write for the last three years.
Consider running an email marketing campaign to bring users to your online store or even if you have a service business. Offering tips and tricks while stuck at home keeps your business top of mind. Wildfang sent out a newsletter updating that they had closed their stores but were also running a customer appreciation special. This both helps them keep cash flowing into their business and provides retail therapy to customers.
Everyone is Adapting, Us Included, We Want To Help!
We know you’re already scrambling, and not in a place to figure all this stuff out yourself. So we’ve adjusted our usual business offerings to put together work directly focused on timely and effective digital marketing during the coronavirus.
We can help you claim your GMB profile and get it updated for the current climate, and even better, optimize it so you can increase your online visibility. We’re experts at getting Google, Facebook/Instagram, and other online ad campaigns up and running.
We want to help, however we can, so reach out and we’ll chat about what your business is going through, and we’ll figure out how we can successfully use digital marketing to help your business during the coronavirus. We’re a small business too, we feel you. We’ll get through this together.