COVID has had an impact on the world in ways no one saw coming and could have prepared for. This virus has caused tremendous amounts of suffering and not just from the medical and health side. We have faced community shutdowns, travel bans, business closings, school closing, unemployment, social anxiety leading to social chaos, and political divisions that are unprecedented. People are doing what they can to survive this outbreak and minimalize the long term burden.
For a lot of businesses, this requires a different strategy to get and keep customers so they have an income and can still employ their workforce. Most of these companies are turning towards digital marketing to help them through this crisis. So let’s take a look at what Covid’s impact on digital marketing has been and what may continue.
How to Deal With the COVID Impact on Digital Marketing
There are tons of articles out there speaking of what to do during COVID and how to market your business at this time. Be careful what you read and look through it and see what it may mean for you and your business as it is not the same strategy for everyone. In doing my research I have come to a conclusion, that most of these articles must be written by the same person and redistributed to all the digital marketers as they have identical content:
- Have a dedicated Coronavirus Page – so that you can post all the relevant virus traffic in one area and then link out to the pages on the site.
- Develop more video content – as people spend more time on Youtube and other streaming platforms you want to create relevant video content to get in front of users. Leverage SEO insights to help get topics the users will be interested in.
- Ensure FAQ Content is updated frequently – evaluate your customer service and FAQ pages to add specific language related to the virus.
- Factor in Isolation and Social Distancing in your Messaging – Be mindful of these new measures and be sure to include new ideas for your audience to consider that may be valuable during this time of isolation
- Include Cleaning and Care instructions for your products – If you sell products, be sure to include special instructions for your customers
- Be Mindful of the Potential Changes in SERPS and Google Algorithms – significant changes in the organic results are to be expected so be mindful when developing content and keep monitoring performance
Don’t Over Sell COVID
While these are some pretty good suggestions at a glance, I noticed just about everyone is mentioning these suggestions. That bugged me as I do not feel this is 100% correct and especially for every business. Yes, you should acknowledge what is happening in the world. But for this virus to be front and center on everything we do and everywhere we go online, I feel is wrong. If every business followed these guidelines during the COVID impact on digital marketing, then people are going to get very sick of hearing about the virus very quickly and you WILL lose them. So yes, acknowledge what is happening but only as it pertains to your business.
If your store location is closed, then say you are closed and give other options for your clients, just like you would do for a holiday. I did like building more video content but that is not virus related. I think video content is going to grow even bigger. Meaning, figuring out your messaging and audience is important and sooner rather than later. However, don’t just focus on virus-related content, focus on your business. The other suggestions are basic and should be followed already, just don’t push COVID too much.
Everyone is Affected But How?
So let’s look at some real information and data on what is going on during the COVID impact on digital marketing and how it could impact you as well. Keep in mind every industry is effected differently and perhaps that is where we should start. Some businesses are shut down and can’t operate. Some are adversely effected and are working at a reducing capacity. Yet, others are business as usual (very few), and some are thriving.
As a digital marketing agency, we have seen this across all of our clients, as most are affected in some way. Like we were, we had to overcome the fact that some businesses could not maintain the agreement they signed for, and we had to accommodate them the best we could. After all, it’s not their fault and we must stick together and work with each other if we are going to come out of this situation positively. Restaurants, factories, storefront locations, service industries, and elective medical care are all affected negatively. Most are shut down and can not operate at all.
Yet, eCommerce, outdoor activity businesses (for example Golfing and Biking), and some software companies are skyrocketing. We even had a hard time at first with some losses but now we are quite positive some of the best sales we have had. Every industry is different so therefore the creative approaches and ideas need to be different.COVID has had an impact on the world in ways no one saw coming and could have prepared for Click To Tweet
Keeping Your Cool During COVID
One constant above all is we need to be considerate to each other, especially on the business side. We do not know what the other party is going through and not just personally. Businesses are trying to adapt to a remote workforce or a drastic change in how their employees do business. Communication is the key to coming out on top of just about any situation and this is no different.
I know even here, internal communication is much harder, you can’t just get up from your desk and walk down the hall and ask a quick question. You have to call or set a meeting or catch them in a different meeting so you can ask. Communication is taking longer so have patience with businesses you are working with.
So I did mention that I will have some tips for companies to help get them through the COVID impact on digital marketing and here are some more practical ideas you can use and implement. Keep in mind that not all may apply to your business or even your unique situation.
- Adaptability – You must be flexible during this time. One day you may be allowed to open your doors, the next you may have to close them. Whatever your situation is, that should be your message to your customers, communicate and let them know the best way they can reach you and do business with or when an expected time to check back to see if you’re back operational. Your marketing may need to change as people’s behaviors have changed. Yes, more people are on the internet but they may not be where they used to be so your strategy needs to change. Being flexible in your marketing is key to getting through this so don’t be afraid to try new ideas. You also need to be flexible with your staff, the business world may be chaotic but people’s lives are being changed forever on a day to day basis.
- Don’t Take Advantage of the Crisis – Be professional! Do not take advantage of people’s anxieties. Price gouging even a little is wrong. You may make some quick extra cash now but people will remember and in the long run, it may cost you. It’s not just pricing but also the servicing of your clients. We are finding that the ones we help are coming back or referring others to us. Integrity is important.
- SEO is more Important Now than Ever – People are searching more online, in my research that I do for every prospect I talk to I see the search volumes increasing. SEO is extremely important so that the people looking for you and your business can find you, and not your competitor. We have seen a larger increase in local SEO clients than national. That is a different form of SEO as it’s not just about the website. These local companies are trying to do whatever they can to stay afloat, let’s (as marketers) do our part and do these companies right by doing the best for them so that we can keep our local economies going.
- PPC is More Viable Now – With the panic of some businesses trying to hoard what revenue they have (short term success, long term utter failure) there is now less competition in the Paid Advertising space. We have seen CPCs lower now than in years, so we are encouraging our clients to push through and take advantage of the vacuum left by their competition.
- Social Media – The biggest explosion in traffic is social media. Social media messaging is unique and it depends on the platform, audience, and what industry you are in. This has been a large increase for us as companies are trying to reach their customers to let them know how they can help. Well, at least that is what we are telling our clients to do. They need to let everyone know how their business can help during this situation, even if it’s just to get their mind off of the situation. A good laugh works better than more doom and gloom messages.
Don’t Let the COVID Impact on Digital Marketing Impact YOU
We are more than our current situation. Don’t keep your messaging all about the crisis. Communicate and be professional with all your dealings with other businesses, your clients, and your employees. Think outside the box with your situation and business and highlight how you can help your customers and let that be your focus of your messaging.
Be more flexible in your marketing strategies and try new ideas, you will be surprised at your success. Double down and take advantage of the vacuum left by your competition. We will get through this, some better than others but it is all about how you treat others during this time whether true success is to be had in the end.